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Do you think social media sites are helping or hindering the flow of accurate information concerning the coronavirus?

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A mix of helping and hindering, depending on the site. The Lancet and New England Journal of Medicine among other 'traditional, mainstream' journals help the flow of accurate information via social media, but so do Qanon and myriad other fringe organizations pushing wack data.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

I've read so much nonsense, misinformation and conspiracies. Millions believe this stuff.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

but so do Qanon and myriad other fringe organizations pushing wack data.

Correction: should read 'Qanon and other wack sites 'hinder' the flow of accurate information' and as @zichi said spread nonsense, misinformation and conspiracies.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

I worry about people who use social media for reliable information to begin with. Official gov't and news sites exist for a reason.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Helping and hindering, depends which social media site you're talking about. There's a lot of rubbish out there from both "sides" of the debate, from the harsh lock-downers to the "5G causes corona" or "the virus doesn't exist" crowd. The problem comes where social media operators act as the arbiters of truth and ban or "fact check" the opinions of people whose facts and informed opinions don't fit their preferred narrative.

kyushubillToday  08:28 am JST

Official gov't and news sites exist for a reason.

Precisely what do you mean by that? Just asking for clarification.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

All sources of information should be viewed with skepticism, but we should be allowed to view them and make up our own minds.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

The problem comes where social media operators act as the arbiters of truth and ban or "fact check" the opinions of people whose facts and informed opinions don't fit their preferred narrative.

That is not what act as an arbiter means, a private company has every right to eliminate false information from their platforms as long as it follows a valid and objective criteria, if the media eliminates information contrary to what the best available science indicate there is nothing wrong with that.

Informed opinions do not substitute scientific facts, so if the opinion is demonstrably wrong there is no value lost in not including it in whatever service you want it to do it.

All sources of information should be viewed with skepticism, but we should be allowed to view them and make up our own minds.

That same skepticism is the reason why if any platform do not want to include false information it can choose not to do it, there will always be places where you can see obvious lies. There is no inherent right to force it upon any specific place when it is easy to prove the information as false.

If you really want to see your favorite source of information everywhere you should campaign for that source to be trustworthy and not include false information. If on the other hand your interest is precisely on that information that can be proved false then you will have to get used to the places where false information can be informed.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

@kyronstavic

I clarify, the gov't has a health ministry website you can access the latest C-virus news. There is no need to use social media for C-virus news. Just one example.

I enjoy Joe Rogan, The Young Turks, and Mark Levin podcasts but to see how the middle, left, and right think on current issues. I would see none of them for reliable news though.

For news I come to BBC, NHK, Mainichi, Fox News, CNN, Skynews Australia, and MSNBC. I find a wide range of political slant gives the real story when shifting through the editorializing in "news".

For entertainment I go to Japan Rule of 7, JT, Babylon Bee, and my favorite Youtube channels like ADV China, That Man Yuta, Jesse Lee Peterson, Sidekick, and others.

I have no use for social media for information.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Ingest as many media sites, televisin, radio and print as possible, spit out the likes of Breitbart/Infowars, be wary of Fox/OAN/Sinclair stations, check out New Statesman, New Internationalist, Morning Star, An Phoblacht. The liberal sites/stations/papers like BBC, The Guardian/Observer, Irish Times are worth a look if you are happy with centerist views. That's a bit of stuff to be getting on with...

But when it comes to social media chatter; you'd get more information from drunken scrawl on the jacks' wall.

Other opinions are available.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

kyushubillToday  11:21 am JST

@kyronstavic

I clarify, the gov't has a health ministry website you can access the latest C-virus news. There is no need to use social media for C-virus news. Just one example.

I enjoy Joe Rogan, The Young Turks, and Mark Levin podcasts but to see how the middle, left, and right think on current issues. I would see none of them for reliable news though.

For news I come to BBC, NHK, Mainichi, Fox News, CNN, Skynews Australia, and MSNBC. I find a wide range of political slant gives the real story when shifting through the editorializing in "news".

For entertainment I go to Japan Rule of 7, JT, Babylon Bee, and my favorite Youtube channels like ADV China, That Man Yuta, Jesse Lee Peterson, Sidekick, and others.

I have no use for social media for information.

That sounds like a good mix, and covers a lot of what I check as well.

I find that government websites can be useful for statistics, but there's still a need to read between the lines when it comes to messaging because governments are just as prone as any other organisation to pushing a message that best serves their own interests.

The beauty and the curse of social media is that it allows people to share info peer to peer, but ultimately its up to the individual to determine what's valid and what's not, based on reason and evidence. And nobody has a monopoly on the truth, so it's very dangerous for social media platforms to be the arbiters of it.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Ingest as many media sites, televisin, radio and print as possible, spit out the likes of Breitbart/Infowars, be wary of Fox/OAN/Sinclair stations, check out New Statesman, New Internationalist, Morning Star, An Phoblacht. The liberal sites/stations/papers like BBC, The Guardian/Observer, Irish Times are worth a look if you are happy with centerist views. That's a bit of stuff to be getting on with...

What conservative outlets would you recommend for balance?

I’ve always worked on the principle of reading more against my opinions that for them.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Official government sources or professional associations are not always the best place to go. If I limited myself to official government sites for info, I probably would still be following the food pyramid and not feeling as good as I do now. I learned so much about health and fitness from social media, but I also came across so much nonsense. In the past, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics had "received funding from companies like McDonald's, PepsiCo, The Coca-Cola Company, Sara Lee, Abbott Nutrition, General Mills, Kellogg's, Mars, McNeil Nutritionals, SOYJOY, Truvia, Unilever, and The Sugar Association". So they might not have your best interests in mind.

Big Pharma is also throwing lots of money at the MSM, researchers, and elsewhere, with national decision makers or advisors often having very serious conflicts of interests. And let's not forget Lancet Gate, where a bunch of nobodies fabricated obviously outrageous data to convince people that hydroxychloroquine was dangerous and ineffective. How could such trash have been accepted by the highly respected Lancet and why did all MSM jump on this paper nonstop until it was retracted a couple of weeks later. But they never talk about the countless other studies that have demonstrated that HCQ is effective and very safe when given early: https://c19study.com/

Not only are these studies not talk about on the MSM, that info is regularly censored from social media. So social media sites can help the flow of accurate information on anything, including the coronavirus, if the information is made freely available without the agenda-driven censorship.

If it wasn't for social media, I would still think that HCQ was toxic and ineffective, and would not know that Didier Raoult (a top expert on infectious diseases) was successfully treating thousands of Covid19

patients with HCQ.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Lancet Gate, where a bunch of nobodies fabricated obviously outrageous data to convince people that hydroxychloroquine was dangerous and ineffective. How could such trash have been accepted by the highly respected Lancet and why did all MSM jump on this paper nonstop until it was retracted a couple of weeks later. But they never talk about the countless other studies that have demonstrated that HCQ is effective and very safe when given early: https://c19study.com/

First you put an example of how the constant self correcting properties of science worked as they should, finding out inconsistencies product of bad actors and correcting the literature, but then you go completely against it with a pseudo-analysis that has completely been destroyed for invalid methods, comparing as equal studies that have huge differences in scientific value. That is why social media should not be a source, they have apparently fooled you into thinking a false study with wrong conclusions is valuable, when it is only worth it as an example of what not to do and why biostatistics is so important, you can read more about it on https://www.self.com/story/hydroxychloroquine-myth-coronavirus

It is perfectly valid to disregard the results that you present, they are false and product of deep ineptitude from the part of the people that tried to do the "analysis" (or bad ethics and the desire to mislead people with invalid methods to push their agenda)

If it wasn't for social media you could have made the correct conclusion about HCQ, but thanks to the absolute lack of validation of the information presented there you continue with a wrong idea, as proved by the data presented by every association of medical professionals on the world, probably you don't even know that the principal proponent of HCQ as treatment (Didier Raoult) has been found to do unethical research in order to push his theory, polluting on purpose the scientific literature in the same way as the example on The Lancet you talked about. This information is widely available in scientific sources of information, but completely absent in the information that HCQ proponents disseminate in social media.

So you have proved exactly why you should not trust information on social media, they informed you of something false and hid very pertinent information.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Forums can hinder the flow of accurate information concerning the coronavirus.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Its a mixed bag, but mostly positive. Those that want to read BS will find and read it. Its not that conspiracy theories and BS was born with social media or even the internet. They predate it. But they have become more mainstream as a result of the net. Its about having a brain and knowing how to discern crap from real news.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

What conservative outlets would you recommend for balance?

I’ve always worked on the principle of reading more against my opinions that for them.

The Telegraph, The Times, The Irish Independent, Andrew Neill, Laura Kuenssberg, The Spectator, The Economist, Financial Times.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

What conservative outlets would you recommend for balance?

I’ve always worked on the principle of reading more against my opinions that for them.

The Telegraph, The Times, The Irish Independent, Andrew Neill, Laura Kuenssberg, The Spectator, The Economist, Financial Times.

I’d agree apart from the Telegraph which I think has gone right down the toilet. To be honest, I don’t know the Irish Independent.

Andrew Neill is one of the best out there.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Do you think social media sites are helping or hindering the flow of accurate information concerning the coronavirus?

The words “social media sites” and “accurate information” don’t belong in the same sentence

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

@FizzBit

What sites do you recommend?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

What sites do you recommend?

for you?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Ingest as many media sites, televisin, radio and print as possible, spit out the likes of Breitbart/Infowars, be wary of Fox/OAN/Sinclair stations,

I disagree, since the US media is over 80% liberal that goes for print as well as cable and local network stations, they all have a one-sided and same politically driven agenda and conservatives cannot depend on a news source that puts politics above all else, now to be fair, the right does this to an extent as well. But working and seeing how this business has evolved through the years, when I was a kid, there was nothing for conservatives except for Sunday on CNN or every now and then something on Meet the Press or 60 minutes and that was it.

With Breitbart, FNC, OAN, Newsmax, Sinclair or my favorite Stratfor, I find it to be the absolute best source for regional and geopolitical intel and there are now more voices that cater and bring news to the other half of the population bringing another viewpoint to topics and lifestyles that fit with conservatives. Liberals may disagree and that’s ok, but we millions of people now have more choices and more pundits, more information to look at, there’s a lot of great print work as well or even talk radio

check out New Statesman, New Internationalist, Morning Star, An Phoblacht. The liberal sites/stations/papers like BBC, The Guardian/Observer, Irish Times are worth a look if you are happy with centerist views.

And that’s great for people that prefer those news outlets especially if they want to hear more on international news if that’s their thing.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

If it wasn't for social media, I would still think that HCQ was toxic and ineffective, and would not know that Didier Raoult (a top expert on infectious diseases) was successfully treating thousands of Covid19 patients with HCQ.

Raoult is a charlatan, and an antivaccine charlatan at that. The science of infectious disease continues without him.

And HCQ treatment was a bust. That's done now.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

What sites do you recommend?

for you?

Just in general.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@bass

What liberal outlets do you read for balance?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

What liberal outlets do you read for balance?

Every now and then, The Atlantic.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What liberal outlets do you read for balance?

Every now and then, The Atlantic.

Only one outlet now and again?

Sounds a bit limited, partisan and closed-minded.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Only one outlet now and again?

To be fair, he also watches Fox News and Tucker Carlson, both of which the right-wing cancel-culture have now deemed "far-right socialists".

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I don't use social media, but I get the impression it's little different from listening to my neighbors. If Jamie up the road says there are aliens camping in the forest, I'm inclined to disbelieve him. If Sally down the road says, "I've heard that eating dandelions can help your eyesight. Do you know anything about that?" then I'm inclined to listen. She's looking for information, not declaring "the truth".

The idea of "accurate information" is a little strange. How did we get it before social media? Is it not a case of asking questions (generally to yourself) and trying to find information that helps answer them? 

I'm not comfortable with the idea of "scientific facts" either. Science is based on theories and evidence, and a foundation of ignorance. So, for example, if trying to find out the seriousness of covid compared to the flu, what questions should I ask? Is how many people test positive a good question compared to how many higher-than-average deaths there are over a certain period? And for both questions, what might I be missing in the answers?

Sorry for rambling. In summary, use social media to chat with people. Ask good questions to find good answers.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Hindering.

So much misinformation is literally pouring out, all of which is then reposted to other websites.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Only one outlet now and again?

The least liberal bias so far and it was hard, but to get into the mind process of the liberal, this would be the better one.

Sounds a bit limited, partisan and closed-minded

No, not at all.

To be fair, he also watches Fox News and Tucker Carlson,

Tucker definitely.

both of which the right-wing cancel-culture have now deemed "far-right socialists"

Yes, we support canceling the suppression of free speech snd blocking conservatives.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Raoult is a charlatan, and an antivaccine charlatan at that. The science of infectious disease continues without him.

Actually, Didier Raoult is not antivaccine, but he does believe that countries should reconsider their vaccination policies (some vaccines should be removed from the list, some added).

He has a great success rate when it comes to treating covid patients.

And HCQ treatment was a bust. That's done now.

Not if you follow the science. Essentially all studies that gave HCQ early have demonstrated it to be beneficial:

https://c19study.com/

If it wasn't for social media, we would not know about this because the MSM is not doing its job.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Actually, Didier Raoult is not antivaccine, but he does believe that countries should reconsider their vaccination policies (some vaccines should be removed from the list, some added).

He has a great success rate when it comes to treating covid patients.

What makes him an irrational supporter of antivaccination is that he has no data to base his recommendations, most doctors in the world have a great success rate when treating covid patients, but it goes better when useless drugs are not being pushed using unethical research practices to deceive them.

On the other hand most doctors and scientists never have to face an official inquiry for grave accusations of scientific malpractice ad Raoult is doing right now, there is evidence that the invalid results from his latest studies is not just simple incompetence but an active desire to manipulate others to believe mistaken things.

Not if you follow the science. Essentially all studies that gave HCQ early have demonstrated it to be beneficial:

https://c19study.com/

This is false, the only studies that have an apparent benefit are those where patients at higher risk of complication and death were systematically selected into the non-treatment group. If this very important detail is corrected the supposed benefit of HCQ completely dissapears.

The badly made congregation of studies you keep linking on is a failed attempt to misrepresent the science and has been wildly debunked as invalid and misleading by real scientist.

https://www.self.com/story/hydroxychloroquine-myth-coronavirus

If it wasn't for social media, we would not know about this because the MSM is not doing its job.

That is precisely the problem, social media promotes lies and deceiving content like the one you referenced, but real sources at least make an effort to validate the information and that is why such obviously manipulated attempts can be readily identified and brought to light.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Until people can distinguish between veracity and virality, social media has limited utility.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Raw Beer

Not if you follow the science

Following the science is exactly what discredit's Raoult's work, and Raoult himself. Science is merciless in that regard, and it's designed to be. People like Raoult get chewed up and spat out because their work doesn't stand up to scrutiny. It functions best before people get a proper chance to look at it, to reproduce its results, or to scale them up. It's the grey area between questionable ethics and outright fraud, and it's where relentless self-promoters are at their most comfortable, for obvious reasons.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Well...the truth is that there still isn’t accurate information available. Everyone has just only begun to collect some first information snippets about that virus. It’s therefore still fuzzy, today’s truth often is a lie already tomorrow and today’s lies often turn out to be true tomorrow as well.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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