India has produced the highest amount of social media disinformation on COVID-19 due to the country’s higher internet penetration rate, increased social media consumption and lack of user knowledge on the Internet, according to a new study. The study, “Prevalence and Source Analysis of COVID-19 Misinformation in 138 Countries,” was published in the journal of the International Federation of Library Associations and Sage Institutions.
The study analyzed 9,657 pieces of disinformation from 138 countries. They have been verified by 94 organizations to understand the prevalence and sources of disinformation in different countries.
“Of any country, India (18.07%) has produced the greatest amount of disinformation on social media, possibly thanks to the country’s higher internet penetration rate, increased consumption of social media and lack of knowledge of Internet users, ”the study says.
In addition, the results also showed that India (15.94%), the United States (9.74%), Brazil (8.57%) and Spain (8.03%) are the four countries most affected by disinformation.
Based on the results, according to the study, it is presumed that the prevalence of misinformation about COVID-19 may have a positive association with the pandemic situation.
“Social media (84.94%) produces the greatest amount of disinformation, and the internet (90.5%) as a whole is responsible for most of the COVID-19 disinformation. Moreover, Facebook alone produces 66.87% of the disinformation among all social media platforms, ”he said.
Earlier, the World Health Organization also warned that false information about COVID-19 was spreading and putting people at risk.
The WHO had urged people to make sure to double-check everything they hear with reliable sources.