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Factsheet


COVID-19Digital HealthUnderstandingtheInfodemicand Misinformationin the fight against COVID-19IMPORTANT NOTEStay informed with timelyinformation on the Coronavirus Disease COVID-19 available on the PA

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Document on Subject : "Factsheet"— Transcript:

1 COVID - 19 Factsheet Digital Health
COVID - 19 Factsheet Digital Health Understanding the Infodemic and Misinformation in the fight against COVID - 19 IMPORTANT NOTE : Stay informed with timely information on the Coronavirus Disease (COVID - 19) , available on the PAHO and WHO website s and through your national and loc al public health authorit ies What is the Infodemic ? As stated by the WHO , the COVID - 19 outbreak and response has been accompanied by a massive infodemic: an overabundance of information – some accurate and some not – that makes it hard for people to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance when they need it . Infodemic refers to a la rge increase in the volume of information associated with a specific topic and whose growth can occur exponentially in a short period of time due to a specific incident , such as the current pandemic. In this situation , misinformation and rumors appear on t he scene, along with manipulation of information with doubtful intent . In the information age, this phenomenon is amplified through social networks , spread ing f a rther and faster like a virus. 1 What is Misinformation ? Misinformation is false or inaccurate information deliberately intended to deceive. In the context of the current pandemic, it can greatly affect all aspects of life, especifically people’s mental health, since searching for COVID - 19 updates on the I nternet has jumped 50 % – 70% across all generations. Mis information in a pandemic can negatively affect human health. Many false or misleading stories are fabricated and shared without any background or quality checking. Much of this misinformation is based on conspiracy theories, some introducing elements of t hese into seemingly mainstream di

2 scourse. Inaccurate and false informatio
scourse. Inaccurate and false information has been circulating about all aspects of the disease: how the virus originated, its cause, its treatment , and its mechanism 1 Zarocostas, J. (2020). How to fight an infodemic. The Lancet , 395 (10225), 676. Access to the right information, at the right time, in the right format IS CRITICAL! 361,000,000 videos were uploaded on YouTube in the last 30 days under the “COVID - 19” and “COVID 19” classification , and about 19,200 articles have been published in Google Scholar since the pandemic started . I n the month of March , around 550 million tweets included the terms coronavirus , corona virus , covid19 , covid - 19 , covid_19 , or pandemic . of spread. Misinformation can circulate and be absorbed very quickly, changing people’s behavior, and potentially leading them to take greater risks. All this makes the pandemic much more severe, harming more people and jeopardizing the reach and sustainability of the global health system. How does the Infodemic contribute to Misinformation ? I ncrease d global access to cell phones with an I nternet connection, as well as social media, has led to the exponential production of information and the number of possible paths for getting it , c reating an information epidemic or infodemic . In other words, we have a situation where a lot of information is being produced and shared to every corner of the world, reaching billions of people. How much of this information is accurate? Just some. What kind of information are people looking for and what are they expect ing to get today? Why can the I nfodemic make the pandemic worse? • Makes it hard for people, decision makers , and health worker

3 s to find trustworthy sources and reli
s to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance when they need it. Sources may be app s, sc ientific organizations , w ebsites, b logs, “i nfluencers, ” and more • People may feel anxiety , depression , overwhelmed , emotionally drained , and unable to meet important demands • It can affect decision - making processes whe n immediate answers are expected and not enough time is allotted to deeply analyze the evidence It is key to break this dangerous cycle : misinformation expands at the same pace as content production and distribution paths grow . S o, the very same infodemic accelerate s and perpetuates misinformation . • No quality control on what’s published , and sometimes , on what ’s use d to take action and make decisions • Anybody can write or publi sh anything on the web (podcasts, articles, etc . ) , in particular on social media channels (individual and institutional accounts) How are people tweeting about COVID - 19 in the Americas? According to a study by the Center for Health Informatics at the University of Illinois , in the month of March around 550 mil lion tweets included the terms coronavirus , corona virus , covid19 , covid - 19 , covid_19 or pandemic . An exponential increase in the volume of tweets occurred around the start of the lockdown in Italy, reaching a plateau around the day the United States declared the pandemic had become a national emergency. O f the total tweets , 35% came from the United Sta tes, followed by the U nited K ingdom (7%), Brazil (6%), Spain (5%), and India (4%). The gender distribution wa s almost even, with men tweet ing a little more (55%). Regarding age, 70% of all tweets were generated by peop

4 le over 35 years old . T he next - la
le over 35 years old . T he next - largest group (20%) was children and teens ( under 17 years old) . The most - used pandemic - related hashtags were #Pandemic and #FlattenTheCurve . How can people help in the fight against the COVID - 19 infodemic ? Trust WH O Identify evidence Avoid fake news Support open science Determine if the information really adds up, even if it’s from a secure source and has been shared before Report harmful rumors Protect privacy Open (quality) data If you can ’ t confirm the information ’s source, its usefulness, or whether it ’s been shared before͙ better not to share Confirm that the information has been shared before by other people Participate responsibly in social conversations Continue collaborating Share information responsibly Confirm the source, in particular the threads on WhatsA pp If the information is not confirmed, it is better not to share it Keep learning How is the WHO tackling the Infodemic during the COVID - 19 Pandemic? ● The WHO I nformation N etwork for E pidemics ( EPI - WIN ) aim s to give everyone access to timely, accurate, and easy - to - understand advice and information from trusted sources on public health events and outbreaks — currently , the COVID - 19 public health emergency . In early April, EPI - WIN held a 2 - day, global, online consultation on managing the COVID - 19 Most common hashtags from PAHO - region Tweets: ● #Coronavirus ● #Covid19 ● #Covid - 19 ● #Covid_19 ● #FlattenTheCurve ● #Pandemic infodemic. I deas were gathered from an interdisciplinary group of experts and 1,375 webinar participants. Over 500 ideas were

5 also submitted in an online i
also submitted in an online interactive forum. ● The WHO is setting up partnerships and collaborations to support the response to the infodemic by develop ing global resources for fact - checking and misinformation management, infodemic measurement and analysis, evidence synthesis, knowledge translation, risk communication , community engagement , and amplification of messages. ● The WHO ‘infodemics’ team is working hard to address rumors by publishing “myth busters” and Live Q&A interviews with experts on its website and social channels and thro ugh the media. ● The WHO is also engaging with search, social , and digital companies — Facebook, Google, Tencent, Baidu, Twitter, TikTok, Weibo, Pinterest , and others — to filter out false messages and to promote accurate information from credible sources , such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , itself, and others. ● The WHO is connecting with influencers through Instagram and YouTube, among others, to help spread factual messages to their followers, with a focus on the Asia - Pacific region. C onducting social and media listening and sentiment analysis is helping to understand the topics arising online the meaning of these conversations and their emotional drivers. Where can I find trusted sources for COVID - 19 ? ● PAHO/WHO COVID - 19 dedicated portal ● WHO COVID - 19 dedicated portal ● COVID - 19 guidance and the latest research in the Americas (PAHO/WHO) ● BIREME PAHO/WHO COVID - 19 Windows of Knowledge Where can I find out more about Infodemic ? ● Zarocostas J. How to fight an infodemic. The Lancet 2020 Feb;395(10225):676. ●

6 United Nations ͘ UN tackles ‘info
United Nations ͘ UN tackles ‘infodemic’ of misinformation and cybercrime in COVID - 19 crisis . ● MIT Technology Review [Internet]. H ow social media can combat the coronavirus ‘infodemic’ Contact information ● Tel͗ +1 (202) 974 3531 ● FAX͗ +1 (202) 775 4578 ● Email͗ emergencies@paho.org PAHO highlights and appreciates the support of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID). Acknowledgement s This factsheet was prepared in collaboration with the Inter - American Development Bank (IDB) Social Protection and Digital Health Focal Points , Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires, Department of Medical Informatics ( PAHO/WHO Collaborating center for Information Systems and Digital Health ), Universitat Oberta de Catalunya ( PAHO/WHO Collaborating center for Telemedicine ), Center for Health Informatics, University of Illinois USA , ( PAHO/WHO Collaborating center for Information Systems a nd Digital Health ), WHO - EURO Digital Health Unit, the Program for Technological Innovation in Public Health of the Institute of Public Health at the University of Buenos Aires , Central American Health Informatics Network (RECAINSA), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), PAHO’s Information Systems for Health ( IS4H ) Network of Experts, a nd the support of Tina Purnat , Department of Digital Health and Innovation, Science Division, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland; and Tim Nguyen , Department of Global Infectious Hazard Preparedness, WHO Emergency Programme, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland. PAHO/IMS/EIH/COVID - 19/20 - 0006 Pan American Health Organization, 2020. Some rights reserved. This work is available under license CC BY - NC - SA 3.0