India top source of social media misinformation on COVID-19: Study
India produced the largest amount of social media misinformation on COVID-19 due to the country's higher internet penetration rate, increasing social media consumption, and users' lack of internet literacy, according to a new study. The study, Prevalence and Source Analysis of COVID-19 Misinformation in 138 Countries, was published in Sage's International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions journal.
Study analyzed over 9K pieces of misinformation in 138 countries
The study analyzed 9,657 pieces of misinformation that originated in 138 countries. They were fact-checked by 94 organizations to understand the prevalence and sources of misinformation in different countries. Notably, the results also showed that India (15.94 percent), the US (9.74 percent), Brazil (8.57 percent), and Spain (8.03 percent) are the four most misinformation-affected countries.
India produced 18.07% of misinformation on COVID-19 of all countries
Of all the countries, India (18.07 percent) produced the largest amount of social media misinformation, perhaps thanks to the country's higher internet penetration rate, increasing social media consumption, and users' lack of internet literacy, the study said.
Social media produces largest amount of misinformation: Study
Based on the results, the study said it is presumed that the prevalence of COVID-19 misinformation can have a positive association with the pandemic situation. "Social media (84.94 percent) produces the largest amount of misinformation, and the internet (90.5 percent) as a whole is responsible for most of the COVID-19 misinformation," the study said.
WHO had earlier warned regarding false information on COVID-19
"Moreover, Facebook alone produces 66.87 percent of the misinformation among all social media platforms," the study stated. Notably, earlier, the World Health Organization had also warned that false information on COVID-19 is spreading and putting people in danger. The WHO had urged people to make sure to double-check everything they hear with trusted sources.