With misinformation about COVID-19 and vaccination running rampant in multiple countries, many organizations are also seeing bad information circulate in their own realm and wondering how to stop it. The Canadian Association of Science Centres realized that communication could be its tool in the fight against this insidious problem.
“The World Health Organization has declared what is happening an infodemic,” said Marianne Mader, Ph.D., executive director of CASC. “We got together and asked, ‘What can we do about it?’ And our solution was to focus on social media channels.”
CASC partnered with COVID-19 Resources Canada and the Health Law Institute at the University of Alberta to create the #ScienceUpFirst. Launched in late January, the initiative aims to fight online misinformation with information.
“There are some outdated theories that people with information bias won’t pay attention when you put the facts out there,” Mader said. “There are studies showing that—contrary to what some people might believe—putting accurate information out there makes a difference. If you leave a gap, that’s when it is going to get filled with misinformation.”
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