This news article calls on public health organizations to adapt to modern forms of communication to prevent the spread of misinformation.
Social media posts that reach people are not necessarily the ones with the most reliable information; instead, they are the ones with the most likes, best memes, or are shared by influencers with large audiences. To counter this misinformation, health organizations such as the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must adapt their communication to produce the style and speed of information necessary for social media platforms. Up to this point, they have failed to adapt to modern means of communication, which they must do, and quickly, if they are to regain public confidence that has been lost by their silence, or in some cases, inaccurate information. Previous disease outbreaks have demonstrated the effectiveness of public health organizations’ use of social media to communicate accurate and timely information with the public. This is especially important as the country enters a new phase of the COVID-19 pandemic as vaccines and drug treatments are being developed. It is important to prevent the spread of misinformation that is likely to occur from conspiracy theorists by communicating transparently and adapting to the content and conversation dynamics currently in use instead of trying to cure the mis-infodemic once it has taken hold.