Research developed by the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) shows that 73.7% of false information and news about the new coronavirus circulated through the WhatsApp messaging application. Another 10.5% were published on Instagram and 15.8% on Facebook.
The data are part of the work of researchers from the National School of Public Health (Ensp / Fiocruz) Claudia Galhardi and Maria Cecília de Souza Minayo, based on the notifications received between March 17th and April 10th by the Eu Fiscalizo application.
According to Claudia Galhardi, as of March 17, the application registered a significant increase in complaints about fake news related to the health area. "We received reports of several fake news circulated on WhatsApp, mainly, but also on Facebook and Instagram. These are personal publications, like" don't believe in the coronavirus ", things like that."
The researcher said she accounted for about 30 notifications related to covid-19. "Digital media have been used a lot. There are a lot of false news about home recipes, alcohol produced at home, including using the name of Fiocruz as a source of information, as if the guidance were from the foundation or other institutions," he said.
Of the total fake news about the coronavirus that circulated through WhatsApp, 71.4% cite Fiocruz as a source. On Facebook, the attribution to the research institution drops to 26.6%. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) account for 2% of the institutions cited as the source of false information.
The data obtained so far are being organized and, by the beginning of May, a report will be released detailing the types of fake news, whether they are made up lies or distorted information, informed the Fiocruz researcher.
The Eu Fiscalizo application is a means by which users can notify inappropriate content in communication vehicles, media and social networks. The tool was launched on February 10 as a postdoctoral project by Claudia Galhardi, under the supervision of researcher Cecília Minayo.
Through the tool, the user can notify content that violates the rights of children and adolescents or that propagates fake news. Denunciations of plays aired on or via subscription TV, streaming services, electronic games, cinema, shows, advertising and social media are accepted.
"The application receives notifications, messages, suggestions, compliments and reports of harmful content in the media, entertainment and social media. They can report content in relation to sex scenes, violence. We include advertising, with a concern for children, protection from misleading and persuasive advertising. "
The application allows you to send photos, videos and text messages and is available on the PlayStore and Apple Store.