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Misinformation during natural disasters
December 3, 2018

By Fred Desgranges

I am Fred Desgranges. I’m originally from Haiti and I have been a journalist for seven years. In my field, I am often faced with a natural disaster. Natural disasters are a sudden event, often strike without warning, and usually leave lots of destruction. Driven by the urgency to get the story out, we need a lot of reassurance from the community. With appropriate levels of support from the community, it is possible to become better prepared for future natural disasters.

The impact of misinformation on the community during a crisis situation can be devastating. Misinformation is false information that is spread very fast on social media and can be misused. This can cause serious harm to the community, as well as the efforts of stakeholders and humanitarian agencies. Misinformation is a harmful or destructive element for a community. It can cause harm to people, disrupt public peace, lead public opinion, and create conflicts between people. In fact, a person and/or media that circulates false information is in bad faith and is an intruder to the community.


Therefore, it is very important to check the veracity of the content of the information we publish online and broadcast through the media. It is also very possible to see old articles reappear a few years later, on the occasion of the same event. That is why it is essential to monitor the date of publication of an article or a testimonial on the media, and especially to seek and share sources of reliable information.