#Enigma2022: Pandemic Misinformation Reveals Challenges for Online Health Information
The fact that misinformation is rampant online is not a new phenomenon. Perhaps less understood is the intersection between how often an individual sees a piece of misinformation and how likely they are to believe it.
In a session at the Enigma 2022 conference on February 1, Patrick Gage Kelley, trust and safety researcher at Google, outlined the results of a two-year study conducted by Google about online misinformation. The study was conducted throughout 2020 and 2021 and involved a series of regular surveys that included feedback from over 50,000 people from 16 countries worldwide.
Kelley explained that the researchers had two basic lines of questioning. The first focused on exposure. The researchers asked about a certain statement of information and whether the survey participant heard the information once, many times or not at all. The second line of questioning focussed on beliefs. Respondents could tell the researchers if they strongly believe a specific statement, if they kind of believe it or if they strongly don’t believe it.
Pandemic Conspiracy Misinformation and Beliefs
The Google-led research asked about a series of pandemic-specific conspiracies and found a shocking level