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Regen Med. 2017 Oct;12(7):765-775. doi: 10.2217/rme-2017-0060. Epub 2017 Nov 8.

Fake news portrayals of stem cells and stem cell research.

Author information

1
Health Law Institute, Office 468, Faculty of Law, University of Alberta, 111 89 Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2H5, Canada.

Abstract

AIM:

This study examines how stem cells and stem cell research are portrayed on websites deemed to be purveyors of distorted and dubious information.

METHODS:

Content analysis was conducted on 224 articles from 2015 to 2016, compiled by searching with the keywords 'stem cell(s)' on a list of websites flagged for containing either 'fake' or 'junk science' news.

RESULTS:

Articles contained various exaggerated positive and negative claims about stem cells and stem cell science, health and science related conspiracy theories, and statements promoting fear and mistrust of conventional medicine.

CONCLUSION:

Findings demonstrate the existence of organized misinformation networks, which may lead the public away from accurate information and facilitate a polarization of public discourse.

KEYWORDS:

content analysis; fake news; misinformation; stem cell research; stem cells

PMID:
29115183
DOI:
10.2217/rme-2017-0060
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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