From Statistics Canada:
Since the pandemic began, a great deal of information has circulated online and on social media about COVID-19, and many Canadians have turned to online resources to stay informed.
The COVID-19 pandemic was accompanied by an infodemic—an overabundance of information, some which is true and some which is not, which made it very difficult for people to find facts and reliable sources. Misinformation in the context of COVID-19, can endanger the population’s health, especially if the news that spreads is about false prevention measures or treatments, or if it undermines the population’s trust in health services and public or political institutions (WHO 2020; OECD 2020).
Nationally, the Canadian government has been involved in combating misinformation for several years, including supporting initiatives for digital citizenship education and creating healthy information ecosystems (Canadian Heritage n.d.a; Canadian Heritage n.d.b).
This article uses data from the Canadian Perspectives Survey Series (CPSS) 4: Information Sources Consulted During the Pandemic, which was conducted from July 20 to 26, 2020 among Canadians aged 15 and over living in the 10 provinces. The focus is on information found online by Canadians who used online resources to learn about COVID-19, as well as COVID-19 information sharing. In addition, the article examines the verification methods used by Canadians to check the accuracy of information found online as well as suspected information seen online about COVID-19.
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