Health-related misinformation is abundant on the internet

Added June 11, 2020

Citation: Wang Y, McKee M, Torbica A, et al. Systematic literature review on the spread of health-related misinformation on social media. Social Science & Medicine. 2019 Nov;240:112552.

What is this? Online social networks such as Twitter and Facebook have made it much easier for people to spread information about COVID-19. Existing research on the spread of health-related misinformation on social media may provide useful information for policy makers.

In this systematic review, the authors searched for studies that investigated the spread of health-related misinformation on social media. They restricted their searches to articles published in English between January 2012 and November 2018. They included 57 studies.

What was found: Health-related misinformation is abundant on the internet and is often more popular than accurate information.

 

Disclaimer: This summary has been written by staff and volunteers of Evidence Aid in order to make the content of the original document accessible to decision makers who are searching for the available evidence on the coronavirus (COVID-19) but may not have the time, initially, to read the original report in full. This summary is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians, other health workers, professional associations, guideline developers, or national governments and international agencies. If readers of this summary think that the evidence that is presented within it is relevant to their decision-making they should refer to the content and details of the original article, and the advice and guidelines offered by other sources of expertise, before making decisions. Evidence Aid cannot be held responsible for any decisions made about the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the basis of this summary alone.

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