How to talk to someone you believe is misinformed about the coronavirus

Read the full story at The Conversation.

The medical evidence is clear: The coronavirus global health threat is not an elaborate hoax. Bill Gates did not create the coronavirus to sell more vaccines. Essential oils are not effective at protecting you from coronavirus.

But those facts have not stopped contrary claims from spreading both on and offline.

No matter the topic, people often hear conflicting information and must decide which sources to trust. The internet and the fast-paced news environment mean that information travels quickly, leaving little time for fact-checking.

As a researcher interested in science communication and controversies, I study how scientific misinformation spreads and how to correct it.

I’ve been very busy lately. Whether we are talking about the coronavirus, climate change, vaccines or something else, misinformation abounds. Maybe you have shared something on Facebook that turned out to be false, or retweeted something before double-checking the sourceThis can happen to anyone.

It’s also common to encounter people who are misinformed but don’t know it yet. It’s one thing to double-check your own information, but what’s the best way to talk to someone else about what they think is true – but which is not true?

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