Disease and Misinformation: Social Media Weighs in Badly

Bill Gates and Anthony Fauci are in cahoots on a patent for implants that will track everyone; a now totally debunked interview with a woman who claims to have worked with Faucci paints him as an evil, profit-driven monster; this virus was unleashed upon the world to kill off the older populations so they would […]

Thrive invites voices from many spheres to share their perspectives on our Community platform. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and opinions expressed by Community contributors do not reflect the opinions of Thrive or its employees. More information on our Community guidelines is available here.

Bill Gates and Anthony Fauci are in cahoots on a patent for implants that will track everyone; a now totally debunked interview with a woman who claims to have worked with Faucci paints him as an evil, profit-driven monster; this virus was unleashed upon the world to kill off the older populations so they would no longer be a “drain” on economies; there is a cure for Covid-19 but it is being held until an international cabal decides who gets it; quinine will kill off this virus; it’s all a hoax, and every hospital and government in the world is somehow involved. This is just a smattering of the coronavirus fake news on social media posts that have popped up in the past two months regarding this pandemic. And this is just on Facebook – it traverses all social media platforms. Of course, there is no writing service review can evaluate any of this information and fact check it before it is spread like ripples in a pond.
And then, of course, are the actual researchers and scientists who are working together, often in quiet, to determine the characteristics of this virus and how it may be neutralized/killed off within the human body. We do not know of all of their work because they are not on social media contributing to this firestorm. And so, getting factual, scientifically-based information is hard to find on these platforms.
It’s time for everyone to take a step back. There are experts who are making recommendations about safety. They are basic – washing hands, using disinfectants, wearing masks, eliminating exposure to crowds – and these are things that everyone can do. Rather than focusing on the latest “conspiracy theories,” spread on social media, this is where the focus must be. And everything that appears to be surprising, shocking, or strange about coronavirus should be fact-checked before shared.

What We Do Know About Fake News Social Media Statistics

In this ocean of the spread of misinformation and fake news reports, we do know this, based upon a recent MIT study that just focused on Twitter and false news. In sum, the report concludes that “falsehood diffused significantly farther, faster, deeper, and more broadly than the truth in all categories of information…it took the truth about six times as long as falsehood to reach 1,500 people.”
In terms of why this is true, the study stated that fake news is simply more surprising, more exciting, and more interesting than the truth, in most cases. Also, according to the study, using fact-checking sources seems to be a viable method of discerning the truth; however, most ordinary people, those responsible for the largest amount of sharing fake news, do not take the time to do this.
This particular research study looked at 126,000 stories tweeted by three million individual Twitter users about 4.5 million times. And the jarring fact? Fake news stories were 70% more often retweeted than true ones. And this misinformation was shared by ordinary people, not bots or those seeking to undermine our country as a whole.
Consider the dangers of “fake news” that are perpetrated by those attempting to threaten our way of life. During the 2016 election campaign, for example, more users of Facebook engaged in the spreading of false news than they did with traditional news services. Our intelligence agencies traced most of them back to a Russian disruption organization/campaign, and, ultimately 222,000 of these posts were removed. But not before they had spread like wildfire and reach 126 million people.
Adding to all of this is the fact that social media platforms have been slow to respond in proactive ways to mete out fake news, eliminate it, and ban those who begin these stories.
In far less dangerous circumstances than a pandemic, there is more fact-checking going on. For example, academic writing must be carefully researched for real data and accurate information. Essay writing service review agencies even exist to ensure that resources are reputable. The reason seems to be that there are just no consequences for posting fake news on social media.

Where Do Business Pros Stand in These Circumstances?

Business owners and marketers do have presences on social media platforms. And of course, they want to continue their digital marketing and brand spread in the midst of this pandemic. Many, in fact, are finding ways to show the value of their products and services during this time and to market them accordingly.
For example, if your company produces lawn and garden supplies, here is your current value: people are home; they are looking for things to do; spring is upon us. Such supplies can be marketed as a method for consumers to get outside, get some physical activity, and have the satisfaction of accomplishing something they can see and enjoy.
But the responsibility of all businesses on social media is to avoid any of the suspect information about this pandemic, and to focus only on the guidelines that have been provided by reputable, scientific experts, the circumstances that consumers face, and how they can alleviate some of those pain points.

The Bottom Line

This crisis has resulted in a complete upheaval of all sectors of our society. And in these times, the proliferation of fake news and conspiracy theories has almost dominated social media platforms. Businesses must stick to the facts, engage in rational operations and marketing, and be a voice of reason in these times.

    You might also like...

    How to make your social distancing productive

    How to Make Your Social Distancing Productive in the Times of Covid19?

    by Momal Tahir

    3 Lessons For Building An Online Business During a Pandemic.

    by Andrea Williams

    Why You Should Launch Your Own Online Course In 2020

    by Andre Haykal Jr
    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.