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Fake news in health: evaluation of Instagram posts about fluoride-related misinformation

Grant number: 21/03226-6
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2021
Effective date (End): February 28, 2022
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Dentistry - Pediatric Dentistry
Principal researcher:Thiago Cruvinel da Silva
Grantee:Tamires de Sá Menezes
Home Institution: Faculdade de Odontologia de Bauru (FOB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Bauru , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Social media have become relevant living environments for the discussion of ideas and the formulation/consumption of opinions on all aspects of life, including health. Since the interactions occur openly and remain registered for an indefinite period, the social networks can provide scientific data related to the main health interests and behaviors of a specific population. In this context, the present study aims to analyze and characterize the Instagram publications about misinformation linked to the use of fluorides. Initially, the search strategy will be determined through an exploratory analysis of the main hashtags related to the studied topic. Next, data will be collected from 500 posts for each language studied (Portuguese and English). The information of interest in this collect refers to the content of the publication (body of the post and/or transcription of video posts), in addition to the characteristics of the profile, such as the user's name, photo, informed geographical identification, number of followers and the number of comments. Then, two independent examiners will classify the collected posts structurally (three different levels, two referring to the type of content and one about the user's profile) and sentimentally (neutral, positive or negative). Finally, the data linked to characteristics of the profiles and the classifications will be analyzed using descriptive statistics in the SPSS21.0 software. Also, the data related to the body of the publications and the transcription of the videos will be analyzed qualitatively by the NVivo 12 Plus software, allowing the construction of inferences and interpretation of the results.

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