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Prevalence of Misinformation and Factchecks on the COVID-19 Pandemic in 35 Countries : Observational Infodemiology Study

Prevalence of Misinformation and Factchecks on the COVID-19 Pandemic in 35 Countries : Observational Infodemiology Study

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CHA, Meeyoung, Chiyoung CHA, Karandeep SINGH, Gabriel LIMA, Yong-Yeol AHN, Juhi KULSHRESTHA, Onur VAROL, 2021. Prevalence of Misinformation and Factchecks on the COVID-19 Pandemic in 35 Countries : Observational Infodemiology Study. In: JMIR human factors. JMIR Publications. 8(1), e23279. eISSN 2292-9495. Available under: doi: 10.2196/23279

@article{Cha2021-02-13Preva-53936, title={Prevalence of Misinformation and Factchecks on the COVID-19 Pandemic in 35 Countries : Observational Infodemiology Study}, year={2021}, doi={10.2196/23279}, number={1}, volume={8}, journal={JMIR human factors}, author={Cha, Meeyoung and Cha, Chiyoung and Singh, Karandeep and Lima, Gabriel and Ahn, Yong-Yeol and Kulshrestha, Juhi and Varol, Onur}, note={Article Number: e23279} }

Attribution 4.0 International Cha, Meeyoung Prevalence of Misinformation and Factchecks on the COVID-19 Pandemic in 35 Countries : Observational Infodemiology Study 2021-06-10T06:49:52Z Cha, Chiyoung Ahn, Yong-Yeol eng Varol, Onur Lima, Gabriel Kulshrestha, Juhi Kulshrestha, Juhi Varol, Onur Ahn, Yong-Yeol Singh, Karandeep Singh, Karandeep Cha, Chiyoung Lima, Gabriel Background:<br />The COVID-19 pandemic has been accompanied by an infodemic, in which a plethora of false information has been rapidly disseminated online, leading to serious harm worldwide.<br /><br />Objective:<br />This study aims to analyze the prevalence of common misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic.<br /><br />Methods:<br />We conducted an online survey via social media platforms and a survey company to determine whether respondents have been exposed to a broad set of false claims and fact-checked information on the disease.<br /><br />Results:<br />We obtained more than 41,000 responses from 1257 participants in 85 countries, but for our analysis, we only included responses from 35 countries that had at least 15 respondents. We identified a strong negative correlation between a country’s Gross Domestic Product per-capita and the prevalence of misinformation, with poorer countries having a higher prevalence of misinformation (Spearman ρ=–0.72; P<.001). We also found that fact checks spread to a lesser degree than their respective false claims, following a sublinear trend (β=.64).<br /><br />Conclusions:<br />Our results imply that the potential harm of misinformation could be more substantial for low-income countries than high-income countries. Countries with poor infrastructures might have to combat not only the spreading pandemic but also the COVID-19 infodemic, which can derail efforts in saving lives. 2021-02-13 2021-06-10T06:49:52Z Cha, Meeyoung

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