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Strategies to combat medical misinformation on social media
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  • Published on:
    The truth is more complicated

    The medical myths, using anti-MMR as an example, follow a formula of being easy to understand and not difficult to retell. Similar to urban myths, the knowledge of a medical myth is not reduced by distance from the case. For example, as told to me in my paediatric emergency department, a patient's cousin's friend whose child became autistic following vaccination is viewed as an absolute truth.

    Compare this with medical rebuttal. Frequently the caveats of more research is needed or the results from a small study litter the conclusion sections. Typically the writing is dense and heavy on jargon. It's also common for there not to be an absolute answer.

    Perhaps we should sharpen our writing and be more definitive. ‘Tweetorials’ are useful but they need to be short and snappy.
    Conflict of Interest
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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.