Category: Internet & social media

Central Dogma of Molecular Biology

No, the Moderna and Pfizer RNA vaccines against COVID-19 will not “permanently alter your DNA”

With the new mRNA vaccines developed by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna likely to be starting to become available soon, antivaxxers have been ramping up the fear mongering. Their latest claim is that mRNA vaccines will "permanently alter your DNA" or even "make you transhuman". Such claims rest on an utter ignorance of the totality of what we know about the biology of DNA,...

/ November 30, 2020
Mercola versus flu vaccines and COVID-19

There is no COVID-19 “casedemic.” The pandemic is real and deadly.

Antivaccine activists and pandemic minimizers Del Bigtree and Joe Mercola are promoting the myth of the "casedemic" that claims that the massive increase in COVID-19 cases being reported is an artifact of increased PCR testing and false positives due to too sensitive a threshold to the test. As they have done for vaccines and vaccine-preventable diseases many times before, they are vastly...

/ November 23, 2020
Steak-umm

Frozen meat vs. COVID-19 misinformation: The strange case of Steak-umm

Of all the strange things that have happened during the COVID-19 pandemic, the rise of a frozen meat company as a source of critical thinking and skepticism regarding COVID-19 misinformation and disinformation is one of the strangest. How did Steak-umm become a champion of critical thinking about the pandemic?

/ November 16, 2020

“Masks make you sicker”: The COVID-19 myth that just won’t die.

Masks work to slow the spread of COVID-19, but the "masks make you sicker" narrative, like antivax nonsense, has proven to be unkillable and to be a killer.

/ October 19, 2020

The perils and pitfalls of “doing your own research” about COVID-19 (or any other science)

Ethan Siegel at Forbes argues that you "must not 'do your own research.'" While the title grates, Siegel is correct that most of us are not really capable of "doing our own research" about most scientific and medical questions because we lack the necessary background. We must therefore be humble and be very, very careful about "doing our own research."

/ August 3, 2020

Dry Drowning

What is dry drowning, and should we worry?

/ July 7, 2020
Mask exemption

Misinformation and disinformation about facemasks and COVID-19

As evidence accumulates that facemasks work to decrease the risk of spreading COVID-19, new myths have arisen claiming that, not only do facemasks not work, but that they are actively harmful. These myths have no basis in physiology or chemistry, but that hasn't stopped anti-mask activists from using them to claim protection under the Americans With Disabilities Act.

/ June 29, 2020
5G tower

Quack Book Reviews: EMF*D

Über-quack Dr. Joe Mercola recently published a book claiming that 5G is the cause of all manner of health problems. Unsurprisingly, it's full of bad science, pseudoscience, and unproven claims.

/ June 1, 2020
coronavirus

Antivaxxers launch a preemptive disinformation war against a COVID-19 vaccine that doesn’t yet exist

We don't yet have a vaccine against COVID-19, but that hasn't stopped the antivaccine movement from launching a preemptive disinformation war on social media against it. Unfortunately, as a recent study demonstrates, on Facebook at least, they have been so successful that it is possible that antivaccine messaging will surpass pro-vaccine messaging on FB within a decade.

/ May 25, 2020

NewsGuard identifies social media “super-spreaders” of COVID-19 misinformation

NewsGuard has identified "super-spreaders" of COVID-19 misinformation on Facebook and Twitter, including Dr. Joseph Mercola, the NVIC, Rush Limbaugh, and Ty Bollinger.

/ May 21, 2020