Coronavirus (1199) Aspen Institute Commission on Information Disorder

29 March, 2021

With thanks to Julie Reza for alerting us to this new initiative. 'Through its work, the Commission will wrestle with the impact and problem of mis- and disinformation across all aspects of modern society, from the 2020 election and vaccine safety, to the ongoing risk to communities of color, to threats from state and non-state actors.' The focus is on the USA, but the issues and potential impact are global.

“In today’s media landscape, consumers face a constant barrage of content that reinforces their established viewpoints", says co-chair Katie Couric.

The Commission will determine:

- The most effective policy solutions and stakeholders to address those most damaging near-term disinformation threats

- The lawful and ethical means by which the federal government can promote fact-based information to counter the most dangerous disinformation campaigns

- How government, private industry, and civil society can work together in the short term to help protect underrepresented groups, and engage disaffected populations who have lost faith in evidence-based reality

- The longer-term, more foundational challenges that will require deeper societal engagement to address

Comment (NPW): They invite public comments online. I have commented as follows:

Congratulations to all on this important initiative. In 2012/13 (Healthcare Information For All) published a white paper with the New York Law School which concluded that governments have a legal obligation under international human rights law to ensure their people have access to reliable healthcare information. We are now seeking partners to extend this analysis to examine the legal obligations of governments to protect their citizens from health misinformation. We want to create a world where every person has access to reliable healthcare information, where every person is protected from misinformation, and where heads of state are unable to spread dangerous misinformation with impunity. Neil Pakenham-Walsh, HIFA Coordinator

It is notable that Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex, is one of the 15 Commissioners of this initiative.

Best wishes, Neil

Coordinator, HIFA project on COVID-19, supported by University of Edinburgh

Let's build a future where people are no longer dying for lack of healthcare information - Join HIFA:

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health movement (Healthcare Information For All - ), a global community with more than 20,000 members in 180 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages in collaboration with WHO. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: