Review: Digital mis/disinformation and public engagement with health and science controversies: Fresh perspectives from COVID-19

Home/Review: Digital mis/disinformation and public engagement with health and science controversies: Fresh perspectives from COVID-19

Review: Digital mis/disinformation and public engagement with health and science controversies: Fresh perspectives from COVID-19

Review: Digital mis/disinformation and public engagement with health and science controversies: Fresh perspectives from COVID-19

This editorial provides new perspectives from four continents to better understand how to mitigate the impact of controversial health and science topics on public engagement.

Digital media, especially online social networks, facilitate and foster mis/disinformation about health and science. The current infodemic has circulated false, life-threatening information about the origins of, and potential cures for, COVID-19. Many of the conspiracy theories are actually not new, but are recycled stories applied to the COVID-19 pandemic. This confirms that it is not technology alone that has created the infodemic problem; it is simply a catalyst for spreading mis/disinformation. The fundamental issue is that people are still willing to believe unmistakably unscientific or counterintuitive messages, especially when politicians, celebrities, and online influencers help perpetuate the falsehoods. Exploring how to effectively frame messages is key to reducing the acceptance of this mis/disinformation.

|2020-07-08T11:31:52-04:00July 8th, 2020|COVID-19 Literature|0 Comments

About the Author: Maria Brann

Maria Brann
Dr. Maria Brann, PhD, MPH, is a professor in the Department of Communication Studies in the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI and affiliate faculty with the Injury Control Research Center at West Virginia University. She explores the integration of health, interpersonal, and gender communication. Her translational focus and mixed methods approach are woven throughout her health vulnerabilities research, which advocates for more effective communication to improve people’s health and safety. Her primary research interests focus on the study of women’s and ethical issues in health communication contexts and promotion of healthy lifestyle behaviors to improve personal and public health and safety. She researches communication at both the micro and macro levels and studies how communication influences relationships among individuals and with the social world.

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