The problems associated with viral misinformation is well-documented with regards to politics and international affairs, but less so for health information. As false news is 70% more likely than verified news to receive a retweet, the spread of health misinformation on social media could be having an impact on the decisions people make about how to keep themselves and their families healthy.
“Finding ways that help the public play their own role in Wellcome’s mission to improve health is core to our work in Public Engagement. We want to empower more people to feel able to access, challenge and respond to health research. To do that, we need clearer understanding of how people use and share health information, and understand their experience of health and science. We’re excited about this collaboration with Shift because of its potential to provide evidence and real insight into a complex issue.”
Farrah Nazir, Acting Creative & Partnerships Lead, Wellcome
A research project investigating health information on social media from the point of view of parents. We’re using parents with young children who are making a decision on whether or not to vaccinate their children as a case study.
This will include:
- A deep dive into the social media world of these parents – what kinds of health information parents see and share
- Digital diaries to capture screenshots of the information appearing on social media feeds and to log participants’ engagement with health information
- Immersive interviews exploring more deeply how participants evaluate information truthfulness and accuracy and why they share health information with others.
Wellcome launches research to investigate fake health news on social media
Third Sector Magazine, July 2018
Wellcome launches social media health info research probe
Charity Digital News, July 2018