COVID Infodemic is turning public into Covidiots: What can be done?

Published

2021-06-30

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.47203/IJCH.2021.v33i02.001

Keywords:

COVID-2019, Infodemic

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Issue

Section

Editorial

Authors

  • Neeta Kumar Faculty of Dentistry, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3199-9780
  • Sanjiv Kumar Chairperson, Indian Academy of Public Health, IPHA, Former ED, NHSRC and Senior Advisor, UNICEF

Abstract

An unprecedented pandemic of Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID 19) has overwhelmed the health systems of countries across the world. The government and other scientific bodies are providing authentic information to educate the public and promote desirable behavior to prevent new infections and reduce deaths.  COVID-19 pandemic is the first in human history in which social media and new digital technologies are being used as key tools to inform the public. However, there is a lot of misinformation also being spread through these channels. Misinformation is false, inaccurate, or misleading information that is communicated regardless of an intention to deceive. Access to social media has improved substantially, which has contributed to spread of misinformation. Today, anybody can write anything on social media such as Twitter, WhatsApp, Facebook, TikTok, YouTube etc without any evidence or falsely attribute the wrong information to well-known experts or renowned institutions. They may be doing it to support their own biases or malign the government purposefully or innocently without checking authenticity. The number of mentions in media for Ebola were 11.1 million, for MERS, 23.2 million, HIV, 40 million, SARS, 56.2 million and COVID19 it has crossed 1.1 billion.3. A google search for COVID 19 on 08 June 2021 gave 5340 million hits compared to 216 million for a much older disease HIV/AIDS. This editorial is an attempt to help spot the false information and deal with it.

How to Cite

1.
Kumar N, Kumar S. COVID Infodemic is turning public into Covidiots: What can be done?. Indian J Community Health [Internet]. 2021 Jun. 30 [cited 2022 Oct. 6];33(2):236-8. Available from: https://iapsmupuk.org/journal/index.php/IJCH/article/view/2210

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