Nearly all Canadians saw COVID-19 misinformation online
During the pandemic, nine in ten Canadians (90%) used online sources to find information about COVID-19. The three main sources were online newspapers or news sites (63%), social media posts from news organizations or magazines (35%), and social media posts from other users or influencers (30%).
During the first few months of this health crisis, 96% of Canadians who used the Internet to find information saw COVID-19 information that they suspected was misleading, false or inaccurate. In addition, regardless of gender, nearly two in five Canadians (40%) reported believing that the information they saw related to COVID-19 was true, then later realized that it was not.
Only one in five Canadians always checked the accuracy of online COVID-19 information
The survey found that many Canadians were not in a regular habit of checking the accuracy of information they found online, with only 21% reporting they always check the accuracy and 37% saying they often check. However roughly 36% of Canadians reported that they only sometimes (24%) or rarely (12%) checked the accuracy of COVID-19 information they found online, which facilitates the sharing of potentially misleading, false or inaccurate information.
Half of Canadians shared COVID-19 information they found online without knowing whether it was accurate
During the first few months of the pandemic, just over half of all Canadians (53%) had shared COVID-19 information they found online without knowing if it was accurate (22% always, often or sometimes shared, and 31% rarely shared), while the other half (47%) never shared unverified information. Information-sharing habits did not vary by gender, but differences were observed depending on the age group and education level of respondents.
More on Misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic via Statistics Canada.
Stop the spread of misinformation by determining its accuracy prior to sharing it with others.
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