The World Health Organization (WHO) works with the technology industry to promote science-based content, fight misinformation, gain user insights and develop new channels and tools to help fight the pandemic and beyond.
With the goal of improving accessibility of high-quality health information online, WHO is undertaking a project to outline high level principles for identifying credible sources of health information. These principles will be relevant to multiple social media platforms, globally, striving to highlight accurate health information from credible sources.
Health information is widely shared and accessible on social media, and influences health decisions people make on a daily basis. With great influence, comes great responsibility for social media companies to protect their users by improving access and exposure to science-based, credible and quality information on health.
In July 2021, the National Academy of Medicine published a discussion paper to inform and provide recommendations for identifying credible sources of health information on social media, with a specific focus on the United States.
These recommendations have been welcomed by the social media industry in the USA and taken seriously in making better decisions and policies to protect people’s health and wellbeing as well as to fight misinformation and disinformation.
WHO recognizes the value and need for such principles and recommendations to be further identified and developed for a global scale, to cater for people and markets in all six WHO regions. WHO further recognizes the need to translate this content into a wide variety of languages.
Building on the robust foundational principles established by the National Academy of Medicine, WHO convened a meeting of experts from relevant interdisciplinary backgrounds to discuss and establish high-level principles for identifying credible sources of health information online, globally. The meeting took place on 15 December 2021.