What does infodemic mean?

A viral spread of misinformation

An infodemic is a viral spread of misinformation that makes it difficult to understand or solve a problem. In the social media era, infodemics are becoming increasingly common, because Facebook and Twitter users often latch onto and share information with each other without verifying the information's accuracy, context, or usefulness.

While the term infodemic notably re-emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic, it actually originated in 2003. Author David Rothkopf coined the term within a Washington Post article discussing the SARS epidemic, in which he said that the "information epidemic - or 'infodemic'" accompanying the virus's spread "made the public health crisis harder to control and contain."

Since then, infodemics have only become more prevalent and more dangerous. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, many covidiots were swayed by articles that said wearing a mask would increase their likelihood of catching the virus. As the pandemic continued, numerous reputable sources corrected that misinformation by repeatedly stating that wearing a mask was one of the most effective ways to prevent COVID-19's spread, but the infodemic had already done its damage.


Wait, so do I have to stand six feet away from people, or eight? And am I supposed to wear a mask or not?
IDK, this infodemic is honestly overwhelming me. I'm just going to stay inside as long as possible
The COVID-19 infodemic in action on Twitter
The COVID-19 infodemic in action on Twitter

Related Slang


Updated October 14, 2020

Infodemic definition by

This page explains what the slang term "Infodemic" means. The definition, example, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the team.

We are constantly updating our database with new slang terms, acronyms, and abbreviations. If you would like to suggest a term or an update to an existing one, please let us know!