Tag: misinformation

Hacker

How we got here with political and health misinformation: The case of “Hacker X” and Mike Adams

Ars Technica recently published a story about Hacker X, who helped Mike Adams expand his online empire of health fraud into an empire of fake news and political disinformation, thus intertwining health and political misinformation into the deadly combination we see now.

/ October 25, 2021
Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB)

State medical boards vs. COVID-19 misinformation, an update

The disinformation epidemic about COVID-19 has pushed state medical boards to consider disciplining physicians who promote COVID-19 disinformation. How would that work? What are the obstacles? Is it even possible? It should be, but it will be messy and complicated.

/ September 27, 2021
Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB)

The Federation of State Medical Boards vs. COVID-19 misinformation: A losing battle so far

A few weeks ago, the Federation of State Medical Boards, which itself does not have any regulatory power but advocates for state medical boards, issued a statement that physicians who spread COVID-19 misinformation should be subject to disciplinary measures. Unfortunately, a recent report found that not a single US physician has had action taken against their medical license for doing this. Why?

/ August 23, 2021

A New Covid-19 Myth?

A correspondent suggested I should have known that the pandemic was over months ago. That's obviously a myth. But where did that idea come from?

/ June 29, 2021
Central Dogma of Molecular Biology

Antivaxxers misrepresent a study to falsely claim that COVID-19 vaccines cause cancer

The latest antivaccine propaganda claims that a 2018 research paper published by researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center shows that the RNA in the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines can cause cancer. As usual, it's a complete misapplication of a cherry picked study grounded in a lack of understanding of molecular biology. Same as it ever was.

/ March 8, 2021
Central Dogma of Molecular Biology

The latest antivax false claim: mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 are not vaccines but “medical devices” or “gene therapy”

There's a new antivaccine talking point in town, and it's just as much disinformation as other antivaccine talking points. It's the claim that mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are not really vaccines but "medical devices," "gene therapy," or "experimental biologics" and that they were falsely classified as vaccines in order to bypass safety testing. Here, we discuss why this claim is utter nonsense based...

/ February 8, 2021
Doctors behaving badly

2020 and the pandemic: A year of (some) physicians behaving badly

Looking back on 2020, if there's one thing that the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us, it's that crises reveal character. Unfortunately, the character of too many physicians has been found wanting, as they spent 2020 denying the pandemic, peddling quack cures, or spreading misinformation in the service of defying public health interventions. What can be done?

/ December 28, 2020

Responding to Dr. Vinay Prasad’s “dunking on a 7′ hoop” criticism of SBM

Last week, Dr. Vinay Prasad decided to resurrect his misguided criticism from over a year ago likening SBM-style criticisms of alternative medicine to "dunking on a 7' hoop". Why he would decide to renew his attack on combating science disinformation in the middle of a pandemic that has killed close to 300,000 Americans alone we don't know, but Drs. Novella and Gorski...

/ December 13, 2020
Central Dogma of Molecular Biology

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

With the new mRNA vaccines developed by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna likely to be 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, RNA, and how...

/ November 30, 2020

HCQTrial.com: Astroturf and disinformation about hydroxychloroquine and COVID-19 on steroids

Late last week, a "study" published on HCQTrial.com by an anonymous source claiming to be a group of PhD scientists went viral. It claimed that countries that used hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 had a 79% lower fatality rate than those who didn't. It was horrible science and quickly debunked on Twitter by several epidemiologists. That didn't stop it from going viral. Disinformation...

/ August 10, 2020