Report: False Health News More Popular on Facebook
Researchers from the University of Wisconsin and Tulane University in the United States analysed 200 posts (in English) on Facebook. They found that rumours and conspiracy theories were more popular than trustworthy information.
Using the keywords “Zika” and “virus”, the scientists searched for videos and other relevant material published over the course of a month. Two independent doctors then selected the 200 most shared posts, and determined that 12 per cent of them were misinforming the public about the virus.
In an article published in the American Journal of Infection Control, the authors reported that while posts published by institutions such as the World Health Organization reached 43,000 page views, misleading pages that described Zika as a medical ploy or a hoax received 530,000.
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Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.