The information channels of the Zdravé fórum (Healthy Forum) show typical characteristics of a disinformation spreader. These characteristics are in particular:
1) Sharing disinformation and problematic websites.
Zdravé fórum intensively shares the content of the following disinformation or highly problematic media.
2) Sharing and supporting the activities of highly problematic groups
such as the Nadační fond svědomí národa (Conscience of the Nation Foundation), Paralelní lékařská komora (Parallel Medical Chamber) and the Facebook page Dezinformace (Disinformation).
3) Actively spreads disinformation and misinformation,
for example, spreading the film Plandemic as a good documentary.
4) Among their active members are a number of alternative medicine, pseudoscience, or pseudoscience personalities
who have themselves spread a lot of misinformation and disinformation during the pandemic and often beyond. Some of them have in the past been awarded the Erratic Boulder award for misleading the public.
5) The statements and opinions of disinformationists, as well as the poorly substantiated opinions of those with formal expertise in the relevant topic, are presented as essential and sufficient arguments.
The rejection of these positions by the professional community as marginal, unsubstantiated, or even in conflict with existing data is presented as evidence of a conspiracy against dissenting scientists and clinical experts.
For example, they try to question or even downplay the number of coronavirus victims; they strongly overestimate the risks of vaccination; they present the indirect victims of the pandemic not as a consequence of the pandemic, but as victims who would not have occurred if the pandemic had not been addressed. They also engage in conspiracy theories, in particular the conspiracy of an artificial, laboratory-produced virus, or of a conspiracy by laboratories to increase profits from the tests being carried out. They also carefully circle around conspiracy theories concerning the production and testing of vaccines.
6) They call for and encourage various forms of violations of epidemiological measures.
The disinformation character of the Health Forum is so fundamental that it contaminates even affiliated associations that try to pose as professional groups, such as ProLibertate (association of lawyers) in the legal field or the Association of Microbiologists, Immunologists and Statisticians (SMIS) in the medical and epidemiological field. The associations try to present themselves as associations of experts, but their strong links to the disinformation group Zdravé fórum severely undermine their credibility. This means that any expert text they produce is a priori unreliable and requires careful scrutiny of both their sources and their work with those sources before use. Because the content tends to be more technical texts, this checking is ultimately more time-consuming than writing a similar article de novo.
Apriori implausibility does not necessarily mean that every text produced by, for example, SMIS is false or misleading. It does mean that the risk of fallibility is disproportionately high. In general, there is no absolutely reliable source – every source is prone to error, mistakes, or interpretive bias on the part of the author. The problem with the SMIS texts is that the bias of the authors is enormous due to their strong links to the disinformation association and that deliberate manipulation cannot be ruled out. Some SMIS outputs, especially on social media, indicate an intention to insert such disinformation Trojans among more or less correct texts.
Since the ongoing pandemic is proving to be not only a viral pandemic, but also a pandemic of disinformation, we consider it desirable to draw attention to the disinformation character of Zdravé fórum, which contaminates the activities of their affiliated organizations.
In our area of interest, their affiliate association SMIS appears to be a particularly dangerous disinformation organization because their members have formal erudition in the subject matter. For this reason, they are capable of producing, perhaps unintentionally but quite possibly intentionally, sophisticated disinformation. Precise fact-checking of such texts is extremely difficult, so the appropriate strategy to filter out disinformation is to ignore the content produced by SMIS.
by Czech Skeptics’ Club Sisyfos Committee
original post here (11. 12. 2021)