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Sauvayre R. (submitted), « Bleach miracles. Social media analysis of chlorine dioxide as a miracle cure spreading on Twitter during the Covid-19 pandemic  » [French]

Abstract

The Covid-19 pandemic has given rise to all types of beliefs, theories and explanations, whether scientific, religious or conspiratorial. At the start of the pandemic, science did not yet have a medicinal product for this new disease, and alternative medicine offering “miracle cures” was acclaimed by some citizens looking for an effective treatment for Covid-19. This article aims to study a specific “miracle cure,” namely chlorine dioxide, a bleaching agent for textiles or paper which also has disinfectant properties (water, surfaces). Presented by Genesis II Church of Health and Healing as a cure for all diseases including Covid-19, the spreading of chlorine dioxide on the social network Twitter from December 1, 2019, to November 30, 2021, is described. This article also shows how the “miracle cure” scientifization, medical doctors’ promotion and peer-reviewed articles have contributed to the legitimization of chlorine dioxide as a cure, and consequently to this belief’s dissemination in the social space. 

Keywords : Diffusion, beliefs, pseudoscience, science, complementary and alternative medicine, CAM, rationality, social networks, Twitter.