Telling truth from fiction in our age of health disinformation

October 11, 2022

Excerpts reprinted with permission from Here to Help. Read the full article.

In 1885, Wilhelm Röntgen discovered X-rays - and saw his skeleton. He began to work in private in case he ruined his reputation with such fantastical claims. Discoveries from Henri Becquerel and Marie Curie further uncovered ionizing radiation and the role it could play in health diagnostics and treatment. And just like today, misinformation and quackery spread alongside these advances in physics.

Radioactive quacks weren’t the first to spread misinformation, and they certainly won’t be the last. After the World Health Organization declared a Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, they declared an “infodemic”—an exponential increase in information, some reliable and some not, fuelling rumours, assumptions, conspiracy theories and disinformation. Disinformation, misinformation and fake news continue to threaten everyone’s health and well-being.

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