Misinformation wave on social media platforms like Facebook reduce the chances of people from getting vaccinated.
Pune: When we say that technology and social media is the future of tomorrow, it is true. But, it comes with its own perils. There are places on the web and communities on social media that resort to cyber bullying, spreading misinformation and misleading the people.
The dark side of social media is not only risky for children, but it has also succeeded in penetrating adults and in extreme cases, it has resulted in people losing their lives at the behest of bad influencers or cyber criminals on the web and social media.
According to a recent survey carried out by The COVID States Project found that their respondents who relied exclusively on Facebook as a source of information and news were more likely to fall victim to false claims like COVID-19 vaccines will alter DNA or they have embedded microchips in it that will track people.
It is evident by now that we live in an era of mistrust. Mistrust is prevalent in all aspects of civilization like in healthcare, governance, medicines, etc. Our history, scepticism and online platforms have fuelled the wave further.
If we want the pandemic to end globally and for us to return to our pre-pandemic lives and levels, it is important for the population to get COVID-19 vaccines. Apprehensions arising from claims on social media, unverified sources and news channels need to be scraped out.
Personally, we have nothing against social media platforms like Facebook. But, despite countless efforts to stop and check the flow of misinformation, the phenomenon still continues. The reason behind the whole hullabaloo is that social media is accessible to millions of people globally. It just takes a minute for someone to share and send something out publically.
Therefore, it is not possible to regulate or for someone to act as a continuous watchdog for activities, posts and news going on the web and social media every second of each day.
People with different backgrounds have varied ideological beliefs. But when it comes to healthcare, everyone is concerned to safeguard the health of their loved ones and themselves. There are instances where social media has helped a lot of people to reach out to get the right help. Nevertheless, the percentage of false claims scaring people away from getting treatment has been quite prominent on social media.
There are some ways in which we can still manage this crisis and curb the spread of harmful health claims from spreading on social media.
We can urge the right authorities, corporates involved, the government and fellow researchers, scientists and healthcare experts to monitor these claims and report them immediately. As soon as they are known to the concerned authorities, they must be immediately addressed via multiple mediums to the public. This can help in creating a difference and making this world a safer place to live in.