Not just in politics, 2016 was a year of fake news epidemic that spread to all sectors of our lives including the field of science and medicine.
Fake news is a term that encompasses misinformation, disinformation, hoaxing and propaganda.
Fake news is corrosive and often lead people to believe data that are otherwise unfounded and not based on sound scientific principles.
In the field of science and medicine, proliferation of such falsehood is dangerous and even life threatening.
In recent years, there is an outbreak of journals from publishers that are based on pseudoscience.
At first glance, these published journals appear to be based on real science, but they are nothing more than a sham.
Retraction Watch is a one of the leading corrective websites that monitor and exposes fake news in the academia.
Ivan Oransky and Adam Marcus, founder of the Retraction Watch cite several scientific journals that falsely claim to engage in peer review, but are not reputable as they would like to be portrayed according to an article by the Los Angeles Times.
Some of the examples that these fake news are reports that link vaccines to autism. This questionable study has long been debunked. Another hugely misleading study states that HIV does not cause AIDS.
Dr. Harriet Hall, a retired family physician writes about pseudoscience and questionable medical practice. She is a writer in the Skeptic Magazine and also a medical adviser on the Quack Watch. She calls these fake news in medicine as, fairy tooth science as reported by Forbes.
This fake news epidemic may influence how people perceive how real medical science should be practiced and may even jeopardize the health of misinformed individuals.
The proliferation of these so-called scientific studies and questionable medical journals are spreading. People must learn to tease out what is real and what is not.