Questions About The Infodemic During The Pandemic
During this issue we've learned so much about the infodemic during the pandemic as well as other topics that I’ve never even heard of before, such as census. We’ve also been asking lots of inquisitive questions for experts to answer, but have you ever thought about the questions that haven’t been answered…..?
To end this discussion, I will be focusing on other peoples questions that haven’t already been answered by experts and try to give an honest opinion of what I think.
modest_river: “When handling misinformation, is it hard to tell people and anyone else who may have seen the post, the real news as no one really knows who to listen to?”
Yes, I believe it is hard to get people to listen to the real news because no matter what you say, they will still say you’re lying because they will still believe the wrong information, even if you're in the World Health Organisation (WHO). If you were very persuasive, maybe they will listen to you, but they’ll have to trust you more than when they got the misinformation from. Tactics to make people believe this “would be to lay out all the reasons and explanations with evidence or links to look at the information that you’ve been looking at, to see where we got this judgment”, answered by Pippa Allen-Kinross
reflective_artic_fox: “Is fake news always completely fake, or does it have a small fraction of truth in it?”
For this question, I believed that, maybe sometimes there would be a small truth because some people just say something that they want to hear no matter if it’s fake or not and they want other people to believe it too so they’re not the only one or maybe some people just wants it to be covered in lies, it’s up to them. On the other hand, some people may put a small truth in it to cause confusion and debates amongst others, they could also do it to make you believe what they’re saying, for example, if one part of news is true others and me myself, would think that the fake part it’s true too. This is another way of how information spreads so be careful for what you read. They are scaremongers trying to scare you by spreading untrue and mixed up facts and fictions about the original information.
comfortable_chemestry: “What is the most common reason for people to believe in fake news that is obviously fake?”
In my point of view, I think that it's because they trust the person who is spreading fake news by making it sound truthful and persuading by lying even more. It’s even easier to do both fake and real news for people who don’t understand English or people that might believe anything they hear. It could also be because people have fears of some news so they want to hear fake news which is saying what they like to hear, even though it’s obviously fake. Lastly, some people like to make up theories of a topic that is very rarely true, but if they see someone else spreading what they thought (which is clearly fake), they will get pleased and spread the news to someone else. This is another example of how misinformation spreads.
analytical_sea: How do you know if facts are fake or not? Which social media platform do you think spreads fake news the most and the quickest?
In my opinion, you could use tips to help you understand the difference between fake and real news and help others use them to:
The story – what are they trying to say? Is it an ad or a joke? Look to see if you can find the same story somewhere else
The author – is it someone’s opinion or a fact? Real news will most likely have a link to the writer’s details, but if there’s no author, dig deeper
The website – are there spelling or grammar mistakes? Check the address bar at the top – most trusted URLs end with “.com”, “.co.uk”, “.net”, “.gov”, “.org”, “.mil” and “.edu”
The date – is the story recent or old? It could be outdated or a copy of something that happened years ago. Computer programs called bots post anytime and often, so be wary of this.
Even with the help of these tips, it could still be very tough to know if facts are fake or not. If i had to choose one social media platform which spreads the most fake news, quicker than any other social media platform, it would be Facebook or Twitter because, did you know that a team of researchers led by Andrew Geuss tracked the internet of over 3000 people and found that people use facebook to spread news more than any other social platform.
My opinion of an infodemic during the pandemic
In my point of view, I believe that an infodemic is a problem for different reasons, for example, it could cause stress, confusion, anger, anxiety and happiness, over the wrong things that aren’t even true.
The main reason why an infodemic is a problem is because people might believe that wrong information is true and true information is false, this can make people have less trust in the media. If they believe the wrong information, they won’t protect themselves and the community. They could also start a riot (which is a type of protest, as we’ve learnt that in our past issue) and injure people, damaging things, families could lose their homes and go to prison. The people who believe that coronavirus isn’t real because of fake news, meet up with others, and spread the virus even more which could lead to more restrictions and more severe deaths.
People also only tend to share things that they agree with. So if people are sharing a lot of fake news, and lots of people believe it, it's easy to get sucked into a bubble that is actually completely different to the real world - and a long way from the truth.
The main question for this issue
How does the media shape a story?
“The media can shape a story because people make decisions based on the news they see, read or hear. For example, if a newspaper reports that a certain product is ‘healthy’, then this will persuade lots of people to buy it.”
One of my own examples would be, “Amazon has just launched a new laptop with extra features, but social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter had said that they bought the item and it was very faulty, nothing was working and there were no extra features, it’s ordinary than a normal laptop, to think it was very expensive when not even a pound is worth it”, said an unknown person who owns a website that you’ve never heard of before.
Examples of headlines that shape the story which are from this issue is from session 2:
VACCINE ROLL-OUT TOO SLOW
LOCKDOWN CONTINUES (DESPITE VACCINES)
MILLIONS OF PEOPLE ARE NOW VACCINATED
I hope you enjoyed my post and if you have any questions or feedback, please write them in the comments and I will reply.