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Managing the infodemic about COVID‐19: Strategies for clinicians and researchers | Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica

The exponential increase in demand for and dissemination of information about COVID‐19 means the pandemic has been accompanied by an ‘infodemic’. This overabundance of accurate and inaccurate information is not limited to scientific or policy publications but threatens to overwhelm news and social media outlets. As noted by Eysenbach, the price of freedom of speech and increased information technology has been the unfiltered uncontrolled rapid and widespread broadcasting of rumours, misinformation and disinformation. Furthermore, the echo chamber effect of social media means the public have willingly or unwillingly generated, amplified and proliferated potentially harmful myths that can contribute to poor decision‐making regarding health‐related behaviours. The World Health Organization has reacted by publishing a detailed international report regarding management of the infodemic and similar publications exist which highlight the key role that social media companies can/should play in limiting the spread or legitimization of misinformation (‘for balance’) and in flagging disinformation.

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Source: Managing the infodemic about COVID‐19: Strategies for clinicians and researchers – Scott – 2021 – Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica – Wiley Online Library

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