Medical Advice on Social Media

SEPTEMBER 7, 2020: During these unprecedented times you will find lots of suggestions on social media on how to cope with medical issues. Be very, very careful, there is a lot of misinformation out there. Much of the information falls into the fake news category. Facebook offers some easy tips to spot fake news in your news feed:

1) Be wary of headlines: If shocking claims in a headline sound unbelievable, they probably are. Watch for headlines in all caps or with excessive exclamation points.

2) Investigate the source: Is the story written by an established news source or an unfamiliar organization? False news can often mimic authentic news sites. Check the “About” section of a website to learn more about the source.

3) Look at the photos: False news articles often contain manipulated images or videos. An exaggerated photo can indicate clickbait.

4) Check the evidence: Check the author’s sources to confirm that the information is accurate. Lack of evidence or unnamed sources can indicate a false news story.

5) Is the story a joke? Fake news sites release satirical articles that are intended to be funny. Check the story’s details, tone, and source before believing a news article.

If you are looking for legitimate medical resources, cross-reference any recommendations online with a member of your clinical team including your physician, clinician, pharmacist, or nutritionist. Most importantly, don’t believe everything you read online.

Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash