All age groups had the same top five most trusted sources (except the 45-54 group, where ‘None of the above’ came fifth with 17%). This makes the task of prioritizing media/platforms for disseminating information a little easier.
That doesn’t mean differences can be ignored, though. For example, for those aged 18-34, the government is the second most trusted source – for the 45-65+ group, it’s only the 4th.
What this tells us is that to get the right information to people, a range of approaches and sources needs to be considered. Age is just one factor, but others, such as a location or education, likely have influence too.
On the other side of the coin, there’s also the concern of false and dangerous information getting out there, particularly through viral videos. One such video saw millions of views this week despite featuring a doctor who believes the government is run by reptiles and alien DNA is being used for medical treatments.
Some may be relieved that few people trust online forums and social media influencers as good sources of info around the virus, but even low percentages in a world of billions runs into the millions. What governments and medical agencies need to figure out is how to get their own advice and information to go viral, or at least how to effectively counteract false claims.
The best approach will always be a mixed one, whether it’s getting medical scientists on the radio, or healthcare providers on forums. It’ll likely always be an uphill struggle, but getting it right could save many lives and help society claw back more normality.
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Brandwatch Response Team