Check COVID-19 misinformation on Facebook, scientists urged

COVID-19 misinformation on Facebook timelines are being seen by experts on the ailment as extremely dangerous.  

Social media has been battling the proliferation of fake news, for a long. Of late, misinformation relating to news and information on Covid-19 has spurted to an extent that netizens have been left hanging on what to believe and what not to.

COVID-19 misinformation on Facebook timelines is being seen by experts on the ailment as extremely dangerous. It is in such a context that Science, a leading US journal, has called upon scientists to fight such misinformation being spread in gay abandon by miscreants on Facebook. The journal has taken the issue with utmost seriousness, and put out an editorial, urging scientists to act against such illogical posts on Facebook.

A Physorg report quoting the Science editorial. The editorial noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light what is called a “shocking ineptness by the scientific establishment at conveying messages about masks, vaccination, or the dangers of consuming horse drugs and aquarium cleaner”.

Antiscience forces using Facebook to spread fake information

Pointing out that ‘antiscience’ forces had been using social media to spread fake stuff masqueraded as information, the Science editorial even singled out right-wing public activists such as Ben Shapiro and Dan Bongino for misleading the public through Facebook posts.

Lashing out at the antiscience activists for not going deeper or waiting to know the results before posting stuff on social media, the editorial said that the slow and iterative process inherent to the scientific process results in caveats and lack of definite answers immediately.

Comparing posts on Twitter to that those on Facebook, the editorial pointed out that Twitter has seen many credible scientists who have amassed large followings on the microblogging platform. But in the case of Facebook, this is not the case, it said.

The editorial also called for stay off Facebook posts that are not credible and added that people often people they know on Facebook which makes it a tool for changing hearts and minds.

Urging scientists to battle the people of the antiscience universe, the editorial called upon them to compete directly with the people who post illogical conclusions.

Sanjeev Ramachandran

A journalist with 23 years of experience, Sanjeev has worked with reputed media houses such as Business Standard, The Ne More »
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