In overcoming emergencies, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, an important place belongs to informing the population, creating conditions for effective communication as an essential component of public health measures. To define the concept of false information, WHO has introduced a special term — “infodemic” (information + epidemic), that is the rapid and large-scale spread, mainly through the media and other information channels, of medical disinformation, which is extremely difficult to combat.

It must be said that the development of the infodemic is facilitated, on the one hand, by the presence of an surfeit of information, and on the other hand, by its lack. Difficulty its correct perception and the fact that part of the same information can be reliable, and part — false. Fighting infodemics is a new and important task, including in the healthcare system when solving problems related to public health.

Studies show that the goals of fake news distributors can be very different: on the one hand, to spread panic in society, including for fun, on the other hand, to calm the audience by downplaying the scale and danger of the new coronavirus pandemic. It is important to understand that the problem of false information during emergencies, including those in the field of public health, will never be completely eradicated. However, efforts must be made to improve the situation, in particular by building community commitment and trust in the information provided by the public health system.
An important role in this belongs to those structures that are responsible for the response and determine the policy of informing the population in order to reduce its spread and influence.

The global scale and rapid spread of the COVID-19 infodemic has stimulated the search for new tools that can respond to and manage the information ecosystem.

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Автор(ы): I. O. Stoma, T. M. Sharshakova, V. S. Volchek