As more people turn to social media and other online sources for updates on the novel coronavirus outbreak, determining which sources are reliable becomes increasingly difficult. Experts Dana Coester and Bob Britten in the West Virginia University Reed College of Media share tips on how to differentiate fact from fiction online.
“We are already in a disrupted state for receiving credible information. While social media can be an invaluable tool for informing and organizing community members - connecting us to resources and local efforts underway - it is also a source of mis and disinformation that can seed panic or chaos in a crisis. We urge community members to look to local news and other trusted sources for vetted information on the pandemic.”- Dana Coester, associate professor, WVU Reed College of Media
“Wanting to believe or disbelieve a piece of information is the single best sign that you need to check something out before proceeding. If you've identified that ‘want,’ you should have a go-to process for what you do next. Rather than focus on your opinion of the source itself (‘I trust The New York Times’), which can also fall into that ‘want’ trap, try thinking about what makes the information itself trustworthy.” - Bob Britten, teaching associate professor, WVU Reed College of Media
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