Recent coverage of misinformation on Facebook by major national news outlets has featured research published by the COVID States Project. COVID States is a series of surveys and reports related to the COVID-19 pandemic, led by a team of researchers that includes NULab Co-Director and Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Computer Sciences, David Lazer.
As the Washington Post reported, the COVID States project “found that Facebook users were more vaccine-hesitant than any other group of media consumers, including consumers of Fox News.” The Post’s article discussed concerns with the scope of misinformation that circulates on Facebook, particularly in relation to the pandemic and vaccination.
This topic was also raised in an interview with Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, on CBS This Morning, in which Zuckerberg discussed the need to stop the spread of COVID-19 vaccine misinformation.
The COVID States Project has published research and surveys on a wide range of topics related to the pandemic. Recent reports have discussed attitudes among healthcare workers, parental concerns about vaccines, and public support for vaccine mandates.
The breadth of this project’s impact is indicated by another major news outlet that featured COVID States findings: recently, the New York Times discussed survey results on isolation and loneliness in an article titled “We Need to Understand the Difference Between Isolation and Loneliness.” The COVID States researchers asked respondents to report on both their proximity to others and the support they perceived as being available to them from their social networks. In some cases, these were parallel, but, as the article reports, people reported feeling less social support even as they were in closer proximity to others after restrictions were relaxed in spring of 2021.
Read the full set of COVID States reports here.