COVID-19: Stopping the Spread of Misinformation
As a family business we share and understand your concerns in the current situation. Our primary hope is that everyone stays healthy and well.
We are hugely grateful for those individuals on the frontline – united in healing, comforting and providing support to stop the spread of the virus. From health workers working 24/7, support personnel, civil servants, volunteers, public transport, teachers and parents continuing to educate in every way possible, humanitarians, drivers and pilots transporting personnel, materials and goods, communications and media, the list goes on and on.
But stopping the virus from spreading is everyone’s responsibility. We all can and must play our part.
Knowledge is the best tool
It is our core belief that education and knowledge are the best measures against many of the current threats to the world – and this occasion is no different. To ensure the correct information reaches the public, it is as important to stop the misinformation.
At a time where informing people of what they need to know and what they need to do is so critical, fake messages about COVID-19 are circulating on social media. These photos, videos posters and audio are published and shared through email, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media channels.
They are unhelpful and destressing. In some cases, they can have more serious or even fatal consequences. Just to provide a few examples:
- Phishing emails claiming to be from World Health Organisation requesting donations
- Fake remedies lead to deaths in Iran
- False audio notes about Ireland going into a full lockdown circulated last week
Stop and challenge
People want to be informed and stay ahead of what they need to do to keep themselves and their family and friends safe and well. Assessing if information is true or not is essential to stopping the spread of misinformation. This can be done easily and quickly – and can make all the difference.
- Origin: Where did the information originate? Do you recognise the sender? Or is it coming from a friend of a friend? Many fake messages claim to be from an authority (high ranking medical authorities, government officials, etc without providing specific details)
- Source: Is there a named source? If a source is mentioned, verify the information against the original source (media, WHO, HSE, government department)
- Content: Is the information vague and lacking detail? Does it convey a sense of urgency, or does it spark a sense fear and/or panic? Many of these messages insist on the importance to share the information with as many people as possible. Some messages will include some accurate information but taken out of context.
- Check: Medical claims should be verified against WHO or HSE before being shared. Many organisations and media have published a fact check section online to help debunk false claims about COVID-19
Who can you trust?
In order to keep our loved ones, and each other safe, it is a time to be responsible and follow advice from primary reputable sources. These include official websites from government and health officials in your country and the World Health Organization.
What we are doing at Cycubix
The health of our people, our clients and their families is our priority. We fully understand that in these circumstances, students are unable travelling to attend a group training. We have postponed all scheduled onsite courses and are offering our training sessions via video conference using WebEx. We have managed training online on many occasions very effectively. If you are interested in this option, please let us know and we will follow up with you directly to discuss it in more detail.
Let’s follow the advice from reputable sources; wash your hands often, and let’s stand together, by staying apart…
Wishing you and your families good health and wellbeing.