Mobile devices as a disinformation channels

Author: Marc Fortes   /  16 of April of 2020

Mobile devices are an indispensable tool at the reformulation of the sanitary assistance in Catalonia and for the rest in the world. Therefore an indispensable tool. We are offering an approach to the problematic of the desinformació that at newspaper floods our devices with a quantity ingent of information little truthful or at some knowingly dud cases.


How it is affecting the disinformation to public health.

The disinformation is affecting the perception that some citizens have from healthcare and how it can generate behaviours of risk. This disinformation uses channels often related with mobiles. The social media concretely have the principle of trust.

The principle of the trust consists on thinking that the person that uses or shares a content endorses it.


How to detect doubtful information.

To beggin with, lack of trust in messages that do not have scientific references or links to websites. To be certain of an information the best is to consult the primary font and behave as a PIRATE. We propose you the PIRATE method to verify any information:

  • Protection of data: Check if the web or the consulted App has data protection policies, which data are gathered and for what purpose.
  • Information updated: Check if last update is performing the content shown. Obsolete contents are usually used to illustrate present situations.
  • Responsability: It is important a contact with a content manager or a techincal support crew inbox.
  • Author: Who created the tech solution? Once identified, google them in official websites to contrast their expertise.
  • Transparency: Check the funding origin and the purpose of the web. It is not the same an NGO’s web than a private company one.
  • Accessibility: Suitable language and the ease to surf through the information are important issues not to be fooled.


Which fonts are reliable? 

The Healthcare Ministry of Catalnoia, thorugh its Canal Salut [Health Channel], has created an SARS-CoV-2 information point, with direct links for the citizenry and also for professionals. It can be consultes information about apps like Gestió Emocional [Emotional Management] and STOP COVID19 CAT , direct access to corporate Telegram for healthcare professionals and dissemination content like videos or infograpics.

Offical organisms like WHO, scientific societies, NGOs, the Ministry of Health are valid sources to check the reliability of the information.

It exists a series of accreditations for webs (WIS, HonCode, Web medica accredited) or for Apps (App Accreditation Process) that can help you at choosing the best choice to inform you on health issues.

Is reliable info suitable for me?

Sometimes we find reliable information, but it is not the suitable one for our case. This usually happens when we do not have the professional’s dyagnosis and try to find answers to symptoms by searching through the internet. We can seek for example the symptoms of fever, muscular ache, fault of hunger and respiratory difficulties and find the WHO information (totally reliable) where explain the symptoms of the covid-19. But if we had a common flu or any other type of coronavirus? The information is very reliable but at this case would not suit us.


Do smartphones hav a placebo effect on us?

The information is helpful when it is rigorous, understandable and well driven. If not, it is toxic.

Before making a decision, consult the information with a professional of health to understand if the informations it is correct and if can apply at your case. If you are not sure of the veracity of the information, do not spread it.