I don't know about you, but I have seen more fakes circulating in this weird time than any other time before. Fake news and nonsense information.. All going to fuel in the misunderstanding of this virus. The fake news I have came across ranged from those massively alarmist and those which stated that it is all a conspiracy... so many in both direction that one may start to feel confused about it all.
Facebook, whatsapp and many other medias are taking some steps to avoid the spread of fakes.. but is it enough?
Some of the steps taken by these are in fact simply limiting the spread (i.e. not being able to forward things to a big group) but the problem lies well ahead.
Regardless I have tip number 1 for you: double check (even triple) everything that you receive before forwarding it!
Communication is being handled bad on the big media too. Turn on the television (at least in Italy) and you will see what I mean. The news just give numbers about the pandemic that don't even make sense (number of deaths are not updated as they should, number of new contagions are depending on the number of tested etc...). When the numbers become just numbers, and people are confused it is easy to turn somewhere else for information.
And guess what, the algorithms will make it likely to suck you up into the vortex and give you only similar videos. This is how a fake idea starts to get ground.
So here is tip number 2 widen up your internet searches. Try to see the same things from different perspectives. This way the 'suggested for you' list will have a bit of everything..
Tip number 2b: also widen up your sources. Newspapers are actually quite good but see if you can read both sides of the coin (if you know different languages i recommend reading from different countries too! you may have a better reflection on the bigger state of things and independent eyes looking over at your own country), and also look over at some blogs which may have latest info. Listen to a radio program, and yes, if you must, turn on the TV.
Remember, that often scientific things gets lost in translation when journalists interpret it. So, tip number 3: if you can go to the source. A lot of journals have made COVID-19 science open access. And virus or not, a lot of science is becoming more and more open access. If you can't stomach a full scientific paper, then the Nature magazine might be for you - it has great info and even a daily briefing in your inbox.
If you are a writer, and want to talk about what's going on then check out these resources that will help covering the topic without spreading misinformation!
Disclaimer: some posts may contain affiliate links. At no extra costs to you, buying through the link will help me in this blogging journey!