Regulating health communication in the post-truth era
Keywords:infodemic, disinformation, freedom of speech, private regulation, health communication, consumer protection, scaremongering
As a global epidemic of the social media age, COVID-19 has also resulted in an “infodemic”, that means the uncontrolled spreading of false information about the health situation. Spreading of health information is a special intersection point of the freedom of speech, freedom of science and the fundamental right to life and health. The paper analyses the European and Hungarian legal framework of the health communication from multiple perspectives. The regulatory challenges and solutions are different concerning the professional health communication, the commercial communication and the health communication by laypersons. As with all forms of misinformation, private regulations of the platform operators have a significant regulatory role to play in relation to health disinformation. As a result of the analysis, the paper provides a detailed regulatory map that also covers private regulation solutions and explores the factors that need to be considered when designing a comprehensive future regulation.
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