What is it about?

In this commentary, we discuss the current situation of COVID-19 in Pakistan and health-related misinformation. Specifically, we discuss misinformation spread through social media (Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, and TikTok) in which religious leaders, politicians, and general social media users are promoted as experts, thus, further complicating health literacy crisis. We propose five recommendations to counter misinformation in Pakistan and to increase health and media literacy among the populace to improve overall public health education and change behavior.

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Why is it important?

In several WhatsApp videos, religious leaders are shown violating the physical distancing measures followed by scenes of police crackdown, and thereafter the same religious leaders are shown issuing an apology statement. Such videos may have unintended consequences such as contempt for religious people, public defaming of community elders, and sending the message that COVID-19 precautionary measures are enforced through threats and are not accepted by will.

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: COVID-19 and social-politics of medical misinformation on social media in Pakistan, Media Asia, September 2020, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1080/01296612.2020.1817264.
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