Health
Older Ontarians Most Involved in Spreading COVID-19 Myths Online, Study Finds

Older Ontarians Most Involved in Spreading COVID-19 Myths Online, Study Finds

A new study suggests Ontario residents aged 55 to 64 are the most involved in spreading misinformation about COVID-19 on social media.

Published by the Ontario Medical Association (OMA), the research found that six percent of Ontarians online have disseminated misinformation about COVID-19 and most are older adults, said the organization in a press release Wednesday.

Men and women in this age group were almost equally involved in sharing misinformation, and research found that many posters had entered right-wing websites and U.S. political blogs, the OMA, which represents physicians in Ontario.

The Advanced Symbolics Inc. study applied artificial intelligence technology to Twitter posts published between March 24, 2020 and March 24, 2021.

He revealed that engagement was highest in communities across eastern Ontario, including Ottawa, its surrounding areas and rural areas.

Association president Dr Samantha Hill said the study shows disinformation needs to be addressed in all communities and demographic groups.

Anti-lock feeling

Partly Fueled By Social Media, Partly Fueled By The COVID-19 Conspiracy Movement persuasion tactics, misinformation has contributed to anti-lockdown sentiment, COVID-19 denial and vaccine reluctance, said Imran Ahmed, founder of the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) – a Washington-based nonprofit , DC – which airs on CBC. Marketplace collaborated with a recent project on online disinformation.

“Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram have become the main vectors of disinformation in our world,” he said. “It is a shocking failure to act on the disinformation given to them on a silver platter,” he added.

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