Isolate the lies: campaign to stop the spread of misinformation

We’ve partnered with Infotagion and Iconic Labs in a bid to end the dangerous spread of misinformation surrounding COVID-19.

‘Find the Truth. Isolate the Lies’ is a mythbusting campaign that seeks to change the way people see the sharing of stories and ‘advice’ about coronavirus; reframing it from being something that ‘might be helpful’ to something which poses a serious threat to the health and wellbeing of their friends and families.

The campaign will also enable members of the public to check the facts by tagging dubious posts with #isolatethelies, a free service offered by Infotagion. Infotagion is a free-to-use, independent fact checking, service, set up by Damian Collins MP, the ex-chair of the Culture, Media and Sport select committee and Iconic Labs. The free service is managed by the founders of Iconic Labs who are leading the direction, distribution and amplification of the campaign across traditional and social media.

The ads feature bold typography, seeking to liken misinformation around Covid-19 to an infectious disease. The lead headline “Misinformation is also a disease that kills” will run alongside other messages including “False facts spread fast”, and “Lies are contagious too”.

False stories currently circulating on social platforms are being used at launch, but the campaign will confront new, emerging myths as they become problems in the future.

The launch myths include:

  • 5G causes COVID-19
  • Ambulances are too busy to response to 999 calls
  • The Royal London Hospital is stockpiling body bags 

Damian Collins MP and Founder, Infotagion, said: “Alongside the rise in news coverage around Covid- 19, we’ve seen an alarming increase in misinformation doing the rounds on the internet, causing harm to individuals who believe these messages. We created Infotagion to encourage fact checking, and our work with M&C Saatchi raises awareness of some of the most common myths circulating at the moment, exposing them for the lies they are.”

Liam Harrington, director of Iconic Labs, said: “We are delighted to be working with M&C Saatchi on this project. They have unprecedented experience which has taken Infotagion to the next level. This, matched with our expertise in digital and social has allowed us to tailor relatable content to different demographics which will result in a successful, shareable campaign combatting fake news which is what Infotagion is aggressively doing.”

Tom Firth, Managing Director, M&C Saatchi, added “We work on a number of public health initiatives, including creating campaigns for the NHS and PHE, and we have a vested interest in the health and wellbeing of the general public. We were stunned by the volume of misinformation and the speed at which it travels and wanted to do something to help people determine fact from fiction. If you’d like to support it and help to isolate the lies, please get in touch”.

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