Let's Inoculate! Coronavirus Mis/Disinformation Busting Tools
Updated: Mar 28
Many of us are coming to accept the reality that we will be spending time at home, for an unknown duration, probably lasting at least several more weeks or even months. This translates to more time on our computers, and connecting socially via social media. With so much unknown, there are inevitable feelings of panic, anger, urgency -- all things that make us much more vulnerable to hoaxes.
The Coronavirus pandemic has led to a nonstop flood of misinformation, disinformation, scams as well as cybercrime. The myth-makers and cybercriminals are also spending more time in their homes, online.
Let's start to inoculate ourselves by taking the following steps:
Pausing before sharing anything
Checking known myth-buster resources
Familiarizing ourselves with disinformation, misinformation and the formats it takes
Pause before sharing anything. Always. This is true not just for Coronavirus, but anything on social media.
Thankfully there are a number of dedicated and smart journalists, researchers and educators who are spending an enormous tracking down the flood of disinformation. Here are a few to get started:
Jane Lytvynenko, BuzzFeed News Reporter Here's a Running List of the Latest Hoaxes Spreading About the Coronavirus
Clint Watts, Foreign Policy Research Institute Fellow
World Health Organization Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: Myth busters
This site includes infographics that can be used to spread accurate information. Download these and share.
Learning About Coronavirus Misinformation and Disinformation
The Agenda with Steve Paikin Coronavirus Myths Debunked with Timothy Caulfield and Jane Lytvynenko. This 20m video is a great resource for understanding the shapes, sizes and motives behind Coronavirus disinformation.
Here is another brief Coronavirus disinformation explainer from Bellingcat, "Breaking Down the Ecosystem Around Coronavirus Disinformation." This provides a high level overview of the different types of disinformation that is emerging in this health crisis.