Coronavirus (752) BBC: Social media spreading virus conspiracy theories

18 June, 2020

Extracts below. Full text here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-53085640

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Unregulated social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube may present a health risk to the UK because they are spreading conspiracy theories about coronavirus.

That's the conclusion of a peer-reviewed study published in the journal Psychological Medicine, which finds people who get their news from social media sources are more likely to break lockdown rules... [I was unable to find the actual study - NPW]

"One wonders how long this state of affairs can be allowed to persist while social media platforms continue to provide a worldwide distribution mechanism for medical misinformation," the report concludes...

"Conspiracy beliefs act to inhibit health-protective behaviours," the study concludes, and "social media act as a vector for such beliefs."...

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Best wishes, Neil

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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 20,000 members in 180 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages (English, French, Spanish, Portuguese). Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org