Infodemiology in Practice

As part two of a three-part webinar series:
Vaccination Misinformation Control and Prevention

From the Webinar

Key Takeaways

  • There is currently no systemic way to track the spread and impact of misinformation
  • Misinformation flourishes in the absence of quality information. To educate people and build trust, we need to “flood the zone” and strategically improve the quality and speed of health communications through the creation of shareable content and emotional storytelling
  • There are psychological reasons why people are more susceptible to believing and spreading rumors and misinformation. We need to understand the narrative surrounding rumors and why people are vulnerable to misinformation – we can learn much from the social sciences about this
  • To combat misinformation, consider the ABCs – actors, behaviors and content 
  • Recognize the various groups – from people on the ground to health workers to influencers – that play critical roles in the information ecosystem
  • A key factor in the fight against misinformation is community involvement. Try to build your own community to find and debunk misinformation, hold each other accountable and educate networks, both online and in-person
  • Compassion and empathy are important when responding to the spread of misinformation. Instead of saying, “You’re wrong,” ask people where they get their information and why they believe it. Encourage them to think critically about their sources

Tools and Resources

Infodemiology and Misinformation Analysis

Actors, Behaviors, Content: A Disinformation ABCA resource to learn more about the ABC – actors, behaviors and content – framework of disinformation

Coronavirus Misinformation Is a Global Issue, but Which Myth You Fall for Likely Depends on Where You LiveAn article that presents research findings on the infodemic and coronavirus misinformation

COVID-19–Related Infodemic and Its Impact on Public Health: A Global Social Media Analysis: This study by Saiful Islam and colleagues examines rumors, stigma and conspiracy theories during the COVID-19 pandemic

Misinformation, Infodemic Management and Fact-Checking Tools

First Draft TrainingA resource from First Draft for online courses and webinars to learn more about the coronavirus infodemic

Covering Coronavirus: An Online Course for JournalistsA virtual training from First Draft to help journalists and communications professionals understand and confront the COVID-19 infodemic (Eng, Fr, Es, It, Pt, De, Hi)

Vaccines and Misinformation: Get the Support You Need:  A resource from First Draft to find support on vaccines and misinformation

Too Much Information: A Public Guide to Navigating the InfodemicA virtual guide from First Draft to help people understand to origins and spread of misinformation (Eng)

Protection from Deception: Free two-week text message course from First Draft that teaches people how to protect themselves and their community from misinformation (Eng, Es)

Debunking Handbook 2020The Handbook distills the most important research findings and current expert advice about debunking misinformation. Co-author Stephan Lewandowsky will be joining Sabin and UNICEF for our next webinar in the series, Inoculation against disinformation

UNICEF’s Countering Misinformation Resource Pack: A collection of research and resources to address and counter misinformation

World Health Organization Infodemiology NewsletterA sign-up form to subscribe to WHO EPI-WIN updates

Join our Next Webinar in the Series

Please join Sabin and UNICEF for an interactive webinar: Inoculation Against Disinformation on December 3 at 9:00 AM EST (find local time). Hosted by the Sabin Boost Community, this event is targeted towards strategies for immunization professionals to manage vaccination misinformation. Sign up now.

Join panelists for a discussion on combatting misinformation through locally driven practices, including prebunking and debunking. This webinar will feature expertise and insight from Lucy Kanja, Boost member, routine immunization and health logistics expert with experience handling vaccine misinformation; Stephan Lewandowsky, cognitive scientist and author of The Debunking Handbook; and Bright Simons, founder of mPedigree. 

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