Had 4 million people died Caused by COVID worldwide, including more than 34 million Case and above 610,000 deaths Only in the United States. To make matters worse, we don’t seem to be close to the end of the pandemic. Recently, the number of hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID has increased, mainly among people who have not been vaccinated at all or have been partially vaccinated.What makes this all the more miserable is its preventability; we know that vaccines are still effective against Delta variant, It is now the main strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID in the United States.
We know that people who have not been vaccinated have different reasons and concerns about their decision. For example, some people are physically unable to get immunizations; others come from underserved communities and want to be vaccinated, but the opportunities are limited.
At the same time, we also know Health misinformation And conspiracy theories about COVID are rampant. They can cause real damage and endanger public health.They are linked to a Reduce the likelihood of following public health advice, Such as wearing a mask, and will affect health decisions, such as Intend to get a COVID vaccine.
Many destructive myths about COVID are circulating on social media; for example:
In this case, health misinformation can exacerbate vaccine hesitation, World Health Organization Has been listed as one of the top ten threats to global health. In the context of COVID, this threat has become very clear and direct. As the vaccination plan progresses, Vaccine hesitation may threaten the goal of herd immunity, This is the key to ending the pandemic.
Organization includes National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Worry enough about the vaccine hesitate to specifically solve this problem through funding and publicity, and World Health Organization is called The extent of online misinformation is the “information epidemic”. “
There is a great need to ensure that reliable, evidence-based information is as available, rich, and accessible as misinformation, and that it spreads online as fast.And this is exactly #ScienceUpFirst Initiative Born: Provide, support, and promote accurate scientific information online to help people make smart health decisions.
Advocate for evidence-based public health
#ScienceUpFirst project started at Public health scholar Timothy Caulfield and Senator Stanley Kutcher of Nova Scotia A Canadian coalition of scientists, communicators, and health experts was recruited to enable people to work together against misinformation about COVID and COVID vaccines.
#ScienceUpFirst Independent representatives of the team come from a series of Canadian universities and organizations.Operationally, the project got Canadian Association of Science Centers, COVID-19 Resource Canada and University of Alberta School of Health Law.
This bilingual event uses online hashtags #ScienceUpFirst and #LaScienceDAbord on social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok. Essentially, #ScienceUpFirst uses social media to promote and amplify the best scientific content available to debunk misinformation.
The initial goal of the activity was to follow Evidence-based guide In response to misinformation and conspiracy theories specifically related to COVID and COVID vaccines. Ultimately, the framework will be applied to other types of health and science-related misinformation beyond the COVID pandemic, such as climate change and mental health.
At the social media level, the event did two things:
- It finds, evaluates, and improves existing, evidence-based content, with the goal of getting people involved and helping them share and amplify this content on social media. Importantly, this involves adjusting the content and ensuring that it reflects and dialogues with different social demographic groups.
- It obtains information from community partners, followers, and other official data sources to determine the most relevant and timely content needed. Then, it creates scientifically accurate and easy-to-digest content in a visually appealing way, and the content is censored before being posted to the event’s social media platform.
Work to debunk misinformation
Resolving the error message is definitely worth the effort.research shows Debunking works If done correctly, it can be effective. This means using evidence-based strategies when crafting messages to combat misinformation. These include but are not limited to: providing science, using clear and shareable content, citing reliable sources, paying attention to scientific consensus and its evolution, combining narratives and stories, being fact-oriented, friendly and authentic, and highlighting gaps in logic and rhetoric equipment.
How to participate
The #ScienceUpFirst movement is not passive, but a continuous, interactive project designed to attract and inform the public.
People can use #ScienceUpFirst to help amplify evidence-based information and debunk misinformation in three ways:
- Follow @ScienceUpFirst on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Tik Tok, and use #ScienceUpFirst or #LaScienceDAbord to participate and share content.
- Tag @ScienceUpFirst in COVID science-based posts and misinformation posts on all social media channels.
- access www.ScienceUpFirst.com Find selected, shareable COVID content and resources from some of our community partners.
The project was launched at the end of January and has since gained more than 40,000 posts by more than 30,000 people, with a total of 260 million followers on social media accounts.
Health professionals and scientists have an ethical responsibility to promote and practice evidence-based patient care and public health. Part of this mission includes online appeals and correction of misinformation through science communication on social media.
Although the #ScienceUpFirst movement is a Canadian initiative, health misinformation and publicity know no borders, especially on social media. We welcome and encourage everyone in the United States and around the world to join us.
This is an opinion and analysis article; opinions expressed Author or author Not necessarily those Scientific american.
A modified version of this article was originally published on conversation.