In today’s society, everything can be found online. There is hardly a piece of information that people aren’t willing to share. There is also no shortage of misinformation on social media.
During a global pandemic that is attacking people all around the world, social media has weaponized illness into a political debate. Both the Republicans and Democrats have taken to social media, Facebook being one of the largest platforms people are using to talk about the pandemic. Mainly those on the far right of the political spectrum often believe that COVID-19 is a conspiracy set forth to make the people “muzzle” or cover their face and microchip the public via the vaccines, which causes an opposition uproar online.
Meanwhile, scientists, public health officials and healthcare workers are trying to debunk all of the misinformation surrounding the pandemic and vaccines despite the madness, trying to save the lives of those around them.
People on social media are often comparing the severity of their experiences with the virus, or sharing their opinion in response to the information that scientists are sharing about COVID-19. Conspiracists are often comparing scientists to freedom gatekeepers. On the other side, there are those who are using social media to determine severity by location, places that are taking the pandemic seriously, and how the school systems are reacting to COVID.
Facebook streams, like mine, are often filled with believers versus conspiracy theorists. My “for you” page on Tik-Tok has several people calling out the unmasked and unvaccinated. So, what will solve this intense splice of beliefs online?
First of all, I believe that the pandemic will be here for a while longer due to people still not taking it seriously. I also believe that social media will soon be coded to filter out individuals who spout that COVID-19 is not real, or have discouraging conspiracy theories related to the pandemic or vaccine.
I hope that soon enough, your feeds and mine will promote only COVID facts along with the other fun things that social media brings. Here is to hoping we see more donut pictures!