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Battling the new virus, One TikTok Challenge at a Time

Infected With Misinformation

Social media remains ‘infected’ with false information, conspiracy theories, miracle cures and unverified rumours about the virus. The World Health Organization(WHO) has initiated a collaboration with the big tech giants like Facebook, Twitter and Google to check on the spread of misinformation. It has also worked with Chinese companies like Tencent and Weibo for weeding out misinformation.

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Battling the new virus, One TikTok Challenge at a Time

Battling the new virus, One TikTok Challenge at a Time

https://thediplomat.com/2020/03/battling-covid-19-one-tiktok-challenge-at-a-time/

thediplomat.com

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Key Ideas

Youngsters Flock To TikTok

Gen Z, youngsters born between 1997 to 2012, have a favourite social media app to connect with one another: TikTok. The usage has now skyrocketed due to schools being shut down and social distancing being implemented throughout the world, with virtual parties, reactions, and commentaries in this lockdown period.

Infodemic

The spread of misinformation on social media, which is leading to confusion, fear and violent incidents across the globe is the new information pandemic(infodemic) due to social media platforms like TikTok, among others.

Social media companies are already aware of the dangers of misinformation from the 2016 U.S. Elections and are under the radar for their actions to fight this menace.

Infected With Misinformation

Social media remains ‘infected’ with false information, conspiracy theories, miracle cures and unverified rumours about the virus. The World Health Organization(WHO) has initiated a collaboration with the big tech giants like Facebook, Twitter and Google to check on the spread of misinformation. It has also worked with Chinese companies like Tencent and Weibo for weeding out misinformation.

WHO on TikTok

To engage with and reach out to Gen Z, WHO has made use of TikTok. The first of the informative TikTok videos have garnered 60 million views. The popularity of a video increases the likelihood of it getting recommended through TikTok’s AI algorithms, exposing it to millions more who aren’t searching for it.


Apart from these educational efforts, it is crucial to clamp down on misleading and dangerous user content.

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5G and Pandemics

5G and Pandemics

A bizarre conspiracy linking 5G and the new virus has taken hold in the UK.

The theory holds that the rollout of faster 5G internet is either causing or accelerating the spread of the v...

5G

5G is the next generation of mobile broadband and offers faster speeds than 4G and 3G.

Conspiracy theories revolve around the supposed harm of 5G radio waves. The basic idea is that 5G is more powerful than 4G or 3G, and therefore more dangerous to humans and animals.

No evidence

There is no evidence that 5G or any other kind of radio waves are harmful to people.

  • Your phone relies on radio waves. These waves are on the low end of the electromagnetic spectrum and produce non-ionizing radiation. This means they do not damage the DNA in cell tissue, nor do they cause cancer.
  • The International radiation watchdog has developed new guidelines for 5G after a thorough review of all relevant scientific literature, scientific workshops, and public consultation. They provide protection against all scientifically substantiated adverse health effects due to exposure in the 100kHz to 300 GHz range.

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Limited knowledge

We are all currently going through a challenging period: while fighting the pandemic, we are also trying to stay positive and read only useful articles on the topic.

However, we should ...

The origin of real vs. fake information

When reading an article, you might want to consider checking its source. It is very often that journalists reinterpret the original findings according to their own point of view.

Then, another aspect worthy of your attention is the fact that truth will most probably appear in multiple articles, while fake news is bound to be found on only one or two websites, messages and the kind.

Checking the source of your news

Being positive that you can trust articles on topics as important as the current pandemic is of great relief.

This is why you should try reading reports that include comments from the study authors as well as articles that do not intend to present data in a certain manner, in order to manipulate the public.

Pandemic Anxiety

Excessive anxiety around this global pandemic is becoming a mental health epidemic across the world.

While a certain amount of stress is useful, it needs to be channelled to help us act in t...

Times of Uncertainty

Humans subconsciously look for self-protective assumptions when faced with uncertain situations, and different personalities have a different level of ‘optimism bias’. This bias, however, has the opposite effect when faced with a life-threatening, invisible enemy.

Those who have faced adverse situations can turn to panic buying and hoarding, with some feeling empathy towards others as well.

Talking To Children

Children think of the world as a safe, good place, as they are shielded from the worst aspects. With this new virus, we need to help them adjust, telling them to stay home as there is a strange bug outside that makes elders sick and can be spread easily to them. They also need reassurance and age-appropriate answers to help them comprehend the situation.
Example: You can tell them that kids seem to not get very sick from this, but it affects older people more

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