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NEWS: Survey reveals 91% need online health support ahead of second wave

Media Release -  EMBARGOED UNTIL 9THJULY 2020

Author & digital health engagement expert available for interview


Two-thirds of Brits found false information on social media during the lockdown prompting 91% to call for help with online health searches ahead of a second wave


A person posing for the cameraDescription automatically generatedDigital health expert, author of ‘Is It Serious? Your Guide to Credible Health Information Online' & ‘Online Health Empowerment' survey author, available for interview







The survey headlines:

False information & fake news found online

Just over a quarter (26%) of people get most of their coronavirus information from social media yet almost two-thirds (62%) admitted that they later discovered some of the information they'd read was untrue.


Social a source of anxiety

41% of people surveyed experienced a spike in anxiety levels in response to social media during the lockdown, 29% said it made them feel low, and incredibly, more than half (54%) have felt anxiety, low mood and panic in response to social media during the lockdown.


Support is out there! What can be done?
There are systems in place but most people are clueless about them - the global and UK certification standard for credible health information websites are HONcode and The Information Standard - 87% of people are not familiar with either. Yet, 91% said more should be done to educate, help and protect people on how to search for health information online. Burton Paul's second edition guide: Is It Serious? Your Guide to Credible Health Information Online is available to buy online.


London, United Kingdom, 8thJuly 2020: Almost two-thirds of people found information on socialmedia during lockdown that they later discovered to be untrue, according to a new ‘Online Health Empowerment' survey led by a leading digital health engagement expert.


The new survey of 2000 Brits, conducted on June 26 2020 by author Burton Paul on YouGov, reveals that people are screaming for help ahead of a second wave, as 91% stated, "Yes, more should be done to educate, help and protect people on how to search for health information online." As millions turned online for news, health information and support during the lockdown, author Burton Paul, who commissioned the survey on YouGov, joins the 91% of Brits calling for more to be done ahead of a second wave to help, educate and empower people to make more informed decisions online.


"Lockdown lessons can be learned but more must be done to educate and inform ahead of a second wave,"says Burton.87% of people were not familiar with either a global or UK certification standard for credible health information websites such as HONcode and The Information Standard.


Burton comments:"The public are more aware than ever of the need for better guidance, education, and understanding of how to judge correct, accurate and reliable health information online. In today's world, this need can become a matter of life and death, with the fake cure circulating online of toxic methanol curing Covid leading to hundreds of deaths, or the fake cure of drinking bleach as the miracle cure for coronavirus. From this latest poll, 62% have found information on social media they later found to be untrue - how many more did find misinformation, but have not been able to share this?"


The majority of people want to know how to be smarter online and one of the drivers of surrounds the mental ill health impact of false information, myths and rumours circulating online. Over 40 million people in the UK are on social media and the ‘Online Health Empowerment' survey found that 41% said that, during lockdown, social media sometimes raised their anxiety, and 29% said it made them at times feel low.


"The public want to learn more, they want to know how to protect themselves, and they want to have a guide. I want to give them one. I want everyone to be smart, savvy, knowledgeable, and be able to know what is credible, and what isn't."The survey results show 86% are calling for a guide to help them find accurate, reliable and credible health-related information online.Burton Paul's guide, Is It Serious? Your Guide To Credible Health Information Online' is available to buy online in paperback and ebook.


"We can't protect everyone ahead of the second wave, but we can teach people to protect themselves and their loved ones!" 



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Helen Lewis
Diana Ashlee

07904801669 / 07827959644