The Critical Need for Health Fact Checkers in India: THIP Media International Fact Checking Day Survey
- The survey was conducted by Cyber Media Research (CMR) on behalf of THIP Media among 1500 Indians.
- International Fact Checking Day is celebrated every year on April 2nd to build awareness about fact-checking misinformation campaigns found on the internet, particularly social media sites.
- Three out of every Five Indians are vulnerable to misinformation on the web. 59% of Indians worry that they may fall prey to health misinformation.
- 49% of people agreed that they would follow what their doctors suggested as treatment. 28% of respondents agreed that they cross-check their doctor’s advice through internet searches.
A survey conducted by THIP Media, the results of which were released during International Fact Checking Day 2023, reveals that a significant portion of the Indian population feels ill-equipped to identify credible health information on the internet.
The study found that three out of every five Indians (62%) admitted to not knowing how to identify trustworthy health information on the web, leaving them vulnerable to misinformation and potential harm. Moreover, 55% of respondents felt that they needed help understanding whether a health claim was true or false, indicating a significant lack of confidence in their ability to assess the veracity of health information online.
According to the research, 59% of Indians also worry that they may fall prey to health misinformation and get hurt without realising it. While 48% fear that any misinformation related to critical health conditions may hurt the most, another 36% feel that it is misinformation about alternative medicines that is most dangerous. The findings highlight the need for greater awareness and education on the importance of seeking out credible health information from reputable sources.
The survey also brought to light a significant lack of trust in doctors and a higher dependency on online health content. While 49% of people agreed that they would follow what their doctors suggested as treatment. Surprisingly, 28% of respondents agreed that they cross-check their doctor’s advice through internet searches, indicating a growing trend of relying on unverified sources of health information.
Interestingly, the survey also found that two out of every five Indians were not aware of fact-checking helplines, which could provide them with reliable and accurate health information.
The survey was conducted by Cyber Media Research on behalf of THIP Media among 1500 Indians. Revealing the results of the survey, Neelam Singh, Editor at THIP Media, said, “The findings are not surprising. We have been working on improving health literacy among Indians and fact checking health misinformation. The results only prove that there is still a lot of work to be done.”
International Fact Checking Day is celebrated every year on April 2nd to build awareness about fact-checking misinformation campaigns found on the internet, particularly social media sites.
About THIP Media
THIP Media, a part of The Healthy Indian Project, is a multilingual health information and fact checking platform and also an official signatory of the International Fact Checking Network (IFCN). The Healthy Indian Project is an initiative to empower Indians with the knowledge and skills to make informed decisions about their health, through accessible and culturally sensitive education and resources.
The research team believes that the findings of this study will help raise awareness about the dangers of health misinformation and the importance of seeking out credible sources of health information. They also hope that the results will encourage policymakers to take proactive steps to educate the public on the importance of fact-checking and seeking out verified health information.