Analysis & Opinions - The New York Times

We Must Prepare for the Next Pandemic

| June 17, 2019

We’ll have to battle both the disease and the fake news.

When the next pandemic strikes, we'll be fighting it on two fronts. The first is the one you immediately think about: understanding the disease, researching a cure and inoculating the population. The second is new, and one you might not have thought much about: fighting the deluge of rumors, misinformation and flat-out lies that will appear on the internet.

The second battle will be like the Russian disinformation campaigns during the 2016 presidential election, only with the addition of a deadly health crisis and possibly without a malicious government actor. But while the two problems — misinformation affecting democracy and misinformation affecting public health — will have similar solutions, the latter is much less political. If we work to solve the pandemic disinformation problem, any solutions are likely to also be applicable to the democracy one....

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Schneier, Bruce.“We Must Prepare for the Next Pandemic.” The New York Times, June 17, 2019.