Vaccine misinformation and social media sparring isn’t just limited to Facebook and Twitter — America’s doctors are fighting amongst themselves a medical networking site called Doximity.
Doximity, which went public with an IPO in June and is valued at roughly $10 billion, is known to some as the “LinkedIn for doctors.” Eighty percent of America’s doctors are reportedly on the site, according to CNBC.
Vaccine misinformation is a growing problem for Doximity, which went public in June and is now worth $10 bln.
“You rarely get to the level of microchips in vaccines, but a lot of this stuff is pretty close to it.”
— Ari Levy (@levynews) August 6, 2021
“You rarely get to the level of microchips in vaccines, but a lot of this stuff is pretty close to it,” Dr. Paul Malarik, a retired psychiatrist, told CNBC. “They’re actively working against us.”
Doximity purports to have about 1.8 million members. The site isn’t anonymous, so users can see the names and credentials of everyone they interact with. It’s typically used to communicate with patients, monitor industry trends and share research. Now, according to Malarik, it’s a breeding ground for COVID-19 misinformation.
Commenters on the site will frequently argue that natural antibodies from COVID-19 are more protective than mRNA vaccines, claim the vaccine is unproven and experimental and overemphasize certain side effects, according to CNBC.
Sometimes, more harmful ideas emerge. One doctor on the site reportedly claimed that the COVID-19 vaccine has already killed 4,000 people, which is untrue, and said that mandating it was equivalent to murder. (RELATED: Even With Breakthrough Cases, The Data Doesn’t Seem To Support Mask Mandates For Vaccinated People)
Unlike most mainstream social media platforms, Doximity is not open to everyone. Users must be able to verify that they are a practicing U.S. healthcare professional by sharing a medical license, hospital I.D. badge or some other proof. The site doesn’t allow users to post stories; instead, it curates content for users based on their field of practice, feeding them articles from mainstream journalistic outlets and medical journals.
The fighting occurs in the comments of the stories. Doximity has a rule that prohibits spreading false or misleading information, which is determined based on “content that contradicts widely accepted public health guidelines.”
The site says it doesn’t allow content that “promulgates unverified claims about the effectiveness, side effects, or implications of vaccination with FDA-authorized vaccines” or “promulgates false data about deaths, hospitalizations, infection rates associated with infectious disease,” but doctors on the site provided CNBC with numerous screenshots of content fitting those exact descriptions. (RELATED: White House Press Sec. Jen Psaki Wants To Quash Misinformation — She Has A History Of Promoting It)
Aome anti-vaccine users are already complaining about social media censorship on the site. “I will not invest in your directed information highway with your thought control bulls—,” said one doctor who was offered IPO shares, according to CNBC. “Have a good day.”