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Worst kind of fake news? Health misinformation causes the most damage

| | June 28, 2017

Recent years…have shown beyond a shadow of a doubt that…people are susceptible to false information and fake news.

“My sense is that of all the categories of fake news, health news is the worst. There’s more bad health news out there than there is in any other category,” said Kelly McBride, the vice president of the Poynter Institute. And “reliable sources on other topics are [sometimes] really bad on health care news.”

This includes not just deliberately misleading stories…but also what Joanne Kenen, the executive editor for health care at Politico, calls “junk news.”

“The junk news would be… how many coffee studies have we read that all say something different?” Kenen asked.

PR departments and the researchers they serve are a little bit to blame for the problem, for hyping up studies like that, McBride said. But journalists are to blame as well, for taking the bait, and for doing their own hyping to get those sweet sweet clicks.

“In science, good information is really boring. Science doesn’t leap ahead the way journalists like to cover it,” McBride said. “[Health news]…is dramatically weakened to the point where I’m not sure I would tell anyone to rely on the marketplace of ideas for information—which is really dangerous when it comes to healthcare.”

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: ‘Of All the Categories of Fake News, Health News Is the Worst’

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Click the link above to read the full, original article.
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