This week, our community at Hebron Academy focused on rolling out the vaccine and looking ahead to the future. We discussed:
- Understanding the impact of social media misinformation during vaccine rollout
- Evaluating how COVID impacts different communities
Time permitting and only to the extent you feel comfortable, consider continuing the conversation, and huddling about these topics as a family. Here are some questions you can pose to everyone in the family:
- 1:Cambridge’s Social Decision Making Lab made a 5-minute game called ‘Go Viral’ to better explain how misinformation spreads online. Consider playing as a family by visiting goviralgame.com. How did your final score compare? Which of the three factors driving misinformation - emotion, experts, and conspiracies - do you believe plays the largest role in influencing others?
- 2: Vaccine-related misinformation disproportionately targets and impacts marginalized communities. For example, 43 million Americans - about 13% of the U.S. population - speaks Spanish as a first language. A recent study by the human rights nonprofit Avaaz found that while 70% of social media misinformation in English gets flagged, just 30% of comparable posts in Spanish are flagged. What impact might this have on certain communities as it relates to the vaccine rollout? What steps can social media companies take to close that gap?
- 3: COVID magnified broader issues directly impacting communities. The digital divide - a term used to describe the gap between those with and without access to technology - suddenly became urgent as remote learning and vaccination sign-ups relied on it to function. Closing the digital divide solves an essential need similar to how previous generations once prioritized access to electricity or running water. As we look towards the future, what are some other areas that could become even more important to ensure everyone has equal opportunities?