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Article

Fake News and Covid-19 in Italy: Results of a Quantitative Observational Study

Department of Health Science, University of Florence, 50134 Florence, Italy
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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(16), 5850; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17165850
Received: 22 July 2020 / Revised: 6 August 2020 / Accepted: 11 August 2020 / Published: 12 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Communication and Public Health)
During the Covid-19 pandemic, risk communication has often been ineffective, and from this perspective “fake news” has found fertile ground, both as a cause and a consequence of it. The aim of this study is to measure how much “fake news” and corresponding verified news have circulated in Italy in the period between 31 December 2019 and 30 April 2020, and to estimate the quality of informal and formal communication. We used the BuzzSumo application to gather the most shared links on the Internet related to the pandemic in Italy, using keywords chosen according to the most frequent “fake news” during that period. For each research we noted the numbers of “fake news” articles and science-based news articles, as well as the number of engagements. We reviewed 2102 articles. Links that contained fake news were shared 2,352,585 times, accounting for 23.1% of the total shares of all the articles reviewed. Our study throws light on the “fake news” phenomenon in the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. A quantitative assessment is fundamental in order to understand the impact of false information and to define political and technical interventions in health communication. Starting from this evaluation, health literacy should be improved by means of specific interventions in order to improve informal and formal communication. View Full-Text
Keywords: social media; health literacy; Covid-19; coronavirus; fake news; BuzzSumo social media; health literacy; Covid-19; coronavirus; fake news; BuzzSumo
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MDPI and ACS Style

Moscadelli, A.; Albora, G.; Biamonte, M.A.; Giorgetti, D.; Innocenzio, M.; Paoli, S.; Lorini, C.; Bonanni, P.; Bonaccorsi, G. Fake News and Covid-19 in Italy: Results of a Quantitative Observational Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 5850. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17165850

AMA Style

Moscadelli A, Albora G, Biamonte MA, Giorgetti D, Innocenzio M, Paoli S, Lorini C, Bonanni P, Bonaccorsi G. Fake News and Covid-19 in Italy: Results of a Quantitative Observational Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(16):5850. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17165850

Chicago/Turabian Style

Moscadelli, Andrea, Giuseppe Albora, Massimiliano A. Biamonte, Duccio Giorgetti, Michele Innocenzio, Sonia Paoli, Chiara Lorini, Paolo Bonanni, and Guglielmo Bonaccorsi. 2020. "Fake News and Covid-19 in Italy: Results of a Quantitative Observational Study" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 16: 5850. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17165850

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