Hype and health misinformation is a metastasizing aspect of our age, in which technology both increases the public’s access to varying points of view─and, to put it kindly, the great gullibility of all too many. Which is why it’s also heartening to see skeptics also are out there to question the widespread humbug.
Look, for example, at what may be one of the most-read health information websites around, WebMD. Yes, it provides some good information. It also seems to be one of the high temples for cyber practitioners of clickbait-ing, offering headlines in recent days such as: Could you be allergic to kissing? 6 ways to fix eggs. Does getting older have to a drag? And Is it OK to drink your pee?
There’s a good reason for the site, of course, to provide provocative teases, upping its online traffic and boosting its appeal to advertisers. Like who? Try Big Pharma for millions of dollars in ads. As the website Vox reports, WebMD also has raised eyebrows by the way it places Big Pharma pitches with content that (hypochondriacal) readers see when they seek information about certain health conditions. Caveat emptor, use caution and common sense when consuming health related information, as I have written before.