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Creating better systems

The recent pandemic prompted many scientists—and the public—to turn to social media to share and learn about the newest findings. It naturally opened the conversation to a much bigger audience. Information about pandemic science quickly became and remains to be of mainstream interest.

 

“The BMJ platform is based on the most scientifically sound and substantiated information available. This is important to us and in the patient’s best interest.”
Dr Tamar Gabunia, First Deputy Minister, Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the occupied territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs

Gaining support at all levels  

nformation about pandemic science quickly became and remains to be of mainstream interest. In February 2022, BMJ supported the WHO and the NAM in a joint call to urge social media companies to incorporate the global principles of identifying credible sources of health information in their guidelines, safety policies, and enforcement to protect public health. 

The principles state that sources should be science-based, objective, transparent, and accountable to be considered credible. The call was followed up with BMJ convening 15 global health experts to review whether the principles and attributes identified in a paper published by the NAM: Identifying Credible Sources of Health Information in Social Media: Principles and Attributes could be applied by social media companies globally.

WHO and NAM urged technology companies to adopt these principles in January 2022, as part of a regular WHO ‘Technology Task Force’ meeting: a permanent group of representatives from more than 40 major technology companies, including Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, TikTok, and YouTube.

The story gained media attention in the Latin America region, appealing to health professionals across Latin America, Spain, Portugal, and the Spanish speaking US. The WHO and NAM seek to apply global principles to identify reliable sources of information. 

Since then, digital media companies are taking robust action, namely YouTube, which has enhanced their policy around safe abortions.

To partner with us on global health security or other global health programmes contact:

Dr Ashley McKimm
Director of Partnership Development, BMJx