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Health Misinformation on Social Media: Introduction to the AJPH special issue

Date: Oct 25 2020

EMBARGOED UNTIL Oct. 26, 2020, 10:30 a.m. MT
Contact: Media Relations 

False or inaccurate information on social media is a significant challenge to public health. A recent American Journal of Public Health special issue examined a range of anti-vaccine views, rumors and conspiracy theories about COVID-19 and unproven cancer treatments.

A session held 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Mountain Time on Monday, Oct. 26, during APHA’s virtual Annual Meeting and Expo will showcase how AJPH and the National Cancer Institute have teamed up to highlight cutting-edge research about health misinformation on social media and emerging infectious diseases. The session will feature presentations from:

  • Joe Smyser, PhD, MSPH, CEO of the Public Good Projects, discussing misinformation campaigns against vaccines in the U.S.
  • David Broniatowski, PhD, at George Washington University, talking about how Facebook is used to frame vaccine opposition.
  • Janine P.D. Guidry, PhD, at the Virginia Commonwealth University, discussing Pinterest’s moderation of HPV vaccine searches.
  • Tamar Wilner, MA, a freelance journalist, and Avery Holton, PhD, at the University of Utah, citing Pinterest posts with misinformation about breast cancer.
  • Marco Antonio Zenone, MsC, research associate at the University of British Columbia, talking about misinformation on cancer treatment using cannabinoids.

Add this session to your personalized schedule.

The APHA Annual Meeting and Expo is the largest and most influential yearly gathering of public health professionals. Themed “Creating the Healthiest Nation: Preventing Violence," this year’s virtual meeting will be held Oct. 24-28. Register or learn more about APHA’s 2020 Annual Meeting. Working members of the news media may register by contacting mediarelations@apha.org.


The American Public Health Association champions the health of all people and all communities. We are the only organization that combines a nearly 150-year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public’s health. Learn more at www.apha.org.