Healthcare Company And Its Agency Want A New ‘Verified’ Icon To Combat COVID-19 Fake News
TBWA\Helsinki has partnered with one of its clients, healthcare company Terveystalo, on an initiative proposing that social-media companies issue a new type of verified badge to combat misinformation related to the pandemic.
The new icon would recognize and verify scientists, doctors and public-health officials researching the COVID-19 virus and providing accurate information about it.
The idea is to provide an elevated platform for these specialists, similar to the way social media provides verified badges to celebrities and influencers.
The agency and its partner point to research from Reuters Institute that finds politicians, celebrities and other influencers are responsible for 20% of COVID-19 related misinformation spreading around social media.
I can think of one politician in particular whose COVID-19-related advice might be considered off the mark — along with just about every other sentence he utters.
Today, Terveystalo issued an open letter to Facebook, Twitter, Google and Snapchat to launch an icon verifying the specialists mentioned above.
“As social-media platforms have become increasingly popular, it is crucial these platforms take a more active stand in the fight against misinformation,” said Petri Bono, Chief Medical Officer at Terveystalo. “COVID-19 will not be the last pandemic we will experience, thus striving for a trustworthy system around the public-health officials will serve as a long-lasting service to all,” he added.
TBWA\Helsinki created a video about the initiative that can be viewed here.
This isn’t the first innovative project the agency has developed in the fight to flatten the COVID-19 curve. In April, it unveiled a device that can be attached to existing handles, enabling people to open doors and cabinets with an arm instead of a hand.
True or False:
Terveystalo Urges Use of Verified Badges on Social Media Platforms to Slash Misinformed Covid-19 Content
In co-operation with creative agency TBWA\ Helsinki, the open letter from the Nordic health company encourages social media giants to elevate Covid-19 experts with a special verified badge to cut down on misleading information
As Covid-19 still dominates online conversations, social media continues to provide a platform for the infodemic of misinformation. In order to elevate factual content, Nordic health company Terveystalo is calling on social media giants to launch a special ‘verified’ badge to elevate individuals with factual, unbiased and up-to-date information amidst the ongoing pandemic.
According to a research from Reuters Institute, politicians, celebrities and other influencers are responsible for 20% of Covid-19 related misinformation spreading around social media. This might seem insignificant but due to social media algorithms content from them gets more visibility and engagement. Today, Nordic health company Terveystalo joined the fight against misinformation with an open letter to social media giants Facebook, Twitter, Google and Snapchat.
The open letter calls for the launch of an icon to recognise and verify scientists, doctors and public health officials who are researching the virus and battling the common enemy with accurate information. The new icon would work in the same vein as verified badges given to celebrities and influencers, providing public health experts with a similarly elevated platform.
“As more and more people turn to social media as their primary source of information, we believe that it is important to ensure that the information found can be trusted. By encouraging platforms to adopt the essential Influencers icon we want to do our part in helping the general public find the reliable sources among the clutter and unwarranted expression. Even though we are a Nordic company, we believe in acting on a global scale,” says Petri Bono, the chief medical officer at Terveystalo.
The icon’s main purpose is to help the general public elevate trusted sources such as doctors, scientists and public health officials from the flood of misinformation. Rather than give set criteria for a trusted and essential influencer Terveystalo wants to start a conversation on the subject with the social media channels and suggests seeking advice from for example the top universities and their faculties of medicine.
“As social media platforms have become increasingly popular it is crucial that these platforms take a more active stand in the fight against misinformation. Covid-19 will not be the last pandemic we will experience, thus striving for a trustworthy system around the public health officials will serve as a long-lasting service to all,” continues Bono.
The Essential Influencers initiative is executed in co-operation with creative agency TBWA\ Helsinki that is no stranger to tapping into societal matters with its clients. In 2018 it helped a local newspaper teach presidents Trump and Putin a lesson in press freedom with the Land of Free Press campaign. Just recently it also aided a client design and set up infection preventing hands-free handles at local retail chain’s freezer cabinets.