The COVID-19 pandemic has been an era of misinformation. From social media to cable news, the spread of false or misleading information about COVID vaccines has been rampant. Some social media platforms have moved more aggressively by trying to flag misleading posts with disclaimers. Can fact-checking reduce the spread of misinformation? And perhaps more importantly, can fact-checks change people's minds about getting vaccinated?
In a new study, George Washington University political scientist Ethan Porter decided to look at COVID-19 misinformation spanning across ten countries, from Brazil to Nigeria, to the United States. He and his co-authors evaluated factual corrections in these ten countries to see whether or not they changed people's beliefs and whether they got vaccinated.