India was the biggest source of Coronavirus-related misinformation in 2020 primarily due to a lack of internet literacy among internet users, a recently published study has revealed.
Conducted by Bengali researchers, the study analyzed 9,657 pieces of misinformation that originated from 138 countries last year and were fact-checked by 94 organizations.
Quantitative content analysis and descriptive statistical analysis showed that India accounted for 15.94% of the total misinformation about Coronavirus in 2020.
The US emerged as the second country with the most amount of Coronavirus-related misinformation with 9.74%. Brazil with a share of 8.57% and Spain with 8.03% were the most misinformation-affected countries after India and the US.
On the other hand, Pakistan was ranked at 54th place as it was responsible for only 0.21% of the total misinformation last year.
Social media produced the highest amount of misinformation with a share of 84.94% in the total misinformation. Facebook accounted for 66.87% of the misinformation disseminated through all social media platforms. The internet as a whole was responsible for most of the COVID-19 misinformation at 90.5%.
Although the misinformation across the world peaked in March 2020, given the present trends, it is expected to increase slightly towards the end of 2021, the study concluded.