A few days ago, Orac put up a post about an article on Medscape, entitled “HPV Vaccine Adverse Events Worrisome Says Key Investigator?”, which was apparently filled with antivacciantionism, misunderstandings, and nonsense; and even sites Dr. Christiane Northrup‘s parroting of standard arguments of germ theory denialists. He tears apart the paper at length, and strongly chides Medscape for publishing something so unscientific.
Two days later, Orac followed up with a note that the link to the Medscape article now gives a ‘page not found’ error, and wondering about if it was pulled, and about that method of addressing the problem:
On the other hand, this is not the way to go about it. Rather than admitting it made a mistake in not adequately fact-checking the article, leaving such ignorant quotes by Dr. Northrup to be included, and publishing such a shoddy article in the first place, Medscape has instead apparently taken the cowardly way out and simply quietly pulled the article, perhaps hoping that no one will notice. A better course would have been to pull the article, but leave that link leading to an explanation why the article was pulled. By taking the cowardly way out, Medscape has, if anything, lowered rather than raised my opinion of it. Although I’m happy to see that its editors apparently still have a sense of shame, I’m disappointed that they chose such a poor way to correct their mistake.
Then PalMD wrote a post, referencing Orac’s post, and adding another point: a poll on the Medscape front page which is seriously flawed. In PalMD’s words:
This poll question, along with being just silly, asks a question that begs the question—it assumes that the statement as written is true. Of course, it is not. Lies abound regarding the vaccine.
Ah, gardasil: where left-wing antivaccinationist woo and right-wing puritanism find agreement.