WhatsApp’s COVID-19 misinformation problem fueled amid second wave

New Delhi: Besides crippling the medical healthcare infrastructure of India, the second wave of COVID-19 additionally got here with a pretend information plague on the web, in keeping with a just lately carried out survey by medical doctors from Rochester, New York, and Pune, India.  

The scientific research printed within the Journal of Medical Internet Research a peer-reviewed journal, identified that ~30% of Indians relied on WhatsApp to obtain data round COVID-19. 

Around 30% of Indians fact-checked lower than 50% of messages earlier than forwarding, the survey revealed, including that simply 13% of the respondents by no means fact-checked messages before sharing to others. 
However, solely a handful of WhatsApp customers have been answerable for the majority of forwarding of each appropriate and faux data round COVID-19. The survey stated that in a day solely 14% of respondents forwarded three or extra messages to others. Just 5% shared 9 or extra messages. 

In phrases of age teams, Indians over 65 have been in some way extra more likely to get misinformation. Unfortunately, the age group was additionally extra more likely to consider within the pretend messages and even to answer them. 

24-27% of respondents admitted that that they had thought of utilizing natural, ayurvedic or homoeopathic COVID-19 cures whereas 7-8% truly tried them to battle the illness. Users beneath the age of 25 have been the least more likely to obtain pretend messages, the research famous.

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