Here’s a new word for you: infodemic. The World Health Organization coined the term and centered a recent global conference around coming to terms with a glut of mis- and dis-information that is harming public health.
While this is a global issue, and links below will take you to the WHO’s many universal resources, a local group has been fighting inaccurate information on Facebook pages. Called the Alaska Public Health Information Response Team, it enlists UAA strategic communications students to spot the bad information, and local health professionals to intervene with posts on Facebook that introduce accurate information.
The effort is more than two years old, and continues. On today’s Hometown Alaska, we’ll meet some of the participants. They’ll offer insight into the fight against mis- and dis-information, how it so easily spreads on social media, and how you can navigate those troubled waters yourself, like how do you handle disinformation within your own family and circle of friends?
We’ll also hear from Steve Johnson, coach of the UAA debate team, on how disinformation is threatening democracy. He shares the best book he’s read on the topic, “The Constitution of Knowledge: A defense of truth” by Jonathan Rauch. This portion of the program was pre-recorded.
So, join us with your questions and comments by dialing 550-8433 during the show, Monday April 25, 10 am-11 am.
HOST: Kathleen McCoy
- Dr. Jennifer Meyer, assistant professor in the College of Health, UAA
- Dr. Joy Mapaye, professor in Journalism and Public Communications, UAA
- Dr. Tom Hennessy, epidemiologist, Affiliate Faculty, College of Health, UAA
- Alexandra Edwards, research professional and project manager, Center for Behavioral Health Research and Services, UAA
- Steve Johnson, UAA debate coach
- Links that explain the infodemic
- World Health Organization’s 2021 conference on infodemiology, website with resources
- US Surgeon General’s Advisory on Building a Healthy Information Environment, report and 1-page summary
- WHO video discussion with experts on the evolving issue of disinformation, 1-hour video discussion
- The Debunking Handbook, created by academics around the globe
- Vaccine Misinformation Management Guide, from Unicef, First Draft, Yale Institute for Global Health, and The Public Good Projects
- Practical tips when dealing with disinformation
- How to speak up without starting a showdown, poster, from newslit.org
- 7 tips on dealing with disinformation, WHO
- When Your Family Spreads Misinformation, The Atlantic Magazine
- WHO information on common myths around Covid, webpage
- Calling BS, a free online course from University of Washington on how to detect and deal with disinformation, course syllabus
- First Draft News, a nonprofit working with journalists and the public on managing disinformation, website
- Shots Heard Round the World, nonprofit organization supporting community organizations experiencing public backlash when they present accurate information; includes a toolkit
- Local, national coverage on responding to disinformation
- Alaska public health experts are taking the fight against COVID 19 misinformation to Facebook comment threads, ADN, 2.9/2021
- UAA students and faculty collaborate to curb the spread of COVID-19 misinformation, Green & Gold News, 4.19.21
- Covid Mythbuster! Dr. Todd Wolynn takes on anti-vaxxers with science, singing and a dose of silly, People Magazine
- About “The Constitution of Knowledge: a defense of truth” by Jonathan Rauch, The Brookings Institute
- Call 550-8433 (Anchorage) or 1-888-353-5752 (statewide) during the live broadcast (10-11 a.m.)
- Send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org before, during or after the live broadcast (E-mails may be read on air).
- Post your comment or question below (Comments may be read on air).
- LIVE: Monday, April 25, 2022 at 10 a.m.
- RE-AIR: Monday, April 25, 2022 at 8 p.m.
- PODCAST: Available on this page after the program.