Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Misinformation & Covid

All over the world, we see people protesting the pandemic measures designed to protect people and misinformation is at the heart of the problem. Facebook started to work on some features that help reduce the spread of misinformation by flagging videos that they deem misleading and reducing its reach. The problem who is qualified in making these decisions? Maybe the field experts can review each and every videos and flag the ones with misleading data but even them are prone in making errors. 

Few of the problems:
  • Part of the problem comes from the Schooling system, and society in general, that teaches kids to not question the information from authority figures. Because of this, which ever piece of information that's the loudest takes precedents even though it may not make the most sense (misinformation and negativity does tend to be louder).
  • Misinformation, and negative news, have a shock factor to it which help spread it faster than truth or trustworthy information.
    • More often than not, people ask what is legal rather than what is right. It's not illegal to spread misinformation, in order to profit from it(from social media or other), but it's not the right thing to do.
    • Internet algorithms put emphasis on stories that are more likely to sell and misinformation/shocking news sell more.
  • People no longer see their Government as a trust worthy source of information. Governments, all over the world, are sharing the information given to them by top medical professionals but this is seen as unreliable because of the many errors committed, by those Governments, in the past.
    • Celebrities' have more influence than Governments and/or medical professional among the masses. If a Celebrity says something that doesn't align with the medical professional it could still be believed solely due to status. Some celebrities' have voiced their oppositions to the vaccines and the security measures which had a devastating effect.
  • Virus, vaccine, Covid-19... these are all things that only experts fully understands and some people don't trust what they don't understand no matter the source. All that they know is that one day they used to be able to go to restaurants and now they can't.
  • We live in a "Microwave / I want everything now" type of society and the pandemic has been around for a few years now... people are exhausted.
What's the solution? It took years for some of these problems to materialize therefor there are no quick fixes/easy solutions here. People will continue believing what they want to believe but we first need to be more patient and we need to revisit some of these beliefs as well as how we function as a society. We need to build a society that's not a representation of who we are but who we need to be. A society that seeks truths rather than shocking.

In the meantime, my hope for the world is that the Pandemic ends and that these protest don't turn into something uglier.

Stay safe.

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