Facebook Major Contributor in Spreading Health Misinformation

I’ve been on a bit of a health kick lately, as there are some physically demanding activities I’m planning on doing and I need to make sure my body can keep up.

So, of course, all research leads to the internet. But, as we know, it’s also a place full of minefields; a big one being health and fitness. So when I saw this, I wasn’t surprised.

Infographic: Report: Facebook Poses A Major Threat To Public Health | Statista
(You can find more infographics at Statista)

“The heart of the global misinformation network investigated by Avaaz are 82 websites known for spreading false/misleading stories about health and their reach is amplified on Facebook by pages, groups or individual profiles. In April, for example, content from the top-10 misinformation websites was viewed over 296 million times while credible health information from the top-10 official health institutions received 71 million views.”

This is the Avazz report detailing their research and conclusions. Below are some of the websites and Facebook pages that are the most egregious. I hope that, with this information and by doing your own research, if you have been relying on these sites, you will choose to stop.

Here is Avazz’s list of the Top 10 Misinformation Websites.

(I will not provide links to these.)

Rank Website Estimated Views
1 Realfarmacy.com 253,618,426
2 globalresearch.ca 235,638,637
3 collective-evolution.com 170,563,539
4 jedanews.com 166,154,587
5 ripostelaique.com 140,179,475
6 mercola.com 133,536,826
7 lesmoutonsrebelles.com 111,483,871
8 sonsoflibertymedia.com 99,185,021
9 wakingtimes.com 93,342,708
10 nowtheendbegins.com 82,322,883

42 ‘superspreader’ Facebook pages

Within public Facebook pages, we then identified 42 ‘superspreader’ Facebook pages — pages that generated at least 100,000 interactions on posts linking to the 82 health misinformation spreading websites and acted as a megaphone for much of their content by repeatedly sharing and directing users to this content

Rank Page Estimated Views
1 Dr. Joseph Mercola en Español 101,899,218
2 Bradlee Dean 97,745,513
3 Collective Evolution 72,804,365
4 Waking Times 50,094,659
5 The Farmacy 42,061,115
6 Jeda news
36,601,124
7 Realfarmacy.com 28,415,650
8 Grow Food, Not Lawns 28,312,274
9 Wake Up World 23,121,071
10 The Truth About Cancer 22,559,261

 

Political Affiliations of the Sampled Set of Global Health Misinformation Spreading Networks on Facebook

political affiliations of health misinformation

I hope you take the time to read the Avazz Report. It’s a real eye-opener. Especially, in these times, it’s important for all of us to keep our eyes open.

Where to Find Reliable Health Websites

RefSeek’s guide lists the 25 best online resources for medical reference. With few exceptions, the sites in this list are available for free and without registration.

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