Aug 04, 2020
By Jane Brown
Researchers warn that COVID-19 conspiracy theories are creating a public health crisis in Canada.
A study out of McGill University finds the more a person relies on social media to learn about the pandemic, the more likely they are to be exposed to misinformation and to believe it and to disregard physical distancing and other public health guidelines.
Study co-author Aengus Bridgman says about 16 percent of Canadians use social media as their primary source of information on the virus.
Bridgman says COVID 19 misinformation is all over Twitter, along with Facebook, YouTube, Reddit, Instagram and Tumblr.
As an example, a Facebook group called Against Mandatory Mask Wearing in Quebec has over 22,000 members. Another similar group has nearly 21,000 members.
The posts on these pages question the science behind wearing masks, to accusing the World Health Organization of bias, and Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates of creating the virus.