Category: Internet & social media

“Subscription science”: Physician-influencers, social media, and conflicts of interest

Antivaccine activists and quacks often weaponize legitimate concerns about industry conflicts of interest in medicine into the "shill gambit," in which they accuse critics and defenders of science-based medicine of being in the pay of big pharma. However, the rise of physician-influencers and, in particular, Substack show that not all conflicts of interest are from industry or even financial.

/ May 15, 2023
Ivermectin horse paste

Ivermectin is now fast becoming the new MMS

A recent VICE story described a Telegram channel devoted to promoting veterinary ivermectin to treat autism. It has echoes of autism quackery going back at least to the use of MMS (a kind of bleach) to "cure" autism by eliminating "parasites."

/ March 20, 2023
Figure 1

Science denial, overconfidence, and persuasion

The pandemic has brought scientists who have rejected science with respect to COVID-19 public health measures a disturbing level of influence. Recent research suggests reasons why and who among the public susceptible to such misinformation remains persuadable.

/ August 22, 2022
ABIM Logo

The ABIM vs. medical misinformation: Better late than never?

Last week, the New England Journal of Medicine published an editorial by the President of ABIM discussing how the board certification can be taken away from diplomates who spread medical misinformation. Is this too little, too late?

/ May 23, 2022

Vaccines Don’t Save Lives

Fostering basic critical thinking skills and countering medical misinformation is a vital undertaking.

/ May 20, 2022
SARS CoV2 virus

“Coronaphobia”: How antivaxxers and pandemic minimizers pathologize fear of disease

Over the weekend, Dr. Lucy McBride, a concierge medicine doctor who has become famous as a pandemic minimizer and one of the drivers of "Urgency of Normal", Tweeted an article that she had written over a year ago about "coronaphobia". Whether she understands it or not, this is a very old antivax trope: To pathologize fear of infectious disease as mental illness.

/ May 16, 2022

Columbia University finally cuts ties with America’s Quack Dr. Oz

Decades after Dr. Oz pioneered "integrating" quackery into medicine and after many years of promoting diet scams and quackery on a nationally syndicated daily television show, Columbia University appears finally to have had enough and has quietly downgraded his status. What took so long?

/ May 2, 2022
Ivermectin repurposing

Ivermectin: The acupuncture of COVID-19 treatments

As high-quality evidence increasingly and resoundingly shows that ivermectin does not work against COVID-19, advocates are doing what acupuncture advocates do: Turning to lower quality "positive" studies to claim incorrectly that their favorite ineffective treatment actually does "work".

/ March 21, 2022

They Have Names

Reality is not "fear-based messaging", and fewer children will die moving forward if their parents know a bit more about what the virus can do and how the vaccine can keep children safe.

/ March 5, 2022

FTC targets physicians’ COVID claims with cease-and-desist letters

The FTC recently announced it had issued 20 more cease-and-desist demands to physicians and others claiming their products and services prevent or treat COVID-19 without sufficient scientific backing. Unfortunately, this has not stopped many of the targets from making other bogus health claims.

/ February 24, 2022