Renée DiResta is the technical research manager at the Stanford Internet Observatory, and she writes on internet misinformation.
In a recent piece for The Atlantic, she offered an interesting way to combat public distrust in the CDC’s official COVID-19 press releases.
- DiResta’s idea: If the CDC launched a crowdsourced site that thousands of knowledgeable people could update and edit anytime, it might just garner more public trust than the CDC’s press releases.
Why would a site like Wikipedia help?
First of all, people use Wikipedia — a lot:
- It’s the 13th most-visited site in the world.
- Its articles garnered 266B page views and 585m edits in the last 12 months.
Studies show Wikipedia is highly reliable, and nearly every Big Tech company trusts it as a primary source for search results and flagging misinformation at scale.
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- The COVID-19 Wikipedia page is also the only top-100 Wiki page that did not exist at the beginning of 2020. (Translation: it’s a popular one.)
DiResta thinks a Wikipedia model where thousands of reputable contributors and editors (including folks outside government) can transparently relay and edit pandemic-related info could be the way to go.
What do you think?