When Stuart heard his elderly parents loudly criticising Victorian health officials for refusing to use hydroxychloroquine as a COVID-19 treatment, he knew exactly where the idea had came from: the opinion hosts of Sky News Australia.
The disproved treatment has been a popular topic of discussion by COVID health restrictions sceptics and anti-vaxxers alike, flourishing on social media where people share individual scientific papers to make the case for using the drug instead of the vaccine.
Stuart's parents, who live in regional Victoria, aren’t big users of social media. But they do watch Sky News, which has repeatedly covered the use of the drug. There have been at least 16 segments hosted by Andrew Bolt, Alan Jones and Rowan Dean about the drug uploaded to the Sky News Australia website in the past year, according to social media analytics tool BuzzSumo.com.