Fighting disinformation about COVID-19 with empathy: researcher at U of C


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“The more you have this good information, the more you dilute the strength and integrity of the fake information,” Fazel said.

Even reminding friends to be aware of what they are reading and sharing can make a huge difference, he said, adding that research has shown that this simple action has a “profound effect” on health. prevention of the prevalence of disinformation.

However, some people are a lost cause.

Fazel said the aforementioned techniques are meant to target people who are halfway when it comes to believing disinformation, rather than die-hard conspiracy theorists who are unlikely to budge.

He also said that those who profit from the spread of disinformation would face legal repercussions and, as such, stronger policies and regulations are needed.

Steps taken by social media giant Twitter to tag potentially dangerous and deceptive content with warning messages may slow the spread of that content, Fazel said. Other social media organizations have been pushed to do the same.

But, at the end of the day, he says kindness and empathy can go a long way in changing mindsets.

“This empathy that I have found really helps me demystify and change the minds of people who believe in conspiracy theories,” he said. “You can’t insult someone. You have to understand their point of view. ”

The latest COVID-19 figures in Alberta, as of Friday, show 1,125 active cases in the province with more than 10,000 recoveries. Sixty-eight people remain in the hospital, including 18 in intensive care.

The updated figures will be released on Monday afternoon.

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Twitter: @alanna_smithh


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