Peak Australian medical group calls for social media campaign to counter COVID-19 conspiracies

2021-01-13 03:35:19 GMT2021-01-13 11:35:19(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

CANBERRA, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has called for the federal government to launch a social media campaign countering coronavirus conspiracy theories.

In a recent statement, AMA President Omar Khorshid said that the internet could "significantly magnify health misinformation campaigns" around COVID-19 and vaccines.

"People can easily absorb misinformation delivered directly to them through advertising, celebrity influencers, and people in positions of power," he said on Tuesday.

"We have seen this with the anti-vaccination movement, and the countless conspiracy theories about the COVID-19 pandemic that circulate constantly on the internet."

"We need an Australian government-funded campaign to counter this misinformation and promote healthy choices, including information about vaccine safety."

The statement also called for social media companies to acknowledge their responsibility and work actively to counter health misinformation on their platforms.

As of Tuesday afternoon, there had been 28,634 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia, and the numbers of locally and overseas acquired cases in the last 24 hours were six and 14 respectively, according to the latest figures updated on Tuesday evening from the Department of Health. Enditem