‘COVID-19 Infodemic’ Stopping the spread of misinformation

JAIME E. SIDANI, PHD, MPH (Left) BETH HOFFMAN, MPH (Right)

As the COVID-19 pandemic has gripped the United States, most people’s lives have been derailed in some way—their health, employment, child care, education, etc. People have searched for ways to understand what is happening and how best to keep themselves and their loved ones safe. During the pandemic, an overwhelming amount of COVID-19 information has circled online and on social media. But is the information always accurate or helpful?

Social media often fills people’s needs for information because it offers immediate access. But the information that is spreading through social media is not always updated or factual. The World Health Organization has deemed the spread of COVID-19 information an “infodemic,” which it defines as an “overabundance of information—some accurate and some not—occurring during an epidemic,” as serious enough for a coordinated response. The amount of information available about COVID-19 is


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