STOP MISINFORMATION ///
Fear and uncertainty about COVID-19 and the steps being taken to overcome the pandemic is leading to rampant spread of misinformation and false reporting about the disease, it’s treatment methods, and policy decisions via social media, in turn again leading to panic and misguided actions.
How we communicate about COVID-19 is critical in supporting people to take effective steps to combat the disease and to avoid fuelling fear and stigma. We recommend the following 2 topics to create content that will stop the spread of misinformation and help create an environment in which the disease and its impact can be discussed and addressed openly, honestly, and effectively:
- Keep up-to-date with latest information on COVID-19 from trusted sources
- Take informed steps to stop the spread of misinformation
Make sure your creative has a strong emotional and evocative connect with your selected Target Group. As the spread of misinformation has devastating effects beyond the COVID-19 crisis, it is important to address the larger behaviour of being critical when consuming and sharing content. For Instance: Refer to this short video by BBC Media Action (video link) on thinking for 10 seconds before sharing a social media message with others.
Portraying people in their most vulnerable moments, where they are putting themselves, their family, their community, their nation at risk, will make the most impact as these moments will strike a chord with your audience’s emotions.
TOPIC 1: KEEP UP-TO-DATE WITH LATEST INFORMATION FROM TRUSTED SOURCES
1. KEY BEHAVIOUR - MUST HAVE INFORMATION IN YOUR CREATIVE
- By calling India’s COVID-19 toll-free number- 1075,
- Government of India’s website: MyGov.in (https://www.mygov.in/covid-19/)
- WHO’s website https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
2. GOOD TO HAVE INFORMATION IN YOUR CREATIVE
For factual information on COVID-19 on WhatsApp, refer to Government of India Whatsapp Chatbot: MyGovCoronaHelpdesk (+91 9013151515) and WHO Health Alerts (Send "hi" to +41 79 893 18 92 or "नमस्ते" to +41 22 501 73 41)
TOPIC 2:TAKE INFORMED STEPS TO STOP THE SPREAD THE MISINFORMATION
1. KEY BEHAVIOUR – MUST HAVE INFORMATION IN YOUR CREATIVE
Do not share myths and misinformation (especially about causes, symptoms, cures, spread of the virus, government documents, morphed photos and videos claiming to be from the Government or WHO, and conspiracy theories with a communal angle). Stop others from sharing the same. Reference Source: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters
2. GOOD TO HAVE INFORMATION IN YOUR CREATIVE
2.1 Do stop, think, and check information received on Social Media platforms, including Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok.
2.2 To stay up-to-date on misinformation regarding Government of India policies/schemes, follow @PIBFactCheck on Twitter or their website (https://pib.gov.in/factcheck.aspx)
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION (FOR ALL ABOVE TOPICS)
(Depending on the type of content you create, you could include the following details)
- Be aware of scams: Hackers and cyber scammers are taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic by sending fraudulent email and WhatsApp messages that attempt to trick people into clicking on malicious links or opening attachments. If you are contacted by a person or organisation that appears to be WHO, Unicef, or Government of India, verify their authenticity before responding.
- DO share verified and fact-checked information about the COVID-19 response: : Section 54 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, states that whoever makes or circulates a false alarm or warning as to a disaster or its severity or magnitude which leads to panic, is punishable with imprisonment of up to one year, upon conviction. HOWEVER, there is no curb on open discussion on the current pandemic, and wide sharing of verified information is encouraged.
1. Your creative needs to have the above information implied, clearly shown, or written in the communication
2. The Key Behaviour / Must have information: The Key Behaviour is the message that should be the highlight of your creative output and that sticks in the minds of your audience for times to come.
3.Good to have information: This is crucial information that your Key Behaviour message can be supported with, making it richer and more impactful.
4. Additional information: Use this information to add more depth to your creative output.