This article is from Aug 21, 2020

Health-related fake information gets billions of views on Facebook – Avaaz report.

Fake news and misinformation continue to pose a major threat, despite the fact that Facebook, the primary social media platform, has been able to share a lot of creative information and reach out to the public. In particular, health-related advice, medical information that is unsubstantiated and misinformation abounds, and still persists. There was a lot of misinformation spread when the corona threat began. We are constantly posting about the false health tips and information that are spreading on Facebook and trying to create awareness among the people.

From May 2019 to May 2020, health-related misinformation on Facebook received 3.8 billion views, peaking in April 2020, when the COVID-19 vulnerability peaked, according to a new Avaaz report.

Avaaz, a US-based NGO, has published a study entitled “Facebook’s Algorithm: Major Threat to Public Health” that websites that spread more misinformation are received 4 times more visibility than the websites of the top 10 leading health organizations, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is reported to receive 4 times more visibility, and even though such information has been verified, only 16% of them have been given a warning label for misinformation and the remaining 84% have gone without warning, the report said.

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The team surveyed a total of 83 websites (falsely flicked by News card) that spread misinformation about health, with 42 “SuperSpreader” Facebook pages in five countries: the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Italy.

Fadi Quran, director of the Avaaz campaign, said: “Facebook’s method is a major threat to public health. Mark Zuckerberg was committed to providing reliable information during pandemics. However, his efforts have been thwarted by his move through Facebook to move 2.7 billion users to networks that spread misinformation about health, ”the BBC reported.

To rectify the situation, the report said, “All users who view such misinformation must self-verify its authenticity and identify users who publish such misleading information”

In India too, many misinformation about health is published and gets the attention of millions of people. Educated people also share the medical and health misinformation they see on Facebook thinking it is true. Do not blindly trust the information you see on social media. It is important to develop the habit of self-discovering the authenticity of the information you see.

Links : 

Facebook ‘danger to public health’ warns report

Facebook’s Algorithm: A Major Threat to Public Health

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