This article discusses the importance of using trusted channels of communication to present accurate, trusted information to counter circulating misinformation about COVID-19.
The Internet has proven to be a powerful tool for disseminating information, misinformation, and disinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic. To combat the incorrect information circulating, two strategies have been able to neutralize negative effects:
- Increase the proportion of accurate information to at least a 60:40 ratio to misinformation
- Educate at least 20% of people vulnerable to misinformation so they do not act on or share the misinformation
To help manage this infodemic phenomenon, the World Health Organization (WHO) has launched the WHO Information Network for Epidemics (EPI-WIN), which disseminates large volumes of evidence-based information. By identifying and working with trusted sources of information, WHO guides these key “amplifiers” on creating appropriate messages and educational materials to reach their communities. Tailoring messages to specific sectors (e.g., health care, travel and tourism, faith-based organizations, food and agriculture, general public) is vital during this time.