Review: Empowering users to respond to misinformation about COVID-19

Review: Empowering users to respond to misinformation about COVID-19

This commentary argues that news literacy and science literacy are needed for social media users to identify, consume, and share high-quality information.

Social media has amplified and exacerbated the spread of misinformation and uncertainty about COVID-19. Building news literacy and science literacy can improve information consumption processes on social media. If users have the necessary tools to identify, consume, and share information, they can reduce the spread of erroneous information about COVID-19. Interventions that translate news literacy into behaviors have shown to be effective. Providing tips for identifying misinformation (e.g., double-checking sources, being aware of reactions, watching for red flags) has helped individuals correctly assess the credibility of information. Additionally, helping the public understand the scientific process can facilitate acceptance of evolving recommendations. Increasing literacy not only helps users become critical consumers of information, but it also empowers them to improve the information environment for others as well.

|2020-07-07T08:02:20-04:00July 7th, 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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