Published on 17 Jun 2021

True or not? Increasingly tough to get through minefield of Covid-19 misinformation

The Straits Times online, 17 Jun -

In this commentary, the reporter writes that most of her work revolves around interviewing experts to sort out fact from fiction, and credible theories from flawed conclusions. Questionable theories are harder to refute when they are shared by credible people of authority, such as doctors, who may cite seemingly persuasive research that to the untrained eye, will appear fairly solid. This also means the nature of the misinformation has evolved since the start of the pandemic, said Prof May O. Lwin from NTU’s WKWSCI. Covid-19 has become a highly emotive issue, Prof Lwin noted. Her research team, which has tracked sentiment on social media since the start of Covid-19, has seen a large volatility of emotions across countries. "I believe that the emotive environment creates conditions for people to be misled and to attract less rational responses from some segments," she said.