Collaborative Effort To Dispel Health Misinformation Vital To Pandemic Preparedness

New York Times: We Must Prepare for the Next Pandemic
Bruce Schneier, fellow and lecturer at the Harvard Kennedy School

“When the next pandemic strikes, we’ll be fighting it on two fronts. The first is … understanding the disease, researching a cure, and inoculating the population. The second is … fighting the deluge of rumors, misinformation, and flat-out lies that will appear on the internet. … When the next pandemic strikes, accurate information will be just as important as effective treatments. … It’s not just misinformation about which treatments work (and are safe), and which treatments don’t work (and are unsafe). Misinformation can affect society’s ability to deal with a pandemic at many different levels. … This is going to be something that government health organizations, medical professionals, social media companies, and the traditional media are going to have to work out together. … We need to solve the problem of misinformation during pandemics together — governments and industries in collaboration with medical officials, all across the world — before there’s a crisis. And the solutions will also help us shore up our democracy in the process” (6/17).