The substantial amount of inaccurate or false health information circulating online, coupled with low levels of public trust in social and scientific institutions, poses a significant challenge for health communication. In response to these trends and developments, HCIRB has been leading several initiatives to better understand and address online misinformation and its consequences for health. The ultimate goal of these initiatives is to support health practitioners and clinical care providers in effectively responding to health misinformation and mitigating its negative impact.
These initiatives will advance scientific knowledge regarding several key research questions, including:
- What is the prevalence of cancer-related misinformation on social media platforms?
- What are the real-world consequences of exposure to health misinformation on social media?
- Which populations are most vulnerable to online misinformation? What demographic and psychosocial factors predict misinformation endorsement and sharing?
- How do individuals process and assess information quality and source credibility when interacting with social media content? What factors are most salient in determining information trustworthiness?
- What are the most effective ways to address misinformation on various social media platforms?
Special issue about health misinformation on social media
The NCI partnered with the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) to publish a special issue highlighting cutting-edge research that addresses critical issues surrounding health misinformation on social media. Published on October 1 2020, the special issue showcases diverse approaches to a rapidly expanding research area and addresses topics such as vaccine misinformation, unproven cancer treatments, and rumors about emerging infectious diseases. The issue also highlights the role of healthcare providers in addressing health misinformation and important ethical considerations for health promotion efforts on social media.
Go to the Issue