05 Feb 2018

Supplement provider behind cancer fake news 

The most popular fake news stories in Slovakia are about health and, particularly, cancer. Recently, it turned out that one entrepreneur who owns a supplement e-shop is running a fake news website to advertise his business. 

Ria Gehrerová
Ria Gehrerová Denník N, Slovakia
Source: Denník N
Supplement provider behind cancer fake news  - NewsMavens
Wikimedia Commons

Why this story matters:

When discussing fake news, we usually wonder what was the ulterior motive of whoever wrote it.

If it concerns politics, the purpose of the "story" is usually to influence public opinion, but what about fake news about health? Who would want to persuade people to give up cancer treatment and switch to untested supplements?

Thanks to Slovak journalist Vladimír Šnídl, we know now the answer to this question. In his material, he exposed the close link between fake news websites and online platforms that sell expensive health supplements to cancer patients. 

There is some truth to the old saying: in order to solve any mystery, just follow the money.

fake news, health

Details from the story:

  • The websites DomácaLiečba.sk and Bádateľ.sk are among the most read fake new websites in Slovakia.
  • They link to the e-shop Dr. Buzgi, which offers health supplements, such as Spirulina Vulcanica for 50€ per bottle.
  • The person that links these two businesses is the entrepreneur Jozef Buzgo.
  • Spirulina and other supplements are promoted by the well-known Slovak actor Ivan Vojtek, who confirmed that he was in touch with Mr. Buzgo.
  • Public Health Authority will investigate Mr. Buzgo under the suspicion of propagating Spirulina as a treatment for cancer, which is illegal in Slovakia.
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