Category: snake oil

Desperate teens of anti-vaxxers are turning to Reddit for vaccination advice:

The infrastructure of social media can spread a lot of bad medical and scientific information but there are times when it can help cut through the quackery.

As a kid, Ethan wasn’t allowed to be vaccinated. Ethan’s parents are one of the up to 10 percent of Americans who are against some form of vaccination, often believing that preventing disease in children is a government conspiracy.

But Ethan is not his parents. When he turned 18, he decided to take matters into his own hands. He wasn’t sure where else to begin, so he turned to Reddit.

“Where do I go to get vaccinated? Can I get vaccinated at my age?” Ethan asked his fellow redditors in December.

Ethan’s post flooded with over 1,000 comments from users offering their encouragement and support, along with practical advice.

“Good on you for getting your vaccinations,” one user responded. “It’s never too late and you’re not only protecting yourself but those around you who truly can’t get vaccinated.”

Ethan told the Daily Dot that some redditors even offered to give him money via GoFundMe or PayPal if insurance didn’t cover the shots. “People were really supportive, and that was really cool,” he said. “I had the blessing of Reddit. They were supporting me on a decision my mom freaked out about.”

Digital Human: Series 16, Episode 2, Snake Oil

Desperate teens of anti-vaxxers are turning to Reddit for vaccination advice:

The infrastructure of social media can spread a lot of bad medical and scientific information but there are times when it can help cut through the quackery.

As a kid, Ethan wasn’t allowed to be vaccinated. Ethan’s parents are one of the up to 10 percent of Americans who are against some form of vaccination, often believing that preventing disease in children is a government conspiracy.

But Ethan is not his parents. When he turned 18, he decided to take matters into his own hands. He wasn’t sure where else to begin, so he turned to Reddit.

“Where do I go to get vaccinated? Can I get vaccinated at my age?” Ethan asked his fellow redditors in December.

Ethan’s post flooded with over 1,000 comments from users offering their encouragement and support, along with practical advice.

“Good on you for getting your vaccinations,” one user responded. “It’s never too late and you’re not only protecting yourself but those around you who truly can’t get vaccinated.”

Ethan told the Daily Dot that some redditors even offered to give him money via GoFundMe or PayPal if insurance didn’t cover the shots. “People were really supportive, and that was really cool,” he said. “I had the blessing of Reddit. They were supporting me on a decision my mom freaked out about.”

Digital Human: Series 16, Episode 2, Snake Oil

Britt Hermes: Confessions of a (former) Naturopathic Doctor:

A good interview with Britt Marie Hermes on the backlash she got for speaking out against naturopathic medicine, we couldn’t get into how she’s been targeted by the naturopathic community for her work and her blog – https://www.naturopathicdiaries.com/.

Digital Human: Series 16, Episode 2, Snake Oil

Britt Hermes: Confessions of a (former) Naturopathic Doctor:

A good interview with Britt Marie Hermes on the backlash she got for speaking out against naturopathic medicine, we couldn’t get into how she’s been targeted by the naturopathic community for her work and her blog – https://www.naturopathicdiaries.com/.

Digital Human: Series 16, Episode 2, Snake Oil

FromTheLabBench:

Paige Jarreau’s blog is one to add to your lists of science blogs (I’m not the only one with a list right? Right?). Not only does it have cool science content, but it offers real insights for scientists about how to spread their work with the world. 

Digital Human: Series 16, Episode 2, Snake Oil

Consider this a lunctime lecture… so long as you aren’t squeamish. Caroline Rance was a great guest to have – I’d love to do a podcast with her all about the fascinating stories and products she’s unearthed in her research. Listen to her talk, and dive into her blog if you like a bit of weird medical history (and really, who doesn’t?).

https://thequackdoctor.com/ 

Digital Human: Series 16, Episode 2, Snake Oil

What is naturopathic medicine? – Naturopathic Diaries:

Big thanks to Britt Marie Hermes for sharing her story on today’s show. Her blog is excellent and gives great details on the dangers of unverified treatments presented as medicine.

The central concepts of naturopathic medicine were founded in a pre-scientific era and have failed to evolve with advancements in medicine and science. The naturopathic tenets combine the debunked theory of vitalism with precepts well-established in conventional medicine, such as disease prevention, patient education, and lifestyle counseling. Naturopathy’s blend of scientifically archaic ideas with practices already ingrained in medicine does not make for a superior system of healthcare. It amounts to a group of under-qualified health practitioners trained in dubious and debunked therapies (i.e. homeopathy and botanical remedies) trying to engage in the practice of medicine. Naturopathic therapies are not increasingly supported by scientific evidence. In fact, science increasingly substantiates the failures of these therapies as safe and effective interventions. The practice of naturopathic medicine, as taught by accredited naturopathic programs in North America, is unscrupulous and dangerous.

How do I know? I  practiced as a licensed naturopathic doctor in the United States for three years. I left after discovering that the naturopathic profession is rife with professional misconduct and unethical treatments, including:

  • ozone therapy
  • high-dose vitamin therapy
  • intravenous injections of vitamins, minerals, and herbs
  • homeopathy
  • hydrotherapy
  • naturopathic spinal manipulations
  • energy medicine
  • healing touch
  • alternative cancer therapies
  • the illegal use of unapproved pharmaceutical medications
  • experimental therapies for diseases including cancer and chronic illnesses

Naturopaths are advertising and talking about these practices behind closed doors. But in public, naturopaths claim these therapies are “evidence-based.” As a former member of this community, I feel ethically compelled to speak out against the quackery that comprises naturopathic medicine.

Naturopathic Diaries provides accurate information about naturopathic education, training, and common practices in an effort to protect patients. This information contests materials put out by the naturopathic profession, which I believe are misleading and often times, blatantly false. Naturopathy does not convey the same credibility or deserve the same respect as medicine.

Digital Human: Series 16, Episode 2, Snake Oil

Creationism vs. Science : The Final Showdown!:

If Woo peddlers can gamify social media algorithms using cute cats to sneak quackery into the lives of unsuspecting people, science too can harness the power of felines for good dammit!

Digital Human: Series 16, Episode 2, Snake Oil

Going viral in the online anti-vaccine wars:

The Wellcome is one of the best places to go for a geek in London (if you’re a Digihuman listener I just assume you’ve the geek is strong within you), and they always have brilliant, well researched and vibrant collections on display.

The digital age may be amplifying anti-vaccination sentiment more than ever before, but fear has turned people away from medical progression for a long, long time.

Contemporary anti-vaccination campaigning started in earnest after the publication of Andrew Wakefield’s now infamous study suggesting that the combined measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine caused autism. The MMR scare snowballed to become the biggest science story of 2002, leading to demands in the British press for Tony Blair to disclose whether his son Leo had been given the vaccine.

In 2010 the study was retracted by its publisher, the Lancet, after an investigation discovered multiple conflicts of interest and manipulation of research data. Wakefield lost the right to practise medicine in the UK, but that didn’t stop him continuing his campaign against vaccines. In 2016 Wakefield released the documentary Vaxxed, which followed other anti-vaccination documentaries such as Trace Amounts and Calling the Shots. Vaxxed was pulled from the Tribeca Film Festival before its screening, following a public outcry about its message.

It’s pretty unlikely you’ll be seeing anti-vaccination documentaries at your local cinema. But anti-vaxxers are adept at using digital technology to sidestep what they see as official censorship, reaching new converts through ‘news’ articles, self-produced documentaries and memes. Despite this, anti-vaxxers aren’t a new digital phenomenon, but rather the latest incarnation of a social and political movement with a long history of resistance to large-scale vaccination programmes.

Digital Human: Series 16, Episode 2, Snake Oil

One factor of the spread of Snake Oil we didn’t have time to cover in this week’s show (insert subtle show plug here – 

Digital Human: Series 16, Episode 2, Snake Oil) was how lazy scientific journalism grants some credence to quackery and/or pseudoscience. 

Thankfully Myles Power has covered this in a few videos, here is a recent trio of videos on the infamous gay frogs, but his whole channel is worth a look.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6NDtIU8liw – Part 2

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9eLiBmQC68 – Part 3