How Fake News Affects Public Health
As an assistant professor at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Dr. Brittany Seymour knows that being able to tell fact from fiction makes all the difference when it comes to your health. The problem, as Seymour outlined in her recent address to the Ontario Public Health Association Forum, is that distinguishing legitimate research from “fake news”—bunk which appeals to emotion and personal beliefs—is becoming a real challenge in the age of social media. “Five-hundred million Tweets go out every day and 100 hours of new content is uploaded to YouTube every minute,” she said. “The amount of information we share is astounding.” According to Seymour, that “information” includes the fake news that keeps the following five health myths alive.