(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

Just Posted

West Kelowna Warriors look for 2nd win in Merritt

The Warriors’ hope to improve their 1-4 start to the season Friday night

Kelowna police officer cleared in cyclist collision

Police officer was off-duty when he hit cyclist who had used heroin earlier in the evening

Prospera and Westminster credit unions approved for proposed merger

Abbotsford- and Surrey-based companies now take matter to membership vote

End of summer celebration taking over popular Kelowna brewery

BNA Brewing hosts the Summer End event Sunday

Christopher Raymond Derickson elected new chief of Westbank First Nation

Westbank First Nation members elected Derickson Thursday night

VIDEO: B.C.’s famous cat Grandpa Mason has died

The story of the feral cat that started fostering kittens touched people around the world

RDOS to study sites for composting facility

Penticton and Okanagan Falls landfills will be examined

Trudeau seeks meeting with Singh to apologize for blackface, brownface photos

‘I will be apologizing to him personally as a racialized Canadian,’ Trudeau said Friday

Shuswap elementary school suspends operations due to ‘musty odour’

Arrangements made for affected Sicamous students to attend class in three other schools

Summerland grocery store offers warm atmosphere, community service

Nesters Market has been involved in numerous initiatives within Summerland

Charges stayed against Alberta RCMP officer in alleged off-duty Whistler assault

Const. Vernon Hagen instead completed an alternative measures program

Codling moths remain a problem for Okanagan apple growers

Problem areas for pest include Summerland, Penticton and Naramata

Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen works to control mosquito populations

Control efforts in the region have been starting earlier each year

PAW Patrol Live! adds third Penticton show due to pup-ular demand

Fans can now see the heroic pooches at three different showtimes at the SOEC

Most Read