COVID-19: correlation between false information in social media and the non-observance of sanitary rules

COVID-19: corrélation entre les fausses informations des médias sociaux et le non-respect des règles sanitaires

Canadians to learn more about social media are more exposed to false information regarding the COVID-19 and therefore are more likely not to comply with the sanitary rules, according to a recent study from McGill University.

By examining the platform Twitter, the researchers first established that there is circulating well more false information about the pandemic than in the traditional media. In addition, the traditional media to further relay the health recommendations to prevent the spread of the virus, such as washing our hands or practicing social distancing.

Hence, there is a “vast difference between the quality of the information on the COVID-19 shared on Twitter and in the traditional media”, wrote the scientists in their paper published in June in the journal scientific Misinformation.

Therefore, those who to learn more about Twitter are more at risk of joining the wrong information about the COVID-19. “There is a strong association between exposure to social media and false perceptions in relation to the COVID-19”, noted the researchers of McGill in their article.

Also the people who are more in touch with false information, would they be less likely to follow health recommendations, for example in relation to the distancing physical.

“Increasingly, we see that the false information circulating in social media pose a risk to the public health,” said Taylor Owen, co-author of the study and an associate professor at the School of public policy Max Bell of McGill University, by issuing a press release on Wednesday. “It is therefore all the more important for the decision-makers, and social media platforms, to flatten the curve of the false information.”

The data for this study were collected from 26 march to 6 April last, in English.

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