Friday, June 10, 2016

A Tip: Don't Get Your Health Advice the Same Place You Get Your Waffles

It's evidently too much to expect that someone as set in his ways as uncritically-thinking Joe Sbaraglia, who writes "The Waffleman" column for the Philadelphia Public Record, would mend his ways after a couple of nudges. I've previously written him a couple times when he repeated false rumors, especially ones of a medical nature, but he just keeps at it. This time I've directly written the editor:

Dear editor:

Please stop allowing Joe Sbaraglia to repeat unsubstantiated, and sometimes downright false, health claims in your newspaper.

In his latest column, he cites a long list of purported benefits of bananas, introducing them with the statement, "The following material comes from Snopes.com." It's dismaying that someone who presumably knows the purpose of that website -- to clear up which rumors are true and which aren't --  doesn't grasp that people who are capable of passing on information without fact-checking it first, will likewise fail to check whether the information actually comes from Snopes. It'd be easy enough for him to do so himself, yet he evidently doesn't, since many of the claims he repeated either are not to be found on that site, or are pronounced false there.

Such carelessness is perhaps harmless enough where so-called "fun facts" are concerned, but it's absolutely irresponsible to repeat, or to publish, false information about medicine and health.

No comments: