Detecting and Avoiding Misinformation and Disinformation – #HITsm Chat Topic

We’re excited to share the topic and questions for this week’s #HITsm chat happening Friday, 2/12 at Noon ET (9 AM PT). This week’s chat will be hosted by Janice McCallum (@janicemccallum) on the topic “Detecting and Avoiding Misinformation and Disinformation“.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shined a spotlight on the way misleading and outright false information can be dangerous to physical and mental health, as well as to the health of society.

Finding trustworthy sources for medical information has never been easy. For non-professionals without a medical degree or health literacy training, knowing whether to believe information found on the Web–or passed along from a friend or relative via social media–requires effort and a basic understanding of media literacy.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Janice has been studying recent research on managing misinformation and disinformation. She will share advice and available resources in this week’s chat.


Join us for this week’s #HITsm chat where we’ll discuss the following questions.

Topics for this week’s #HITsm Chat:

T1: “Know the source.” Relying on reputable sources to avoid believing or spreading misinformation is a key tenet of information literacy. Can you think of examples where medical information was suspect because of its source? #HITsm

T2: Misinformation is defined as: “false information that is spread, regardless of whether there is intent to mislead.” Disinformation is defined as: “deliberately misleading or biased information; manipulated narrative or facts; propaganda.” Which type do you think is more dangerous? Why? #HITsm

T3: Headlines are generally designed to attract attention and encourage click-throughs. Does this mean that social media platforms are destined to thrive on misinformation and disinformation? Can you think of a better business model that wouldn’t incentivize click-bait? #HITsm

T4: Since the big social media companies are in the spotlight for spreading mis- and disinformation, they are testing methods that will reduce misinformation. For example, one Twitter test asked if users would like to read the full page linked to a post, before retweeting it. Do you think this warning would be helpful? Why? #HITsm

T5: Twitter recently introduced Birdwatch (in pilot), which allows users to add notes to questionable tweets:
Has anyone tried this yet? #HITsm

Bonus: The focus of this chat has been on information in general. But everything that applies to textual information applies to data, too. E.g., know the source and its bias and delve beyond the headline (or data label) to understand how the data were sourced and calculated. What examples can you think of where results from a research study were amplified before they were verified through further research? #HITsm

Upcoming #HITsm Chat Schedule

2/19 – Implementation of Technology for Care Coordination
Hosted by Neelam Sharma, RHIT (@Nee2Sha)

2/26 – TBD
Hosted by Mandi Bishop (@MandiBPro)

3/5 – TBD
Hosted by TBD

3/12 – How Can a Digital Workforce Address Healthcare’s Challenges?
Hosted by Linda Stotsky (@EMRAnswers) from @Bossoft

3/19 – TBD
Hosted by TBD

We look forward to learning from the #HITsm community! As always, let us know if you’d like to host a future #HITsm chat or if you know someone you think we should invite to host.

If you’re searching for the latest #HITsm chat, you can always find the latest #HITsm chat and schedule of chats here.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference,, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.

1 Comment

  • Interesting topic, but one would be better to frame this topic in reverse.

    The mainstream media has shown itself to have virtually zero credibility. And Big Tech’s ‘cancel culture’ has merely accelerated the decline of fact-based news and information — it’s now all about the narrative.

    Rational people nowadays know they have to find their own sources of news. Whatever the Washington Post or the New York Times espouses is likely just the reverse in many instances. And if Youtube or Twitter deplatdorm take something down, it likely means that it goes against their narrative — not that it’s untrue. And whatever the “experts” say is now automatically suspect, whether on Covid or Global Warming. Those who say ‘follow the science’ should try it sometime.

    On health issues, we can no longer trust the CDC, NIH, FDA, or even WebMD, especially on this Covid thing — they’ve all ‘drunk the Kool-Aid narrative’. One has to listen to Scott Atlas or America’s Frontline Doctors to get a proper perspective.

    Speaking of which, I’ve transcribed Dr Simone Gold’s 1/3/21 speech (on Rumble, de-platformed by Youtube) — You don’t have to agree with what she says, but to simply attempt to silence her message is just plain WRONG!!!

    The current ‘news’ situation in this country resembles Newspeak in Orwell’s ‘1984’, where the Ministry of Truth was constantly adjusting the past to reflect the current narrative. Your chat session would do well to reflect on this.

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