A new JAMA study reports that when it comes to at least one important public health subject on YouTube, theories rejected in the medical community have trumped official information in viewership. Controversial anti-vaccination videos are getting more hits and higher ratings than those touting the accepted science. The findings appear in the latest issue of the medical journal.
The study found YouTube to be a breeding ground for the anti-vaccination movement, long ignored by immunization advocates. YouTube provides the public space for often dangerously misleading messages, the Canadian Press reports. "YouTube has become...the new message board. And it's so much more powerful—at least for the self-injury stuff," one researcher said.