Project to combat disinformation about health on social networks

2 January, 2020

Dear HIFA members,

Public disinformation on health matters has often been debated on this forum. I was interested to see the project below reported on Univadis. The link address and extracts are copied below.

http://ruvid.org/ri-world/the-university-of-valencia-leads-european-proj...

THE UNIVERSITY OF VALENCIA LEADS EUROPEAN PROJECT NO RUMOUR HEALTH TO COMBAT DISINFORMATION ABOUT HEALTH ON SOCIAL NETWORKS

Carolina Moreno, Professor of Journalism at the University of Valencia, and researcher Empar Vengut, manager of the No Rumour Health project, have started working on the project with a consortium of three European countries (Spain, Greece and Poland). The proposal, with a duration of two years and endowed with almost 130,000 euros in funding, aims to design a mobile application for older people to help differentiate whether the news they collect through social networks is true or false.

The importance of the project lies in combating disinformation, especially in people over 65 and more specifically in women, since they are the ones who are most concerned about the health of those around them. To carry out this task of combating the health lies that circulate through the Internet, the project proposes 'two main objectives: one will be a mobile application in which the most common false health information and the most shared information on social networks can be checked; the other is to make online modules to learn how to identify fake news and to know which pages are reliable. These modules can help discern when information is true and when it is not', says Empar Vengut.

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It is perhaps surprising that this, or similar projects, lag as far as it does behind the development of social networks.

Best wishes,

Malcolm

HIFA profile: Malcolm Brewster is a Community Nurse with the National Health Service, UK. Professional interests: Chronic disease, community nursing, medical anthropology, health care in Africa. He is a member of the HIFA Working Group on Information for Prescribers and Users of Medicines:

http://www.hifa.org/projects/prescribers-and-users-medicines

http://www.hifa.org/support/members/malcolm

Email address: malcolmbrewster AT yahoo.com