News on COVID-19

Both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama struggled to overcome widespread and persistent myths about their proposals to reform the American health care system. Their difficulties highlight the influence of factual misinformation in national politics and the extent to which it correlates with citizens’ political views. In this essay, I explain how greater elite polarization and […]

Viral products and ideas are intuitively understood to grow through a person-to-person diffusion process analogous to the spread of an infectious disease; however, until recently it has been prohibitively difficult to directly observe purportedly viral events, and thus to rigorously quantify or characterize their structural properties. Here we propose a formal measure of what we […]

Numerous social, economic and academic pressures can have a negative impact on representations of biomedical research. We review several of the forces playing an increasingly pernicious role in how health and science information is interpreted, shared and used, drawing discussions towards the role of narrative. In turn, we explore how aspects of narrative are used […]

In 2014, a deadly Ebola virus outbreak caught the world’s attention. At the height of this crisis, future president of the United States, Donald Trump, tweeted about Ebola’s threat to Americans.Throughout the 2014 Ebola outbreak, the vibrant nature of, and public familiarity with, apocalyptic frames allowed the rhetoric of social media users, like Trump, to […]

Social media are often criticized for being a conduit for misinformation on global health issues, but may also serve as a corrective to false information. To investigate this possibility, an experiment was conducted exposing users to a simulated Facebook News Feed featuring misinformation and different correction mechanisms (one in which news stories featuring correct information […]

From a discourse analytic framework, the article analyses health blogs and patient’s forum discussions in which parents to children with congenital heart defects recontextualize medical professional knowledge and share their own experiences. The study show how the two types of online media may serve as a means for parents to attain expert status in their […]

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Terms like “fake news” and “alternative facts” are a part of everyday life now, but what do these terms mean to folklorists? In this paper, I consider types of fake news, where fake news occurs, and what motivates people to create fake news. I also address fake news by looking at alternative health belief sites, […]

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