The lure of health and wellness misinformation

Is that a fact?

Aug 17 2023 • 35 mins

You know the routine. You develop a physical symptom you’ve never had before and what do you do? You grab your phone and furiously Google symptoms and related medical conditions.

If you land on reputable medical sources, it’s not a problem — except it might provoke some unwarranted anxiety. But when online searches and social media spout quackery, the information you consume, and maybe act on, can put your health in danger.

In this episode, we discussed the hidden dangers of health and wellness mis- and disinformation with Derek Beres, co-author of Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat and co-host of the podcast Conspirituality.

Algorithms can take consumers looking for health and wellness advice down rabbit holes of misinformation, leading some of us to believe conspiracy theories that fuel distrust in proven medical methods and treatments.

Is that a fact? is a production of the News Literacy Project, a nonpartisan education nonprofit building a national movement to create a more news-literate America. Our host is Darragh Worland, our producer is Mike Webb, our editor is Timothy Kramer, and our theme music is by Eryn Busch.