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Faye Flam

Climate Change Is Scary. 'Horns' From Smartphone Use Aren't.

Journalists stirring up health panics are undermining the most important stories of our time.

Keep reading. Your skull is fine.

Keep reading. Your skull is fine.

Photographer: Jean Chung/Bloomberg

Reporters and editors at mainstream media outlets should be on their best behavior these days, after years of accusations of “fake news.” But there’s a type of misleading reporting that many are finding hard to avoid: the creation of phony health scares, usually mixed up with manners and morals.

Last week, the Washington Post fell into the trap with a claim that looking down at smartphones was causing young people’s skulls to sprout “horns.” Other news outlets followed.