An organization that evaluates the credibility of websites found that more than 500 websites have pushed false material on the coronavirus, including discredited claims regarding vaccines, according to a company that evaluates website trustworthiness.
According to the company’s announcement Wednesday, among the 6,700 websites that NewsGuard has examined, 519 have published misleading material regarding COVID-19.
Vaccination Misinformation Is Being Disseminated By Hundreds Of Websites
On its website, the business claims that some of the sites include erroneous health information and political conspiracy theories.
In contrast, others have been “made deliberately to disseminate disinformation about COVID-19,” according to the corporation.
The results come at a time when the number of new COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations, and fatalities continues to rise throughout most of the nation on a daily basis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 53 percent of Americans have received a complete vaccination against the virus.
Founded in April 2018, NewsGuard hires professional journalists to evaluate the authenticity and openness of the most popular news and information websites in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Italy (among other countries). According to the company, the company provides “nutrition labels,” which inform consumers if a source complies with or breaches journalistic norms.
In addition, NewsGuard highlighted 50 of the most common COVID-19 vaccination falsehoods that are circulating on the internet in its publication on Wednesday. In particular, there are disproved allegations that the vaccination would change people’s DNA, induce infertility, or cause new viral types to emerge.
According to NewsGuard, the anti-vaccine advocacy organization Children’s Health Defense has gotten more interaction in the last 90 days than the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control and the National Institutes of Health combined. Anti-vaccine activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. runs the website, which has previously questioned the safety of COVID-19 vaccinations and spread conspiracy theories regarding 5G technology.
When it comes to measuring engagement, NewsGuard relies on NewsWhip, a social media analytics company, which tracks social media interactions as well as website traffic.
Crovitz cautioned against underestimating the risk posed by websites that have disseminated COVID-19 disinformation merely because they constitute a tiny proportion of the total amount of material on the site.
In Washington, legislators have proposed legislation aiming at holding social media corporations accountable for spreading false information about health and nutrition.
When asked about social media companies’ handling of COVID-19 disinformation in July, White House press secretary Jen Psaki used the number of 65 percent as justification. Facebook, according to Vice President Joe Biden, is “killing people” because it is enabling incorrect information about vaccinations to proliferate.
However, Biden subsequently tempered his comments. Misinformation, according to Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, “is still spreading rapidly in our nation, helped and abetted by digital platforms,” according to the Surgeon General.
Despite this, websites that make misleading claims about COVID-19, some of which are partly sponsored by advertisers who may not have been aware of the nature of the site to which they are linked – continue to gain momentum online. According to public health authorities, it is possible that the current vaccination deployment may be hampered as a result.