United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has launched #PledgetoPause, a global online action calling on people to verify online content before they share.

Development Diaries understands that this campaign is part of ‘Verified’, a UN initiative launched in May 2020 to communicate accessible science-backed health information.

The Pause campaign is the first global behaviour change campaign on misinformation to mobilise researchers, governments, influencers, civil society, businesses, regulators, and the media under a single message: #PledgetoPause.

The campaign, which is based on research that indicates that a brief pause significantly lessens the inclination to share shocking or emotive material, aims to increase media literacy to enable social media users to spot misinformation and stopping themselves from passing it on.

It aims to reach a global audience of one billion globally by the end of December.

At the launch, Guterres began his message with a five-second pause, signifying that the wrong information can be deadly.

‘Covid-19 is not just a health crisis, but a communications emergency as well’, Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications, Melissa Fleming, said.

‘When misinformation spreads, the public loses trust and too often makes decisions that hamper the public response and even their own lives.

‘It is increasingly clear that we cannot successfully tackle the pandemic without also addressing online misinformation.

‘Each and every one of us can help break the chain of misinformation by pausing before we share’.

Source: United Nations

Photo source: Andreas Komodromos

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