Just because someone claims to have debunked a study does not mean that they have, in fact, debunked it.
There is an overabundance of data and theory out there, some of which we find disagreeable. In such instances, we crave a good debunking—a careful take down that enables a comforting return to the status quo.
Whenever a provocative finding or idea goes viral, the debunking Twitter thread or blog post will soon follow. Sometimes severe analytic flaws are described, while at other times the complaints are a grab bag of minor issues. Often the rebuttal is so problematic that it rightly deserves its own take down.
What matters most is the confidence of the debunking pose. This is a debunking, the interlocutor must declare. Consider the article debunked. Don’t you know this has already been debunked? Oh, you didn’t? Well. It has been.
A commentary worth reading…
Eight rules to combat medical misinformation by Carl Bergstrom:
“Be aware of the information landscape into which you are releasing your work.”
“Avoid creating hype around your work or making tenuous claims about its significance.”
“Recognize that data visualizations are widely shared on social media and that they can be used for good or ill.”
“Where specific abuses of your findings are likely, take steps to head these off.”
“Understand how preprints are received by the public and the media.”
“Take direct responsibility for any press release that your institution issues.”
“Interact responsibly with traditional media.”
“Consider engaging on social media.”
— Nature Medicine, 2022
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