Medical Misinformation Online

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently urged the CEOs of Google, Facebook, and Pinterest to filter medical misinformation from their platforms. It is already difficult for many to tell the difference between factual sources and unverified information or propaganda online, which can have real-life implications. The AAP is concerned that parents may be making medical choices for their children based on conversations and statements made by social media groups, rather than credible sources like the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They are not the only ones concerned about the amount of misinformation spread online.

Ethan Lindenberger, a teen from Ohio, recently spoke before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions about this concern. He discussed how his parents based medical choices for him on the information they learned through social media groups. He is concerned that fear may be used as a driving force for the quick spread of false information. While the AAP is confronting the social media platforms, he is telling lawmakers that it is important to teach people about how to find good information. Lindenberger explained to the Senate subcommittee panel, “Approaching this issue with the concern of education and addressing misinformation properly can cause change, as it did for me.”

#pso #htcs #b4inc #ncsv #ncs