Journal Article: “Bots and Misinformation Spread on Social Media: Implications for COVID-19”
The article linked to below was recently published by the Journal of Medical Information Research (JMIR).
J Med Internet Res 2021;23(5):e26933
As of March 2021, the SARS-CoV-2 virus has been responsible for over 115 million cases of COVID-19 worldwide, resulting in over 2.5 million deaths. As the virus spread exponentially, so did its media coverage, resulting in a proliferation of conflicting information on social media platforms—a so-called “infodemic.” In this viewpoint, we survey past literature investigating the role of automated accounts, or “bots,” in spreading such misinformation, drawing connections to the COVID-19 pandemic. We also review strategies used by bots to spread (mis)information and examine the potential origins of bots. We conclude by conducting and presenting a secondary analysis of data sets of known bots in which we find that up to 66% of bots are discussing COVID-19. The proliferation of COVID-19 (mis)information by bots, coupled with human susceptibility to believing and sharing misinformation, may well impact the course of the pandemic.
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About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.