Navigating the Credibility of Web-Based Information during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Using Mnemonics to Empower the Public to Spot Red Flags in Health Information on the Internet

Jessica Stokes-Parish*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Misinformation creates challenges for the general public in differentiating truth from fiction in web-based content. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this issue has been amplified due to high volumes of news and changing information. Evidence on misinformation largely focuses on understanding the psychology of misinformation and debunking strategies but neglects to explore critical thinking education for the general public. This viewpoint outlines the science of misinformation and the current resources available to the public. This paper describes the development and theoretical underpinnings of a mnemonic (Conflict of Interest, References, Author, Buzzwords, Scope of Practice [CRABS]) for identifying misinformation in web-based health content. Leveraging evidence-based educational strategies may be a promising approach for empowering the public with the confidence needed to differentiate truth from fiction in an infodemic.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere38269
JournalJournal of Medical Internet Research
Volume24
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022

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