(Black Press Media files)

EDITORIAL: Measles outbreaks: The facts and the ‘alternative facts’

Rumour spreads faster than ever these days

Nothing spreads faster than a rumour.

And once established a rumour, true or false, is almost impossible to dislodge.

Humans probably started spreading rumours as soon as we acquired the gift of language. And in our modern age, they’re being spread even faster through our social platforms.

The escalation has seen rumours go from damaging to one person’s reputation to dangerous to society.

Climate change denial is one example, and the anti-vaccine movement is another. Even though the study that started it all by linking vaccinations with autism has been thoroughly debunked and the author stripped of his credentials, the idea that vaccines are harmful has continued to spread and grow.

Want to know what’s harmful? Not getting immunized and helping dangerous, preventable diseases to spread through society again.

There’s a couple of things that contribute to the spread of rumour-level information like the anti-vaxxer message. One is the lack of solid information to compete with it.

There are excellent websites for medical information available, but since doctors and scientists don’t make YouTube videos about settled science, they’re not competing in the same arena as the conspiracy theorists spreading links to misinformation through Facebook and other platforms.

Another problem is a lack of critical thinking and that overwhelming human desire to be the person sharing the real info that no one else has.

It’s just not as much fun to talk about science that is factual, provable and everyone knows about anyway.

Spreading rumours isn’t going to go away. The only way to fight it is to get out there and share links to the credible sources; help spread the truth at least as fast as the rumour.

–Black Press Media

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Revelstoke Fire Rescue Services douses house fire Aug. 7

Investigators say probable cause was an unattended barbecue

UFO trackers set their sights on Revelstoke skies

Rob Freeman UFO World Explorer and crew went up Sale Mountain

Updated: Molotov cocktails thrown at Revelstoke home in arson attempt

The flames were extinguished before they spread. Two men have been arrested.

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

EDITORIAL: Managing wildfires

Wildfires have the potential to cause significant damage within our province

B.C. records 30-50 new COVID-19 cases a day over weekend, no new deaths

Many of those testing positive were identified by contact tracing for being linked to other confirmed infections

Kelowna real estate agent fined $6,500 for ‘misleading’ website

The website listed several services its owner was not licensed to provide

Ottawa sets minimum unemployment rate at 13.1% for EI calculation

Statistics Canada says the unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July

$45K in donations received after couple’s sudden death in Tulameen

Sarah MacDermid, 31, and Casey Bussiere, 37, died August long weekend

Former Summerlander receives Emmy nomination for makeup work

Lucky Bromhead recognized for her work with Canadian sitcom Schitt’s Creek

Famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer brings movements of joy to Long Beach

Internet-famous dancer is exploring Vancouver Island, visiting the B.C. Legislature and more

Battle of Fairy Creek: blockade launched to save Vancouver Island old-growth

‘Forest Defenders’ occupy road to prevent logging company from reaching Port Renfrew-area watershed

COVID-19 could mean curtains for film and TV extras

Background performers worry they’re being replaced by mannequins on film and TV sets

Vernon officer returns soccer ball and boy’s smile

RCMP officer retrieves errant ball, returns it to five-year-old with cruiser lights flashing

Most Read