23 Association of Research Libraries Research Library Issues 303 2022 Mitigating Health Misinformation: Potential Roles for Academic Libraries Jeffery L. Loo, University of California San Diego Library Erik T. Mitchell, University of California San Diego Library 1. Introduction False information can diffuse significantly “farther, faster, deeper, and more broadly” than true information.1 The dissemination of false information could be intentional or unintentional, and that misinformation may address a variety of domains, including political, social, scientific, and health matters. Given the many forms of false information, we will focus on health misinformation to illustrate the definitions, implications, challenges, and potential mitigation roles for academic libraries. 2. Background What is Misinformation? Misinformation is false or misleading information that contradicts the best available evidence.2, 3, 4 Misinformation may be unintentional, but disinformation is false information that people intentionally spread to deceive others.5 Misinformation is related to other forms of information that may cause harm. There is mal-information, which may be factually correct but is shared in a way that is intended to harm,6 as well as invisible or silenced information, specifically related to the unheard voices and perspectives of minoritized communities.7 Additionally, “fake news” is a widely known form of false information that aims to resemble news media and journalism.8 Why is Misinformation Challenging to Mitigate? Misinformation can be challenging to mitigate because people may not know that information is false when they use or share it. Furthermore,
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