How do you learn information, both true and false? How do you know the difference? When social media amplifies dangerous, unchecked misinformation, the threats to evidence-based nursing practice and patient safety become real. We should worry that the entire evidence eco-system is being tainted. Misinformation “liked” and forwarded without validation presents a problem because once a social media seed is planted, it’s difficult to convince people it isn’t correct.
I believe all of us have a responsibility to better and more critically appraise social media content, especially with health and medical information. As the most trusted profession for honesty and ethics, each nurse is accountable for upholding the highest standards when accessing and referencing health sources.
The underlying problem with both misinformation and disinformation is that too many people don’t independently think about or research what they see, hear, or read to validate it. Social media may be the primary source of misinformation and disinformation, but it also leaks into all facets of communication.