Online Temptations: COVID-19 and Religious Misinformation in the MENA Region

During the coronavirus pandemic, religious misinformation has been found on social media platforms causing fear, confusion, and polluting the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region’s online sphere. Exploring cases of religious clickbait in the form of false hadiths and viral religious advice from religious figures entrenched in the MENA’s political elite, this essay discusses how new dynamics for religion in the age of the Internet are contributing to a uniquely regional and religious form of misinformation.

This essay, by Mahsa Alimardani and Mona Elswah, looks at how the phenomenon of religious misinformation is a defining characteristic of the MENA’s online sphere, becoming even more acute during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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