Health scares and disease outbreaks have been accompanied by misinformation narratives throughout history, and the outbreak of novel coronavirus in late 2019 is no exception. This research topic explores intersections between misinformation, science, fear, and public health.

Live Research Reviews

The pandemic moment has unleashed contagions of stigmatization and health misinformation, compounding the adverse health and socioeconomic effects of Covid-19 on marginalized communities. In this Live Research Review, Jonathan Corpus Ong discusses emerging findings on racially targeted disinformation and opportunistic legislation.

The collision between a global pandemic and a world with global connectivity may be unprecedented, but scientists have a long tradition of trying to understand how societies respond to crisis. This research review examines the intersections of misinformation and public health, and explores how humans make sense of emergencies.

Teaching & Learning

Explore course modules, handouts, teaching tools and syllabi about dis- and misinformation.

Latest News on COVID-19

Meta has asked its Oversight Board whether its existing policy on the removal of COVID-19 misinformation — “introduced in extraordinary circumstances at the onset of the pandemic” — should be updated to lessen penalties for violations. The move, announced Tuesday, is part of the company’s ongoing efforts to find a balance between free speech and […]

Facebook is turning to its “supreme court” to decide whether to end restrictions on Covid misinformation, more than two years after the company first started to take special action on posts promoting falsehoods about the disease. The social network is considering changing the way it deals with such misinformation by, for example, labelling it as […]

We evaluated the relationship between individual differences in cognitive reflection and the ability to discern between true and false COVID-19 information, trust in information sources for receiving COVID-19 information and willingness to pay (WTP) for masks, using a sample of 621 low- and middle-income users in Pakistan. To capture WTP, participants play an incentive-compatible game […]

Abstract We conducted a nationally representative survey of parents’ beliefs and self-reported behaviors regarding childhood vaccinations. Using Bayesian selection among multivariate models, we found that beliefs, even those without any vaccine or health content, predicted vaccine-hesitant behaviors better than demographics, social network effects, or scientific reasoning. The multivariate structure of beliefs combined many types of […]

The mother of four brought her children, ranging in age from grade school to high school, to the doctor’s office last summer for their annual checkup. When their pediatrician, Robert Froehlke, said that it was time for shots and several boosters and then mentioned the Covid vaccine, her reaction stunned him. “I’m not going to […]

Featured Scholars

Director, Research and Knowledge Dissemination, The Jed Foundation