BMJ news: 'Taking down online scientific misinformation isn’t necessary, as most people don’t believe it, says Royal Society' (8)

26 January, 2022

I agree, Meena. There really isn't anything "guaranteed to decipher misinformation". Raising the general ability to understand health topics is one of the positive approaches. Unfortunately, misinformation doesn't just arise by mistake - social and political forces are quite ready to bend the truth to suit their twisted purposes.

And, as has been noted in plenty of literature, some people find that there is an elitist element in "literacy". Going back to the pre-internet era, WM Laetsch, wrote in his chapter "A basis for better public understanding of science": "Implicit in these and similar claims is a high level of hubris. It is assumed that scientific literacy is the highest literacy and those who are deficient are less useful members of society". More recently, the discussion around the decolonialisation of knowledge has suggested that demanding literacy according to Western medical principles can involve a form of knowledge colonialism.

Incidentally, there is an excellent free course on "How to Fight Misinformation" offered by United Nations Verified and wikiknow here:

Chris Zielinski

Blogs: and

Research publications:

HIFA profile: Chris Zielinski: As a Visiting Fellow in the Centre for Global Health, Chris leads the Partnerships in Health Information (Phi) programme at the University of Winchester. Formerly an NGO, Phi supports knowledge development and brokers healthcare information exchanges of all kinds. Chris has held senior positions in publishing and knowledge management with WHO in Brazzaville, Geneva, Cairo and New Delhi, with FAO in Rome, ILO in Geneva, and UNIDO in Vienna. Chris also spent three years in London as Chief Executive of the Authors Licensing and Collecting Society. He was the founder of the ExtraMED project (Third World biomedical journals on CD-ROM), and managed the Gates Foundation-supported Health Information Resource Centres project. He served on WHO’s Ethical Review Committee, and was an originator of the African Health Observatory. Chris has been a director of the World Association of Medical Editors, UK Copyright Licensing Agency, Educational Recording Agency, and International Association of Audiovisual Writers and Directors. He has served on the boards of several NGOs and ethics groupings (information and computer ethics and bioethics). UK-based, he is also building houses in Zambia. chris AT

His publications are at and and his blogs are and