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Bots Most Likely Behind Spread of COVID-19 Misinformation
A new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that Facebook groups responsible for spreading misinformation about the global pandemic had high levels of automated software link sharing, an indicator that bots are behind the data being presented. The study focused on the sharing of a study that found limited effectiveness in the wearing of masks to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. The study was shared in 712 Facebook posts with 39% appearing in groups known to be vulnerable to bots. Of those posts, 19.8% stated erroneously that mask wearing was dangerous to the user (the study demonstrated no adverse health effects to mask wearing). Social media companies are currently trying to alleviate this infodemic by reviewing individual posts for accuracy. The study authors believe this approach to be wholly inadequate. Click here to read more.