JAMA study on misinformation... spreads misinformation!
In an ironic twist worthy of Alanis Morissette, a study on medical misinformation is filled with misinformation.
A study out this week in the journal JAMA Network Open purports to analyze “COVID-19 misinformation propagated by US physicians.” Yet the study, called “Communication of COVID-19 Misinformation on Social Media by Physicians in the US,” categorizes many statements that are true, and other statements that are on areas of disputed science as “misinformation.”
The authors don’t reveal all of the content that they deemed misinformation (which is a significant problem in itself). But they do provide a table with a number of examples.
What some of these physicians said, in my view, was potentially misleading—or at best, irresponsible—because they cited anecdotes rather than data. And a few made unsupported, overstated, or even outlandish claims.
But the authors of the paper also included many examples of “misinformation” that simply are true information. This is a disturbing paper for multiple reasons, which I will briefly cover.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial