9/9 The Causes and Consequences of COVID-19 Misperceptions: Understanding the Role of News and Social Media – Cherry

In The Causes and Consequences of COVID-19 Misperceptions: Understanding the Role of News and Social Media, Aengus Bridgman, Peter John Loewen, Derek Ruths, Oleg Zhilin, Eric Merkley, Taylor Owen, and Lisa Teichmann focus on misinformation circulates on social media platforms, and they demonstrate misinformation on social media in Canada may lead to misbehaviors and attitudes towards COVID-19.

Authors mention the COVID-19 outbreak has been accompanied by a so-called “infodemic” – “a global spread of misinformation that poses a serious problem for public health”. Although social medias have engaged in efforts to combat misinformation, they still appearing on prominent pages and groups on media. The spread of false or misleading information would lead to misperception, and that can be fatal during a pandemic.

Authors’ design and experiment can be described as valid. They collected nearly 2.5 million tweets and over 9 thousand articles. They also conducted a nationally representative survey and used a sample of nearly 2500 Canadian citizens. They set quotas on age, gender, region, and language to ensure sample representativeness. In addition, they “sum the number of outlets of applications for each and take the log to adjust for extreme values”. One of the findings stated that misinformation about COVID-19 is circulated more on social media as compared to traditional media. It really makes sense since only writers or editors can post articles on traditional media, whereas everyone can be the creator on social media. Misinformation indeed would make people to have wrong behaviors or attitudes towards COVID, and personally, I experienced the different stages of moods as the information changed every day. I can deeply understand what the authors state.


2 thoughts on “9/9 The Causes and Consequences of COVID-19 Misperceptions: Understanding the Role of News and Social Media – Cherry

  1. I can definitely agree the pandemic had an impact on the types of content and information that was being shared between followers. My social media feed on instagram went from very light hearted posts pre-pandemic to posts about health and safety and the risks of not taking the proper pre cautions once the pandemic started. There was also a lot of shame on social media for people who did not post this type of content. People were attacking others for posting their normal light hearted content. But not everyone uses social media for the same reasons. Some people use it as a news source. While others use it to document moments in their lives and to connect to others.

  2. I definitely agree with this author. The pandemic impacted social media in a way I’ve never seen before. People were criticizing other people for not reposting the same stories regarding staying safe, risks, and COVID news and stories. Or, criticizing people for posting fun content with friends or family, and those people were deemed selfish and disrespectful. Yet, no one knew when these photos were from. Social media became a hostile environment very fast. However, people are allowed to use social media in whatever way they would like.

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