Disinformation and fact-checking in times of COVID-19

Through Better Internet for Kids (BIK), and the European Network of Safer Internet Centres (SICs), our aim is to empower children and young people to remain safe online, and equally assist those that support them. During the time of the coronavirus pandemic, Safer Internet Centres have published a number of articles and resources on disinformation and fact-checking in times of COVID-19.

Date 2020-05-11 Author BIK Team Section awareness

* Please note – resource listings are being added to regularly, so please
check back often for the latest information *

  • Verification is the highest form of trust (in Bulgarian). Family Link is a great Android app that gives you control over the content and activities of children on the internet. Learn more about it in this video.
  • Talk to your child about COVID-19 fake stories on Snapchat (in Danish). Fake news and rumours about the virus are thriving on social media. Now is a good opportunity to talk to children about misinformation on social media.
  • Confined but well-informed (in French). French children's life balance is being put to the test during the lockdown. Confined at home, they certainly have a lot of questions about the news they are receiving. Why don't you learn together how to distinguish real news from fake news?
  • Coronavirus: dealing with panic tactics and misinformation (in French and German). Will supermarkets close? Will the internet hold out? Rumours about COVID-19 are spreading faster than the virus itself. BEE SECURE gives you tips on how to handle information about the coronavirus correctly.
  • COVID-19 – how to deal with scaremongering and disinformation (in German). Is ibuprofen a danger to those who are ill? Will supermarkets close in Germany? Will the internet hold out? Rumours about COVID-19 are currently spreading faster than the virus itself. Klicksafe gives tips on how to handle information about the coronavirus correctly.
  • COVID-19: How to deal with misinformation (in Greek). Rumors and misinformation about COVID-19 are spreading quickly, especially on social media. How do we protect from over-information and misinformation? How can we discern if a news article is true or false? This article from the Greek Safer Internet Centre offers some tips.
  • Brochure "How informed are you?" (in Greek). A leaflet from SaferInternet4Kids.gr with tips to stay safe online during the lockdown.
  • Safe teleworking (in Greek). Two posters from the Greek Safer Internet Centre with tips to work safely from home, both for employees and for businesses, produced in collaboration with Europol.
  • Call of Duty: Warzone - a guide for parents (in Greek). Call of Duty: Warzone is an extension of the game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare which has become extremely popular during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this game players use 'heavy' weapons, such as machine guns and grenades, to kill their opponents until only one player is left alive, who is the winner. SaferInternet4Kids.gr has created a guide with everything parents need to know about the game.
  • What is Zoom and what we should watch out for (in Greek). The videoconferencing app Zoom has become widely popular during the COVID-19 pandemic. As with any other application or platform, it is important to understand how it works and the potential risks of using it. Learn more in this article from SaferInternet4Kids.gr.
  • Webinar on the use of the internet during the lockdown period: What should parents watch out for? (in Greek). What should we pay attention to if we want to use the internet safely? How do we protect ourselves from fake news at this critical time? How much time is too much time in front of the screen for our kids during the lockdown? Is there a way to guarantee a quality internet experience for our children? These and other online safety questions were discussed with 88 participants in a webinar on 22 April 2020. The recording is available on the SaferInternet4Kids.gr YouTube channel.
  • Netflix security (in Greek). A brochure the Greek Safer Internet Centre with everything you need to know to use Netflix safely.
  • Beginners' lessons on the basic use of the internet (in Greek). These lessons, created some time ago by SaferInternet4Kids.gr to ensure that children use the internet safely, have become very relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic because we all are spending more time online.
  • Stop, think and check (in Norwegian). The Norwegian Media Authority, together with Faktisk.no, has launched a campaign to help young people identify misinformation and fake news and foster their critical thinking and source checking when they find information online. The campaign includes a quiz, a video and several tutorials. Some content was launched in August 2019, but it has been adapted for the current COVID-19 pandemic.
  • #OznaczDezinfo - A NASK campaign against coronavirus misinformation (in Polish). Observing social distancing and hygiene rules are the main ways to deal with COVID-19. The same methods can be applied to fight the so-called 'infodemic', or misinformation about the virus, which spreads as quickly as the epidemic itself. NASK has launched the #OznaczDezinfo campaign and a guide to help internet users identify false information.
  • An invitation to a self-reflection process about online information (in Romanian). The global rush for information that we are living in these days can exacerbate behaviors that do not help our well-being. Save the Children Romania invites you to open the discussion about our attitude towards information online and how to effectively use the internet and the television in isolation.
  • Think carefully before you believe every coronavirus post (in Slovenian). There is a lot of inaccurate or intentionally misleading information about the COVID-19 pandemic online, especially on social media platforms and in the comments section under media articles. In this situation, we need to think carefully whether we can really trust a post or not. This article compiles some tips to help. 
  • Social media is full of lies and unverified coronavirus information (in Slovenian). There is a wealth of doubtful information about the COVID-19 pandemic online. Many videos and articles from mistrustful online portals spread half-truths or lies misleading readers and viewers and, in some cases, even endangering lives. Safe.si explores the issue further.
  • Now more than ever, teach your students how to identify hoaxes and fake news (in Spanish). These days, social networks and messaging apps are working at full capacity. Lots of news, memes and videos are coming to our phones, and also to our students' phones, who don't always know how to manage them. Now is a good time to teach them how to manage all the information they receive.
  • Misinformation and 'infodemic' in coronavirus times (in Swedish). A listing of resources from the Swedish Media Literacy Network on dealing with disinformation and rumours. They will help you and your children increase your knowledge on disinformation, find reliable sources, and get tips and training in fact checking.
  • Pandemic and 'infodemic': How can adults support children? (in Swedish). As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) stated that we are also affected by an 'infodemic'. Therefore, it is important to talk to children about what is happening and what type of information they receive. It is also important to provide children with factual and well-founded information on how we can help reduce the spread of the virus.

Remember that European Safer Internet Centres also provide helpline services allowing children and young people, and parents and carers to access personalised advice and support. Equally, each SIC also provides a hotline for reporting any illegal content you mind find online. Don't hesitate to contact them in case of need!

Discover more resources published by European Safer Internet Centres in a variety of European languages >>

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