Friday, June 22, 2007

Test websites for quackery

quackometer result for med journal watch

Andy Lewis (quackometer.net) has developed a simple but useful tool to analyze quackery content of websites. It uses an algorithm based on keywords frequently used by quacks, such as «wonder», «healing» or «naturopath», commercial terms such as «shipping» or «products», the absence of skeptical terms like «placebo», «flawed», the use of promotional terms and many more. The algo compares the count of these terms against thresholds and calculates a quackery index with the international quackery unit of a Canard. The maximum is 10 Canards, and stories with 5 or 6 Canards may even be found in newspapers like Daily Mail or The Scotsman.

Today, Med Journal Watch has a quackery level of 0 Canards (check here), but keep your eyes and mind open and do not rely on the verdict of a robot. If you find a website that you suspect to be quackish, you can test it here.

About quackery: Quackwatch definition, Quackery at Wikipedia

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