I listened to a fascinating interview between Kara Swisher and Jane Gunter, an OB-GYN who has a popular blog devoted to dispelling some dangerous medical misinformation that seems to take hold on the Internet. Sometimes she contributes to the New York Times, as she did with this: Here Are Things Not to Put in Your Vagina (pass on the lemon juice and garlic).
She tried to dispel some information Gwyneth Paltrow puts out, such as bras causing breast cancer, but Paltrow's company replied that Dr. Gunter is in the pocket of big lingerate.
Over the years Dr. Gunter has been at this, she says the Internet seems to have gone from a source of information to a source of misinformation. She said doctors like it when patients research their conditions, but only if they read credible sites. She happily recommends them on her blog. As it stands, self-diagnosis on the Internet is less than 50% reliable, less than a coin flip.
Right after, I heard an interview with Matt Cutts, known for his work on Google's search engine. Something he pointed out is Google's search algorithm is based in part on popularity, and for whatever reason, anti-vaxxers are much more active on the Internet than people who believe in vaccines. That makes a dilemma for Google.
Someone on Facebook invited me to an anti-vaccine group with >100,000 members and suddenly there I was, listed as a member of the group for all to see, not knowing I was even in it.
So... What can we do?