Last updated: 16 November 2020
Come explore the mechanisms behind medical information disorder
Hi there, welcome to our website about medical information disorder!
Fake news and misinformation, or more broadly called: 'information disorder', are phenomena we have probably all heard of. It can be seen in many contexts, for example in a political context, and in many forms, such as social media posts or entire news articles. In the modern world, information can be looked up and shared by everyone very quickly and very easily. This has some very great advantages: for instance, knowledge is more widely available for everyone, but it comes with dangers as well. Daily, we are exposed to lots of information through the 'regular' media and social media. In this pool of information we wonder: How do we tell if a piece of information is trustworthy?
One specific type of fake news is false medical information, or 'medical information disorder', and the spreading and believing of such information can have serious consequences on someone's health. All different kinds of researchers and scientists have been working together on this problem, but there is no obvious solution. That is why, on this website, we want to inform you about this wicked problem and offer tips on how to judge whether information is reliable or not. Even though this might not entirely stop the creation of false medical information, we do believe that making you more critical is a nice first step in the right direction.
We hope that our information is clear and that our tips help you to judge the reliability of information. Please explore our website and take the quiz to see how good you are at recognizing fake medical information!
Team Medical Information Disorder
Esther, Mariska, Mika, Rosanna and Laura
"Luckily, there is a countermovement of people and instances who try to put the truth and the real story on the table."
A personal message from the Association Against Quackery
Catherine de Jong, anesthetist
Secretary of the Association Against Quackery
“I wish more people had the courage to question each other a little more often, without being insulting. Just asking each other: ‘hey, how did you get that information?’”
Expert Kitty Smeekes, Free University alumna Communication and Information Sciences, shared her thoughts with us in an interview about fake news
initiator of B44S! organisation for education and advice surrounding media literacy and cybersafety
VU-alumni (Communication- and information sciences)
'What consequences does fake news have in the medical world?' 'What makes this fake information so attractive?' 'What cognitive processes contribute to this attractiveness?' 'How can we use this psychology to recognize fake information?' These are a few of the questions that drove our research and inspired us to create a website.
We are five dutch bachelor students, named Esther, Mariska, Mika, Rosanna and Laura. Esther is a third year biomedical student, Mariska a third year pharmaceutical sciences student, Mika a second year politocology and economics student, Rosanna a third year psychology student and Laura a third year medicine student. Together, we created this website as a part of the course ‘Wicked Challenges in Health’ at the University of Amsterdam.
Our goal for this course was to understand the psychology behind medical information disorder, so that we can inform you about it. By sharing our findings in an understandable way, we hope to give insights and provide tools to make you more critical. Read more about us by clicking the button below.
You will learn how easily false and misleading information is created and how fast it spreads on the internet to ultimately mislead you. Even though there is no obvious solution for medical information disorder, we believe that informing you about this problem is the first step towards reducing the harm of fake and misleading medical information.
We want to raise more awareness for all the false and misleading medical information that can be found on the internet. If you are aware of the fact that medical information can be fake, you will be more critical the next time when you read new medical information.
You will learn how to recognize false and misleading medical information so that it will not harm you or your loved ones in the future. Based on our scientific and case researches, we want to provide you with specific tips on how to judge whether medical information is trustworthy or not.
DON'T HESITATE TO CONTACT US
If you have any questions, encounter any errors on our website, have an example of a false medical information or want to share a scientific article: you can write your message below. You can also send us an article if you find it hard to tell if it is valid or not: we are very willing to help you. If you just want to say hi and share your thoughts: we would love to hear!
We would also really like to place articles and personal examples on the website under 'blogs and news' (anonymously), with your permission of course. Also, we will adjust errors on our website when they proof to be incorrect based on scientific research. Together we make the difference!
We will answer your message as soon as possible!
Esther, Mika, Mariska, Laura and Rosanna
University of Amsterdam
University of Amsterdam