Social networks influence more than official health sources

May 13, 2020

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This article was translated from Spanish

Communities in the social network Facebook that question the established health criteria are more effective than official sources in reaching and creating links with "undecided" groups, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature .

Researchers at George Washington University, located in the capital of the United States, point out that this mistrust in the usual treatments could put at risk public health efforts to protect citizens from COVID-19 and future pandemics through vaccines. .

Professor Neil Johnson, head of the study and associated with the faculty Institute for Data, Democracy and Policy, says that there is a "new world war online" around trust in the healthcare system and scientific knowledge.

To fight disinformation over the Internet, Johnson's research team developed a map that shows the interrelationship of anti-vaccine groups with provaccines and undecided and that allows to identify clusters and neutralize the communities that disseminate this type of content "so harmful to the population".

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