CITAPP Seminar Series talk by Santosh Vijayakumar on The Need for a Public Health Agenda on Online Health Misinformation

Date: 15-12-2021

About the December 15th talk: Online health misinformation (OHM) is now a global health threat as has been evidenced by the World Health Organization’s establishment of the Infodemic Management Programme. This seminar will provide an overview of the key definitions of OHM, findings from online survey experiments evaluating the effectiveness of WHO’s mythbuster infographics among social media users in the UK and Brazil, and insights from public engagement initiatives. We will then discuss the need to complement existing techno-centric approaches to tackling OHM with a formal public health agenda premised on the power of OHM to exacerbate health inequities by affecting critical social determinants of health.

Speaker Bio: Dr. Santosh Vijaykumar is a health and risk communication scientist with research interests at the intersection of public health, behavioural science and new media technologies. Specifically, he studies mobile and social media interventions for addressing global health challenges with a focus on tropical and infectious diseases. Santosh’s research analyses and evaluates the effects of both, bespoke innovations (like crowdsourced surveillance applications) as well as generic platforms (like Twitter and Facebook) on individuals, communities and health systems during infectious disease outbreaks. The research approach involves mixed methodologies, trans-disciplinary conceptualization and collaborations with policymakers, activists and the industry. His work, spanning the US, Singapore, Sri Lanka and India, has been published in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Journal of Medical Internet Research, Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and Journal of Nutrition Education and Behaviour among others.

Dr Vijaykumar’s talk will be followed by a discussion and Q&A session anchored by Dr Nachiker Mor

CITAPP’s Monthly Seminar Series is an attempt to create a forum where researchers across IIITB domains can meet and discuss cutting edge research on the chosen theme of the semester. The Series  hopes to explore a technology or topic for its ramifications in different realms of social activity. In particular, we are interested in understanding the specific kinds of complexity that these domains present for technological innovation and design. 

CITAPP at IIIT Bangalore is an interdisciplinary think-tank set-up to focus on the policy challenges and the organizational demands made by technological innovation. Of particular interest to the Centre is how technological advances, along with institutional changes that harness the legitimacy and the powers of bureaucracies and market, address the needs of underserved communities.