It appears that “fake news” isn’t restricted to the political realm. In a New York Times Op-Ed essay, cardiologist Haider Warraich discusses the alarmingly high amounts of false medical information on the internet. He describes how this deceptive material (which stands out through eye-catching titles and dramatic claims) emphasizes the often very small potential risks of evidence-based medicine, dissuading individuals from taking needed medications and receiving vaccines. Patients will continue to search for health information on the internet as doing so is rapid, cheap, and anonymous. But how do we ensure that they are presented with accurate material?
Haider writes: "While misinformation has been the object of great attention in politics, medical misinformation might have an even greater body count. As is true with fake news in general, medical lies tend to spread further than truths on the internet — and they have very real repercussions."