Monday March 18, 2019

Social Media Propagating False Information On Vaccination

Education on vaccines in schools should be increased and improved.

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Social media marketing now represents a full-time job.

Negative messages about vaccines propagated on the social media are acting as the main barrier to vaccinations, a report from the UK-based charity Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) has revealed.

The report, titled “Moving the Needle”, identified two in five (41 per cent) parents, saying they are often or sometimes exposed to negative messages about vaccines on social media.

This increased to as many as one in two (50 per cent) among parents with children under five years old.

Traditional media, on the other hand, continued to be influential, and was highlighted by healthcare professionals as impacting the public’s views on vaccines.

Brazil, cuban doctors
It suggested that efforts to limit health misinformation online and via social media should be increased, especially by social media platforms themselves. VOA

The fear of side effects of vaccines was found to be the primary reason for choosing not to vaccinate, while lack of confidence in the effectiveness of the vaccine was the key reason for parents choosing not to vaccinate their children against flu, the report said.

“Fear and misinformation about vaccines can cause significant damage to seemingly stable vaccination programmes,” said RSPH Chief Executive Shirley Cramer.

“With the dawn of social media, information – and misinformation – about vaccines can spread further and faster than ever before and this may, unfortunately, be advantageous for anti-vaccination groups,” Cramer added.

The report also called for social media platforms and the press to do more to combat “fake news” as millions of lives have been saved through vaccination, and side effects are rare.

Fake News, EU
With the dawn of social media, information – and misinformation – about vaccines can spread further and faster than ever before and this may, unfortunately, be advantageous for anti-vaccination groups,” Cramer added.. Flickr Common

It suggested that efforts to limit health misinformation online and via social media should be increased, especially by social media platforms themselves.

Education on vaccines in schools should be increased and improved.

Access to vaccinations must be improved and it should be offered in a more diverse range of locations, including high street pop-ups, utilising the wider public health workforce.

Also Read: Risk Of Heart Disease May Increase Due To Pregnancy: Study

The report is based on the findings of surveys of nearly 5,000 people across the UK on their awareness and attitudes towards vaccines, such as MMR, the flu jab and HPV.

They include 2,600 parents, 2,000 other adults and more than 200 healthcare professionals, such as nurses, pharmacists and general practitioners. (IANS)

Next Story

Photo-Messaging App Snapchat To Launch In-App Gaming Platform

Speculations sparked about the launch of the long-rumoured platform because Snapchat's event invitation includes a tagline "Less Talk. More Play", Cheddar reported on Friday. 

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The in-app gaming space would feature games from third-party developers designed specifically to work on Snapchat. Pixabay

Photo-messaging app Snapchat is planning to announce its in-app gaming platform codenamed “Project Cognac” during its first-ever summit for content and developer partners on April 4 in Los Angeles.

Speculations sparked about the launch of the long-rumoured platform because Snapchat’s event invitation includes a tagline “Less Talk. More Play”, Cheddar reported on Friday.

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Games are becoming a new source of revenue for social networking giants. After YouTube, Facebook has also started rolling-out a dedicated gaming tab as part of the app’s main navigation.
Pixabay

The in-app gaming space would feature games from third-party developers designed specifically to work on Snapchat.

To kick start its venture in the gaming space, Snapchat acquired for $8.6 million an Australian gaming studio called Prettygreat — one of whose employees was behind hit mobile games like “Fruit Ninja” and “Jetpack Joyride”.

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The in-app gaming space would feature games from third-party developers designed specifically to work on Snapchat. Pixabay

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In 2018, Snapchat added its own lightweight, Augmented Reality (AR) games in the app. In 2017, Chinese tech giant Tencent acquired roughly 10 per cent of Snapchat’s publicly traded shares.

Games are becoming a new source of revenue for social networking giants. After YouTube, Facebook has also started rolling-out a dedicated gaming tab as part of the app’s main navigation. (IANS)