Miscommunicating the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Asian Perspective

Keynote speech by Ran Wei, Chair Professor in Communication, School of Communication, Hong Kong Baptist University.


The COVID-19 global pandemic triggered a tsunami of false, misleading or inaccurate information about the disease known as infodemic. Focusing on four Asian societies (e.g., mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore), the diffusing patterns and social ramifications of COVID-19 misinformation on popular social media platforms are analyzed and compared. The role of institutional trust and information environments in influencing the spread of COVID-19 misinformation and its broad impacts on the public are highlighted. Findings shed light on these key questions: What factors account for exposure to and engagement with debunked yet popular COVID-19 misinformation on social media? How does the encounter with widely diffused COVID-19 misinformation affect people’s beliefs, attitudes, and adoption of preventive measures to cope with the pandemic? More importantly, how do macro-social differences condition the diffusion and impacts of COVID-19 misinformation? With evidence-based insights and empirical findings, a comprehensive overview of the phenomenon of misinformation and cross-societal analyses of general patterns are provided.

The event is funded by the DFF-networking project “Ruling through Division: Categorizing People and Resources in Contemporary China


Ran Wei is Chair Professor in Communication, at the School of Communication, Hong Kong Baptist University. Professor Wei was also a professor at the School of Journalism and Communication, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and the Gonzales Brothers Professor of Journalism, School of Journalism and Mass Communications, University of South Carolina. His research focuses on the processes of mass communication and the effects of media messages in various contexts (political, social, promotional, health, and risk) that involve a wide range of media channels and devices. He has researched media use and political participation, information-processing strategies and news learning effects, third-person effects of election polls and political attack ads, hostile media effects, uses and gratifications of new media, media messages as cultural values, media institutions and journalistic practices in Greater China.


Sign up for the event

Deadline for registration is 1 May.