Ad-funded COVID-19 Disinformation: Money, Brands, and Tech

Publication Date

July 8, 2020

Page Number


Link to Report




COVID-19 disinformation has real-world harms to public health (claims about magical solutions and disinfectants), specific groups (Chinese cover-up Jewish elite, Aryan immunity), and public order (police state, vaccine mind control, WHO, bioweapons).  GDI tracks adversarial narratives, estimating that “advertisers will unwittingly provide $25 million to nearly 500 English-language coronavirus disinformation sites in 2020.” A score of examples, data, and infographics is provided.

Note: “Coronavirus infodemic” has been used by some organizations to characterize inaccurate information impeding efforts to contain the virus. “Infodemic” was first used by the director-general of WHO in February, and more extensively by the University of Washington and Washington State University Center for an Informed Public in April.