Sources in the Conspiracy-Pseudoscience category may publish unverifiable information that is not always supported by evidence. These sources may be untrustworthy for credible/verifiable information; therefore, fact-checking and further investigation is recommended on a per-article basis when obtaining information from these sources. See all Conspiracy-Pseudoscience sources.
- Overall, we rate the Informed Consent Action Network (ICAN) as a Strong Conspiracy and a Quackery level Pseudoscience site based on the routine promotion of unproven claims. We also rate them Low for factual reporting due to promoting anti-vaccination propaganda not aligned with the consensus of science and several failed fact checks.
Bias Rating: CONSPIRACY-PSEUDOSCIENCE
Factual Reporting: LOW
Press Freedom Rank: MOSTLY FREE
Media Type: Organization/Foundation
Traffic/Popularity: Minimal Traffic
MBFC Credibility Rating: LOW CREDIBILITY
Founded in 2016 by Del Bigtree, the Informed Consent Action Network (ICAN) is an Anti-vaccine organization that routinely promotes disinformation regarding the safety of vaccines. Del Bigtree also owns and publishes the Conspiracy-Pseudoscience website The Highwire, which is the host website for his internet radio program. The website publishes alternative health and medical news that frequently promotes pseudoscience and conspiracy theories.
Del Bigtree is an American television and film producer and CEO who produced the film Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe based on the discredited views of Andrew Wakefield on an alleged connection between vaccines and autism.
Funded by / Ownership
The Informed Consent Action Network (ICAN) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Austin, Texas. Donations generate revenue. According to the Washington Post, ICAN received millions of dollars in initial funding from the Selz family. Further, NBC News reports that ICAN had a 60% increase in revenue during the Covid-19 outbreak in 2020.
Analysis / Bias
ICAN states its mission: “Our goal is to put the power of scientifically researched health information in your hands and to be bold and transparent in doing so, thereby enabling your medical decisions to come from tangible understanding, not medical coercion.”
The website publishes ICAN’s lawsuits against government agencies, such as this ICAN v. CDC – CDC Cannot Support its Claim That “Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism.” They also publish Freedom of Information Act information such as FDA Communications with Merck About Gardasil Plant Inspection. Further, they publish news related to ICAN, such as this FDA Fails to Rebut Science Reflecting COVID-19 Vaccines Can Modify Recipient DNA and fact checks like this Oxford Professor Melinda Mills’ Claims Regarding Measles & Measles Vaccine. Finally, they link to Del Bigtree’s pseudoscience website, The Highwire.
Although ICAN and The Highwire claim to use scientifically researched information, they are often at odds with the consensus regarding the vaccine-autism connection and Covid-19. Further, they promote conspiracies concerning the government’s health agencies. See numerous false and misleading claims below.
In general, the Informed Consent Action Network is a quackery-level pseudoscience source that promotes disinformation regarding vaccines.
Failed Fact Checks
- “The CDC Finally Capitulated To ICAN’s Legal Demands and Removed the Claim that “Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism” From Its Website!” – Inaccurate
- CDC director admits over 75% of Covid deaths had at least 4 pathological conditions (comorbidities). Since the total death rate is 0.27% this means healthy people have a 0.0% death risk. – False
- There are no studies that prove vaccines don’t cause autism. – Inaccurate
- “Thanks to (Israel’s) sacrifice, we now know that natural immunity is far superior with 1% experiencing re-infection while 40% of new cases were previously vx’d.” – Mostly False
- Athletes are collapsing with heart-related issues due to the COVID-19 vaccines. – False
- COVID-19 mass vaccination will select for more virulent variants of the virus that causes COVID-19, which will escape vaccine-induced immunity and cause more severe disease. – Misleading
Overall, we rate the Informed Consent Action Network (ICAN) as a Strong Conspiracy and a Quackery level Pseudoscience site based on the routine promotion of unproven claims. We also rate them Low for factual reporting due to promoting anti-vaccine propaganda not aligned with the consensus of science and several failed fact checks. (D. Van Zandt 09/06/2022)
Last Updated on December 13, 2022 by Media Bias Fact Check