You’ve just visited your physician or your child’s pediatrician and still have questions, so you decide to look up some health information online. Be careful and be aware that what you see on Facebook and on many websites, even some well known and respected media sites, may be misleading.
When you need to seek medical or health material on the internet, be sure to use curated sources — websites that are posted by hospitals, medical schools, medical libraries, and the National Institutes of Health. This post at my other blog, AsOurParentsAge, offers lots of information about identifying and using sources with accurate health and medical information.
The Fast Company News website recently published a piece, A Shockingly Large Majority of Health News Shared on Facebook is Fake or Misleading. It describes the extent of incorrect medical information posted on Facebook. More disappointing is how many of the articles with incorrect health information are posted on social media by respected news sources, including the Guardian, NPR, CNN, and others.
In the article, the Fast Company reporters shared information from a 2018 credibility assessment of health articles by scientists at Health Feedback. The assessment also includes the huge number of social media shares an article received even when its credibility score was low. I’ve posted a thumbnail of that organization’s graph above. It illustrates the extent of the misinformation on various news sites.