Spotlight the Victims of COVID-19 Disinformation

Online rumors have life and death consequences. Share the story of someone in your life whose health is at risk because of rumors dismissing the deadliness of COVID-19.

Paid for by Defeat Disinfo PAC, defeatdisinfo.org, not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

Paid for by Defeat Disinfo PAC, defeatdisinfo.org, not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

In this pandemic, “superspreader” events happen in the real world — but the seeds are sown online.

For as long as we have known about COVID-19, bad actors online have been at work questioning its deadliness, the way it spreads, and the effectiveness of tactics as foundational as social-distancing and masks. They’ve misinformed some of the most at-risk populations, especially the elderly, into not taking the dangers posed by the virus seriously. They have even undermined faith in a COVID-19 vaccine: If one were available today, only 50 percent of Americans would agree to take it.

As a result of the online rumor-mills, too many Americans are failing to react to the pandemic responsibly. By the time they realize the risks of COVID-19 are very real, and that their lives are very much in danger, it may already be too late.

The roots of this problem are deeper than the pandemic — they signal an erosion in our faith in institutions and in experts — but even in these divided times, Americans still trust what their friends, their families, and their peers tell them. That means the right message, from the right person, can make a world of difference.

We’re turning to you for that message. We want to hear about victims of COVID-19 disinformation in your life — friends, parents, or grandparents who didn’t take the risks seriously because of something they heard or read, and have unfortunately come down with the virus. We’ll share these stories broadly so others in their community can learn from their experience.