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Social media has increasingly served as a valuable method of organizing and sharing information in conflict. But mitigating the harm caused by disinformation, hate speech and incitement to violence – always a challenge – is particularly difficult during political crises and armed conflict. In addition to better resourcing and implementing technical solutions, platforms should strengthen partnerships with one another and with regional and multilateral organizations to coordinate policies. Both online programs, like counter-messaging, and offline actions, like resourcing local media groups to fact-check on the ground, will be crucial in mitigating harm. The UN response to the COVID-19 “infodemic” provides a blueprint for a global, multi-stakeholder approach to countering disinformation.

Author: Jane Esberg, International Crisis Group
Roundtable: Peace
Year: 2022