Could “Facebook Fact Checkers” Correct Healthcare Misinformation?
A friend of mine on Facebook posted a political meme that has been proven to include inaccuracies, and underneath her post appeared a “related article” with a tag noting that this article had been fact-checked and the content of the article basically cleared up all the issues with the nearby meme. Being a new feature, at least for me (Facebook sometimes rolls out features at different times for different people), there was a bubble caption to explain what I was seeing for the first time. This is what it looked like;
And when I clicked on ‘fact-checker’, here is the explanation that Facebook gave on how Facebook third-party fact-checkers get selected:
Based on the upcoming American election and the ongoing issues with inaccuracies with certain media outlets, my guess is that fact-checkers will be mandated to focus on political articles. This is purely a hunch, but it seems like a good starting point. We should all be made aware of what is the truth and what are inaccuracies from a political perspective.
But this got me thinking; wouldn’t it be amazing if there would also be medical fact-checkers letting people know which articles are posting accurate information versus those who aren’t. Remember that meme that used to suggest to people that they should put flour on their burns? Yikes! And then real healthcare professionals were telling people not to do that because it could make matters worse. There are so many other similar examples. If there was a Fact-Checker for that type of information, it could save people from an unfortunate situation becoming even worse. But healthcare and pharmaceuticals can be super complex issues. The information must be accurate and balanced in order to not mislead people. Not an easy task, but if we take it one bite-size at a time, and correct the popular memes, that would be we worth the effort as it would save some people from unfortunate incidents.