As the Corona Virus creates a major social shift in behaviour, dominating the news and inciting fears and worry. Individuals with lower digital literacy skills struggle to decipher fact from exaggeration or fiction. Recognizing this, scammers are attempting to profit off this media saturation by sharing misleading news, or promoting products, diets, or activities which are harmful to individuals, and create more stress on already chaotic lives. With older adults being more susceptible to the virus, members of our partners at RECAA highlight the struggle of balancing the array of information and advice they are being sent. Working with RECAA, the project invoked three interventions. First, we created a fact checking email service that allowed older adults to send us their information concerns which we would look up to provide information about. Second, alongside RECAA we created a webpage on their website that provided basic information about COVID 19 and misinformation. Finally, we developed a misinformation workshop, providing the older adults with information and skills to help them confirm the information they are receiving.
Scott DeJong, Concordia University
April 20, 2020: The webpage has been published on RECAA’s website. You can find it here.
May 15, 2020: Scott DeJong hosted a workshop with RECAA. The workshop discussed simple steps that individuals could take to fact check. One week after the workshop, RECAA and Scott sat down again to reflect and revisit any questions or issues with material people might be having. You can view the presentation here (Google Slides Format).