"Our industry cannot operate as if this is just another breaking news event."
As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, so too do the heaps of dangerous misinformation growing on the trash fire that often is the internet.
That’s not terribly surprising — the internet is always bogged down by deceptive and dangerous bullshit — but the sheer volume of misinformation surrounding the coronavirus even has the famous fact-checking organization Snopes overwhelmed. As The Verge reports, Snopes recently announced that, for the sake of its employees’ well-being, it’ll be scaling back its efforts to fight every little piece of bad info that pops up about the coronavirus.
Snopes announced via blog post that they’ll be encouraging their team to take extra measures to care for their physical and mental well-being rather than trying to stay on top of an exhausting news cycle that’s evolving far more rapidly than usual.
“Our industry cannot operate as if this is just another breaking news event,” the blog reads. “We cannot ask our employees to ramp up productivity at the same time the rest of their lives spin out into more disorientating and distressing states. It is our responsibility to put their health and safety first.”
Call To Arms
But because it’s hard to imagine an internet where Snopes isn’t doing the dirty work of debunking nonsense, the company still has tips — and requests — for the rest of the world.
Among them: support local journalism wherever possible. See what the WHO and CDC say about how best to stay safe. And above all else, think critically about the information you consume.
READ MORE: Snopes forced to scale back fact-checking in face of overwhelming COVID-19 misinformation [The Verge]
More on COVID-19 misinformation: Elon Musk Is a Public Health Risk