Fake Health News Went Viral On Social Media in 2019

Consuming instant noodles would kill you, vaccines are harmful, and a group of scientists is trying to hire the cure for cancer: These are just a few of the most viral fake news on public health last year.

Fake news was an important matter in 2019. In response to increasing pressure health experts, doctors, and lawmakers, many social media companies introduced considerable changes to limit or ban the spread of health misinformation that had been existing for many years.

The most viral fake health news suggested several conspiracies between medical communities and governments and introduced a few common medical treatments for fatal diseases. The top 50 articles attracted approximately 12 million interactions, including reactions, comments, and shares, primarily on Facebook.

Though researchers think that poor journalism would misinform the public, the statistics do not include those articles from valid news outlets that could have access to false conclusions, inflate the results of studies, or cover flawed reports.

According to a recent analysis by the NBC news, up to 80 percent of online users are searching for health information on the Internet.

The most viral fake news about health last year was on the themes of vaccines, unproven cures, and cancer. These misinformed articles even dominated the overall news.

The consequences of health fake news would be far-reaching.

The most common concerns for health experts are prevention efforts and compliance with health treatments.

It would result in the low levels of vaccination that can be below herd immunity and harmful effects on kids whose parents care for their well-being and health. Instead, parents choose other homeopathic or alternative treatments and only turn to necessary treatments when the effectiveness is reduced.

More importantly, health fake news would affect trust between patients and doctors, governments and citizens, as well as among many other institutions. Mistrust in pharmaceutical firms and health institutions, of course, would be legitimate, particularly for those areas that are in the target of unethical research.

In most cases, consumers in many online medical conspiracies are often reoriented to homeopathic treatments. These pieces of health fake news tend to provide a welcoming and expensive alternative.

Though the issue is becoming quite obvious, there is still no solution. Fact checks for fake news are quite rare. Public health communities need to do better in reaching more audiences and creating better storytelling, visualizations, as well as contents.

Source:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2211883718300881

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/leading-causes-of-death.htm

Related Articles

Suicide Cases Are Increasing, Particularly in Rural Areas

Health News
According to a new report published in JAMA Network Open on Friday, the suicide rates are increasing quickly, particularly in rural areas of the...

12 Apple Cider Vinegar Health Benefits

Health News
Apple cider vinegar is a type of liquid which is produced from the fermentation of sugar in apples thanks to bacteria and yeast. Just...

Common Signs & Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency

Health News
Vitamin D plays a key role in the normal functions of our body. It works as a hormone that would contribute to nearly all...

Top 15 Foods High in Calcium You Should Know

Health News
Studies show that calcium aids in weight loss. Other research suggested that taking only three servings of dairy every day; it will not only...

10 Home Remedies for a Sore Throat for Instant Relief

Health News
A sore throat is a shared experience and is always related to irritation, pain, and itchiness of the throat. Most people often experience throat...

Top 10 Causes of Colitis

Health News
Colitis occurs when your colon and large intestine get swollen or inflamed. It is usually the result of some underlying issues such as autoimmune...

Meniere’s Disease – Symptoms, Causes & Treatments

Health News
Meniere's disease is a condition which affects your inner ear, which is responsible for balance and hearing. As a result, it leads to spinning...

Elevated Liver Enzymes: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Tips

Health News
Elevated liver enzymes might suggest damage or inflammation to liver cells. When this condition happens, it might lead to a higher level of some...