Ideas Beyond Borders Launches New Campaign to Fight COVID-19 Disinformation for MENA-Region Youth

New campaign seeks to stop the spread of disinformation on the virus and empower youth to share accurate COVID-19 information with communities.

New York, NY, Apr 14, 2020 -- Ideas Beyond Borders, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to education and empowerment initiatives in the Middle East, announced their latest campaign, "Stop the Spread", to combat disinformation among Arabic-speaking youth. This campaign dispels conspiracy theories surrounding COVID-19 and provides accurate public health information from trusted sources. It launched in early March to their network of over 4.5 million MENA-region youth.

“Where I’m from in Iraq, if you get sick, you might feel uncomfortable telling others because you’ve been told only the guilty and sinful will get sick with COVID-19. You’re afraid of the social backlash, so you don’t get treatment, putting yourselves and others at risk. It’s horrific. Arabic-speaking youth need accurate information on COVID-19. IBB already combats disinformation via our translation program, so using our platform of millions to help stop the spread of these rumors seemed like a no-brainer,” says Ideas Beyond Borders’ Founder and Executive Director, Faisal Saeed Al Mutar.

Conspiracies on the virus have been liked and shared millions of times and include extremist and state-sponsored ideas such as: Jewish people created the virus to manipulate the market; the virus was created in a US laboratory by the CIA; and the virus is a scourge sent to punish the LGBT community and their supporters. To combat this misinformation, IBB is partnering with public health experts and local social influencers to publish and ‘make viral’ more than 30 videos, 220 articles, and 40 infographics in Arabic on COVID-19. IBB is scaling this initiative rapidly in the next hypercritical 90 days, and is urgently seeking funding and additional partners.

About Ideas Beyond Borders

A 501(c)3 organization dedicated to fostering an Enlightened Middle East

Ideas Beyond Borders champions a positive alternative to the extremism, authoritarianism, censorship, and violence that plagues the Middle East. We share, translate, and promote ideas that foster critical thinking, civil and human rights, science, pluralism, and more. IBB wants to ultimately bring to life a modern, pluralistic Middle East, led by the people of the region.

Additional Resources

COVID-19 Disinformation Briefing No. 1 | March 27th, 2020 | ISD

Coronavirus: the student translators battling Middle East misinformation | April 29th, 2020 | The National

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