Almost half of adults exposed to fake COVID-19 news
Nearly half of all UK adults have been exposed to fake news online about the ongoing coronavirus crisis, according to Ofcom.
According to the regulator, just over a third of adults, 35%, have seen the false claim that drinking more water can help flush out the virus.
Around a quarter, 24%, saw that gargling salt water or avoiding cold food and drink can stop COVID-19 – another piece of misinformation.
Although 55% of people said they are ignoring false claims made about the virus, with around 15% of those using fact-checking tips to research the authenticity of the claims they see – one in 14 people did admit to sharing misinformation.
Of those surveyed, 40% said they found it difficult to determine what was and was not fake news about the coronavirus – a figure which is higher among 18 to 24-year-olds, at around 52%.
The survey found that young people (18 to 24-year-olds) tended to follow official advice less stringently than others, with only 43% saying they followed the government’s hand washing advice closely.
The study of 2,000 people also found that almost all adults online in the UK are getting news and information about the virus every day, with a quarter getting information 20 or more times a day.