During the Covid-19 pandemic, the internet has seen a surge in the distribution of misinformation and false information. In response to this, various platforms have implemented measures to combat these myths. However, a study published in the science Advances magazine suggests that these efforts may not have been effective.
The study, titled “The effectiveness of the Facebook* structure against disinformation about vaccination during the pandemia of the Covid-19,” was conducted by specialists from the University of Jones Hopkins and led by researchers from the University of George Washington.
The findings of the study reveal that the design features of the Facebook platform itself hinder the fight against misinformation. David Broniat, the leading author of the study, emphasizes the importance of focusing not only on content and algorithms but also on design and architecture to effectively combat misinformation.
Despite Facebook’s active attempts to remove anti-vaccine content during the pandemic, the overall activity surrounding such content did not decrease and, in some cases, even increased. Furthermore, the remaining anti-vaccine content on the platform has become more erroneous, including links to dubious external sources and “alternative” social platforms.
The study proposes that social media designers collaborate to develop “building standards” for their platforms based on scientific data to reduce online gaps and misinformation.
This study is notably the first and only scientific assessment of the largest social platform’s attempts to systematically delete misinformation and accounts that disseminate it.
It is important to note that Meta and its products, including Instagram and Facebook, have been recognized as extremist and are prohibited in the Russian Federation.