Disclaimer: I fully understand if Brian and the MGoBlog team deem this to be outside of the scope of what they would like this site to be about. I only bring it because CFS/ME has been a topic of discussion on the blog before and I thought the specifics of this article may be of interest to those in this community.
Reuters published an investigation in the link between online activism and the effect is is having on medical research. The article uses CFS/ME as an example to illustrate the negative effects that internet activism may be having on scientific research. CFS/ME is a health condition with very limited understanding of the underlying causes and even more limited treatment options. Some researchers into this condition have been studying possible cognitive behavioral talk therapies with some success treating patients. Online activists have engaged in campaigns to discredit this research due to the possible classification of the condition as psychosomatic or being psychologically based in any way. These campaigns include direct online harassment of the individual researchers, petitions against conferences where these researchers are speaking, and campaigns to get studies pulled from academic journals. As a result, many researchers have ceased studying the subject and the total amount of research into the condition is decreasing. This goes against the expectation for a condition gaining recognition amongst the medical community, with some positive clinical results indicating potential treatments. To reiterate, I do not have goal for this post other than to make people aware of this issue. It seems like an issue this community would be interested in.