The health section approved by doctors
ELECTION fixing, personal data theft and incitement of hatred: evils, undoubtedly, all linked to fake news and their sources.
Compared to these, are crackpot health claims made online such a problem? We believe they are. The internet is an invaluable tool for finding out medical information.
But there is a high chance that, while innocently Googling a symptom or health concern, we’ll end up being given dangerously misleading advice.
And this advice could lead to life-or-death decisions being made. So, it is not an overstatement to say that those who spread misinformation and falsehoods about health have blood on their hands.
More needs to be done to weed them out and expose the lies they peddle. This is why, today, The Mail on Sunday launches a crucial new campaign to Fight Fake Health News. Over the coming weeks and months, we will be delving deeper into the medical fakery in circulation while providing you, our readers, with the facts.
This newspaper is committed to evidence-based health information. So from today, in a national newspaper first, all our stories will be reviewed and approved by a medical doctor.
You can trust what you read in these pages. But at present, there is almost no way to tell whether health news online is real or fake. Some social media companies now let users flag up stories they believe are false.
These companies also enlist political fact-checkers who can slap a warning on pages that contain disputed information.
But they don’t employ health specialists. This needs to change.
Tech companies like Facebook and Google need to acknowledge their part in the problem of fake health news – so they can become part of the solution.
And if you are creating fake health news, be warned: we are watching.