Health

Poynter Results

  • Social media comments are just as effective at correcting health misinformation as algorithms

    This study measures the extent to which algorithms and comments on Facebook that link to fact checks can effectively correct users' misconceptions about health news. Researchers tested this by exposing 613 survey participants to simulated news feeds with three condition. Participants were shown misinformation about the Zika virus and different corrective news stories either surfaced by algorithm or posted by another Facebook user. The experimental results found that algorithmic and social distribution of fact checks were equally effective in limiting participants' misperceptions — even for people who are more inclined to believe conspiracy theories. Researchers conclude that this is likely because breaking health news events often deal with new phenomena, which allows for great receptivity to comments and the possibility of opinion change among news consumers early on.

    Study Title
    See Something, Say Something: Correction of Global Health Misinformation on Social Media
    Study Publication Date
    Study Authors
    Leticia Bode, Emily K. Vraga
    Journal
    Health Communication
    Peer Reviewed
    Yes
  • On social media, users believe corrections if they include sources

    This study attempts to determine the most effective way to correct misinformation on social media by testing both the content of corrections and how they're presented. In a survey with 613 valid responses, of which 271 were analyzed, participants saw either a simulated Facebook or Twitter feed and were assigned to one of three conditions with varying levels of misinformation and corrections, both with and without sources. Based on the experimental results, researchers found that, when everyday users share corrections on social media, linking to credible sources increases the probability that other users will believe the corrections. In the control condition, in which participants weren't shown corrections with sources, misperceptions were largely unaltered. On Facebook, linked sources in comments on articles led to increased perceptions of credibility, while the same effect was absent in Twitter replies.

    Study Title
    I do not believe you: how providing a source corrects health misperceptions across social media platforms
    Study Publication Date
    Study Authors
    Emily K. Vraga, Leticia Bode
    Journal
    Information, Communication & Society
    Peer Reviewed
    Yes
 
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