International Aspects of the COVID-19 Infodemic

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Abstract

At present, the speed and scale of the dissemination of false health information has increased significantly, due to the Internet and social networks, which has become a serious problem and challenge for the world’s public health systems. The issue of spreading implausible news has become most acute against the background of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since February 2020, the World Health Organization has introduced the term “infodemiс”, which characterizes the rapid growth of unreliable and false reports of a pandemic by analogy with the spread of the virus. The purpose of this article is to study the issues of the emergence and ways of spreading misinformation about health, to consider approaches for taking effective response measures in the conditions of infodemiс. The article was prepared using a systematic review of research publications based on strict selection criteria in the bibliographic databases PubMed, ScienceDirect, as well as online resources that addressed the issues of dissemination and countering false information in the field of healthcare. Countering disinformation needs to be done through correcting information, purposeful refutations based on evidence, implementing initiatives to improve the media literacy of the population, as well as by improving the supervision of social networks. Coordinated interaction between governmental and international organizations, the scientific community, the media, and global Internet social media platforms is crucial in this process.

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About the authors

Oksana A. Pivovarova

Research Institute for Healthcare Organization and Medical Management

Email: PivovarovaOA1@zdrav.mos.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4234-1869
SPIN-code: 2512-0001

MD, PhD

Russian Federation, 9, Sharikopodshipnikovskaya str., 115088, Moscow

Sergej J. Gorbatov

Research Institute for Healthcare Organization and Medical Management

Email: GorbatovSY@zdrav.mos.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6958-3692
SPIN-code: 6568-6654
Russian Federation, 9, Sharikopodshipnikovskaya str., 115088, Moscow

Ekaterina О. Korotkova

Research Institute for Healthcare Organization and Medical Management

Email: KorotkovaEO@zdrav.mos.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5473-4796
SPIN-code: 6515-7560
Russian Federation, 9, Sharikopodshipnikovskaya str., 115088, Moscow

Natalya N. Kamynina

Research Institute for Healthcare Organization and Medical Management

Author for correspondence.
Email: nnkamin@gmail.com
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0925-5822
SPIN-code: 2031-6825

MD, PhD

Russian Federation, 9 Sharikopodshipnikovskaya, 115088, Moscow

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