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A while ago, everything we seemed to know changed. Also, a series of words arrived that today are already permanent in our language . However, there are some less used but equally important for their content. Such is the case with infodemia, which is used to refer to the abundance of information on a particular topic. The term gained notoriety with the coronavirus and the amount of news surrounding it, while WHO warned about it . Its linguistic existence derives from the union between the words information and epidemic, which already indicates its dangerousness. In turn, it is related to the concept of fake news or infoxication .
Generally, data that is disseminated in an infodemia tend to be few truthful . This is an obstacle to reliable sources seeking to provide relevant inputs on a specific topic. The main responsibility for this phenomenon are the media, which publish easily spread information. Then, it moves to social networks like Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp, becoming difficult to control . Probably, if we remember, we'll be able to remember a chain that has reached us to chat during the last few months. So, the absence of filters on the platforms leads to disinformation from the non-specialized general public.
Again, you have to check before sharing or forwarding because we may be adding to a chain of negative consequences. In the framework of the coronavirus, effective responses are hindered, and confusion and mistrust is created among people. The causes of viralization may be errors, rumors or tendentious purposes. And if it is a universal problem, the speed with which speeches are extended becomes even faster.
In February 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) formalized the word infodemia to describe the exuberance of disinformation about Covid-19 . It happens that being a virus never seen before, the demand for reliable data began to become a necessity. Global society required it to understand, control and be able to eradicate the disease. At the same time, the scientific community was working against the clock to provide findings that would contribute to the fight against the pandemic . Although it could not be with the immediacy that the media, networks and other platforms intended. What unleashed a new challenge on stage: the time it took to achieve a serious response against damaging instantaneity.
Accordingly, information circulates at a faster rate than the recommendations of authorities, doctors, professionals and public sector actors. While the lack of truthful content and previous experiences with a similar virus generate much confusion and fear in society. The latter two are probably the biggest risks of poorly controlled infodemia, because they then trigger irresponsible or worrying triggers. Therefore, since the formalization of the concept by the WHO, it is sought to make the publications related to coronavirus more rigorous . That is, they undergo a verification process. However, the measure is not even met with some specialized journals. So there remains in the public the limited and prudent consumption commitment .
Publication Date: 12/01/2021
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