Addressing COVID-19 misinformation on social media preemptively and responsively

Emily K. Vraga, Leticia Bode

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Efforts to address misinformation on social media have special urgency with the emergence of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). In one effort, the World Health Organization (WHO) designed and publicized shareable infographics to debunk coronavirus myths. We used an experiment to test the efficacy of these infographics, depending on placement and source. We found that exposure to a corrective graphic on social media reduced misperceptions about the science of 1 false COVID-19 prevention strategy but did not affect misperceptions about prevention of COVID-19. Lowered misperceptions about the science persisted ≥1 week later. These effects were consistent when the graphic was shared by the World Health Organization or by an anonymous Facebook user and when the graphics were shared preemptively or in response to misinformation. Health organizations can and should create and promote shareable graphics to improve public knowledge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)396-403
Number of pages8
JournalEmerging infectious diseases
Volume27
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). All rights reserved.

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

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