Published in Telematics and Informatics, a recent report by a Washington State University researcher details the horror of relying on social networking sites as the main news source.
According to Yan Su, the study’s lead researcher, social media use could increase belief in COVID-19 misinformation, strengthening false information pushed by bad actors or imprudent news outlets.
The findings support the need for more robust fact-checking within social networking sites, to hold news outlets accountable for the potential of misleading information.
From the findings: “With the circulation of misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization has raised concerns about an “infodemic,” which exacerbates people’s misperceptions and deters preventive measures.”
“The findings revealed communication and psychological factors associated with COVID-19-related misinformation beliefs and provided insights into coping strategies during the pandemic.”
The study was the result of surveys administered to more than 3,000 participants pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic.