False news stories in the medical and scientific field: how they are set off, how they are propagated and what can be done about it.

The Internet, and social media in particular, is the perfect breeding ground for hoaxes. Several hoaxes, from those concerning the relationship between children’s vaccinations and autism to those promising miraculous cures for pathologies, have recently gained much visibility in Italy. How do hoaxes originate on the web? How are they spread on social media? And how is it possible to stop them? Do institutions and scientific organisations need to work harder to communicate correct information on scientific truth, using even non-conventional channels, which are closer to the average audience? Do we need a sort of counter-information to take place on the web and especially on social media? These are some of the issues to be addressed in this panel.

Organised by the Health Department of the Umbria Regional Council.