The Seventh Anniversary of Debunking Denialism

Debunking Denialism has now been fighting pseudoscience and quackery for more than seven years. Here is the last year in review with highlights, statistics and future perspectives.

Highlights

Here is a selection of some of the major content that has been covered on Debunking Denialism during the past year:

– New sections on science resources (including textbooks, video lectures etc.) and critical thinking.

– Several detailed articles were written about the misinformation surge and fake news epidemic: useful guide on how to spot fake news, how to defeat the isolationist filter bubbles that skew the online experience of people, how alternative facts are just misinformation, rise of the fake fact checkers, current battlefields in the misinformation wars, how the mainstream media contributed to the problem, the role of social media bots and how to endure the endless war against misinformation. Additional articles on this area looked at why you should never apologize for fact checking and what the Trump presidency might mean for scientific skepticism. A summary of Trump’s 10 Worst Anti-Science Actions was also posted as well as a quick guide on how to identify fake images.

– Two articles about the demise of the Beall list on predatory publishers and journals looked at what happened and why it happened.

– Extensive coverage of quack parents who killed or neglected their sick children to death. In particular, three cases were discussed in detail. First, the appeal trial of David and Collet Stephan who refused to seek medical treatment for their toddler who later died of meningitis, how David Stephan continued to sell useless naturopathic quackery. Second, the parents who murdered their diabetic son by starving him to death and refusing to treat him were convicted to life in prison and appealed their sentence. Third, a mother who refused to seek medical treatment for her son who had group A streptococcal infection and developed pneumonia, meningitis, and ultimately died due to multiple organ failure got convicted for her crime but now might escape punishment due to a time restriction on prosecutions.

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– Several articles about a quack who exploited people with deadly diseases for money, mass media celebration of medical ignorance and a chiropractor who got convicted for misleading advertisement.

– Several original debunking articles about far right anti-immigration misinformation appeared, including the myth of Swedish no-go zones, the myth that the Swedish government blocked Daily Mail, how anti-immigration activists misuse lethal violence statistics, how almost all crime in Sweden is decreasing or being unchanged and how magnetic resonance imagining and X-ray scans did not prove that almost all unaccompanied minors lied about their age.

Statistics

During the last year, a total of 108 posts (now standing at over 430 in total). That is 44 more articles than the year before. The total number of views pasted the 1 million milestone, now standing at over 1.1 million. Material on Debunking Denialism has been read by over 750 000 people.

During 2017 so far, the website has gotten about 320 000 views, which is better than any previous year with roughly two months left of the year. Five of the most read articles on Debunking Denialism during the year was also published this year. The most common countries that visitors came from was United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Sweden, Germany, Netherlands, India, France and New Zealand.

Over 100 000 views came from search engines, with Facebook and Twitter in second and third place at ~74 000 views and ~12 000 views, respectively. This matches well with the goals of this website, to be a kind of repository for skeptical information and sources that people can find via search engines when they attempt to look up some myth or distortion. About 2000 views came from Reddit. During 2017, a little over 300 comments were written on the website. For social media, the Facebook page past 10 000 likes and the Twitter account past 1000 followers.

Future

What will the future hold for Debunking Denialism. More content debunking different kinds of pseudoscience and quackery. More science resources and more background information on critical thinking.

Emil Karlsson

Debunker of pseudoscience.

One thought on “The Seventh Anniversary of Debunking Denialism

  • November 16, 2017 at 20:51
    Permalink

    Happy anniversary. Thanks for all you do.Your blog is one of my favorites.

    Reply

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