TRUSTMEDICOS aims to tackle health misinformation and achieve a trustworthy health information exchange.
Trust is essential to society and as a species, humans are wired to trust one another. When we use social media we want to trust that the information we see in our feeds is true and based on evidence. Health related misinformation and distrust can be a particularly toxic mix that causes people to reject clinically proven health interventions such as vaccines; disregard health guidance; or try out unproven and dangerous therapies (WHO).
Health misinformation is defined as ‘a health-related claim that is based on anecdotal evidence, false, or misleading owing to the lack of existing scientific knowledge’.
Suarez-Lledo V, Alvarez-Galvez J. Prevalence of Health Misinformation on Social Media: Systematic Review. J Med Internet Res. 2021 Jan 20;23(1):e17187. doi: 10.2196/17187. PMID: 33470931; PMCID: PMC7857950.
Health related misinformation can have devastating effects on individuals, their family and society at large. Although many great initiatives against misinformation exist, the problem remains unsolved to date. This white paper aims to better understand the causes & drivers of creating, distributing and consuming health misinformation. For this, key psychological and technological biases are analyzed regarding their impact on the consumption and distribution of health misinformation in social networks. Further their interplay with different solution approaches, namely the flagging & removal of misinformation versus the highlighting of high quality information, is explored. Following the research recommendations of public health authorities like the WHO, the TRUSTMEDICOS project strives to contribute to solving this problem with a transparent blockchain based trust and reputation model that uses a reporting & reviewing mechanism conducted by social network users and trusted health experts. The developed solution concept design and our research findings are presented and their potential to support the fight against misinformation is discussed.
Share trusted health information
Help to reduce the spread of health misinformation by asking yourself 4 simple questions before sharing anything.
Does it sound too good to be true?
Do I know the source and is it reliable?
Could there be a conflict of interest?
Is it a personal experience or a scientifically proven fact?
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