Individuals purporting to be experts

Hi Guys I am aware of several individuals who form parts of your expert groups on COVID-19 who are publishing material personally via social media outlets such as Facebook. Whilst we must have free speech, the way some of these individuals are airing their views is dangerous in my view as there is often an inference that this one persons viewpoint is Scottish Government policy. When these social media posts are shared widely, it becomes impossible for untrained members of the public to assess the reliability of the information not least as the authors background and role are not specified on the social media platform concerned. Clearly it would be completely inappropriate for me to name names here. However, an example I would give is a respiratory physician I know of in Scotland who is posting publicly his interpertations of epidemiological statistics on COVID-19. The tone he sets is that his interpretation is the only correct one. Outwardly to someone outwith the medical field this information looks reliable, particularly as he indicates he is working on one of your expert groups. However, in my role as a doctor I can see very clearly from his profile online that he is not qualified to be making the statements he is on this complex, new and very uncertain statistical information. Can I suggest the Scottish Government take steps to discourage this sort of activity by members of your expert groups?

Why the contribution is important

Maintaining the credibility of information associated with the Scottish Government relating to COVID-19 is crucial. There are individuals within Scottish Government "expert groups" whose behaviour on social media is undermining this credibility albeit possibly unintentionally.

by glasgowdoctor on May 06, 2020 at 11:46AM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.7
Based on: 9 votes


  • Posted by Scotbrite May 08, 2020 at 13:04

    Everybody is becoming an expert these days when in fact even the experts are not really expert. If all experts said the same thing that would be fine but the media reporters can find opposite opinions to everything. Choose whatever expert opinion you like and change when it suits. Maybe thats why the country is in such a mess.
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