Friday, December 07, 2007

YouTube, Public Health, and anti-vaccination campaigners

At it's best YouTube, is a wonderful resource for amusement, education, disseminating information. At its worst, it is like a virus, providing information that is downright false, misleading and just plain bad -- makes me wish there was some form of trash collection on the web. The latest example of the latter are "documentary-type videos capturing the views of parents of autistic children who blame particular vaccines or thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative formerly used in vaccine manufacture, for the autism."

That's one way to undermine evidence-based medicine.

An article written by Helen Branswell, a medical reporter for The Canadian Press, chides public health researchers for not being tech-savvy enough and suggests that they need to get up to speed and try some new strategies, like YouTube for getting their message.

Sounds like a fun grant project to me -- anybody game?

1 comment:

Kelly Hills said...

Huh - that actually is interesting. I wonder who would fund that; Pew, maybe?

(Hey, if anyone *is* interested, wants a PhD student whose dis is related to media, and wants to actually do a grant, drop me a line. I'm game!)