Washington Post – “…The three studies paint a picture of a media ecosystem that entertains conspiracy theories and discourages audiences from taking steps to protect themselves and others.. There are many reasons our response to the pandemic tied to more than 120,000 U.S. deaths has faltered, experts say, including the lack of a cohesive federal policy, missteps on testing and tracing, and a national culture emphasizing individualism. In recent weeks, three studies have focused on conservative media’s role in fostering confusion about the seriousness of the coronavirus. Taken together, they paint a picture of a media ecosystem that amplifies misinformation, entertains conspiracy theories and discourages audiences from taking concrete steps to protect themselves and others…
- Harvard Kennedy School – The causes and consequences of COVID-19 misperceptions: Understanding the role of news and social media – “We investigate the relationship between media consumption, misinformation, and important attitudes and behaviours during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. We find that comparatively more misinformation circulates on Twitter, while news media tends to reinforce public health recommendations like social distancing. We find that exposure to social media is associated with misperceptions regarding basic facts about COVID-19 while the inverse is true for news media. These misperceptions are in turn associated with lower compliance with social distancing measures. We thus draw a clear link from misinformation circulating on social media, notably Twitter, to behaviours and attitudes that potentially magnify the scale and lethality of COVID-19.”
- The Persuasive Effect of Fox News: Non-Compliance with Social Distancing During the Covid-19 Pandemic Andrey Simonov, Szymon K. Sacher, Jean-Pierre H. Dubé, Shirsho Biswas, NBER Working Paper No. 27237 Issued in May 2020, Revised in June 2020.
- Misinformation During a Pandemic, Leonardo Bursztyn, Aakaash Rao, Christopher P. Roth, David H. Yanagizawa-Drott, NBER Working Paper No. 27417, Issued in June 2020.