Tackling COVID-19 Rumors With Influencers

With so much content out in the social space that is not credible, people are left wondering...who can I trust?

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We all have that friend or cousin or aunt that is known for sharing flat out #FakeNews. In the moment, we may shake our heads or even chuckle! But what if 1 million (or more!) friends or cousins or aunts shared that same piece of fake news?

With so much content out in the social space that is not credible, people are left wondering…who can I trust?

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has come up with a solution to 1) combat fake news, rumours and misinformation but also 2) bring people together through messages of solidarity.

Introducing: #SpreadFactsNotFear, where the answer is social media influencers. But not only! We have begun reaching out to celebrities and journalists. Whoever has a trusted and engaged following online would be the perfect conduit for relaying information people know to be true.

How does it work? Anyone interested in being a source of credible information can sign up here. Once you are approved and vetted, we will share weekly or biweekly messaging that you can share with your following. The idea is that IFRC provides the messaging but the influencer adapts it to how they know their audience will best receive that information.

What has that looked like? We started with a message of solidarity. Influencers shared images of hearts to convey the importance of kindness.

Some of the other upcoming topics include important information on COVID-19 and heat (summer is coming!) as well as the correct usage of masks.

We’re truly looking to make this a global campaign, targeting local issues. We are mobilizing our colleagues (192 local Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies) around the world to have influencers in every country, addressing specific needs for faces as opposed to myths.

IFRC is working closely with our risk communications teams, people on the ground as well as social listening tools to understand exactly what are the most threatening rumours of the moment about COVID-19 and how to align that with messaging to our influencers.

For more information, see our partner agency’s website

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