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Fake or Credible? Navigating the News

A guide to responsible news consumption, created and updated by Stevens librarians

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Memes: Catchy But Not Reliable

Image result for vaccine autism memeThis meme was created and distributed by Natural News, a blog about "natural" health that describes itself as the "world's top news source on natural health."

Ways in which this meme is suspect:

It does not give any source for its claims.

Given that, this meme should not be spread. But it's also the case that its claims are exaggerated/wrong:

  1. PolitiFact finds that the true number of vaccines in 1983 was 2, and that the number in 2008 was 10, the same as in 2013 (see the 2017 schedule linked below).
  2. The CDC did not track rates of autism in 1983, and only started doing so in 2006. In 2006 the rate was 1 in 150, and in 2016 it was 1 in 68, but the CDC determined that that was actually due to improvements in accurately diagnosing the disorder.

PolitiFact rates this as