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Fake science on Covid-19: fake scientific articles, systematic reviews and meta-analyses



The pandemic caused by covid-19 amplifies the threat posed by “fake science”, the dissemination of false information through texts that simulate scientific language to inspire confidence in those who read them. The strategy has become central to the global infodemic caused by the coronavirus, including spreading recommendations for therapies without scientific proof and stimulating denialist discourses regarding the severity of the pandemic.


The conclusion is taken from a study carried out by researchers from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) and the Fluminense Federal University (UFF), under the coordination of Professor Rose Marie Santini (School of Communication/UFRJ) and with funding from the National Council for Development Scientific and Technological Institute (CNPq), for the Ministry of Health.


The work consists of a systematic review of 180 academic articles with the aim of analyzing domestic and international scientific production which presents evidence on the production, circulation and consumption of information and disinformation on health and epidemiological crises and health emergencies, as well as ways to combat the infodemic, as recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO).


The research pointed out that there is false, incorrect or misleading information in circulation which simulates the scientific production or dissemination on the transmission, treatment and prevention of covid - in particular, unproven or rudimentary therapies. This phenomenon had been observed during the Ebola crisis in 2014, but grew during the Covid-19 pandemic along with the spread of fake news.


Fake Science - NetLab UFRJ
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