The Centurion

Fake Health News & Ads Have the Potential to Create a Global Epidemic

Hal Conte

Hal Conte

Matthew Aquino

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Fake health ads and misleading news are becoming more common lately and have been clouding the minds of potential flu victims all over the world.
While many people have always declined to vaccinate their children due to fear of needles and time constraints, unsubstantiated reports by fake websites have stoked the concerns of millions more individuals about the alleged dangers of vaccination, particularly in Italy and the United States.
Saige Giardina, a 22-year-old student at Bucks who majors in psychology has many strong opinions on the topic of fake health ads and news.
Saige says that even established websites like Cracked.com are beginning to feature fake health news alongside legitimate content, blurring the lines between honest reporting and rumor mill conspiracies.
In addition, news organizations such as the Washington Post and Daily Beast include “native advertising” on their website- links that appear to be news stories but redirect to paid web links. More often than not, these are sensationalist at best and scams at worst. Sage made it clear you can find a list of fake health websites on Wikipedia.
Saige explained “There’s always a bunch of ads about how this new superfood or fruit combination of things can help cure cancer or make doctors mad, or help you lose like 20 pounds in a week.” She explained that it’s easy to tell that the ads are fake because it’s all clickbait and it never tells you the product in the title of the ad.
When asked if Saige thinks these fake health ads are a problem she responded, “Well yeah, because people will click on it and think what they’re doing is actually healthy or ‘tested by doctors’ and they could end up seriously affecting their health in harmful ways.” She strongly believes that anyone should run something by their doctor before changing up a medicinal routine or diet.
When the topic of flu vaccines arose, Saige thinks vaccines should be mandatory and that they have been scientifically proven to help. She also thinks that anti-vaccine people have been influenced by fake news. When asked has she come into contact with anyone who has been affected or influenced by fake health ads and news she responded with “No I don’t associate myself with idiots.”
Dr. Connie Corrigan the Dean of Health Sciences at Bucks also has experience with people’s opinions on whether or not they should get the flu vaccine. Corrigan explained that “health workers that I have worked with and talked to still believe you can contract the virus from the vaccine.”
With a mass amount of people still believing this it makes sense why fake health ads and websites never go away and why it doesn’t look like they are ever going away. Corrigan said “Millions of people are living in the United States and some people already can’t naturally get the flu vaccine for a various amount of reasons including allergies, the more people that get the vaccine the healthier the country will be and the lower the chance of a global epidemic would be.”

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The student newspaper of Bucks County Community College
Fake Health News & Ads Have the Potential to Create a Global Epidemic