Review: Infodemic and risk communication in the era of CoV-19

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Review: Infodemic and risk communication in the era of CoV-19

Review: Infodemic and risk communication in the era of CoV-19

This editorial recommends every country design a risk communication plan and an epidemic control plan that takes into consideration difficult-to-control infodemics.

Infodemics, a rapid spread of information concerning a problem such that the solution is made more difficult, is an uprising challenge with the increased use of social media, and COVID-19 appears to be a true social media infodemic compared to previous viral outbreaks. Fears surrounding COVID-19 have been particularly exaggerated on social media, leading to the spread of disinformation at exceptional speeds. This has created an environment of amplified uncertainty, leading to anxiety and racism.

Using an agent-based model, scholars found that by decreasing the amount of harmful information online by 10% or making at least 20% of the population unable to share fake advice reduces the severity of the disease outbreak. Utilizing risk communication to minimize fear and reduce uncertainty is an evidence-based strategy to minimize the spread of epidemics. This should be accomplished by (1) communicating honestly and clearly about what is known and unknown, (2) listening to the community discuss their fears and perceptions, and (3) managing rumors and infodemics as quickly as possible. Target audiences must trust the source of information, and to build trust, leaders should communicate timely, easy-to-understand, transparent, and accessible information.

|2020-04-23T07:07:07-04:00April 23rd, 2020|COVID-19 Literature|Comments Off on Review: Infodemic and risk communication in the era of CoV-19

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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