Facebook is certainly a social media behemoth, with 2.7 million active monthly users. Nonetheless, Facebook engenders a lot of controversy due to some of the content it allows. One such criticism involves Facebook and health information, today’s topic.
During the time that we have operated this blog, we have published many other articles on health information. Check out a few of them:
- Price Transparency and Hospitals
- More COVID-19 Resources
- Better Food Shopping with Apps
- Be Careful Selling YOUR Health Data
A Critical Look at Facebook and Health Information
Avaaz, a global nonprofit organization, recently examined health-related information appearing Facebook. First, we present some highlights directly from Avaaz. Then, we provide some insights from Statista about that research.
“Health misinformation remains a global public health threat. Studies show that anti-vaccination communities prosper on Facebook. That the social media platform acts as a ‘vector’ for conspiracy beliefs that hinder people from protecting themselves during the COVID-19 outbreak. And that bogus health cures thrive on the social media platform.”
“In this report, Avaaz uncovers global health misinformation spreading networks on Facebook that reached an estimated 3.8 billion views in the last year. Spanning at least five countries. United States,. UK, France. Germany. And Italy.”
Here is the executive summary of Avaaz’s report. To access the full report, click the image.
Based on Avaaz’s research, Statista developed the following infographic. According to its Niall McCarthy:
“This infographic highlights the misinformation trend over the course of the coronavirus pandemic between January and May of this year. Content from the top-10 misinformation Web sites was viewed more than 124 million times in March. In comparison, the top-10 official health institutions received a mere 55 million views. When things peaked in April, the ten worst bogus Web sites had 296 million hits. While the official ones only had 71 million.”