Global Policymakers Call for Effective Infodemic Management to be a Substantive Article in the Pandemic Accord

Members of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body Bureau continue the discussion on infodemic management in light of circulation of misinformation through social media during public health emergencies.

(Toronto, September 21, 2023) The United Nations General Assembly held a high-level meeting on Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness, and Response on September 20, 2023, to continue discussions on finalizing a globally enforceable Pandemic Accord or Treaty that will be presented to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) World Health Assembly in May 2024. This treaty, if agreed to and eventually ratified, will be the second international treaty instrument under WHO auspices, and represents a critical juncture in global health needed to strengthen pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A serious challenge to addressing global health emergencies and pandemics is simultaneously addressing “infodemics” that occur during pandemics (defined by WHO as an excess of information, including false or misleading information on digital and physical platforms during a disease outbreak). In a guest editorial, titled “Effective Infodemic Management: A Substantive Article of the Pandemic Accord,” published on September 20, 2023, in JMIR Infodemiology (an interdisciplinary journal that is exclusivity devoted to the field of infodemiology), distinguished authors who are international global health leaders and members of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) Bureau call for effective infodemic management to be one of the substantive articles of the Pandemic Accord.

The editorial discusses the significant role of social media in disseminating both valuable information and harmful misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic. While platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube have been crucial for sharing public health guidance, they have also amplified false narratives, including antivaccine sentiments. Health-related misinformation on social media ranges from 0.2% to 28.8%, with political factors often being prominent. WHO suggests addressing this issue by closely monitoring, detecting, responding to, and promoting interventions for managing infodemics. Digital health literacy, collaboration across sectors, and fact-checking are essential for combating misinformation. Additionally, an international instrument called “WHO CA+” is being developed to address pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response. 

Disseminating false information regarding health matters and medical interventions constitutes both a possible criminal offense and a violation of the fundamental human right to the highest achievable standards of health. The spread of misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic tragically resulted in the loss of millions of lives. This underscores the imperative of our ongoing discussions to establish measures that enhance health literacy and transparency as integral components of the ongoing negotiations for a Pandemic Accord,” says Tovar da Silva Nunes, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission of Brazil to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva. 

The inclusion of effective infodemic management as a substantive article in the forthcoming Pandemic Accord reflects the growing awareness of the damaging impact of misinformation on public health. It underscores the need for international cooperation and measures to combat the spread of false information during global health crises, emphasizing the importance of health literacy and transparency in safeguarding lives worldwide.


Read the full editorial in JMIR Infodemiology: 

Taguchi K, Matsoso P, Driece R, da Silva Nunes T, Soliman A, Tangcharoensathien V

Effective Infodemic Management: A Substantive Article of the Pandemic Accord

JMIR Infodemiology 2023;3:e51760

doi: 10.2196/51760




About JMIR Publications

JMIR Publications is a leading, born-digital, open access publisher of 35+ academic journals and other innovative scientific communication products that focus on the intersection of health, and technology. Its flagship journal, the Journal of Medical Internet Research, is the leading digital health journal globally in content breadth and visibility, and is the largest journal in the medical informatics field.


To learn more about JMIR Publications, please visit or connect with us via Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.

Head office: 130 Queens Quay East, Unit 1100, Toronto, ON, M5A 0P6 Canada

Media contact:

The content of this communication is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, published by JMIR Publications, is properly cited.