Why verifying information is critical in the fight against COVID-19
Always pause and think before clicking the share or forward button
The importance of reliable and relevant information is critical in controlling the spiking COVID-19 cases. Misinformation, disinformation and mal-information can put the health and safety of people in jeopardy.
Today, social media platforms in particular are awash with a lot of inaccurate information on COVID-19. Here are some tips for sourcing and consuming reliable information as well as avoiding dis/misinformation:
- Check the credibility of the source.
- Click on supporting sources to see where the information is emanating from and whether the sources provide evidence-based information.
- Consult multiple sources before considering information as factual.
- Investigate the author by looking at whether they are a known author, do they have a credible site they write for and are they real.
- Check your own biases when looking at information. Consider if your own beliefs could affect your judgement of the information you are taking in (confirmation bias).
- Whenever possible ask the experts in the field such as health care workers. Beware of false experts who are often used to manipulate information.
- Before sharing or reacting to content try to think where it comes from, who might benefit from it and who might be hurt from it.
Always think before clicking the share or forward button. Only share information that you are sure of and know it is accurate and from reliable sources. Remember truthful information saves lives and disinformation helps spread COVID-19.
With facts, we are able to make informed decisions and confront COVID-19 pandemic.