The pandemic of misinformation

Matthew Ingram:

The coronavirus has made fact-checking and filtering skills even more important, as trolls traffic in rumors about how drinking bleach or taking megadoses of vitamin C can cure the virus, or how the rollout of 5G cell network technology caused COVID-19

One tool for fighting the pandemic of misinformation is the Verification Handbook published by the European Journalism Centre. It gives an overview of problem, explains with case studies and suggests principles that can be applied.

Read Ingram’s article for even more useful links.

Coronavirus: What should I share?

In the coming weeks many of us will be following the coronavirus pandemic. What should we trust? What should we share? Om Malik’s has four principles:

“Trust national and international health organizations. 

Trust data from sources like Worldometer. It has updated information on cases, deaths, and other important details.

When reading information from social media sites, check who is sharing it and double-check the veracity of the account. A doctor, a scientist, or a public health expert is probably a good source but click on their website anyway. 

Resist the urge to share anything from unfamiliar sites. Avoid the tabloids, clickbait headlines, any information without multiple sources is dodgy, and avoid opinions and hot takes.“

I agree. In addition, think about sharing stories and material that are uplifting, that connect people, that break down barriers between people and groups. That which helps us feel close to each other while we maintain physical distance. A good example: the viral videos of people singing on Italian balconies.