There has been an array of fake and false claims in the media about the severity and duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. This has led to very different responses by people throughout the country to government-based COVID-19 policies and recommendations (e.g., mask requirements, lockdown, social distancing, vaccinations).
In one of the first studies to look at the impact of fake news on people's behaviors in 2021, researchers at the University College Dublin found that reading a fabricated news story (e.g., "certain foods will protect you against COVID-19" or "vaccines are not safe") just once could produce a small, but measurable change in how people intended to act toward the virus. Left unexamined by this study was the potential impact of repeated exposure to pandemic-related misinformation on people's thinking and acting.
Have you been able to distinguish fake news about COVID-19 from the truthful and reliable information and guidance? How do you think other students and community members did with evaluating news about COVID-19? The following activities are designed to explore these questions.
It is the year 2021 and you have just been elected to serve as President Biden's marketing director. Biden has been struggling to increase the overall vaccination rates for the country and he has asked you to use your research and marketing skills to educate individuals who do not believe in or understand the risks of the COVID-19 virus.
Counter False News About COVID-19 by Cailee Burke, Lucia Beurer, Kaitlyn Goyetch, and Lizzy Usher
Podcast by Kaitlyn Goyetch
Evaluate Twitter Posts About COVID-19 in Regards to Civic, Political, and Private Life by Cailee Burke, Lucia Beurer, Kaitlyn Goyetch, and Lizzy Usher
Building Democracy for All: People's Lives and Government Responses to COVID-19