Coronavirus responses highlight how humans are hardwired to dismiss facts that don’t fit their worldview

By Adrian Bardon, for NiemanLab Bemoaning uneven individual and state compliance with public health recommendations, top U.S. COVID-19 adviser Anthony Fauci recently blamed the country’s ineffective pandemic response on an American “anti-science bias.” He called this bias “inconceivable,” because “science is truth.” Fauci compared those discounting the importance of masks and social distancing to “anti-vaxxers” in their “amazing” refusal to listen to science. It is Fauci’s profession of amazement that amazes me. As

The secret labs conspiracy: a converging narrative

By EU vs Disinfo Some observers have recently argued about a convergence of narratives between pro-Kremlin and Chinese disinformation networks. We have taken a closer look at the  “clandestine US biolabs” conspiracy theory. “The United States has deployed more than 200 military biological laboratories across the world. Among them, more than 30 have been exposed. The rest are hidden in unknown places. They may be right beside you”, an alarming

Nationalists in North Macedonia use border closures to sow confusion and mistrust

By Metamorphosis Foundation, for Global Voices This story is based on reporting by Global Voices’ content partner News Agency, a project of Metamorphosis Foundation. Check out Global Voices’ special coverage of the global impact of COVID-19. Did Albania’s Prime Minister really only welcome ethnic Albanian visitors from Balkan neighbours to his recently re-opened country? Did Greece really prohibit travelers from parts of North Macedonia where large ethnic Albanian and Roma populations live

Four experts investigate how the 5G coronavirus conspiracy theory began

By Wasim Ahmed, Joseph Downing, Marc Tuters, Peter Knight, for The Conversation In times of crisis conspiracy theories can spread as fast as a virus. As the coronavirus pandemic tightened its grip on a world which struggled to comprehend the enormity of the situation it was facing, darker forces were concocting their own narratives. Scientists and researchers were working – and continue to work – around the clock for answers.

China’s disinformation threat is real. We need better defences against state-based cyber campaigns

By Sarah Morrison, Belinda Barnet, James Martin, for The Conversation The Australian government recently announced plans to establish the country’s first taskforce devoted to fighting disinformation campaigns, under the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). Last week, Foreign Minister Marise Payne accused China and Russia of “using the pandemic to undermine liberal democracy” by spreading disinformation to manipulate social media debate. “Where we see disinformation, whether it’s here, whether it’s in the Pacific,

Chinese white paper praises coronavirus response, but critics say secrecy costs lives

By Polygraph Xinhua NewsState-run news agency“Ma Xiaowei, director of the National Health Commission, said there is ‘no delay or cover-up’ in the Chinese government’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak.”Source: Xinhua, June 7, 2020FALSE On June 7, China’s official Xinhua news agency reported the publication of a government white paper detailing the country’s response to the COVID-19 novel coronavirus outbreak and subsequent pandemic, believed to have originated in the city of

Brian Whitmore: Propaganda labs

By Brian Whitmore, for CEPA Covid-19 Has Revived the Freddy Krueger of Kremlin Disinformation Narratives  For years, Kremlin-backed media and surrogates have been vilifying laboratories in former Soviet countries participating in the U.S. Department of Defense’s Biological Threat Reduction Program, which helps partner countries counter the threat of infectious disease outbreaks. Regime mouthpieces at home and abroad have persistently, and incorrectly, characterized such facilities as “biological weapons laboratories.” A perennial target

Figure of the week: 23.2%

By EU vs Disinfo Almost one-fourth of Russians (23.2%) consider the COVID-19 pandemic a fiction, concocted by the “interested parties”, Russian media reports. An additional 9% of Russians think that the danger of the pandemic is exaggerated. These are the findings of an online nationwide survey conducted by the Directorate for the Expert Analysis of the Higher School of Economics – one of the Russia’s leading universities. The survey was conducted

Propaganda backfire: the Kremlin’s conspiracy theories undermine its own authority

By Kseniya Kirillova, for Byline By supporting theories aimed at destabilising the US during the Coronavirus pandemic, Kseniya Kirillova reports on how Putin has opened up a Pandora’s Box at home. According to a survey conducted by the Higher School of Economics at the end of May, a third of Russians (32.8%) believe that the danger of the Coronavirus pandemic is exaggerated or consider it to be an invention of “interested parties”.

Chinese disinfo hits U.S. biolab with new COVID-19 conspiracy

By Polygraph Global Times“Days before the institution’s (Fort Detrick laboratory) temporary shutdown in 2019, a respiratory illness was reported on June 30 at a community one hour’s drive away. The Greenspring Retirement Community in Fairfax County, Virginia, had had 63 infected cases of the disease and three deaths by July 15, said local health authorities.”Source: Global Times, May 29, 2020MISLEADING On May 29, the website of Global Times, the Chinese

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