Canadians encounter misinformation from many sources, whether that be from browsing the internet or friends circulating it on social media.
Misinformation can make Canadian engagement on important topics more difficult, especially when the science is complex, incomplete, or changing. Canadians may also have concerns and questions that, if unaddressed, can lead to misunderstandings or negative outcomes.
The consequences of science and health misinformation are serious and can potentially threaten the health and safety of Canadians, particularly through:
- Spreading information on false preventative measures or treatments
- Creating hesitancy to accepting scientifically proven treatments/inoculations, which can affect the health of both individuals and the broader Canadian public
- Questioning people’s confidence in science and health services
- Creating doubt in public scientific or health institutions
For these reasons, it is important for Canadians to assess and ensure that the information they are accessing is accurate. By doing so, Canadians will become better informed and therefore more able to make evidence-based decisions. With this increased awareness, Canadians will be better equipped in helping combat science and health-related misinformation.