Doctor Recruiting Medical Professionals To Battle Fake Health News On Twitter And Instagram

by : Lucy Connolly on : 12 Jun 2019 17:53
Doctor social mediaDoctor social media@austinchiangmd/Instagram

A doctor is recruiting medical professionals to drown out fake news which inundates social media on a daily basis.


Austin Chiang, the first chief medical social media officer at a top hospital, is hoping to overcome untrustworthy content with reliable information from experts in the field.

Too often, misinformation about things such as vaccines and mental health are spread via social media, something Chiang hopes to put an end to.

Doctor social mediaDoctor social media@austinchiangmd/Instagram

As well as being a Harvard-trained gastroenterologist, Chiang has a passion for social media and boasts an impressive 22.8K followers on Instagram.


Referring to himself as a ‘GI Doctor,’ the gastroenterologist is succeeding in being one of the most influential doctors in the real world, making him the perfect person to make a change.

Chiang puts himself at the heart of his Instagram page, sharing pictures of himself in his scrubs most days alongside informative captions. Some days, he’ll be talking about the latest research. Others, he’ll be providing advice to patients and tackling fake news rumours.

As Chiang pointed out to CNBC, most people don’t have time to read the latest scientific research regarding healthcare. Hence why it’s so important, now more than ever, that medical professionals get online and share their knowledge in an accessible way.

Experts in the field, Chiang states, need to start connecting with people on Instagram and Facebook – or else fake news will continue to spread.

So, the gastroenterologist is working alongside the Association for Healthcare Social Media to recruit an army of physicians, nurses, patient advocates, and other health professionals to counter misinformation.

Chiang states the ‘biggest crisis’ in health care today is people spreading false claims about certain ‘cures’ or preventative measures.


For example, the doctor references some vendors who are reportedly selling so-called cures such as industrial strength bleach to ‘eliminate’ autism in children. It’s also impossible to avoid anti-vaccination content online, which has become far more prominent in recent years.

Without health care professionals such as himself, Chiang warns this information could slowly begin to become more widely accepted than medical facts – purely because it’s what everyone has access to.

Despite doctors historically being reluctant to use social media, either because they think it’s a waste of time or fear they might get in trouble with an employer, Chiang says now is the time to change this.

Hats off to Chiang for hopefully creating something which will be the start of a change for the better.

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Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).

Topics: Health, Fake News, Instagram, Social Media, Viral


austinchiangmd/Instagram and 2 others
  1. austinchiangmd/Instagram


  2. CNBC

    This doctor is recruiting an army of medical experts to drown out fake health news on Instagram and Twitter

  3. Association for Healthcare Social Media/Instagram