The covid 19 pandemic came as a shock to the whole world. The impact of the covid19 is experienced round the globe. The corona virus disease can originated from Wuhan in china and since it has moved from one country to the other. The messages from social networking sites like facebook and twitter is frightening. There level of covid19 message hoax has increased overtime. I have read lots of research project materials concerning message hoax and found out that it can be very dangerous and misleading.
Message Hoax And Misinformation
Accuracy of information is paramount in our society (Zubiaga & Ji, 2014). The rise of social media has not been without critics. Some have pointed to the unreliability of information in social networks and complain that the quality of the information is being undermined by a growing “cult of the amateur, and that rumours and falsehoods can be instantly spread around the world (Keen, 2007). There are four key elements required in order for a hoaxes story to be successful (Hazard Owen, 2017). These are emotional appeal, a seemingly air of authority, effective insertion to the online world, and an amplification network such as Facebook.
Hoaxes on social media became extremely prominent and spoken about in light of the 2016 US Presidential election. The spread of misinformation is especially important in the context of breaking news, where new pieces of information are released piecemeal, often starting off as unverified information in the form of a rumour. These rumours then spread to large numbers of users, where they influence one’s perception, and one’s understanding of events, despite being unverified (Zubiaga et al., 2016).
Content form, or content mill is a company that employs a staff of freelance writers to create content designed to satisfy search engine retrieval algorithms with the goal of attracting views and advertising revenue (Valenza, 2016). Teens gravitate toward hoaxes and opinionated current events shows far more than official news. They do so not because they are disinterested in news, but because these kinds of sites often offer more substantive, and sometimes even more exciting discussions of the news and its implications (Marchi, 2012).
Hoaxes stories are becoming more and more successful nowadays because they appeal to readers’ emotions. Also, at first glance, they often do not seem to be completely fictitious- they, most times, have an air of legitimacy. This can often be as a result of the herding phenomenon, which is a phenomenon that occurs as more journalists begin to cover a story, even more journalists are likely to join the herd, imitating the angle the story initially took rather than developing alternate or original approaches or angles (Valenza, 2016).
Whatsapp and facebook is an example of a social media site where in information and misinformation comes hand in hand, and it can sometimes be extremely difficult to distinguish between both. Information shared on Whatsapp and facebook can be easily verifiable in some cases, e.g., when following soccer game and someone reports a goal scored by one of the teams. In this case, a user may resort to other sources or check whether others are reporting the same about the event, in order to ensure that the information is correct.
However, there are other kinds of information that are much more difficult to verify, for example, when someone shares a picture allegedly taken in their neighbourhood during a natural disaster. In this case, unless the user is in that place at that moment, or have some other evidence to certify that the picture is real, judgement calls will have to be made on the user’s part, by putting together all the information and background knowledge that is available to them at that time (Zubiaga & Ji, 2014).
Covid 19 Message Hoax
There is lots of misinformation the corona virus pandemic; there are lots of scammers using the covid19 pandemic as means of scamming people. There are lots of people that have lost their personal information during this period of covid19.
Another effect of this message hoax is on the increase of information overload. The growth rate of information overload has cause of emotional trauma among people especially the female gender.
Information overload according to Wikipedia could be defined as the difficulty in understanding an issue and effectively making decisions when one has too much information about that issue. Generally, the term is associated with the excessive quantity of daily information.
How To Avoid Information Overload
Information overload can be very danger but the good news is that they can be avoided. Below are some of the proven ways to avoid information overload during these period of covid19.
Look For Credible Source Of Information And Stick To Those
These days information from social networking sites like facebook, twitter and instagram is no longer 100percent efficient; bloggers with aim to drive traffic to their websites tend to utilize the opportunity presented by the covid19 pandemic to post false information on covid19. There few platforms to get credible information on covid 19. One of the credible information platforms is the CNN news and other government owned news platforms.
Seek The Help Of A Counselor
The way people take information varies from one person to another; some people out fear committed suicide during these period because they could digest the information they hear from some social networking sites. Whenever you feel overwhelmed by the information you receive from social media on covid19 do not hesitate to seek the services of a counselor.
Just as the saying “this too shall pass”; always believe that the covid19 pandemic will one day pass away. You need to be brave during this period. All you need to do is to follow the safety guidelines from the health authorities and remain calm until the pandemic is controlled.
In conclusion the level of message hoax on covid19 pandemic has increased overtime. The credible source of information during this period is those from government owned platforms and the likes cnn, and bbc.