Misinformation is prevalent in every social media platform, Facebook, TikTok, Snapchat, Whatsapp, Instagram, Twitter, etc. As the COVID-19 pandemic spread, people relied on social media outlets to socialize with their family and friends as a period of social distancing and quarantine took hold to try to stave off the deadly consequences of the virus.
These platforms became hubs for users to find and share information about the COVID-19, leading to an explosion of unchecked misinformation. According to Salman Bin Naeem, Rubina Bhatti, and Aqsa Khan’s “An exploration of how fake news is taking over social media and putting public health at risk” social media use increased by 10-87% around the globe during the pandemic. Naeem et al argue that the spread of misinformation in social media is putting public health at risk.
It is imperative that users halt and think about the sources they are sharing through social media and that scientists, health information professionals, and journalists see it as their professional responsibility to help the general public identify fake news stories.