Facebook drives more vaccine hesitancy than Fox News, study claims

Fox News, Facebook, Vaccine, COVID-19, The Washington Post's

Facebook is responsible for driving more anti-vaccination sentiment than Fox News, according to a recent study.

The Washington Post’s Covid States Project found that people who primarily rely on Facebook for their news are significantly less likely than the average American to say that they have been vaccinated.

The study compared different groups of media consumers and found that people who primarily got their news from Facebook were even less likely to say they have taken the vaccine than people who primarily watch Fox News.

On Fox News, viewers may be exposed to viewpoints that clash with their own, and several anchors – including Sean Hannity – have called for their viewers to take the vaccine.

Facebook’s user experience can be cropped and cultivated in such a way that it becomes an echo-chamber, with few avenues for authoritative contrary voices to break through.

The social media giant conducted its own survey via Carnegie Mellon, and found that 85 per cent of its users reported being vaccinated or wanting to be vaccinated. That study was released in the wake of Joe Biden’s claims that social media sites were “killing people” by allowing coronavirus misinformation and anti-vaccine propaganda to flourish.

However, the numbers in the Carnegie Mellon study do not separate users based on where they receive their information about the coronavirus.

According to the Covid States Project, 31 per cent of respondents said they got their news Covid-19 news from Facebook. CNN narrowly beat out Facebook as the top news provider of Covid-19 info, with 32 per cent of respondents relying on the network for their updates.

Fox News took the third spot, with 30 per cent of respondents saying they received their news from the conservative network, and the Biden White House came in a distant fourth, with only 19 per cent saying the president was their source of Covid-19 information.

MSNBC and Newsmax were at the bottom of the list, with 15 per cent and 5 per cent of respondents citing them as their primary coronavirus news sources, respectively.

Respondents were permitted to select multiple sources, which accounts for the sum of the responses being greater than 100.

The survey also included a breakdown detailing which respondents were willing to admit they have taken the vaccine. The data breaks respondents up into groups based on what they indicated was their primary Covid-19 news source.

The people who were most likely to say they have been vaccinated are those who get their news primarily from the Biden administration, with 81 per cent saying they’ve taken the shot. MSNBC viewers take the second spot, with 79 per cent saying they’re vaccinated.

Respondents who only use Facebook for their Covid-19 news are near the bottom of the list. While overall, users are more likely to say they’re vaccinated than not, the social media site has the second highest number of respondents saying they would not get the shot.

Twenty per cent of users said they would not get the shot. Only Newsmaxx – where 33 per cent of the respondents said they would not get the vaccine – fared worse than Facebook.

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