How can we fight fake news in our communities? And how can we convince people of the truth about COVID-19 and the vaccine? In a recent webinar our Communications Coordinator JAKE LLOYD explored these questions and shared case studies from around the world. Here's 10 things we learned…
Fake news spreads quickly. Technology means it is easy to make and can spread around the world quicker than any virus.
It is not always easy to spot. Here are seven tips to help you spot it. And if in doubt, ask an expert.
Our members are well placed to fight fake news locally. Many of us are respected locally. We have a good basic knowledge of the virus. And we a love for our neighbours motivates us when times are hard.
We all have a responsibility to challenge fake news. The Christian thinker Catherine of Siena said: “Preach the Truth as if you had a million voices. It is silence that kills the world.” When you hear someone share something which you think might be fake, ask them where they heard it and remind them of the consequences of sharing fake news. But be patient and show them empathy.
People who believe fake news might not listen to experts unless they already have a good relationship with them. We heard case studies of a community only trusting a medical expert after the expert had spent a long time serving in the community. Building trust is crucial.
Ask who are the voices in your community that people are most likely to listen to? We heard a case study from Sierra Leone where there was an outbreak of Ebola in 2014. The turning point in the fight against this virus was when NGOs realised that religious leaders could share health messages in their sermons, and that this would help people change their behaviour and stop the spread of the virus. Click here to listen to the full story.
We must show empathy to people who believe fake news. They may be fearful, isolated or vulnerable. It is important that we try to understand their feelings and show them love.
If you want to create change in your community, then get young people involved. We heard a case study from Bihar in India, where children who were equipped with knowledge of Coronavirus through their youth clubs, played a crucial role in sharing health messages and challenging fake news.
It is important that we are well informed about the virus. Our global health expert Ted Lankester shares some tips in this blog. Or you can take part in a course which is organised by a member of our network in India. Download the flyer at the bottom of this page.
The better the relationships we have in the places we live, the stronger we are in the fight against fake news. We learned how important it is to build relationships locally, and to try to stop people becoming isolated. If you’d like to think more about how you can do this, then here is an inspiring story of what can happen if we simply focus on building local relationships.
Got a story or question to share about fighting fake news? Email team [at] arukahnetwork [dot] org.