'Health misinformation: the barriers to its recognition by information consumers and the limits to the concept of medical “truth”' with Dr Olessia Koltsova

Past Event

16 November 2023, 5:00pm - 6:15pm

Oxford Martin School & Online
34 Broad Street (corner of Holywell and Catte Streets), Oxford, OX1 3BD

Event Recording:

As mass communications facilitate the dissemination of messages, both true and false, wrong or inaccurate medical information is increasingly leading to large-scale social consequences.

Some examples are: mass refusal of vaccination during the COVID pandemic in some countries and harmful governmental policies, such as withdrawal of any evidence-based treatment of AIDS in South Africa by the Mbeki government.

What factors can help information consumers to detect misinformation, especially in the spheres that require scientific knowledge? And what are the barriers to this? In this lecture Dr Olessia Koltsova, Oxford Martin Visiting Fellow on the Oxford Martin Programme on Misinformation, Science & Media, will discuss the role of fact checking, media expertise, confirmation bias and social clues in identification of false messages by media users. She will also talk about the problematic character of the concept of truth in science-related media messages.

Olessia koltsova

Dr Olessia Koltsova
Oxford Martin Visiting Fellow, Oxford Martin Programme on Misinformation, Science & Media

Olessia Koltsova is the director of the Laboratory for Social and Cognitive Informatics (formerly – Laboratory for Internet Studies) at HSE University, St. Petersburg.

She is also an active member of the International Communication Association where she participates in the Membership and Internalization Committee and a member of several journal editorial boards, including Information Processing and Management and Computational Communication Research.

Olessia holds a PhD in sociology and a higher education diploma in journalism and identifies herself as a social scientist committed to interdisciplinary research in the sphere of computational communication science. She leads various collective projects in the sphere of internet and society, as well as in methods of large-scale automatic internet data analysis for social science.

In recent years, she has published on fake news perception, cognitive and psychological limits to online communication, ethnicity-targeted speech detection, user content topical composition and sentiment, online community structure, and other topics. She is also the author of News Media and Power in Russia, Routledge, 2006.