Online misinformation and disinformat... - Prostate Cancer N...

Prostate Cancer Network

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Online misinformation and disinformation are big problems

Tall_Allen profile image

The Surgeon General issued this report about it. It is a must-read for anyone looking for or providing advice online:

hhs.gov/sites/default/files...

It was written with Covid-19 in mind, but it is good advice for any kind of illness support.

Darryl does a good job in screening out disinformation (intentionally misinforming patients for commercial gain). But misinformation on this and other forums can be a problem. We are all trying to be helpful to others, and in our enthusiasm, some are not as careful as they could be in what they say. I like the advice the Surgeon General gives: "If you're not sure, don't share!"

There was a very important study on this topic recently. The authors scanned cancer advice on social media on the internet and invited cancer experts to evaluate that advice. They found that about a third were factually incorrect, and almost 80% of those would lead to known harm if followed. Caveat emptor!

academic.oup.com/jnci/advan...

3 Replies

Amen! Great post!

As always, thanks very much Allen

This is an excellent reminder for all of us. It's human nature, of course, to wish some new cure would come along, and in the current climate it's more and more common for people to suspect that powerful people are suppressing a cure for personal, political, financial, or even some kind of religious gain. Political and religious leaders have done the world are great disservice by their recent ignoring and denial of truth and promotion of all kinds of nonsense. I count on this site and some of the people on it to help me sort out speculation (and outright fraud) from treatment that has undergone scientific testing and been shown to be beneficial. Thanks, folks! Thanks Tall_Allen!

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