Have you ever used a search engine to find medical advice? I have plenty of times. I'm not sure too many people who can read this article haven't used it, whether it be for checking flu symptoms or making sure you don't have the Bubonic Plague.
But checking for health answers on YouTube? It seems to be a stretch, but according to a press release from the University of Toronto, people do it, with surprising results. The release reports that 45 percent of 153 analyzed videos contradict the 2006 Canadian Immunization Guide on a range of childhood vaccinations.
Without having all of the videos or the immunization guide handy, it's hard to say what this means. Furthermore, if the videos were created for entertainment purposes or spoofs, then this wouldn't be shocking anyway. And the main message behind this is that people should look elsewhere for medical information.
But seriously, who would even think that looking on YouTube would be a great way to find answers about an illness? My general theory behind self-diagnosis is to check multiple sources via Google, possibly the Wikipedia, and make judgement on what's right and what's wrong. And if I'm feeling bad enough, I'll schedule a doctor's appointment.
You can't get all of your answers online, but do you think that every doctor knows everything about medicine? But there is a definite distinction between doing your research in a library and doing your research in the circus. For the sake of humanity, I would hope that people know this, and that the University of Toronto is making much ado about nothing. It's making me sick just thinking about it.