Countering Misinformation Via WhatsApp: Evidence from the COVID-19 Pandemic in Zimbabwe
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CitationBowles, Jeremy, Horacio Larreguy, and Shelley Liu. “Countering Misinformation Via WhatsApp: Evidence from the COVID-19 Pandemic in Zimbabwe.” CID Working Paper Series 2020.380, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, May 2020.
AbstractWe examine how information from trusted social media sources can shape knowledge and behavior when misinformation and mistrust are widespread. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic in Zimbabwe, we partnered with a trusted civil society organization to randomize the timing of the dissemination of messages aimed at targeting misinformation about the COVID-19 virus to 27,000 newsletter WhatsApp subscribers. We examine how exposure to these messages affects individual beliefs about how to deal with the COVID-19 virus and preventative behavior. The results show that social media messaging from trusted sources may have substantively large effects on not only individual knowledge but also ultimately on related behavior.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37366416