Contributed by Dr. Anatoliy Gruzd
Anatoliy is the Director of Research of the Social Media Lab at Ryerson University.
“In the face of an unprecedented global and national health emergency, today we are announcing the launch of a new COVID-19 web portal for Canadians. Visit the portal at: covid19misinfo.org.
The web portal is a rapid response project of the Ryerson Social Media Lab at Ted Rogers School of Management. The aim of this project is two-fold: (1) put a spotlight on COVID-19 related misinformation and (2) to provide Canadians with timely and actionable information that we all can use to protect ourselves and our communities.
Our team of computational social scientists, communications professionals and developers are hard at work curating trusted sources about COVID-19 and developing real-time information visualization dashboards to keep track of false claims related to the spread of the virus from around the web.
The web portal features a wide range of resources that might be helpful to you and your family right now and in the weeks to come. You can use it to:
- Browse a Misinformation Dashboard featuring debunked coronavirus claims by professional fact checkers from around the world.
- Browse a Facebook/Instagram Trending Dashboard featuring COVID-19 related posts sorted by relevant keywords and public accounts in Canada. This includes content from local media organizations, regional World Health Organization Pages, government agencies, local politicians, and more.
- Browse a Twitter Trending Dashboard featuring trusted COVID-19 voices and stats about Twitter accounts exhibiting bot-like behavior.
- Track the epidemiological curve of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada. This interactive stacked bar chart will allow you to follow the rate of infection in Canada and the effectiveness of social/physical distancing on the curve over time (if any).
- Access a Curated Directory of Provincial-Level Resources. The directory contains official COVID-19 web pages and trusted social media accounts in Canada province-by-province.
The web portal is part of a new two-year research initiative funded by the Government of Canada. The initiative, Inoculating Against an Infodemic: Microlearning Interventions to Address CoV Misinformation, is a collaboration between researchers at Ryerson University and Royal Roads University.”
FOR THINKING AND DISCUSSION
To get a feeling for the seriousness of this problem worldwide, see recent articles from The New York Times on virus misinformation and the emerging role of China and Russia. How can you contribute to fighting the spread of misinformation about COVID-19?