TRUTH (The Rhetoric of Untruth) is an Anglo-Dutch project that investigates the impact of mis- and disinformation during the Corona crisis. The Covid-19 crisis has seen an unprecedented volume of disinformation (misleading information spread to deliberately deceive) and misinformation (inaccurate information) as well as conspiracy theories that appear on and across social media, news media and messaging technologies. TRUTH maps and analysis the infodemic during the crisis, which is just as dangerous as the pandemic itself.
The harm of fake news and conspiracy theories on health is substantial, but it also hampers the road to socio-economic recovery. Some members of the public ignore or actively protest against government advice and policies, posing safety and security threats. TRUTH assesses the risk of misleading and inaccurate news stories and the impact on people’s behaviour, through analysis of the socio-cultural, cognitive, psychological, and other demographic factors that are involved in the public’s engagement with disinformation during the crisis. This will help us to understand and respond to fake news during the COVID-19 pandemic and contribute to aid a smooth socio-economic recovery during the aftermath.