The World Health Organization warned early on that Covid-19 would cause a global 'infodemic' - a surge of misleading information on the origin of the disease, its symptoms and potential cures. This book discusses the conspiracy theories, the disinformation campaigns and the propaganda tactics that emerged alongside the international health crisis related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Based on original research combining both qualitative and quantitative methods, Cosentino discusses the Covid-19 'infodemic' by drawing on studies of post-truth and disinformation, and framing the issue as a primarily geopolitical concept intersected by ideological tensions, cultural anxieties and by information warfare strategies and tactics among a plurality of factors. The comparative perspective of the book is supported by case studies from the MENA region as well as from other world regions affected by the pandemic and by its related disinformation. Cosentino demonstrates how disinformation warfare around Covid-19 is occurring at multiple levels within the social and political bodies of the United States, Russia, the European Union and China, which have all been dramatically impacted by the pandemic in economic and political terms.
1. Introduction: 'The Infodemic' of Covid-19
2. 'The Wuhan virus': Information Wars between China and the United States
3. Conspiracy Theories on Covid-19
4. 'The Boogaloo': the far-right exploitation of the Covid-19 crisis
5. Covid-19 and the Autocrat's Dilemma: control or safety?
6. Conclusions: A vaccine against post-truth?