BMJ news: 'Taking down online scientific misinformation isn't necessary, as most people don't believe it, says Royal Society' (12)

27 February, 2022

Dear all,

The comment made by Richard Horton in the Lancet vol 399 February 26,2022 is worth reading and well argued [ ]. I agree that "There is no right to lie". Also as he ends his comment: "Truth matters, Harm matters." Don`t we say "what is around comes round? And some (candid spirits) may be tempted to believe that the abundance of a "wrong" information makes it to be true!

Indeed the Pandemic of COVID-19 has brought much to us. We notice especially the conflict of interest and lack of proper/adequate (also systematic) declaration of interest in many instances. Among the recommendations made by the Royal Society`s 2022 report, I will rather focus or lay emphasis on the institutions doing more to support open science.

A set of recommendations is provided and we cannot focus on only one: that of removal of content from social media platforms. This recommendation can be of prime importance in some areas (Africa?) where many people (included educated persons) are tempted to believe/approve any information appearing on any platform (including social media platforms). It is only in this respect i will also agree with Joseph Ana that misinformation could be removed from the platforms. Even if removed, but kept somewhere for later research (history).

In summary, the recommendations are necessary and should all be implemented but with differences in priority.

Bye for now.

Dr. Armand S. NKWESCHEU,MD,MPH. Epidemiologist & Public Health Consultant - Cameroon Society of Epidemiology- CaSE ;Yaounde, Cameroon.

IEA - Regional Councilor for Africa

President of AfEA-2021-2024 ( )

" You cannot win a race focusing on the distance covered but on what lies ahead"

HIFA profile: Armand Seraphin Nkwescheu is a Public Health Consultant at the Cameroon Society of Epidemiology. Professional interests: Road traffic injury, Neglected Tropical Diseases with emphasis on snakebites and envenoming, Non communicable Diseases, Health systems and Development Evaluation. nkwesch AT