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My Mind is Made Up, Don't Confuse Me with the Facts: Understanding Digital Misinformation and Supporting Newcomer Communities during COVID-19 and Beyond
Even as Canada's vaccination rate against COVID-19 far outstrips the global average, some communities remain disproportionately under-vaccinated and subsequently vulnerable to severe COVID-19 infection. Prominently, many newcomer groups remain substantially under-vaccinated. Vaccine hesitancy is a well-documented major challenge in these communities, but less discussed is how and why these hesitancy narratives take hold. Tools that are critical for newcomer communities, like WhatsApp, Viber, and Facebook Messenger, are frequently the site of misinformation sharing with limited oversight and moderation. During this presentation, Lisa Jane will discuss the power of disinformation: how it spreads, why it is much more compelling to its audience than accurate medical information, and how to confront these messages effectively.

Lisa Jane de Gara (BA, MPA, MSc*) is the Manager of Small Centres for Action for Healthy Communities. In 2021, she was the Vaccine Support Chair for Edmonton COVID-19 Rapid Response Collaborative (ECRRC) which supported 17 vaccine clinics throughout the City of Edmonton to reach the most vulnerable populations: immigrants, refugees, Indigenous peoples, and those suffering from addiction and homelessness. She is currently completing her Master of Science in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh, emphasizing misinformation and disinformation. She is passionate about dispelling vaccine myths and has been featured on CBC News Network, CBC Edmonton, CTV, and Global News.

Feb 16, 2022 01:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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