When Accurate Information Harms People Information on COVID-19 Infection Clusters in Japan

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Hitoshi Kamada


The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the generation of a large amount of information not just directly about the virus but also about its various societal impacts. This paper describes the atmosphere that the pandemic has created in the Japanese society and examines the information spread about infection clusters. Besides misinformation and disinformation, the paper highlights another problem in information dissemination during this pandemic. Regardless of the legitimate intention of reporting this type of information, people reacted by blaming or discriminating against those who were associated with clusters. The information on infection clusters has brought to the surface the privacy issues and has brought attention to emerging issues that concern information and media literacy. Understanding how people interact with information in a particular social or cultural setting, not just from an objective but also from an emotional perspective, becomes more important for enhancing people’s information literacy.

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Articles (refereed)