Using Expert Sources to Correct Health Misinformation in Social Media

Emily K. Vraga, Leticia Bode

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study tests whether the number (1 vs. 2) and the source (another user vs. the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC]) of corrective responses affect successful reduction of misperceptions. Using an experimental design, our results suggest that while a single correction from another user did not reduce misperceptions, the CDC on its own could correct misinformation. Corrections were more effective among those higher in initial misperceptions. Notably, organizational credibility was not reduced when correcting misinformation, making this a low-cost behavior for public health organizations. We recommend that expert organizations like the CDC immediately and personally rebut misinformation about health issues on social media.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)621-645
Number of pages25
JournalScience Communication
Volume39
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, © The Author(s) 2017.

Copyright:
Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • CDC
  • credibility
  • health communication
  • misinformation
  • social media

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