Misinformation Digital Toolkit

Overview

Despite many states lifting COVID-19 restrictions, large numbers of the American population have yet to receive their COVID-19 vaccines. This indecision about getting vaccinated is partly due to mis- and dis- information campaigns seen throughout the pandemic.

How can we work to stop the spread of COVID-19 misinformation? The best place to start is in your own communities: online and off. You are the best advocate to help your friends, family, and community get vaccinated against COVID-19. This toolkit was created to help you: (1) identify accurate sources for up-to-date COVID-19 information, (2) identify possible misinformation and disinformation, and, (3) encourage your loved ones to get their COVID-19 vaccines.

While new variants may arise, and COVID-19 statistics may change, the facts remain the same: the COVID-19 vaccines are the best way to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death.

To learn more about COVID-19 and the vaccines, visit MadeToSave.org/Learn.

 

Table of Contents

 

Social Media Posts + Graphics

COPY:  People are more likely to get vaccinated if they know someone who has received their COVID-19 vaccines. @ItsMadeToSave has compiled a list of answers to your questions about COVID-19 and the vaccines to help in your outreach conversations. Visit: MadeToSave.org/Learn.

Graphic with pink and blue background. The left side of graphic has a dark blue cell phone. Text reads: "20% of Americans believe at least one false statement about vaccines. Source: COVID States Project." The Made to Save logo is centered at the bottom of the graphic.

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COPY: COVID-19 disinformation negatively affects vaccination rates. To learn more about how you can combat dis- and misinformation in your communities, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/health-departments/addressing-vaccine-misinformation.html

Graphic with pink and blue background. To the left is an image of a dark blue laptop. Text reads, "51% of Americans are unsure whether to believe at least one false claim about COVID-19. Source: COVID States Project." The Made to Save logo is centered at the bottom.

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COPY:  [email protected] put together a library of free resources from partners about COVID-19 and the vaccines on their website. To learn more, visit: MadetoSave.org/Resources.

Graphic with dark blue background. The left side of the graphic has an image of the Made to Save Resources webpage. In white text, the graphic says, "Did you know? Made to Save has an online library with hundreds of free resources about COVID-19 and the vaccines." Below in a hot pink rectangle is the Made to Save website (Madetosave.org/resources) in white text. The Made to Save logo is centered at the bottom of the graphic.

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COPY:  Need a place to go when you have questions about COVID-19? Check out @ItsMadeToSave’s free tool that answers common questions about the virus, variants, and the vaccines. MadeToSave.org/Learn.

Graphic with dark blue background. The left of the graphic has an image of a computer monitor with a question mark. In white text, it reads: "Get the Facts: Made to Save has the answers to common questions and concerns about COVID-19 and the vaccines." Below is a hot pink rectangle, inside in white text says, "MadeToSave.org/Learn." The Made to Save logo is centered at the bottom of the graphic.

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COPY:  Misinformation and disinformation have been key terms throughout the pandemic. But what do they actually mean and what’s the difference?

Graphic with dark blue text. At the top of the graphic is a search bar that is asking "Misinformation vs. Disinformation." In white text, the graphic says, "misinformation is information that is believed to be true, but is generally incorrect. Disinformation is incorrect information that is intentionally spread to cause harm. To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccines, visit MadeToSave.org" The Made to Save logo is centered at the bottom of the graphic.

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COPY:  We are exposed to misinformation every day – which makes it difficult to find accurate information about COVID-19. To get the facts, visit MadeToSave.org/Learn.

Graphic with dark blue background. The header reads, "What does misinformation look like." The graphic includes four symbols & four groups of text. Misinformation can look like misleading headlines, fake websites that look official, viral social media posts, and manipulated data. Human Health Services was the source for the information provided. The Made to Save logo is centered at the bottom of the graphic.

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COPY:  With so much COVID-19 misinformation online, we each have a responsibility to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and vaccine hesitancy. This checklist from @ItsMadeToSave was created to help you determine if a source is worth sharing.

Graphic with pink and blue background. The header reads, "Is it a Good Source?" Below is a checklist in white boxes, that says, "Is the source a reputable health, news, government, or educational organization?; Are you able to identify who the author is?; Is it error free?; Do you know when it was published?; Does the source provide the sources for their claims and research?" The source for this information is Verified, a United Nations project. The Made to Save logo is centered at the bottom of the graphic.

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Graphic with pink and blue background. The heading reads in dark blue text, "What Makes A Bad Source?" Below is a checklist, that says, "The publication date isn't current and hasn't recently been updated; the authors are anonymous; there are spelling and grammatical errors; it attempts to persuade or sell something; It is satirical, rather than informative." The source, Verified, a United nations project is listed in the bottom right corner. The Made to Save logo is centered at the bottom.

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COPY:  COVID-19 misinformation can be hard to spot, but one way to check is by how you react. Do you feel extremely angry or shocked? Reaffirmed in your beliefs? If so, check to see if other valid sources are making similar claims before sharing online.

Graphic with blue background. Two text messages are centered -- one with a happy emoji, and one with a mad emoji. In white text, the graphic reads: "Misinformation and How it Makes us Feel: COVID-19 misinformation can create extreme emotions in people. If something makes you angry, or completely validates what you believe, do some fact-checking before reposting or commenting." The source for this information is Verified, a United Nations project. The Made to Save logo is centered at the bottom of the graphic.

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COPY:  Misinformation can come in all forms of digital content. Here are some quick tips for resharing COVID-19 information online:

Check your sources

Read beyond the headlines

Verify the facts with government and health organizations

COPY:  Disagreeing with a new piece of COVID-19 news does not mean that it’s misinformation.

Misinformation is information believed to be true, but is incorrect.

Disinformation is a type of misinformation, with a goal to deceive.

COPY:  Before sharing information about COVID-19, make sure that your sources don’t have these red flags:

🚩 Spelling errors

🚩 Anonymous authors

🚩 Out-of-date information

🚩 Based on opinion, not fact

 

How to Talk to Friends and Family

Did you know that people are more likely to get vaccinated if they know someone who has received the vaccines? That’s right. You are the most important advocate for the COVID-19 vaccines to your friends, family, and community. In this section, we share the best practices to help you in your outreach conversations.

Step One: Build Trust

  • Listen to understand, not to respond.
  • Confirm your understanding by repeating back or state a summary.
  • Pair shared values with key facts.
  • Share your vaccine story: what hesitations or questions did you have before getting vaccinated? Why did you decide to get the vaccines?

Step Two: Express Empathy

  • Validate their concerns, express empathy, and demonstrate that you understand. In doing so, you will help make the person feel more comfortable.
  • Ask questions to get to the root of the concern.
  • Respond without judgment and avoid making assumptions.

Step Three: Help your friends and family conduct their own research

  • What is holding them back from getting vaccinated? Do they need help accessing them? Do they need information? Do they need help making an appointment? Do they need a ride?
  • Help the person find their own reason to get vaccinated.
  • Don’t tell them what to do or think.

Below are more resources that can provide you with more tips for how you can encourage others to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

 

To Tweet or Not to Tweet?

Let’s test your ability to spot potential forms of misinformation. In the following section, the examples used are entirely fictional, and are only used to provide examples of good and bad sources.

For this activity, the characters are living through a zombie apocalypse. With the sample tweets provided, ask yourself: Is this tweet a good or bad source? Who is the author? Does the author have any authority? What biases might they have? And should I share this information with others?

Hypothetically, this would be a good source. Before sharing with others, take the time to read the linked article to verify the information in the tweet.

Sadly, Alice’s tweet is not a good source. We don’t know what authority she has to claim such information. She also appears to have some bias for rabbit holes. And, she spelled apocalypse wrong. If the information was coming from an accurate source, there would be an extensive review process that would’ve caught the error.

Despite coming from a trustworthy source, the tweet is sharing parts of an opinion piece. Opinion and commentary does not mean that the information is true.

In this case, Frankenstein’s tweet appears to be made up news. What authority does he have? What are his sources? Without knowing these key points, err on the side of caution and don’t reshare. Double check to see if trustworthy news organizations are reporting the same information.