Importance of COVID-19 misinformation on social networks

23 January, 2024

Hi, Numerous studies are published and messages are posted, including on HIFA newsletter, on COVID-19 misinformation on social media, also called infodemic. I point out that, while misinformation exists and is a concern, a large majority of COVID-19 information on social media is accurate. Studies conducted from December 2019 to May 2020 showed that the proportion of COVID-19 posts on social networks that contained misinformation varied from 0·2% to 14·2%, depending on the network (one study found 28·8% on Twitter, including inappropriate humor) (

According to a study conducted in March-April 2020 “more credible,” “less credible,” and “not credible” information on COVID-19 represented 72·4%, 23·6%, and 4·0% on Twitter, 83·6%, 14·8%, and 1·7% on Facebook pages, and 70·1%,25·7%, and 4·3% on Facebook groups ( A study of 300 million English-language tweets related to COVID-19 vaccines in 2021 concluded to “a relatively low prevalence of low-credibility information compared to the entirety of mainstream news.” (doi: 10.2196/42227) Indeed, a study conducted in Pakistan showed that using social media was associated with an increased probability of getting vaccinated by 1·61 units. (doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2022-066362)

We should not forget the global perspective when talking or writting about misinformation.

Bernard Seytre

HIFA profile: Bernard Seytre is a Consultant at BNSCommunication in France. Professional interests: Health communication and education. seytre AT