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Partnership between the Ministry of Health and NetLab UFRJ proposes to combat misinformation about Covid-19

Credits: Sayonara Moreno/ Agência Brasil

The Marco Zero Seminar, promoted by the Ministries of Health and Science, Technology and Innovations, in partnership with CNPq, invited members from all government funded special projects dedicated to research contributing to public management of the new coronavirus pandemic. The partnership between the ministries, implemented during the administration of the former Minister of Health, Luiz Mandetta, included research developed in a variety of fields.

Among the projects is a study from the Internet and Social Network Studies Laboratory at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (NetLab UFRJ), which was also presented at the seminar. In order to understand the different communication strategies used in times of health crises, the group proposes to carry out a scoping review based on more than two thousand academic articles.

A systematic analysis of Brazilian and international scientific papers showing evidence of the production, circulation and consumption of information and disinformation surrounding health crises, including different types of disasters that threaten collective health, was carried out.

The first observations of the study indicate that many of these articles reinforce the importance of the Government and civil society, especially health professionals, speaking as a unified front on how to combat crisis situations. In addition, researchers also observe recent trends, such as so-called 'fake-science'. This term has been used for supposedly scientific productions that, in reality, are various forms of falsified content.

A final report on each contemplated project will be delivered to the federal public authorities in the coming months, so that the results can contribute to the management of government communication on Covid-19. The dissemination of these studies to the general public will be done at the discretion of the government.


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