Even an online medical community cannot completely avoid misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines. Gizmodo reports that CNBC found a spate of fake anti-vaccine claims on Doximity, an industry networking tool for doctors. While the stories shared come from mainstream news outlets and scientific publications, the comments appear to be full of misinformation about vaccine safety, mask effectiveness, and natural immunity, among other things.
The commentators use their real names and have verified medical certificates.
Doximity told CNBC there are rules in place that prohibit material that contradicts public health guidelines, including anti-vaccine material. It added that it had a “rigorous” comment review process, with doctors reviewing content. However, the company didn’t explain the spate of anti-vaccine comments or say when it might be able to remove them.
The results highlight the problems with content moderation. Many social websites and internet giants have rules banning anti-vax content, but enforcement is a persistent problem due to either a lack of resources or users bypassing the rules. Doximity’s problem is just one more egregious violation – this is a small, closed group full of people about to go through a tougher screening process. It is clear that it will be a while before Doximity and other websites can really help ensure users share accurate information.
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