follow the links

This is the sort of thing the world needs more of. Matthew Sweet saw a tweet claiming that a peer-reviewed study from a Stanford University scholar proved that face masks do nothing to prevent the spread of COVID-19. So he followed up, and learned that 

  1. It was not a peer-reviewed study; 
  2. The author is not associated with Stanford University or any other institution; 
  3. None of the evidence it cites supports the claim about the uselessness of masks.

Of course, Sweet’s demonstration is unlikely to make a dent in typical online behavior; shitposters gonna shitpost. But it’s a great example of how much you can learn if you just take the time to follow the links. Intellectual hygiene requires that we repeat this mantra: Don’t trust, verify