2020, the year of information

2020 was a year that gave anxiety, suffering, despair and many such negative emotions. It was the year COVID-19 affected many lives throughout the world. It changed the way people live, work, think, learn and socialize. The pandemic forced entire events, celebrations, offline projects, gathering to be limited to screens.

We’re not just fighting an epidemic; we’re fighting an infodemic.

— WHO Director — General Tedros Adhanom, Munich Security Conference

When the Director-General of the World Health Organization proclaimed that the world was fighting not just a pandemic but also an “infodemic”, it was not immediately clear just how prophetic that statement would prove to be.

Wiki for COVID-19 was an online initiative for increasing awareness of the ongoing pandemic (COVID-19) and tackling misinformation spreading at an alarming rate meanwhile promoting Wikimedia projects. Basically, the idea behind this was to make people aware through promotional videos so that they can gather reliable information on Wikipedia.

We produced video contents to help community members, people around the world learn how to increase their awareness and modify their online behavior so, they don’t unwittingly spread misinformation and create anxiety among people. Check out the videos below.

We illustrated how COVID-19 is impacting people’s lives and emotions. Misinformation was at peak in the beginning phase of pandemic which made consumers anxious. Thus, we portrayed how a young boy fights with misinformation spreading around through the use of Wikipedia and later how his fear subsides.

We presented some tips on how to keep oneself stress free by engaging in Wikipedia. We urged people to remain updated about what is happening in the world and be an informed reader.

In this time of pandemic, tourism has been restricted, people are told to come outside only if it’s extremely important. It’s not safe yet for tourism related things. So, we came up with this amazing concept of “Travel with Wikimedia Commons”. It drives people who want to travel to beautiful places, enjoy tourist destinations in this travel restricted time to Wikimedia Commons so that they can get free access to photos of breathtaking tourist destinations staying at their homes.

Today many people of different age groups are active on social media. There are different trends going on social media everyday. Thus, we tapped the ongoing trend of “#challenge” and came up with the concept of #experiencechallenge through which we gave the task of making experience video during COVID period and how our viewers dealt with the pandemic. It was amazing to see that viewers respond so enthusiastically.

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File by Tulsi Bhagat via Pageviews Analysis / CC BY-SA 3.0

We can see there’s a subsequently raise in the site views of Nepali Wikipedia. There are many unique visitors to the site. Thus, various people are engaged in reading during the pandemic.

Authored by Sandeep Raut and Tulsi Bhagat

Coordinator, Wiki For COVID-19

Written by

Open source & free knowledge enthusiast • Digital & social activist • Wikimedian • Admin of Commons, Maithili & Nepali Wikipedia • https://tulsibhagat.com

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