Addressing misinformation on social media has special urgency with the emergence of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). One strategy that has been shown to work for other health topics is called “observational correction.” This occurs when a person observes another user or expert organization correcting a post that contains misinformation. For those watching from afar, their identity is not directly under threat, so they may be more amenable to correction.
In this session, Dr. Vraga will examine how often observational correction is occurring for COVID-19 misinformation, discuss whether people appreciate such corrections, and demonstrate that such corrections can reduce misperceptions. The session will highlight best practices for deciding when and how to correct misinformation effectively on social media.
Emily Vraga, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication
Emily K. Vraga is an associate professor at the Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota, where she holds the Don and Carole Larson Professorship in Health Communication. Her research focuses on how individuals process news and information about contentious health, scientific, and political issues in digital media environments. She is especially interested in testing methods to identify and correct health misinformation on social media, to limit biased processing of news messages, and to encourage attention to more diverse content online.