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Combatting the COVID-19 Infodemic
As if dealing with COVID-19 over the past 22 months hasn’t been enough, the pandemic also caused an “infodemic”—when media sources disseminate incorrect information about a subject. In this case, all sorts of false information spread regarding health, COVID-19, and vaccines. According to Rubina Verrakone, MPH, of Boston University School of Public Health, communicating effectively about health information can be challenging amid such a swirl of falsehoods. To combat the infodemic, she recommends the following strategies to ensure evidence-based, factual data are shared:
- Connect with public health experts on all types of media platforms
- Ask large tech companies, such as Google and Facebook, to prioritize legitimate health sources, like the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in search algorithms
- Encourage public agencies to speak directly to marginalized communities
- Put more resources into health communication and education
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