Wednesday, July 1, 2020

How to Fight an Infodemic: Let them Eat Cake

Information "Cake" Model from the article here.  

 How to Fight an Infodemic: The Four Pillars of Infodemic Management.
 Eysenbach G         J Med Internet Res. 2020 Jun 26.    PMID  32589147

Newly published editorial on Infodemiology,   I don't know about you, but this term brings to mind Ghost Busters suited up for battle. ;-)  The issue editor gives us the larger picture in this introduction to the topic, one that he's been studying for more than 20 years as it has evolved over time.  Eysenbach is poised to share his expert opinion on the nuances and challenges of this phenomenon where facts are in motion and best evidence is really just best-evidence-at-the-time (BETs).  He offers the Information Wedding Cake Model above as a way to explain how the layers interact and how proper translation between levels might improve problems with misinformation.  This entire issue of Journal of Internet Research focuses on Infodemiology in the wake of Covid-19 misinformation, and is worth checking out ...

From the article's abstract:
  In this issue of the Journal of Medical Internet Research, the
  World Health Organization (WHO) is presenting a framework for managing the
  coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infodemic. Infodemiology is now acknowledged
  by public health organizations and the WHO as an important emerging
  scientific field and critical area of practice during a pandemic. From the
  perspective of being the first "infodemiolgist" who originally coined the
  term almost two decades ago, I am positing four pillars of infodemic

(1) information monitoring (infoveillance); 
(2) building eHealth Literacy and science literacy capacity; 
(3) encouraging knowledge refinement and quality improvement processes such as fact checking and peer-review;
(4) accurate and timely knowledge translation, minimizing distorting factors
  such as political or commercial influences. 

In the current COVID-19 pandemic, the United Nations has advocated that facts and science should be promoted and that these constitute the antidote to the current infodemic.    This is in stark contrast to the realities of infodemic mismanagement and  misguided upstream filtering, where social media platforms such as Twitter have advertising policies that sideline science organizations and science publishers, treating peer-reviewed science as "inappropriate content."


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