Royal Roads University received a grant from the federal government to understand the spread of misinformation in regards to the COVID-19.
On Friday the federal government announced $27 million in funding for coronavirus research, and from that fund granted Royal Roads, in partnership with Ryerson University in Toronto, $478,000.
Together teams from both schools will create educational material including infographics and other digital media, and study online social networks to improve people’s knowledge and understanding of the novel coronavirus.
“Complex societal problems such as COVID-19 require interdisciplinary efforts and thinking,” said Royal Roads professor George Veletsianos, Canada Research Chair in Innovative Learning and Technology in a statement. “We hope to help people learn about COVID-19 in effective and efficient ways. Specifically, we want to improve the public’s understanding of the virus and limit the spread of misinformation.”
The educational campaign will be presented in a variety of cultural contexts and be available for free use by anyone.
The two-year study will also investigate how misinformation about the virus spreads across social media platforms, led by Ryerson professor and Canada Research Chair of Social Media Data Stewardship, Anatoliy Gruzd.
“Coronavirus misinformation is spreading quickly on social media,” Gruzd said in a statement. “We are starting to see that many of the tactics and tools used to spread politically-motivated misinformation are now being used to spread misinformation about COVID-19.”
Results of the study will be shared in publications, a website, videos, reports, online simulations and infographics.