Health Misinformation -- Why does it get shared?
Social Media has increased the spread of health misinformation. Health misinformation is any information that is false, inaccurate, or misleading according to the best available evidence at the time. It can be harmful and irresponsible to share this information, so how can we can stop the spread?
By gaining a better understanding we can be aware of and help cut through misinformation. There are many ways information can be considered “false”. Misinformation is frequently based in truth, but sites sensationalize and mislead their audience by posting false, incomplete, or misleading information lacking context. By including incomplete quotes or editing media to leave out important context it can completely change a story.
It is difficult to see this as misinformation at a first glance, but there are some steps we can take to ensure we are not promoting misinformation.
Health misinformation can be very harmful even when it is not shared maliciously. Most often health misinformation is being shared because the sharer wants to protect the people they care about. They might be doing so verbally or digitally through social media channels, all while being unaware it is false information.
Best practice is - If You’re Not Sure, Don’t Share! It is not worth the potential harm it could bring to your community. Unless you are sure of the health information you are wanting to share don’t pass it on.
Learn more online at bit.Ly/misinformation_pdf or continue reading our January newsletter at https://abilenetx.Gov/documentcenter/view/16570/the-health-connection-january-2022