Junk Science: Fake It 'Til you Break It

An “amazing cure for cancer” can be found in a species of moss, but the pharmaceutical industry is holding it back, claims a 2-minute video. Nevermind that it’s entirely false—it got your attention.

Partway through, the video comes clean as a fake. Created by McGill University’s Office for Science and Society, the marketing “Trojan horse” is designed to highlight the ease with which viral junk science videos tour the internet peddling conspiratorial ideas. The video has been criticized as insensitive to vulnerable patients and their families seeking hope—but to its creator Jonathan Jarry, it’s a reminder to “Be skeptical. Ask questions.” 


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