Fake Medical News
As in other areas, the internet is an enormously important source of information about health, medicine, and our bodies. However, some of this information is not true. There has been a rise in fake medical information online, ranging from poorly informed opinions to outright hoaxes, especially as it relates to disease-causing microbes.
Obviously, if this information leads to people making bad decisions about their health, the consequences are potentially catastrophic. To get a better sense of how pervasive this problem is, read the article, “The Rise of Fake Medical News,” from the Massachusetts General Hospital.
In your initial post, address the following questions:
- Have you run across any “fake medical news” relating to microbes that cause diseases in humans on the internet? Can you provide examples?
- Do you know anyone who has believed and has acted on dubious medical information found on the internet? Did you do anything to try to convince them that the information was false? (If you haven’t had such an experience, please suggest a likely scenario involving a friend and how you might address it.)
- What do you think of the approaches already taken to reduce fake medical news? What do you think should be done (if anything) to prevent its spread?