COVID Misinformation Is Killing People

COVID Misinformation Is Killing People

A study of COVID-19 messaging on social media revealed misinformation from politicians, celebrities and other prominent figures made up about 20 percent of claims but accounted for 69 percent of total social media engagement. Therefore, public health figures who have credibility must partner with social media influencers who have the reach. To be more effective, public health officials should develop standards and guidance that allows them to dynamically interact with the public in a more timely fashion. Lessons from communicable diseases highlight the fact that aggressive public health communications strategies are imperative in curbing disease. In the age of social media, the spread of misinformation provides a major hindrance to those efforts and requires an even more sophisticated response.

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