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Information on networks, true or false

The Covid-19 pandemic imposed several challenges on humanity, from the ability of human beings to make medicine a better weapon; to maintaining jobs from home.

 

Claudia Dupeirón

 

In the face of the economic crisis generated by the Sars-Cov-2 virus worldwide, the large-scale use of teleworking, videoconferences, educational talks and video calls to the family will also remain as a remnant and perhaps a permanent option, even after finding a vaccine.

During the launch of a global platform to help protect telecommunication networks in the Covid-19 crisis, ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao stressed that telecommunication networks are vital for health and safety, maintaining the economy and society.

“What is at stake is our ability, as a single human family, to give health workers around the world the tools they need to carry out their tasks, to enable working from home, online trading, to ensure that hundreds of millions of children and young people keep up to date with their studies, and to keep in touch with our loved ones,” added the representative of the United Nations (UN) agency.

However, the excessive amount of information about the new coronavirus that is false or supported by rumours has also become a parallel epidemic to the health one.

International organisations such as the UN and the World Health Organization (WHO) have called attention to this phenomenon, which some experts have called informative chaos, as they consider it an obstacle to containment measures, in addition to generating panic and confusion.

The director of the Infomed National Medical Sciences Information Center of Cuba, Ileana Alfonso, has said that this phenomenon was initially linked to infoxication (more information to process than is humanly possible), but humanity is facing an informative epidemic of the Covid-19, called an infodemic.

So, if the supply of information is greater than the demand, what to do to combat rumours and fake news about the Covid-19?

Alfonso recommends guiding readers in the face of this overabundance of information, for which it is important to take into account the authorship of the articles being consulted. Also, it is necessary to pay attention to the dates of publication, the news, the publishing house that publishes it and to be aware of false quotes. “You have to have common sense and be critical of the information, you have to know how to analyse what you read,” he advises.

Mandatory confinement worldwide as the only ‘vaccine’ against the new coronavirus has made social media more important than ever.

Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp and other platforms of this type are the crucial communication channel between families, friends and colleagues, and a form of entertainment, and in turn, an unlimited space at times for disinformation.

For this reason, when you consult news through social networks, do not forget: be wary of flashy and alarmist titles, always read all the news; find out where the information was obtained and confirm the veracity of images and videos, copying the links to Google, Firefox or other search engines to ensure that they do exist. (PL)

(Translated by Hannah Phelvin) – Photos: Pixabay

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