Social media overrun with bogus medical advice

Social media networks like Facebook and YouTube are seeing a wave of false medical information about dubious cancer treatments, with millions of views, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The information can be harmful to those who take it as real and act on the false claims, which is why the companies are taking steps to limit the accounts that create the posts. For one, Facebook changed its algorithm to reduce the promotion of “miracle cures of flogging health services,” the WSJ reported, while YouTube, which is owned by Alphabet, has begun cutting off advertisement for “bogus cancer-treatment channels.”

Both platforms are seeing multiple accounts posting misinformation, making it hard to keep up with posts that violate policies prohibiting immediate harm. Inaccurate medical information is among the 8.3 million videos YouTube has taken down, according to the report.

As fake news continues to be a problem in the medical world, AI has been floated as one key solution. Others with medical pedigree have taken it upon themselves to bring good information to social media platforms, including one Harvard-trained doctor with holds the title of chief medical social media officer with a health system based in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

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