Publication date: Sep 20, 2023
Social media has proven to be valuable for disseminating public health information during pandemics. However, the circulation of misinformation through social media during public health emergencies, such as the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), Ebola, and COVID-19 pandemics, has seriously hampered effective responses, leading to negative consequences. Intentionally misleading and deceptive fake news aims to harm organizations and individuals. To effectively respond to misinformation, governments should strengthen the management of an “infodemic,” which involves monitoring the impact of infodemics through social listening, detecting signals of infodemic spread, mitigating the harmful effects of infodemics, and strengthening the resilience of individuals and communities. The global spread of misinformation requires multisectoral collaboration, such as researchers identifying leading sources of misinformation and superspreaders, media agencies identifying and debunking misinformation, technology platforms reducing the distribution of false or misleading posts and guiding users to health information from credible sources, and governments disseminating clear public health information in partnership with trusted messengers. Additionally, fact-checking has room for improvement through the use of automated checks. Collaboration between governments and fact-checking agencies should also be strengthened via effective and timely debunking mechanisms. Though the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) has yet to define the term “infodemic,” Article 18 of the INB Bureau’s text, developed for the Pandemic Accord, encompasses a range of actions aimed at enhancing infodemic management. The INB Bureau continues to facilitate evidence-informed discussion for an implementable article on infodemic management.
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|disease||MESH||severe acute respiratory syndrome|