Among the biggest challenges for health and science writers over the past year is how best to respond to misinformation.
Siri Carpenter, co-founder of The Open Notebook, a science journalism non-profit, suggests focusing on the business side of misinformation and who’s profiting by pedaling false narratives to the public.
“I think it’s … important to recognize that we’re up against moneyed interests that are extremely invested in that this [false] information,” Carpenter said in a ‘How I Did It.’ “Misinformation isn’t out there by accident. It wasn’t just accidentally created, and then other people stumbled onto it.” Continue reading
Alarm over the impact of COVID-19 misinformation has been growing, especially with increasing efforts by right-wing groups to spread misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines.
The effort to end the pandemic through vaccination could stall if too many people refuse to take the vaccine because they don’t have the correct facts to make a decision. It can be a daily battle by journalists to correct false statements on social media — especially for those on the fact-checking beat.
“It is hard to stay on top of everything,” Daniel Funke, staff writer at PolitiFact, a non-partisan fact-checking website, said during a recent How I Did It interview for AHCJ. “We don’t have a great way to quantify misinformation and where it is coming from because we’d have to fact check everything on the internet.” Continue reading
You’ve laced up your combat boots and fastened your helmet. Your Kevlar vest is safely snug against your chest. Your emergency first aid kit is nearby, with a couple different sedatives and anti-anxiety meds, potable alcohol, and multiple tissue boxes. You are ready to go on Twitter. Let the battle begin.
While yes, I jest, it’s no joke that the divisiveness and flood of falsehoods on Twitter can be maddening and even emotionally (not to mention cognitively) exhausting. You could spend 24-7 on Twitter correcting misconceptions, exaggerations and flat-out lies and make less impact than a drop of water on a wildfire. And that’s while pretending that Facebook, Pinterest and other sites don’t exist. Continue reading