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As we approach World Press Freedom Day, this year there is sadly little to celebrate and much to defend. Press freedom around the world is under siege, misinformation is rampant, and journalists continue to be arrested and even killed in the line of duty. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these three threats and provides cover to authoritarian leaders already intent on curbing press freedom.

Misinformation about COVID-19 is still spreading almost as fast as the coronavirus itself. People are understandably anxious for news about how to stay safe amid the pandemic, but many are turning to two fonts of misinformation: social media and their immediate personal networks. Much of the information shared on social media or among family and friends reappears almost as quickly as it is debunked.