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Bad Advice Messages - Misleading Recommendations

  • Social Media Messages Misinterpret Red Bull 'Gives You Wings' Class Action
    Circulating social media messages - and some news headlines - suggest that Red Bull has been sued because consumers of the drink did not actually grow wings as per the company's slogan.
    Published: October 9, 2014

  • Urgent Prayer Request for Northern Iraq Claims to be From Open Doors
    A circulating message, which purports to be from Christian support organization Open Doors, claims that there is a serious threat that all Christians in Northern Iraq may be beheaded within hours and calls for 'urgent prayer backing' to help those in danger.
    Published: August 27, 2014

  • Spurious Health Claim - 'Asparagus Can Cure Cancer'
    Long circulated Internet message claims that pureed asparagus can cure cancer. The message cites several cases as examples. It claims that the information came from one Richard R. Vensal, D.D.S. and was printed in the 'Cancer News Journal' back in December 1979.
    Published: March 25, 2014

  • How to Survive a Heart Attack When Alone Hoax
    Message claims heart doctors recommend that recipients learn "Cough CPR", a procedure that involves vigorous coughing as a potential means of surviving a heart attack when alone.
    Updated: November 28, 2012

  • Dangerous Hoax - 'A Needle Can Save The Life of a Stroke Victim'
    Circulating health "tip" claims that pricking the fingers and earlobes of a stroke victim with a needle to release blood can save the victim's life and lead to a full and rapid recovery.
    Published: November 6, 2012

  • Post Circulating Rekindles a 1990’s Anti-Margarine Email
    In the late 1990’s, an email was circulated extolling the virtues of butter v. the sins of margarine. Aside from the more preposterous claims (it killed the turkeys it was invented to feed), it was largely based on health effects of the products based on margarine being high in trans fatty acids. At the time of the original email, trans fatty acids were just beginning to attract attention, and since then many countries have enforced product labeling laws to advise consumers of products that are high in trans fats. Many of the claims made are true as they relate to margarines that contain trans fats, but reformulations in the past 6 years have seen a number of margarine products that contain no trans fats.
    Published: October 24, 2012

  • Misleading Health Advice Email - 'Mayo Clinic on Aspirin and Heart Attacks'
    Message claiming to be from the Mayo Clinic offers health advice related to the use of aspirin for preventing heart attacks.
    Published: August 9, 2012

  • Spurious First Aid Advice Message - Eggs For Treatment of Burns
    Message claiming to be from the Mayo Clinic offers health advice related to the use of aspirin for preventing heart attacks.
    Published: August 9, 2012

  • Cancer Info From Johns Hopkins Hoax Email
    Emailed collection of cancer related tips and information claims to originate from world-renowned medical research facility, Johns Hopkins.
    Updated: December 20, 2011

Figure Following Misleading Map - Misleading Messages
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