The director of the World Health Organization has said we are fighting an "infodemic" as well as an epidemic and Governor Pritzker addressed misinformation during his shelter-in-place new conference. Falsehoods spread distrust and poor decision-making in ordinary times, but in these extraordinary times, misinformation on social media or constantly repeated by your friends could be dangerous to your health. Here are some articles that outline the situation.
"Fight Against Coronavirus Misinformation Shows What Big Tech Can Do When It Really Tries" by Kaveh Waddell
Consumer Reports, March 11, 2020 (also available on the Consumer Reports website's Coronavirus Resources Hub)
Waddell highlights scams and misinformation that have cropped up in online stores and on social media.
"Surge of Virus Misinformation Stumps Facebook and Twitter" by Sheera Frenkel, Alba Davey and Raymond Zhong
New York Times March 8, 2020
This article describes websites pretending to have important information that are actually lures to steal your personal data.
"How to Spot Coronavirus Misinformation" by Nadav Ziv and Sam Wineburg
Time.com, March 16, 2020
In this commentary, learn some great tips to help you judge the information you come across. Reading laterally is an excellent technique!
You can help fight dangerous information by:
- Setting the record straight! WHO offers shareable mythbusters that address many of these falsehoods and give correct information. When you see a falsehood, share one of these mythbusters to stop the spread.
- Expanding your general health information knowledge. Chicago DigitalLearn's Finding Health Information Online is the perfect place to learn how to find quality health information online—and the course takes only 20 minutes to complete.
- Doing your own factchecking. The City of Chicago Coronavirus Response Center is the best place to stay updated. There's also National Institutes of Health's Coronavirus (COVID-19) page.