‘High-stakes information battle’ brewing over which coronavirus experts to trust

n j shtmi venlzzbzvjohye
Credit: Frederic J. Brown/AFP

Determining who is an authoritative figure worth amplifying is more challenging than ever. Curated, personalized feeds enable bespoke realities. Trump supporters trust Fox News or One America News Network, while liberals follow a very different set of trusted sources. 

….

Why were social-media companies elevating the WHO and the CDC when some of their information turned out to be incorrect? And if agencies like these were wrong about COVID-19, what else were the so-called experts wrong about?

….

The world is on the cusp of another high-stakes information battle: the one that will take shape surrounding the drug treatments and vaccines developed for COVID-19 over the next year. The consensus of the most liked would have us believe that Bill Gates and Anthony Fauci are preparing to track us all by microchip; countering those narratives as they continue to take hold, mutating slightly to appeal to specific online subcultures, will not be easy. 

Related article:  Inoculating yourself against coronavirus conspiracy theories

Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube bear significant responsibility for the information environment for which they are hosts, curators, and amplifiers. But they can only do so much. If institutions and authority figures don’t adapt to the content and conversation dynamics of the day, other things will fill the void. The time for institutions and authorities to begin communicating transparently is before wild speculation goes viral. Preventing epidemics of misinformation from spreading is easier than curing them once they’ve taken hold.

Read the original post

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Infographic: The evolutionary history of the COVID-19 coronavirus

Infographic: The evolutionary history of the COVID-19 coronavirus

Reuters analysed over 185,000 genome samples from the Global Initiative on Sharing All influenza Data (GISAID), the largest database of ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend