COVID-19 disinformation creates confusion about medical science with immediate impact on every person on the planet, and upon whole societies. It is more toxic and more deadly than disinformation about other subjects. That is why this policy brief coins the term disinfodemic.

Using this frame, the brief helps to make sense of this new menace, and of the many types of responses that are unfolding internationally. To do this, it unpacks nine main themes and four dominant formats of COVID-19 disinformation, and presents a typology that groups the range of responses to the problem into 10 classes. This analysis draws on research being conducted for the ITU-UNESCO Broadband Commission and UNESCO, to be published later in 2020, which addresses a wider range of disinformation subjects, types and responses.