There will be no new material today and probably not Monday either. I'm in New York attending the Northeast Conference on Science and Skepticism (NECSS). I'll be giving a talk this afternoon, "Cancer Quackery and Fake News: Targeting the Most Vulnerable." I'll be back Tuesday or Wednesday.
Yesterday, social media giant Facebook announced that it was acting against medical misinformation by using keyphrases to deprioritize results promoting misinformation and scams? Is it enough, and is it too late?
Autism biomed quackery is unfortunately all too commonly inflicted upon autistic children. Fortunately, there are moles seeking to expose it.
Clint Paddison is an Australian comedian with a science degree who developed rheumatoid arthritis at age 31. He now claims to have controlled it with a diet he developed to alter the gut microbiome. How plausible is his story, and does his "Paddison Program" work? Answer: Not very and almost certainly no.
Violent rhetoric has always been part of the antivaccine movement.Leaders of the antivax movement, like Del Bigtree, use apocalyptic and violent rhetoric, and then deny that they've done so. Unfortunately, it seems to be getting worse, and I fear violence.
Chad Hermann and Todd Wolynn published a study about antivaxers that basically confirmed a lot of what we know about how they use Facebook to harass their perceived enemies. More important is the work they're doing provide a way for those targeted by antivaxers for harassment to light signal fires to attract reinforcements.
A new study by Jeremy Snyder and Tim Caulfield shows how much money is raised by GoFundMe and other crowdfunding sources to support quackery. It's a lot of money, which is unsurprising to Orac, given that he's been writing about how crowdfunding is "baked into" the business model of cancer quacks since he discovered Stanislaw Burzynski a decade ago.
J. B. Handley and Orac go way back (to 2005), when Orac first encountered Handley's brand of blustering, arrogantly ignorant antivaccine pseudoscience. Lately, Handley's been blogging over at Medium. A couple of weeks ago, Medium kicked him off its platform for violating its TOS. Schadenfreude ensues.
Facebook has become a hub from which antivaxers spread misinformation. A recent study looks at what they're saying and how FB pages facilitate the spread of antivaccine misinformation.
One of the most common criticisms launched at defenders of science-based medicine by believers in pseudoscience and quackery is that we are “pharma shills.” The assumption, or so it would seem, is that no one would defend science, reason, and medicine unless he were paid off by pharmaceutical, chemical, and/or agricultural companies. The further assumption is that, in contrast to our greedy grasping selves, they are not motivated by such base concerns as money. That is their self-image, that of pure-hearted warriors against evil, the evil being big pharma, big agriculture, big chemical, and whatever other demons they can dream …