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Expert on the Spread of Misinformation During COVID-19 Pandemic Available for Interviews

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — As the novel coronavirus COVID-19 continues to spread across communities in the U.S., the public’s appetite for information has increased exponentially. As we are witnessing during this pandemic, the spread of misinformation ― through social media and news sources ― occurs quickly and is resulting in negative consequences during this health crisis.

Brian Southwell, PhD, an expert on how misinformation spreads and a researcher at the nonprofit research institute RTI International is available for interviews. Recently interviewed by iHeartRadio, Dr. Southwell shared why believing misinformation is human nature when people are seeking answers during times of uncertainty, how there is little consideration if this information is true or false and the impact misinformation during public health crises, such as COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Southwell’s work in this area includes examining what constitutes misinformation, how it spreads and how to best to counter it, as well as researching communication and human behavior to examine the public’s attitudes and perceptions during the Zika virus epidemic.

To request an interview, email news@rti.org.