FACT FINDERS: Spotting False Information on COVID-19 and the Vaccine

Published: Jun. 28, 2021 at 7:18 PM MST|Updated: Jun. 28, 2021 at 8:10 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - There’s a lot of false information out there about COVID-19 and vaccine, so how do you spot it?

Andy Taylor, host of TechtalkRadio, said it takes a lot of work on your part.

“You’re going to see some things that are going to curl your eyebrows and you’ll think ‘is this really happening?,’” Taylor said.

Taylor said it’s hard to know what’s fact and what’s fiction online because there’s just so much false and malicious out there.

He said you should verify things for yourself and not take something as fact just because it is on a website, tweet or Facebook post.

“Don’t rely on what somebody is saying on Twitter,” he said. “Don’t rely on what someone has said on Facebook. Rely on the information, the facts, the data from the CDC.”

At Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies, they came up with a list of five things you should do to spot fake online posts.

No 1: Analyse the content and the source. Does the content seem inconsistent with other reports you’ve seen? Is the source credible?

No. 2: Determine if it’s misinformation or disinformation. It says misinformation is false information that could just be a mistake. Disinformation is false information that is intentionally false.

No. 3: Try to find out the intent of the post. Some people have an agenda behind what the share.

No. 4: Use authoritative resources. Some examples of that are the CDC or Mayo Clinic.

No. 5: Determine how the information fits into your own belief system. Often people care more about who they trust rather than the facts themselves.

Taylor said if you can’t independently determine if the health information is legit, there’s always another good option.

“You can talk to a doctor. They’ve taken the oath so hopefully, they’re going to be dispelling and dispensing the right information about what the situation is around it,” he said.

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