When the UK newspaper, the Independent, analysed the 20 most shared stories in the past year with cancer in the headline, more than half included claims which health authorities or doctors had discredited. Yet many millions of people had considered them interesting enough to share on social media.
If fake news stories about politics can influence voting patterns, then could health stories about unproven treatments result in people eschewing their current medical treatment in favour of the latest recommendation in an article they see? Some fear these articles could be dangerous.
By Claudia Hammond | BBC
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