Mayo Clinic versus Natural News: Rating the reliability of health websites

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Image: Adweek

For millions of Americans, including health professionals, the resurgence of measles is a confounding and frightening development. How can a disease declared eliminated nearly two decades ago come back when it can be prevented with a vaccine proven to be safe and effective?

But that’s not the reality for those getting their health information from online sources such as NaturalNews.com, one of many health-focused sites that peddle false and misleading claims to large audiences.

Unfortunately, reputable websites like the Mayo Clinic’s often aren’t the ones that news consumers turn to for answers. When it comes to social media engagement, for example, Mayo Clinic is being surpassed by the likes of Herbs-Info.com, which states vaccinated children are “sicker” than the unvaccinated… .

Related article:  We've long neglected the human virome—now we need to figure out what all those viruses do

NaturalNews.com is far from alone, according to NewsGuard, a journalist-run service that rates the reliability of news and information websites using basic, apolitical criteria of journalism.

NewsGuard has rated and provided “Nutrition Labels” for the nearly 3,000 news and information websites that account for 96% of engagement online in the U.S. And while websites peddling political conspiracies and Russian disinformation generate considerable attention, data from NewsGuard indicate that websites promoting health misinformation are at least as alarming.

Read full, original post: Health websites are notoriously misleading. So we rated their reliability

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