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Covid-19: how to be careful with trust and expertise on social media
The BMJ ( IF 27.604 ) Pub Date : 2020-03-25 , DOI: 10.1136/bmj.m1160
Sue Llewellyn

At times of crisis we turn to experts—but news outlets and social media must be careful about the information they share, particularly informally, writes Sue Llewellyn Three times in one day I received the same warning from different groups of friends, through various channels. It came through email, Facebook, and WhatsApp, and I also saw it circulating widely on Twitter. I replied thanking them, saying that I knew they wanted to help (we all do) but that, actually, the warning wasn’t true and could even be dangerous. I felt almost unkind by pointing out that holding your breath wasn’t a test for covid-19. And that drinking lots of water wouldn’t help it go away. These viral warnings always start the same way. A doctor/nurse/specialist health or government worker—often, apparently, a friend or relative—shares a warning or advice of some kind. This often sounds credible and sometimes may even have a kernel of truth, but it almost always provokes some emotional response in the reader. Fear and outrage are …
更新日期:2020-03-26

 

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