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Associate Professor Rupaleem Bhuyan talks about the roles of xenophobia and social media in shaping the public’s understanding of the global pandemic

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Associate Professor Rupaleem Bhuyan spoke to Global News Vancouver about xenophobia, its prevalence in social media and the roles of both in shaping public views of COVID-19. Standing in for Jill Bennett, host Sterling Fox spoke about public outcry in Vancouver to the use of the term “China Virus” — a term that continues to be repeated by the president of the United States.

Fear of disease has long fuelled waves of racism, said Bhuyan; it is not new. She explains how racially motivated postings on social media lead to the spread of misinformation and negative consequences for those who are often most vulnerable.

But Bhuyan also spoke about those who are standing up to hate crimes and discussed how people across the country are now reaching out to care for each other in this time of crisis.

Click here to listen to the full interview from March 21 (Bhuyan’s interview is featured in the first 10 minute segment).