(Black Press Media files)

EDITORIAL: Measles outbreaks: The facts and the ‘alternative facts’

Rumour spreads faster than ever these days

Nothing spreads faster than a rumour.

And once established a rumour, true or false, is almost impossible to dislodge.

Humans probably started spreading rumours as soon as we acquired the gift of language. And in our modern age, they’re being spread even faster through our social platforms.

The escalation has seen rumours go from damaging to one person’s reputation to dangerous to society.

Climate change denial is one example, and the anti-vaccine movement is another. Even though the study that started it all by linking vaccinations with autism has been thoroughly debunked and the author stripped of his credentials, the idea that vaccines are harmful has continued to spread and grow.

Want to know what’s harmful? Not getting immunized and helping dangerous, preventable diseases to spread through society again.

There’s a couple of things that contribute to the spread of rumour-level information like the anti-vaxxer message. One is the lack of solid information to compete with it.

There are excellent websites for medical information available, but since doctors and scientists don’t make YouTube videos about settled science, they’re not competing in the same arena as the conspiracy theorists spreading links to misinformation through Facebook and other platforms.

Another problem is a lack of critical thinking and that overwhelming human desire to be the person sharing the real info that no one else has.

It’s just not as much fun to talk about science that is factual, provable and everyone knows about anyway.

Spreading rumours isn’t going to go away. The only way to fight it is to get out there and share links to the credible sources; help spread the truth at least as fast as the rumour.

–Black Press Media

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Kelowna Secondary football star, water skier, signs with University of Calgary

Isaac Athans, and his family, have a long history of success across various sports in the Okanagan, nationally

QUIZ: A celebration of dogs

These are the dog days of summer. How much do you know about dogs?

Pilot project aims to boost entrepreneurial women in the Okanagan

W Venture, a collaborative project, is open for applications until the end of July

Cyclist struck by vehicle in West Kelowna

The cyclist was transported to hospital by ambulance

VIDEO: Musqueam Chief captures captivating footage of bald eagle catching meal

‘This is why we have chosen to live here since time immemorial,’ Chief Wayne Sparrow’s nephew says

Summerland campground to provide COVID-safe accommodations for temporary farm-workers

The managed seasonal worker campsite will be located within a separated area of Peach Orchard Municipal Campground

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

No abandoned Seadoo found on Coldstream lake

Vernon Search and Rescue crews and RCMP unable to find reported abandoned Seadoo on Kal Lake

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Shuswap resident spots waterspout near Salmon Arm

The rare weather event was spotted early in the morning on July 4.

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

Most Read