FCCC LOGO Faculty Publications
Johnson SB , Parsons M , Dorff T , Moran MS , Ward JH , Cohen SA , Akerley W , Bauman J , Hubbard J , Spratt DE , Bylund CL , Swire-Thompson B , Onega T , Scherer LD , Tward J , Fagerlin A
Cancer Misinformation and Harmful Information on Facebook and Other Social Media: A Brief Report
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2021 Jul 22
Back to previous list
Abstract
There are little data on the quality of cancer treatment information available on social media. Here, we quantify the accuracy of cancer treatment information on social media and its potential for harm. Two cancer experts reviewed 50 of the most popular social media articles on each of the 4 most common cancers. The proportion of misinformation and potential for harm were reported for all 200 articles, and their association with the number of social media engagements using a 2-sample Wilcoxon rank-sum test. All statistical tests were 2-sided. Of 200 total articles, 32.5% (n = 65) contained misinformation and 30.5% (n = 61) contained harmful information. Among articles containing misinformation, 76.9% (50 of 65) contained harmful information. The median number of engagements for articles with misinformation was greater than factual articles (median [IQR] = 2300 [1200-4700] vs 1600 [819-4700], P = .05). The median number of engagements for articles with harmful information was statistically significantly greater than safe articles (median [IQR] = 2300 [1400-4700] vs 1500 [810-4700], P = .007).
Notes
1460-2105 Johnson, Skyler B Parsons, Matthew Dorff, Tanya Moran, Meena S Ward, John H Cohen, Stacey A Akerley, Wallace Bauman, Jessica Hubbard, Joleen Spratt, Daniel E Bylund, Carma L Swire-Thompson, Briony Onega, Tracy Scherer, Laura D Tward, Jonathan Fagerlin, Angela Journal Article United States J Natl Cancer Inst. 2021 Jul 22:djab141. doi: 10.1093/jnci/djab141.