Practice 'good information hygiene', says health expert

Published August 25, 2021, 12:25 PM

by Jaleen Ramos

The public should also practice “good information hygiene” as false information now spreads faster than the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), a health expert appealed on Wednesday, Aug. 25.


“‘Yung virus ng COVID ay mas mabagal pa po ang takbo kaysa sa virus ng mis- and disinformation. Mas mabilis pa po kumalat ang maling impormasyon, ang tsismis, ang mga bagay-bagay kaysa sa mga katotohan (The COVID virus is even slower than the mis- and disinformation virus. False information, gossip, things spread faster than facts),” Dr. Nina Castillo-Carandang, member of the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group, said in an interview with DZMM Teleradyo.

She stressed that the number of misinformation surrounding COVID-19 is as dangerous as the virus itself.

Carandang highlighted four practices, called as “SIFT”, in fighting infodemic including: stop if you are feeling strong emotion, an urge to share, or surprise; investigate the source; find better or alternate coverage; and trace claims, quotes and media to the original context.

She added that filtering information is as important in fighting the deadly virus. “We need to practice good information hygiene,” she said.

The World Health Organization defined infodemic as “too much information including false or misleading information in digital and physical environments during a disease outbreak”.

It added that it can also “cause confusion and risk-taking behaviours that can harm health.”

Carandang, meanwhile, advised the public to be proactive on what they share online to have a positive impact on others.

As of Tuesday, Aug. 24, the country recorded 12,067 new COVID-19 cases. Of which, 14,565 have already recovered, while 303 have died.