Articles specific to social media platforms represented 44.1% (N%3D 23%) of the 529 articles identified (Table. The most researched social networks were Twitter, YouTube and Facebook. They also had higher CPPs than other social networks. Based on an analysis of 529 articles on medical and health-related disinformation on social media, we found that the United States contributed to half of the newspapers, and that 80% of the 10 most productive institutions were based in this country.
The articles were mainly published in journals belonging to the categories of public, environmental and occupational health, communication, health science services, medical informatics and general internal medicine. However, they were generally less cited than articles published in immunology, suggesting that more publications did not warrant more citations. Articles specific to social media platforms accounted for 44% of all articles. The most researched social media platforms were Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.
Research on these platforms had different focuses. Twitter-based research investigated cyberchondria and hypochondria, YouTube-based research investigated smoking, and Facebook-based research investigated reticence to get vaccinated related to autism. COVID-19 was a topic that was frequently researched on all platforms. An important consequence of these findings is that knowledge on specific topics related to medical disinformation is often based on the predominant study of a single social media platform or a limited number of platforms, and larger cross-platform studies could be a promising direction for future research.
Future studies should also include social platforms aimed at users who don't speak English to provide a broader perspective on global health misinformation. Social networks are a difficult case in which uncontrolled information about health can spread rapidly. Fake medical news can cause fear and panic in people, in many cases completely unfounded, says Professor Jakab. It advises the general public to accept official statements only from epidemiological and public health authorities and from national or international research institutes, and calls for legal action to be taken against unreliable sources.
Health purposes include health-related objectives, such as health promotion, medical services and administration, health research, medical education and training, and health-related social movements.