Connect with us

Media

How you can use social media to help debunk COVID-19 misinformation – HalifaxToday.ca

Published

 on


This article, written by Jonathan N. Stea, University of Calgary, originally appeared on The Conversation and has been republished here with permission:

You do not need statistics to know that health-related misinformation is rampant on social media, including with respect to COVID-19. But here are some jarring examples anyway: Statistics Canada reported that nearly all Canadians saw COVID-19 misinformation online; only one in five Canadians always check the accuracy of online COVID-19 information; and half of Canadians shared COVID-19 information they found online without knowing whether it was accurate.

These statistics are not trivial, as misinformation can endanger public health. Many damaging myths about COVID-19 have circulated on social media, for example:

  • COVID-19 can spread by 5G mobile networks (viruses cannot travel through radio waves or mobile networks);
  • mRNA COVID-19 vaccines can change your DNA (nope, that’s seriously not how they work); and
  • COVID-19 vaccines can negatively affect fertility in women or men (there’s no evidence for this claim).

Health misinformation and conspiracy theories do real damage. They have been linked to a decreased likelihood of following public health advice, such as wearing masks, and can influence health decisions, such as the likelihood to get influenza vaccines and intent to get COVID-19 vaccines.

In this vein, health misinformation can fuel vaccine hesitancy, which the World Health Organization has listed as one of the top 10 threats to global health. That threat becomes very clear and very immediate in the context of COVID-19. With vaccination programs underway, vaccine hesitancy could threaten the goal of herd immunity, which is key to ending the pandemic.

Organizations including the federal government and the Ontario Medical Association are concerned enough about vaccine hesitancy to specifically address it through funding and advocacy, and the World Health Organization has dubbed the extent of misinformation online an “infodemic.”

There is a very real need to ensure that reliable, evidence-based information is as available, plentiful and accessible as misinformation, and that it travels as quickly online. That is precisely the goal of the #ScienceUpFirst initiative: to provide, support and boost accurate scientific information online to help people make informed health decisions.

Championing evidence-based public health

The #ScienceUpFirst project began when public health scholar Timothy Caulfield, Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy at the University of Alberta, and Senator Stanley Kutcher of Nova Scotia recruited a national coalition of scientists, communicators and health experts to empower Canadians to work together against misinformation about COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccines.

As a clinical psychologist with an interest in science communication and health-related misinformation, I was honoured to join the team in the service of those goals, along with other professionals who are independently represented from an array of Canadian universities and organizations. Operationally, the project is supported by the Canadian Association of Science Centres, COVID-19 Resources Canada and the Health Law Institute at the University of Alberta.

The bilingual campaign uses the online hashtags #ScienceUpFirst and #LaScienceDAbord on social media platforms including Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and will eventually include TikTok. In essence, #ScienceUpFirst uses social media to promote and amplify the best available science-based content, in an effort to debunk misinformation.

The initial goal of the campaign is to follow evidence-based guidelines to target misinformation and conspiracy theories specifically related to COVID-19 vaccines, virus transmission and government response. Eventually, the framework can be applied beyond the COVID-19 pandemic to address other types of health- and science-related misinformation.

At the social media level, the campaign seeks out, evaluates and boosts existing, evidence-based content, with the intention of engaging Canadians to help to share and amplify that content on social media. Importantly, this involves efforts to adapt content and ensure that it reflects and speaks to the diverse socio-demographic that comprises the Canadian population.

The project will also track trending misinformation and respond swiftly with corrected content created as part of the #ScienceUpFirst initiative.

Is it worth it?

Addressing misinformation is definitely worth the effort. Research shows that debunking works and can be effective if it is done correctly.

This means using evidence-based tactics when crafting a message to counter misinformation. These include, but are not limited to: providing the science, using clear and shareable content, referencing trustworthy sources, noting the scientific consensus and its evolution, incorporating narrative and story, leading with facts, being nice and authentic and highlighting gaps in logic and rhetorical devices.

How to participate

The #ScienceUpFirst movement is not passive, but is an ongoing, interactive project designed to thrive on Canadians’ participation.

There are three ways people can help amplify evidence-based information, and debunk misinformation with #ScienceUpFirst:

  1. Follow @ScienceUpFirst on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and engage with and share content using the hashtag #ScienceUpFirst or #LaScienceDAbord.

  2. Tag @ScienceUpFirst in COVID-19 science-based posts and misinformation posts on all social media channels.

  3. Visit www.ScienceUpFirst.com to sign up for a weekly newsletter.

The project launched at the end of January, and garnered over 8,500 posts and more than 42 million views across social media platforms in its first week.

Health professionals and scientists have an ethical responsibility to promote and practise evidence-based patient care and public health. Part of that mission includes calling out and correcting misinformation online via science communication on social media.

We welcome and encourage everyone to join us.The Conversation

Jonathan N. Stea, Clinical Psychologist and Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Calgary

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Media

Media Release – September 24, 2021 – Guelph Police – guelphpolice.ca

Published

 on


Home Invasion Investigation

On the morning of September 16th, 2021, three adult males and an adult female forced their way into an apartment in a residential building located near the intersection of Speedvale Avenue East and Stevenson Street North in the City of Guelph.

An adult male resident was struck with a firearm, and other weapons were brandished during this incident. The male resident and an adult female resident were ultimately able to lock themselves in a room and contact the Guelph Police Service for assistance. The three males and female fled on foot.

The male resident was transported to hospital, treated for his injuries and released.     

Police later located the three males inside another apartment in the building and they were subsequently arrested.

Through investigation, police identified the female involved and a warrant was issued.

This was a targeted incident and there is no concern for public safety. 

A 26 year old Guelph male has been charged with:
-Disguise With Intent
-Break, Enter And Commit Indictable Offence

He was held in custody pending a bail hearing on September 24th.

A 27 year old Guelph male has been charged with:
-Disguise With Intent
-Break, Enter And Commit Indictable Offence
-Use Firearm While Committing Offence
-Possession Of A Weapon For A Dangerous Purpose x2
-Breach Probation
-Fail To Comply With Judicial Release Order

He was held in custody pending a bail hearing on September 24th.

A 33 year old Guelph male has been charged with:
-Disguise With Intent
-Break, Enter And Commit Indictable Offence
-Possession Of Weapon For A Dangerous Purpose
-Fail To Comply With Judicial Release Order

He was held in custody pending a bail hearing on September 29th.

On September 23rd, just before 9:46am, police observed the female as a passenger in a motor vehicle driving near the intersection of Wellington Street West and Fife Road. A traffic stop was initiated, and an adult male driver fled the area on foot.

The female was subsequently arrested.

A search incident to arrest revealed 1.18 grams of Fentanyl.

Further investigation revealed that both the vehicle and the vehicle plates were stolen.

A 30 year old Guelph female has been charged with:
-Disguise With Intent
-Break, Enter And Commit Indictable Offence
-Use Firearm While Committing Offence
-Possession Of Weapon For A Dangerous Purpose
-Assault With A Weapon x2
-Breach Probation
-Fail To Comply With OIC Undertaking
-Possession Of A Controlled Substance – Schedule I
-Possession Of Stolen Property Under $5,000 x2

She was held in custody pending a bail hearing on September 24th.

Please note that police found a second adult female in the vehicle during the traffic stop. She was also subsequently arrested.

A 23 year old Guelph female has been charged with:
-Possession Of Stolen Property Under $5,000 x2

She will appear in court on January 14th, 2022.

The male who fled the vehicle on foot was not located.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Constable Jenifer Nadalin at 519-824-1212 ext. 7523, email her at jnadalin@guelphpolice.ca, leave an anonymous tip at CRIME STOPPERS 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or submit an anonymous tip online at www.csgw.tips.

Road Rage Incident Leads To Weapon Charges

On September 23rd, 2021, just before 6:01pm, a road rage incident occurred between two adult male drivers, which lead to both males exiting their motor vehicles out front of a residence located near the intersection of Starwood Drive and Eastview Road in the City of Guelph. One of the males then pulled foldable knife out of his pocket, opened the blade and held it out in a threatening manner. He eventually left the area in his vehicle.

At 10:32pm, the male who had the knife turned himself into the Guelph Police Service station and was subsequently arrested.

A 29 year old Guelph male has been charged with:
-Assault With A Weapon
-Possession Of A Weapon For A Dangerous Purpose

He will appear in court on January 11th, 2022.

Motor Vehicle Collision Investigation

On September 23rd, 2021, just before 4:52pm, a collision occurred between two motor vehicles near the intersection of Dawson Road and Speedvale Avenue West in the City of Guelph. The collision resulted in minor injuries but significant damage to both vehicles.

Anyone with any dash camera footage in the area or any information at all is asked to contact Constable Lindsay Porterfield at 519-824-1212 ext. 7182, email her at lporterfield@guelphpolice.ca, leave an anonymous tip at CRIME STOPPERS 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or submit an anonymous tip online at www.csgw.tips.

Stolen ATV

Some time between midnight and 8am on September 23rd, 2021, a shed in the backyard of a residence located near the intersection of Edinburgh Road South and Waterloo Avenue in the City of Guelph was entered. An ATV was then taken, as its key was left in the ignition.

However, the vehicle wasn’t in good working order and was difficult drive, so it was abandoned around the corner from the residence, and was recovered by police at 9am.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Constable Joshua van Breda at 519-824-1212 ext. 7417, email him at jvanbreda@guelphpolice.ca, leave an anonymous tip at CRIME STOPPERS 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or submit an anonymous tip online at www.csgw.tips.

The Guelph Police Service would like to encourage the public to never leave keys in the ignition of an unattended motor vehicle.

Multiple Motor Vehicle Collisions And Driving Complaints

Over the past 24 hours the Guelph Police Service received reports of 14 motor vehicle collisions and 11 driving complaints occurring throughout the City of Guelph.

The Guelph Police Service would like to encourage the public to slow down and follow the rules of the road in order to help ensure everyone arrives to their destination safely.

Calls for Service in the last 24 hours: 227

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Media

Black Press Media Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week – Summerland Review – Summerland Review

Published

 on


Good afternoon and happy Friday!

Before you start off your weekend full of sunshine, cooler weather and pumpkin patch adventures, catch up on some of this week’s news headlines from the Okanagan-Shuswap region.

Woman found dead at Highway 33 and Nickel Road in Kelowna

Kelowna RCMP launched an investigation after the body of a woman was found at Highway 33 and Nickel Road in the city.

Police said they don’t have much information surrounding the woman’s death or the cause of it, but the investigation is ongoing.

Fundraisers set up for family of Penticton murder victim

Fundraisers have been set up for a Penticton murder victim’s family.

Taig Savage’s mother, Tracey, previously lost two other children in a house fire. The goal of the fundraisers is to support her as she goes through losing a child in a tragic way for the third time.

One dead in Vernon shooting

One person died and another person was taken into police custody after a morning shooting in Vernon on Monday (Sept. 20).

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP said the victim and the man in custody are known to each other. As he is still in custody, police said there is no further threat to public safety.

Boaters want Shuswap Lake channel dredged but obstacles deter city

Boaters have been asking the City of Salmon Arm to dredge the channel that leads into Shuswap Lake, but the mayor and his staff say that the high costs and government requirements to dredge are keeping them from doing it.

Staff added that dredging is a temporary solution and has a short life span.

And that’s all for this week. Have yourself a good and safe weekend.


@twilamam
twila.amato@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Media

Media Day hype, player rankings are clickbait | Pickaxe and Roll – Denver Stiffs

Published

 on


Ryan Blackburn shares his thoughts on the third day of player interviews for media week that included Aaron Gordon, Will Barton, Jeff Green, Austin Rivers, and Michael Porter Jr. in a stacked session. Gordon was chill, Barton was excited, Green was professional, Rivers was insightful, and Porter showed readiness to take the leap. Then, Ryan discusses the ESPN player rankings that are filtering out and what they had to say about the Nuggets and Nikola Jokić.

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending