New MCN Resource: Misinformation and Disinformation Toolkit for Clinicians and Public Health Workers
Migrant Clinicians Network has created a new toolkit for clinicians and public health workers to respond to the negative and deadly impacts of mis- and disinformation, which has increased since the COVID-19 pandemic. The phenomenon of sharing incorrect information that impacts the opinions and actions of the public has intensified in today’s digital era, where information and opinions can be easily accessed and shared. Often in the form of anti-science, misinformation and disinformation span across countless topics, including climate justice. It is critical that clinicians and public health workers from all areas of health care understand what these forms of incorrect information are, and what the steps are that they can take to protect themselves, their fellow health care workers, and the public, from its negative impacts.
The toolkit starts off with introductory resources on misinformation (false or misleading information, regardless of the sender’s intent) and disinformation (false or misleading information that is intentionally spread). Among the many engaging and accessible resources are Perdue University’s Ted Talks, which cover what misinformation and disinformation are, the prevalence of inaccurate information online today, and how to protect information. Specifically designed for clinicians and public health workers, the toolkit also includes tools to assist these workers in training themselves to identify misinformation and disinformation, including how to spot un-scientific information and actively protect themselves from being persuaded by information from uncredible sources.
The toolkit recommends to users a range of activities they can engage in to address misinformation and disinformation and includes related tools to support them in their efforts. The activities include reporting misinformation, sharing handouts, and accessing and disseminating resources on mis- and disinformation in general as well as relating to COVID-19, other health topics, and climate. Other activities include hosting a presentation on the topic for fellow clinicians or their community, learning more about new strategies related to health communication, and reading and sharing a book list on the topic.
Included in the toolkit are some of MCN’s own resources, including the ‘Deconstructing Health Messages: Five Key Questions’ Prezi in English and Spanish, also formulated as a handout in English and Spanish. Also included is MCN’s new mis- and disinformation presentation resources in English and Spanish, which offer users a pre-made PowerPoint on the topic as well as speaker notes they can use to educate colleagues and their community.
Many of the toolkit resources are available in Spanish on the Spanish-language toolkit page. However, in the future, MCN hopes to expand the Spanish-language toolkit when funding becomes available.