Does social media spread the coronavirus?

You may have not been exposed to the new coronavirus physically, but you’ve certainly have been exposed to it in the media. Most of all you probably have even helped spread its digital reach in the public. Spreading the digital pandemic is as simple as liking a retweet about #COVID19, liking a celebrities post in quarantine using #CoronaVirus, or even as simple as scrolling over a Facebook post from your family in California mentioning their experience being in proximity with someone who had the virus. Social and digital media channels are taking this “social contagion” to heights never seen before in history, turbocharging the public’s panic, making it hard for society to figure out whether they have to be cautious or if there are any risks at all. This “social contagion” is defined as a strand of social which looks at how ideas, and irrational behavior spread in a group of people. But how do you combat this “social contagion” of the Corona Virus? Well Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg is going to combat the panic by::

  • Giving the World Health Organization Free Ad’s to inform the public on the virus
  • Facebook is working on removing all false claims
  • Facebook is also working on removing conspiracy theories as well  

Many credit Facebook for their attempt to contain the hysteria and keep the public properly Informed. This battle on digital media channels is essential in order to maintain trust and credibility of digital media outlets. Facebook since the time of the swine flu has grown exponentially from 360 million to 2.5 billion users, allowing for faster information transfer from simply sharing and resharing information whether that information be trustworthy or not. 57% of American’s believe news on social media to be inaccurate because “fake news” and credible news reports on social media are presented in the same manner easily confusing the average reader. The pressure is now on the various social and digital media sites to crack down on misinformation to ensure users are only viewing the most accurate and trusted information to prevent the “social contagion”.   

By: Brandon Diaz

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