Scientists are growing concerned about the growth of misinformation on the Internet.  Report:

Scientists are growing concerned about the growth of misinformation on the Internet. Report:

Scientists are growing concerned about the growth of misinformation on the Internet. Report:

Scientists are growing concerned about the growth of misinformation on the Internet.  Report:

This June 16, 2017 photo shows social media app icons on a smartphone held by an Associated Press reporter in San Francisco. Google it yourself. Select your online photos. And how does a private high school advise its students? Don’t post anything online that you wouldn’t want your grandma to see. The AP spoke with experts about the role of social media in the college admissions process. They gave students tips on what to post and not to post if you’re trying to get into college. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

A new report shows that scientists and researchers have growing concerns about the rise of misinformation during the pandemic and their growing role in combating false information on social media.

“Over the past two years, we’ve all witnessed public debates about the latest research on COVID-19 and who and what to trust and believe,” said Ann Gabriel, US Trust for Research and senior vice president of global strategic networks. In a statement from Elsevier.

What was very apparent in our study with Economist Impact was that, in addition to their regular research activities, researchers are now also increasingly working to combat false and misleading information and abuse online, and they support want to do it,” he said.

Elsevier’s global report, first reported on Yahoo Finance, was conducted from December 2021 to August 2022 and involved more than 3,100 researchers, including 290 in the United States.

It found that 79% of US researchers believe the pandemic has increased the importance of science, while 51% believe the pandemic has demonstrated the need to make scientific information more quickly available, such as the clinical trials of vaccines. in trials not in peer-reviewed studies. .

That’s why top scientific journals like The Lancet are starting to have reviews of preprints, adding another layer of quality control to data that’s coming out fast, according to Anne Kitson, SVP and managing director of publishing.

But more context needs to follow the preprints in order to have a more informed debate in the public square.

“Even though the public was thirsty and hungry for science, that didn’t necessarily indicate understanding,” Kitson said of knowledge about the epidemic.

“So what we learned from that was that research needed to think more carefully about how they communicate their research in context,” he said.

According to Elsevier spokesman Ezra Erkal, the report intensified the debate that had been taking place before the pandemic about scientists’ role in combating misinformation and their use of social media.

About 27% of US researchers believe it is their role to publicly counter disinformation, while only 13% feel confident about their research. And even if they are confident, the vitriol on social media platforms is another barrier to properly communicating science.

44 percent of respondents said they or someone they know has experienced some type of abuse or abusive interaction online.

Kitson said that as the pandemic unfolded in real time, the debate became very heated, but that sense of urgency has now subsided a bit.

“I think it was just the crisis of the moment that caused the intensity of that communication, but it’s also true that there was so much at stake in terms of reputation,” he said.

A geopolitical layer was added to it. According to the report, American researchers were more likely to report a hostile online environment compared to their counterparts in the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Japan and China.

That’s why The Lancet and other organizations and academic institutions now need to think more proactively about their approach to social media, Kitson said.

Especially since researchers are used to a slower communication process and like to stick to facts and data rather than extrapolate and engage in more general discussions in public.

Researchers are ‚Äúvery confident in communicating their research. I think where they’re concerned is the amount of talk on social media,” Kitson said.

“We can certainly give them a lot more training than we did.”

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