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People receiving news from social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are more likely to have misperceptions about Covid-19 pandemic. Pixabay

People who get their news from social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are more likely to have misperceptions about Covid-19 pandemic, warn researchers.

The study, published in the journal Misinformation Review, revealed that those that consume more traditional news media have fewer misperceptions and are more likely to follow public health recommendations like social distancing.


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“Platforms like Twitter and Facebook are increasingly becoming the primary sources of news and misinformation for Canadians and people around the world,” said study co-author Aengus Bridgman from the McGill University in Canada.

In the context of a crisis like Covid-19, however, there is good reason to be concerned about the role that the consumption of social media is playing in boosting misperceptions,” Bridgman added.


Compared to traditional news media, false or inaccurate information about COVID-19 is circulated more on social media platforms like Twitter. Pixabay

For the findings, the research team looked at the behavioural effects of exposure to misinformation by combining social media analysis, news analysis, and survey research.

They combed through millions of tweets, thousands of news articles, and the results of a nationally representative survey of Canadians to answer three questions.Those three questions were: How prevalent is Covid-19 misinformation on social media and in traditional news media? Does it contribute to misperceptions about Covid-19? And does it affect behaviour? Results showed that, compared to traditional news media, false or inaccurate information about COVID-19 is circulated more on platforms like Twitter.

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The researchers point to a big difference in the behaviours and attitudes of people who get their news from social media versus news media – even after taking into account demographics as well as factors like scientific literacy and socio-economic differences. Canadians who regularly consume socialmedia are less likely to observe social distancing and to perceive Covid-19 as a threat, while the opposite is true for people that get their information from news media.

“There is growing evidence that misinformation circulating on social mediaa poses public health risks. This makes it even more important for policymakers and social media platforms to flatten the curve of misinformation,” said study co-author Taylor Owen. (IANS)


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Rihanna was summoned from her seat to accept the honour, with the Prime Minister.

Singer Rihanna was honoured by Prime Minister Mia Mottley at an event which marked Barbados's new status as a republic, which was attended by Prince Charles. Addressing the pop star by her real name, the PM said: "Robyn Rihanna Fenty tomorrow morning shall have conferred upon her the order of national hero of Barbados."

Rihanna was then summoned from her seat to accept the honor, with the Prime Minister managing to rouse a laugh from the singer when she referenced her 2012 hit 'Diamonds', reports femalefirst.co.uk. She added: "On behalf of a grateful nation, but an even prouder people, we therefore present to you, the designee, for the national hero of Barbados." "And to accept on behalf of a grateful nation - you can come my dear - ambassador Robyn Rihanna Fenty, may you continue to shine like a diamond and bring honor to your nation." Rihanna, who was born in the St Michael parish of Barbados, found fame in 2005 after being spotted by a record producer and has since gone on to become one of the most successful female artists of all time with sales of over 250 million and recently reached billionaire status through her Fenty beauty brand.

The Prime Minister continued in her speech: "Commanding the imagination of the world through the pursuit of excellence, her creativity, her discipline, and above all else, her extraordinary commitment to the land of her birth. "Having satisfied that, Ambassador Robyn Rihanna Fenty has given service to Barbados which has been exemplified by visionary and pioneering leadership, extraordinary achievement and the attaining of the highest excellence to the Government of Barbados." It comes after a historic move for Barbados, which has become a republic after almost 400 years and welcomes its first president, Sandra Mason, after removing Queen Elizabeth as head of state. (IANS/ MBI)


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