What is Misinformation Exactly?

questioning misinformation
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Sometimes the only thing that will do is a poem, illustrating our dismay at being labelled as propagating misinformation without being told what this is. This poem is from one of our doctors who had been told is spreading disinformation.


What even is it?

A nebulous concept, ephemeral, floating out there

Examples never actually given

Can a question be misinformation,

or does it have to be a statement?

Do we get to see it, or is it just referred to as if it’s obvious

Can we actually grasp hold of misinformation and wrestle with it?

It seems to lurk in dark shadowy corners of the internet

or maybe it’s right there in plain sight, broadcast on the hour

Who gets to decide?

What if one person’s misinformation is another’s truth?

A concrete example would be good

so we can dissect and debate it

Or perhaps that’s too risky

If it’s not named it can’t be proven right

Much safer to refer to it in oblique terms

And discredit those who might mention it

Even evidence-based medicine* is now misinformation

if it doesn’t align with public health messaging

What a strange world

It feels like 1984

*12 Commandments to avoid AHPRA notifications

9) Use social media with caution. Be very careful when using social media (even on your personal pages), when authoring papers or when appearing in interviews. Health practitioners are obliged to ensure their views are consistent with public health messaging. This is particularly relevant in current times. Views expressed which may be consistent with evidence-based material may not necessarily be consistent with public health messaging.

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