1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The SARS-CoV-2 virus epidemic has been classified as a serious global threat by the World Health Organization (WHO). Global threats are intertwined, as the World Economic Forum's global risk study predicted in 2017. The COVID-19 pandemic (an infectious disease caused by a newly identified human coronavirus) exemplifies the importance of knowledge diffusion in a disintermediated news cycle. The word "infodemic" was coined to describe the dangers of deception in the control of disease outbreaks, as it has the potential to hasten the spread of disease by affecting and fragmenting social responses.
The effect of this current information environment can be seen in the case of the COVID-19 outbreak. The spread of information has the potential to significantly affect people's attitudes and change the efficacy of government counter measures. In this regard, models for predicting viral transmission are beginning to take into account the population's behavioral reaction to public health interventions and the communication dynamics behind content consumption. YouTube and Twitter, for example, provide users immediate access to an unparalleled volume of news, which may amplify speculation and false facts. Algorithms mediate and promote content promotion and thereby information dissemination by taking into account users' interests and attitudes. This transition away from the conventional news model has a significant effect on the formation of collective attitudes and the framing of narratives; it also has an impact on policy-making, political communication, and the development of public discourse, especially where contentious topics are involved. Users online tend to acquire information adhering to their worldviews to ignore dissenting information and to form polarized groups around shared narratives. Furthermore, where there is a lot of polarization, disinformation will quickly spread. Fake news and misleading facts, according to some reports, can spread faster and farther than fact-based news. This, however, may be a platform-specific influence. Since political discourse sometimes returns to labeling opposing reporting as inaccurate or false, the concept of "Fake News" may be insufficient.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is the first pandemic in history to rely heavily on technology and social media to keep people healthy, aware, active, and connected. Simultaneously, the infrastructure we depend on to stay linked and updated is facilitating and amplifying an infodemic that is undermining global responses and jeopardizing efforts to monitor the pandemic. Misinformation and disinformation can affect people's physical and mental wellbeing, worsen shame, jeopardize important health advances, and contribute to a lack of compliance with public health policies, undermining their efficacy and jeopardizing countries' ability to avoid the pandemic. Life is lost due to misinformation. Diagnostic tests will go unused if there isn't enough confidence and accurate evidence, immunization programs (or campaigns to support safe vaccines) will fall short of their goals, and the virus will survive. Furthermore, misinformation is polarizing public discourse on COVID-19-related issues, amplifying hate speech, increasing the possibility of unrest, crime, and human rights abuses, and jeopardizing long-term opportunities for democracy, human rights, and social stability.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The following are primary objective of the study
1. To investigate the cause of social media infodemic during covid 19 pandemic
2. To assess the problem social media infodemic generated during covid 19 pandemic
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. What cause the social media infodemic during covid 19 pandemic?
2. What are the problems that the social media infodemic generated during the pandemic?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will be of importance to the general public as it serves as guide to curbing social media infodemic and all the misinformation and disinformation it brings. This study will also serve as a reference material to scholars, students and researchers who may want to carry out further research on this study
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The idea of this research is to investigate social media infodemic during covid 19 pandemic era. The respondent of this study will be residents of Port harcourt, in Rivers State.
1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Finance, time constraint and lack of research materials were the major challenges the researcher encountered during the course of this study
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
INFODEMIC: Infodemic refers to a rapid and far-reaching spread of both accurate and inaccurate information about something, such as a disease
SOCIAL MEDIA: Social media are interactive technologies that allow the creation or sharing/exchange of information, ideas, career interests, and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks.
COVID 19: A highly contagious respiratory disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. SARS-CoV-2 is thought to spread from person to person through droplets released when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.
1. Matteo, C. , Walter, Q. ,Emanuele, B. , Ana, L. S (2020) The covid-19 social media Infodemic. Article in scientific reports
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