Social media fuels spread of COVID-19 information—and misinformation, CS’s Mark Dredze, The Hub

March 30, 2020

COVID-19 has quickly evolved into the greatest public health challenge of a generation. People are increasingly turning to social media to understand the virus, receive updates, and learn what can be done to stay safe.

Mark Dredze, an associate professor of computer science at the Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering, researches the applications of artificial intelligence and natural language processing to inform how social media is used to respond to major public health events. His past work has used insights from social media data to examine issues related to vaccine refusal, substance abuse and overdose, the Zika virus, and the spread of influenza.

Dredze’s team recently launched a website, Social Media for Public Health, which aims to combat misinformation, support messaging from public health organizations, and track information about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

He joined Johns Hopkins MPH/MBA candidate Samuel Volkin for a brief discussion on the use of social media as a source of information during a pandemic. The conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

Read more at The Hub.

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