Do Not Let Social Media’s Spread Of Misinformation Kill People

Nikki Attkisson | Last Updated : July 19, 2021

Previously, we saw the spread of misinformation on Facebook by a Colorado-based physician Dr. Kelly Victory. Her statement was widely circulated among people, liked, and shared by hundreds of users. According to her, a virus cannot become lethal after mutation, only more contagious. She said that never in the history of virology has been a case of mutated strain becoming deadlier. However, this claim was false, taking the example of viruses like the Spanish Flu which, in fact, became deadlier through mutation.

Do Not Let Social Media’s Spread Of Misinformation Kill People

Aren’t such claims a threat to public health? When people believe such misinformation, they are bound to believe in optimism. This can further result in them ignoring the risks of the pandemic. There have even been false news that vaccines are not to be trusted. This scares people and puts a halt to the vaccination process. 

Do Not Let Social Media’s Spread Of Misinformation Kill People

Even though the healthcare officials, health ministry, and doctors put their faith in medicine, there is always a section of society that tries to corrupt their way into people’s minds. This can cause long-term harm to the country and the health of people. After all, lives are at risk.

Recently, US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy expressed his concern about the spread of misinformation about vaccines. He said that it acts as a ‘threat to public health’. Serious illnesses and deaths can be prevented by increasing the number of people getting vaccinated every day. He said that misinformation allowed ’infodemic’.

Murthy expressed that misinformation poses an imminent and insidious threat to the nation’s health. He spoke about confronting such misinformation as lives depend on it. Social media plays a very important role in shaping the minds of people. He said that it was important for the social media platforms to make meaningful changes to their software that ensures curbing the spread of misinformation and increased access to fact-based sources.

Media platforms are encouraging the spread of misinformation. He expressed his wish to see these platforms stepping up and taking aggressive actions regarding the same. 

When US President Joe Biden was asked to make a comment on misinformation spread on social media platforms like Facebook, he said that they’re killing people. He further added that the only pandemic in the US was among the unvaccinated people. 

To counter these accusations, Facebook spokesperson Dani Lever gave a lengthy statement proving their healthy contribution. She said that they would not be distracted by such false accusations. According to her, more than 2 billion people have viewed the information about COVID-19 and vaccines on Facebook, which is more than any other site on the internet. Americans too used Facebook’s vaccine finder tool to know where and when to find a vaccine. She added that this saved lives.

Twitter too came to defend itself. They made a statement saying that as the coronavirus pandemic evolved around the world, they will continue to do their part in elevating authoritative health information.

In times like these, it becomes important for common people to fact-check what they’re putting their faith in. Internet is a place of hundreds of thousands of people all around the world carrying different opinions. It is essential to trust science and legitimate sources.

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Nikki Attkisson

With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.

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