How trust in our online relationships can make us vulnerable to misinformation

  • Santosh Vijaykumar

Press/Media: Expert Comment


The BatsApp project is a documentary, edited and presented by Dr Santosh Vikaykumar, chronicling the human experience of online misinformation during the 2018 Nipah outbreak. While online misinformation has now permeated our lives, the Nipah response is a positive story of how the individuals, communities and institutions most affected by misinformation came together to fight it. This series is set in the picturesque Indian state of Kerala, whose public health establishment received global acclaim for its management of the deadly Nipah outbreak. As part of this, Dr Kumar talked to international experts about the ways in which our mind processes misinformation and what this means for risk communication during outbreaks.

In this episode, Dr Claudia Pagliari discusses how our interactions with others in online spaces, while sometimes helpful for our wellbeing, can make us vulnerable to misinformation by causing us to form relationships with and place trust in people we may never have met in real life.  She describes how the spread of misinformation on social media is more than a question of inputs and outputs; the communications we receive are processed through our perceptions and emotions as well as our brains, which can make us more or less likely to believe or share the information.

Period29 Jun 2020

Media contributions


Media contributions

  • TitleThe BatsApp Project: Special Feature. Dr Claudia Pagliari
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    DescriptionDr Claudia Pagliari discusses some of the ways in which trust in our online relationships can make us vulnerable to misinformation
    PersonsSantosh Vijaykumar


  • Misinformation
  • Fake News
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Outbreaks
  • Social Media
  • Trust
  • Communication studies
  • Digital Health
  • India
  • Global Health