The social media update the world needs right now – Nordic health company demands verification for healthcare professionals
Social media has long provided a platform for spreading misinformation and this spring has proved just how serious the problem can be. In the worst case scenario misinformation can be dangerous and lead to fatalities. In their open letter, Nordic health company Terveystalo is calling on social media giants to launch a special verified badge to elevate individuals with factual, unbiased and up-to-date information on Covid-19.
Social media has always been filled with misinformation on various matters. However this spring has proved that misinformation can lead to serious consequences as people turn to desperate measures. Beliefs that 5G is causing coronavirus has led people to set phone masts on fire1 and one person has reportedly died after fish tank cleaner as a coronavirus cure2.
This is why Nordic health company Terveystalo wrote an open letter to social media giants Facebook, Twitter, Google and Snapchat. The open letter calls for the launch of an icon to recognize and verify scientists, doctors and public health officials who are researching the virus and battling our common enemy with accurate information. The new icon would work in the same vein as verified badges given to celebrities and influencers, providing public health experts with a similarly elevated platform.
“As more and more people turn to social media as their primary source of information, we believe that it is important to ensure that the information found can be trusted. By encouraging platforms to adopt the Essential Influencers icon we want to do our part in helping the general public find the reliable sources among the clutter and unwarranted expression. Even though we are a Nordic company, we believe in acting on a global scale,” says Petri Bono, the Chief Medical Officer at Terveystalo.
The icon’s main purpose is to help the general public elevate trusted sources such as doctors, scientists and public health officials from the flood of misinformation. Rather than give a set of criteria Terveystalo wants to start a conversation on the subject with the social media channels and suggests seeking advice from the top universities and their faculties of medicine among others.
“As social media platforms have become increasingly popular it is crucial that these platforms take a more active stand in the fight against misinformation. Covid-19 will not be the last pandemic we will experience, thus striving for a trustworthy system around the public health officials will serve as a long-lasting service to all,” continues Bono.
The open letter was published on social media and targeted directly at Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Google.
Read the open letter at www.essentialinfluencers.
See the video here