“Breaking [Fake] News” and the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Global Non-Binary Perspective

The Covid-19 global pandemic has been compared to a “misinfodemic”, which gave a new momentum to national regulatory debates calling for the prohibition of the spreading of “fake news”. Already, several jurisdictions have adopted laws addressing the dissemination of fake news and there also exist a few older international law instruments addressing the potentially negative consequences attached to various forms of misinformation. However, a constructive debate about the possible regulation of fake news at the global level is absent as is a concerted action to end the pandemic. For this reason, the paper first presents the existing fragmented regulatory framework at the international level and then, based on a review of various sources of information about the COVID-19 pandemic from science, news, and works of fiction, critically presents the difficulties for the law to establish the truth or falsity of information exclusively based on a binary mode of thinking.