Home Events Can Algorithms Tackle the ‘Infodemic’?

Can Algorithms Tackle the ‘Infodemic’?

by Hodan Omaar

The head of the World Health Organization declared in March that “we’re not just fighting an epidemic; we’re fighting an infodemic,” referring to the surge of false information about COVID-19 coming from nonexperts peddling fake cures to cybercriminals using hoaxes to steal money and data. The spread of inaccurate and deliberately false information is not new in the Internet age; it has plagued elections and grown during past times of crisis, but methods to tackle it have changed. Digital platforms, including search engines, social media sites, and e-commerce sites, have taken steps to remove false information and elevate authoritative content, using both automated and manual techniques. But critics argue we shouldn’t use algorithms to remove or label content because they are too often inaccurate or biased.

Join the Center for Data Innovation for a discussion about the efficacy of using algorithms to moderate content, the role algorithms can play in addressing the infodemic, and the ways policymakers can support innovation in automated content moderation.

Date and Time:

  • Wednesday July 8, 2020, from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM (EDT)


  • Hodan Omaar, Policy Analyst, Center for Data Innovation (moderator)
  • Rachel Thomas, Director at Center for Applied Data Ethics at University of San Francisco, Co-founder fast.ai
  • Dr. Sarah T. Roberts, Associate Professor in the Department of Information Studies at UCLA

Follow @DataInnovation and join the discussion on Twitter with the hashtag #datainnovation.

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