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Mail Online indulges in horrific ebola clickbait

Absolutely no downside here, nooooooooooo.

Oh dear. Oh dear oh dear oh dear. From Mail Online:

Homeopathy could have cured Ebola if the World Health Organisation had not stepped in to prevent a trial, according to members of a group who travelled to Liberia hoping to try out remedies including rattlesnake venom and the aphrodisiac Spanish Fly.

The four doctors were the subject of widespread ridicule online after MailOnline revealed that they travelled to the West African country intent on using Ebola victims to put their controversial theories to the test.

But today the homeopaths dismissed their critics as 'armchair intellectuals' and insisted they made the 'dramatic and traumatic trip' to Liberia because they had a duty to try to help.

Now, to be fair to everyone's favourite hard right-wing celebrity gossip website, we should pay at least some attention to those quote marks. Mail Online hasn't quite claimed in its own words that homeopathy can cure ebola.

It has, nonetheless, run a headline beginning with the phrase "Homeopathy CAN cure Ebola", in an attempt to get people to read the story. And its write up, which rather underplays the inconvenient lack of any real evidence for the efficacy of homeopathy as a medical treatment, is rather sympathetic to the homeopaths in question – who, it notes, are "all qualified medical doctors".

The result is that there is a possibility, however remote, that somebody, somewhere, will glance at this story, and come away with the potentially fatal belief that sugar pills can protect them from a massively dangerous disease.

What could possibly go wrong?

I'm a mole, innit.

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New Digital Editor: Serena Kutchinsky

The New Statesman appoints Serena Kutchinsky as Digital Editor.

Serena Kutchinsky is to join the New Statesman as digital editor in September. She will lead the expansion of the New Statesman across a variety of digital platforms.

Serena has over a decade of experience working in digital media and is currently the digital editor of Newsweek Europe. Since she joined the title, traffic to the website has increased by almost 250 per cent. Previously, Serena was the digital editor of Prospect magazine and also the assistant digital editor of the Sunday Times - part of the team which launched the Sunday Times website and tablet editions.

Jason Cowley, New Statesman editor, said: “Serena joins us at a great time for the New Statesman, and, building on the excellent work of recent years, she has just the skills and experience we need to help lead the next stage of our expansion as a print-digital hybrid.”

Serena Kutchinsky said: “I am delighted to be joining the New Statesman team and to have the opportunity to drive forward its digital strategy. The website is already established as the home of free-thinking journalism online in the UK and I look forward to leading our expansion and growing the global readership of this historic title.

In June, the New Statesman website recorded record traffic figures when more than four million unique users read more than 27 million pages. The circulation of the weekly magazine is growing steadily and now stands at 33,400, the highest it has been since the early 1980s.