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Rethinking the Infodemic: Social Media and Offline Action in the COVID-19 Pandemic

Abstract : In parallel with the COVID-19 pandemic, an infodemic—an information epidemic—challenges human populations across the planet. Often framed as an enemy to be conquered, infodemics endanger public health because inaccurate or erroneous information spreads quickly on a large scale, triggers potentially harmful behaviours, and generates stress and anxiety. Much infodemics research privileges the investigation of online information creation and circulation, as well as measures to counter erroneous information. Less examined, however, are the offline effects of an infodemic. This chapter surveys how infodemic analysts have evaluated interactions between online information and offline practice. It examines studies focusing on the harmful content of the online informational ecosystem and containment efforts, and then explores social sciences contributions, which broadly identify factors contributing to public interpretation and offline practices. We conclude with a concrete example of an anthropological study exploring the interplay of online information and offline practice during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Submitted on : Friday, May 20, 2022 - 3:33:51 PM
Last modification on : Monday, June 6, 2022 - 11:18:02 AM


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Leonardo Heyerdahl, Benedetta Lana, Tamara Giles-Vernick. Rethinking the Infodemic: Social Media and Offline Action in the COVID-19 Pandemic. Makoto Yano; Fumihiko Matsuda; Anavaj Sakuntabhai; Shigeru Hirota. Socio-Life Science and the COVID-19 Outbreak. Public Health and Public Policy, Springer, pp.73-82, 2022, Economics, Law, and Institutions in Asia Pacific, 978-981-16-5726-9. ⟨10.1007/978-981-16-5727-6_4⟩. ⟨hal-03671491⟩



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