Notifications
Clear all

Internet and Misinformation

Page 1 / 3
 
(@ashishjoshi)
Member Admin

The Internet has become a popular resource to learn about health. However, given the large amount of inaccurate information online, people can easily become misinformed.  Misinformation concerning health has particularly severe consequences with regard to people's quality of life and even their risk of mortality; therefore, understanding it within today's modern context is an extremely important task.  

It is important to discuss whether personal access to information is helping or hindering health outcomes. 
 
How has the internet changed people's engagement with health information?
Quote
Topic starter Posted : January 28, 2021 11:09 am
drKhurana, Priya Gupta, Sudar Jyothi G and 8 people liked
(@harpreet)
Estimable Member Registered

Internet has vast information on various topics including health, and people often resort to that information for prevention and management of their health problems, however, scientific studies have reported that information present on the internet is of poor quality leading to health misinformation, which is “a health-related claim of fact that is currently false due to a lack of scientific evidence”. This may lead to misperceptions on health issues. This paper talks about many facets of health misinformation, including its sources, prevalence, characteristics (both content and diffusion features), impact, and mitigation. It also reports that health misinformation originates from many sources, most notably mass and social media, is fairly prevalent, both in interpersonal and mediated settings, and tends to feature negative sentiments, anecdotal evidence, and anti-science narratives.

//psyarxiv.com/6mrgv

ReplyQuote
Posted : January 28, 2021 12:03 pm
(@kamalpreet)
Reputable Member Registered

In the given article, Where We Go from Here: Health Misinformation on Social Media

 Health misinformation is defined as “any health-related claim of fact that is false based on current scientific consensus”. It is been reported that inaccurate information spread faster than accurate information and it could have adverse effects in the real world which includes increased controversy about vaccines and circulating unproven cancer treatments. It requires immediate actions from public health researchers and practitioner. However, there are certain challenges to counter misinformation such as psychological factors, including emotions and cognitive biases. This article talks about five understudied research areas  such as, enhance surveillance, understand psychological drivers, assess real-world consequences, focus on vulnerable populations, develop effective responses need to be explored improve policy and practice in response to health misinformation

Read here 

//www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7532328/

 

ReplyQuote
Posted : January 28, 2021 12:29 pm
(@ashruti-bhatt)
Estimable Member Registered

The Internet has revolutionized the way information is shared and accessed. Information retrieval is easier now than ever before. Since the rise of modern search engines, social networks, and ubiquitous access through devices such as smartphones and tablet or laptop computers, information is available at people’s fingertips almost any time of the day. One important domain in which the Internet plays an increasing role is health information access. Considering how easy it is to Google search “Sore throat,” it is not surprising that many people make an attempt at self-diagnosis using the Internet before waiting hours in crowded walk-in clinics or emergency departments to consult professionals. Although, online health information can increase patients knowledge of, competence with, and engagement in health decision-making strategies. Independent online inquiries can complement and be used in synergy with doctor-patient interactions in the clinic, which often become highly time constrained.

Online health information also presents some inherent difficulties which is difficult to regulate, meaning quality control is a challenge, and, further, patients vary widely in their health information literacy. Bad health information used in an improper way can be highly detrimental. Patients might trust misleading information or might make important health decisions based on sensationalized or emotionally charged stories that are not relevant to their health context. The Internet can also be used as a platform for the promotion of esoteric and unscientifically founded health practices. Patients are often in a vulnerable position, and many are willing to accept information that provides a sense of hope and control. Owing to a lack of technical knowledge, some patients are also unable to critically assess or might misinterpret health information. These factors can lead to a false sense of knowledge and security, and potentially noncompliance if the patient adopts beliefs that conflict with appropriate medical practices.

Interesting read: Health information on the Internet Gold mine or minefield?

ReplyQuote
Posted : January 28, 2021 12:48 pm
(@mahimakaur)
Eminent Member Registered

Internet as a tool for health-related information and communication has grown immensely in recent years. Recently the debate has started on the implications of the expanding universe of ‘Health on the Internet’. Cautions have also been raised, concerning primarily the quality of the information available on the Internet. These concerns have led to concerted efforts to assess the quality of e-health information and to create quality standards for Internet health sites. Many individuals lack the internet literacy skills to comprehend and comparatively evaluate health information and do not understand how or where to locate the most accurate information online. It can act as a barrier to the dissemination of correct information. Additionally, it can lead to the adoption of misleading and possibly dangerous health recommendations. Health promotive strategies should be directed towards strengthening the ability/skills of individuals. It should focus on educating people on how to evaluate different information sources concerning their interests and needs and how to do a cautious analysis of health information found on the web.

ReplyQuote
Posted : January 28, 2021 2:56 pm
(@kamalpreet)
Reputable Member Registered

@harpreet

According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), digital misinformation is becoming prevalent in online social media and has been listed by the WEF as a global risk and one of the main threats to society. Cancer related misinformation on social media is in novice stage we do not have a 50-plus-year history, like with tobacco and health research, to fall back on.

The article “Social Media and Cancer Misinformation: Additional Platforms to Explore” focuses on  requirement and need of more research in other important and popular social media platforms such as, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and Reddit .  

//www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7532333/

ReplyQuote
Posted : January 28, 2021 9:13 pm
(@shyamlithakur)
Eminent Member Registered

@kamalpreet

Yes, true that by using different types of social media, patients are engaging with other patients in online communities. Due to the amalgamation of mobile health, social media, wearable, games, and big data, the boundaries between them are fading away.

Since social networks have a strong impact on people’s health decisions, there is a necessity for complex multidisciplinary research on using social networks as a boon for public health rather than making it a source of misinformation. This will help the health professionals and the community to come up with new tools for efficient decision-making at the global, national, and local levels.

In the paper “Health and Social Media: Perfect Storm of Information” major research challenges with the area of health social media are well presented. Read at: //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4434065/

ReplyQuote
Posted : January 29, 2021 12:01 am
(@shyamlithakur)
Eminent Member Registered

There are many communities that spread misinformation online, be it the multinationals bidding to shape the public debate for their commercial interests or social media groups that amplify low-credibility sources. Nowadays no patient is a passive receiver of health recommendations, as they have an active role in imbibing, assessing, and gauging health information. However, not all masses are health experts, which leads to a cost to many of them having access to online platforms for conducting research on their own ailments.

Research on the effectiveness of interventions regarding health misinformation is highly scant. So, based on the available research, following are the approaches for tackling health misinformation which has been proposed in the paper presented in this forum of Internet and Misinformation. First is improving e-health literacy, using the internet collaboratively with physicians, strengthening the signal of source quality online, creation and distribution of accurate information, increasing the frequency of corrections, and taking advantage of technological advances.

The dynamicity of the internet makes the study of online health misinformation more complex. So, there is an urgent need for coming together of health communicators to work on finding robust solutions for this issue.

ReplyQuote
Posted : January 29, 2021 12:42 am
(@bhavya)
Active Member Registered

Majority of people consider internet to be the easiest and most reliable source for information in every field. Which leads to investigating their own health conditions. So they start their own treatment with things which does not have any scientific evidence which leads to serious issues to lead good quality of life and even risk of mortality.

Disinformation is a coordinated or deliberate effort to knowingly circulate misinformation in order to gain money, power, or reputation. 

Misinformation is disseminated by following ways:

1. Direct to online sources

2. Search

3. User generated content

4. Mobile Apps

5. Social Media

 

Who spreads Misinformation?

Misinformation and disinformation online, whether it be corporations and multinationals attempting to shape the public debate owing to economic interests or social media bots that amplify low-credibility sources.

 

Steps to handle misinformation:

1. Improved eHealth literacy

2. Using the Internet in collaborative with Physician

3. Stronger signal of source Quality

4. Create and distribute correct information

 

Latest and appropriate read: //www.annualreviews.org/doi/full/10.1146/annurev-publhealth-040119-094127

ReplyQuote
Posted : January 29, 2021 10:01 am
(@harpreet)
Estimable Member Registered

An infodemic is an overabundance of information, both online and offline. In present context, everyone is all being exposed to a huge amount of COVID-19 information, and not all of it is reliable. This WHO article talks about tips for telling the difference and stopping the spread of misinformation. 

//www.who.int/news-room/spotlight/let-s-flatten-the-infodemic-curve

 

ReplyQuote
Posted : January 29, 2021 10:32 am
(@shruti-sharma)
Eminent Member Registered

Concern is not that misinformation is available on the internet, concern about misinformation on the internet usually on the bulk of misinformation available, the ease of reading it, the ease of availability, the ease of retrieving it, the speed of misinformation to the masses or can say the lack of editorial proof read over sight. Yet none of these would be cause for concern if no one was misinformed. Indeed, what constitutes misinformation is often determined by who believes it. Hence the most important consideration may be a focus on why people believe and what could be measure to know the misinformation on the sites. 

Specially social media plays important role for spreading information/ mis information. The largest social media platform FACEBOOK with over 2.4 billion active users, some the post have innocuous claims, also other have post of harmful ideas and promoting certain medicines or behavious as preventive or curative measures. 

So in such cases social media platform should take strict action. 

In response to such post Facebook has launched a COVID-19 information center that houses all updates and information related to the platform’s efforts around the virus (Kang-Xing Jin, "Keeping People Safe and Informed About the Coronavirus," Facebook Newsroom). 

 

 

ReplyQuote
Posted : January 29, 2021 12:02 pm
(@shruti-sharma)
Eminent Member Registered

I found this paper very interesting.

 

How Internet Platforms Are Combating Disinformation and Misinformation in the Age of COVID-19 //www.newamerica.org/oti/reports/how-internet-platforms-are-combating-disinformation-and-misinformation-age-covid-19/

ReplyQuote
Posted : January 29, 2021 12:08 pm
(@mahimakaur)
Eminent Member Registered

//www.thelancet.com/action/showPdf?pii=S2589-7500%2819%2930136-0
This article talks about vaccination misinformation and social media. WHO defines vaccine hesitancy as "delay in acceptance or refusal of vaccines despite availability of vaccination services". The advent of social media has given unprecedented opportunities to amplify and spread antivaccination messages leading to increased vaccine hesitancy. Some common misinformation regarding vaccines is: vaccines cause autism, vaccines are full of toxins, there is no difference whether parents choose to delay or spread out vaccines, accurate to say that it is better to develop immunity by getting the disease than by vaccination ( //misinforeview.hks.harvard.edu/article/users-of-social-media-more-likely-to-be-misinformed-about-vaccines/).  

Few social media platforms are making sure that accurate information is disseminated. For instance: Instagram has blocked hashtags that make patently false claims such as #vaccinescauseaids or misleading information, twitter ensures that when users search for vaccine-related topics in the UK, the first result is for the National Health Service. In the USA, the same search first turns up a link to the Department of Health and Human Services. YouTube shows more authoritative content across the site for people searching for vaccination-related topics downgrading “recommendations of certain anti-vaccination videos” as well as “showing information panels with more sources” to permit viewers to “fact check information for themselves. Therefore, we need to work on providing people with the media literacy skills and education so that they can figure out which sources of information are reliable.

This post was modified 1 year ago by mahimakaur
ReplyQuote
Posted : January 29, 2021 12:25 pm
(@shyamlithakur)
Eminent Member Registered

According to WHO, Vaccine hesitancy is a serious threat to global health. Online disinformation campaigns are bringing a dip in vaccination coverage, which can lead to preventing communities from reaching thresholds of coverage necessary for herd immunity. This will eventually keep the pandemic alive.

In the year 2003 in Nigeria, widespread rumours about polio vaccines intensified vaccine hesitancy leading to a boycott of polio vaccination in the country. This led to a five-fold increase in cases of polio in the country and contributed to polio epidemics across three continents. So, combating social media disinformation regarding vaccines is crucial for encouraging vaccine uptake and reducing vaccine hesitancy around the world.

An interesting read “Misinformation on social media fuels vaccine hesitancy: a global study shows the link”.

ReplyQuote
Posted : January 29, 2021 5:17 pm
(@rohitashwa)
Active Member Registered

The Internet is a good thing as it provides opportunities for people to search for and to access valuable as well as useless information in a suitable and individually tailored way. It also provides opportunities for people to make contacts and communicate with others in matters of importance for their health and wellbeing. In this respect, health on the Internet is empowering—it puts more control and power in the hands of unqualified people. Health on the Internet might function as an additional resource for people who already have knowledge and information skills, but less so for people with few such resources. This can be seen as disempowering aspect and to address it, there is a need of health promotive and empowering strategy, which should be directed towards strengthening the ability of people to evaluate different health information sources in relation to their own interest and needs. The components of health promotive and empowering strategy can be  digital awareness campaign, establish checkpoint for the information which segregates the harmful information which is not as per the set rules and guidelines and establishment of a system for monitoring the content related to health. In this way, misinformation may be handled and controlled.

ReplyQuote
Posted : January 29, 2021 5:34 pm
Page 1 / 3
Share:
Go to Top