This book tackles the infodemic—the rapid, widespread diffusion of false, misleading, or inaccurate information about the disease and its ramifications—triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. With a focus on four Asian societies, the book compares and analyzes the spread of COVID-19 misinformation and its broad impacts on the public in Beijing, Hong Kong, Taipei, and Singapore.
Providing both a comprehensive overview of the phenomenon of misinformation and cross-societal analyses of patterns, the book features in-depth analyses of the prevalence of COVID-19 misinformation and engagement and explores its consequences in an Asian context. The book sheds lights on these key questions:
- What types of infodemic messages circulate widely on popular social media platforms?
- What factors account for exposure to and engagement with debunked yet popular COVID-19 misinformation?
- How does exposure to widely circulated COVID-19 misinformation affect people’s beliefs, attitudes, and adoption of preventive measures to cope with the pandemic?
- How do macro social differences condition the diffusion and impacts of COVID-19 misinformation?
- What intervention strategies can counter the misinformation?
Presenting scientific insights and empirical findings on the pressing issues about infodemic, this book will be of great interest to students and researchers of communication studies, political science, public health, crisis communication, and Asian Studies, as well as policymakers and practitioners who wish to acquire cutting-edge, evidence-based knowledge about combating misinformation during a global pandemic.
List of contributors
2. The Emergence of COVID-19 Misinformation: Conception and Message Characteristics
Hai Liang, Ran Wei, and Anfan Chen
3. Diffusion of Misinformation: Topological Characteristics and User Vulnerability
Sibo Wang and Hai Liang
4. Exposure to Misinformation: Patterns and Predictors
Guanxiong Huang and Wenting Yu
5. Sharing Misinformation: Facilitating the Spread
Ven-Hwei Lo, Ran Wei, and Sai Wang
6. Consequences of Exposure to Misinformation: Negative Emotions and Biased Risk Perception
Ven-Hwei Lo, Grace Xiao Zhang, and Miao Lu
7. The Antivax Phenomenon: Trust and Misinformation
Yi-Hui Christine Huang and Jun Li
8. The Cognitive Outcomes of Misinformation: Misbeliefs and Knowledge
Ran Wei and Jing Guo
9. Swamped: Misinformation and Information Overload
Ran Wei, Wenting Yu, and Jing Guo
10. Fighting Back: Citizen Actions to Combat Misinformation
Dong Dong, Grace Xiao Zhang, and Yan Zeng
11. Modeling the Dynamic Process and Adverse Effects of Misinformation
Ven-Hwei Lo and Ran Wei
12. An Asian Perspective on Combating Misinformation: What Have We Learned?
This timely book offers a sobering reflection on the disruptions that the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked on our information landscape. Governments in Asia faced significant uphill battles in securing public trust in lockdowns, quarantine measures, vaccinations and treatments. Given the high level of connectivity among most Asian populations, misinformation and disinformation spread even more swiftly than the disease. Nevertheless, many Asian countries were able to mount effective and creative campaigns to allay public concerns and disseminate accurate information. The lessons learnt from this dark period will illuminate and aid societal responses to future challenges. This book performs the invaluable role of capturing those critical learning points.
Professor Sun Sun Lim, Vice President, Partnerships and Engagement at the Singapore Management University, Singapore
Team-authored Miscommunicating the COVID-19 Pandemic in Asia is a vital new book that examines the diffusion and impact of COVID-19 misinformation in Asia’s leading cities. Misinformation has become a global pandemic itself in the 21st century, and understanding its nature and impact is essential. Led by the distinguished scholar, Ran Wei, a team of international scholars including Ven-Hwei Lo, Yi-Hui Christine Huang, Dong Dong, Hai Liang, Guanxiong Huang, and Sibo Wang has collaborated to provide a vital new work of ground-breaking scholarship. Supported by a grant from the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Regin, China, this book is comprehensive in scope and delivers empirical findings to illuminate the types of infodemic messages that circulate on social media platforms, the factors that account for exposure to and engagement with COVID-19 misinformation, and how exposure to COVID-19 misinformation influences the public’s beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. This theoretically and methodologically powerful book is a must-read for all students, scholars and policymakers concerned about COVID-19 misinformation in Asia’s leading cities.
Professor John V. Pavlik, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, USA
The global nature of the COVID pandemic provided a valuable opportunity for the cross-national analyses provided in this volume and the lessons they provide. Above all, we need reliable ways to connect the public to credible information, a need that transcends national system.
Stephen D. Reese, Jesse H. Jones Professor of Journalism and Media, University of Texas at Austin, USA