There's no vaccine for lies about the COVID-19 vaccine


There is still not yet a vaccine for lies about the co vaccine from american public media. This is marketplace tech. I'm ali would the coronavirus pandemic has gone hand in hand with an info democ of misinformation about everything from homemade cures to weather masks. Work spoiler alert. They do now. If possible. the misinformation stakes have gotten even higher as the covid nineteen vaccine begins to roll out. Doses are set to be administered in the uk as soon as today and disinformation researchers. Say there's a whole new wave of renewed activity spreading lies about vaccine safety and the origin of the virus. Joan donovan is the research director of the shorenstein center on media politics and public policy at harvard so over the past couple of weeks. I've had several doctors as well as a hospital librarians. Asking us for help because people are showing up having junk science at their back. Asking about vaccine. Safety and doctors are wondering. Why is it these questions. Why now at this scale. We also need to do quite a bit clean up online especially around very key. Phrases related to vet the vaccine ingredients vaccine harms. Because we have you know over a decade now of vaccine misinformation. That is just littered about the internet much of which has been waiting for this moment to burst into the public consciousness. Remember what do you think about some of the tools that the platforms have employed in the primary one seems to just be this labeling and linking to some vetted resource you've been a little bit critical of that in some instances as i click through those labels. They're not immediately relevance sometimes or they're not targeted enough in terms of pointing people towards accurate information that they've almost started to become at least in the right wing media ecosystem they start to become a bit of a joke or a badge of honor to some folks. I think something that triggers and all of us when we see a label as we assume that things that are not labeled may be more true than they are in some ways feels like a little bit of a groundhog's day conversation you know the platforms are never quite doing enough in there too. Big and there is no regulation. And yet i think we would still agree though you and i that we also don't necessarily want these platforms fully in charge of deciding what we see given their scale right. What i'm interested in really understanding is how are they going to describe and define what counts as misinformation on their platform and then instead of retroactively. Really trying to band aid the situation. What is their design solution. That doesn't allow monied interests and with political reach to turn those systems against society. So you're saying there's a big delta between what they're doing now and even then becoming publishers in the sense where they're liable for what goes up. Yeah and i think that you know one of the you know. It's it's again groundhog day. But a feeling like a fool's errand to really try to care deeply about any politician you know pulling the rug out by taking section to thirty away for instance when it comes to trying to get platforms to stabilize how they serve information. That's what the struggle is here When trump is saying that we got to get rid of two thirty it's because the information ecosystem is so unstable that he can't wheeled it to his advantage. But we have to be cognizant of the fact of who's calling for this removal and under what conditions but we're going to have a struggle over large centralized communication systems are world's continuously rioted. No matter what is done now. The problem is always going to be you know when it comes to centralizing our communications. Are these platform companies being responsible to the broadest public. Good and at this stage we can. We can demonstrate. No i wonder. I wanna ask you from your perspective as a professor in a weird way it seems like social media platforms at this size or something. We also have to build immunity to like. They're also relatively new and our brains and figure society has not figured out how to handle this new type of virus should curriculum. Be a part of that like should we be designing curriculum for schools for children to teach them how to recognize truth. I think our educators. Do a fairly good job of that. What's hard is is when you go on line and you see a company like google whose tasked themselves with organizing the world's information but then they don't show you how they organize it and so it becomes a really complicated question for younger folks to say well. I have access to more information than any human being in the history of the world. And yet i have trouble finding true things or accurate things. Let's let's maybe scale it down one philosophical notch and so. I do think though that we do need curriculum for understanding it just as we would teach people the practice of citations and why that matters we do need to help. People understand what it is that there are seeing when they searched for You know information on any of these platforms and then you know. It's it's a hard problem though. I mean back in my day. Not that old but wicked pedia was considered this big enemy of the university. Right how could they possibly have so much information on wikipedia and it all be true right and so teachers would say you can't cite wikipedia but it's really where we all began our exploration even if we didn't necessarily show it and i think at this point now we do also have to wonder about the flow of timely local relevant and accurate information and so one of the things that i think. We also have to redesign as we think about and scale of these platform is is to what degree then. We also try to open knowledge and try to make sure that the world's resources information resources scientific publications are also available for people to be able to explore and understand and by and large journalists are the ones who provide that window into science popular science anyhow and and it's hard because we've seen also as we see platforms taking control we see journalists losing resources and Audience

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