The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Dr. Oz solicits health questions on Twitter, gets attacked by trolls instead

Mehmet Oz at an event in New York in 2012. (Jason Kempin/Getty Images file)

No doubt, Mehmet Oz, the New York cardiothoracic surgeon behind the pop-health show "Dr. Oz," has entangled himself in some questionable science and even more questionable medicine. Yet he and his daytime show remain incredibly popular.

So it's probably unfair to fault him for thinking that this popularity would extend to the Internet and social media. On Wednesday, using the hashtag #OzsInbox, Oz solicited questions on Twitter that he said he would answer on his Web site at some undisclosed time.

As often happens with these things, it didn't go well. Twitter users have been hammering Oz with a stream of sarcastic questions and attacks on his credibility as a physician.

Oz has done a lot to damage his credibility as a medical doctor over the years. He came under fire for touting "miracle" weight-loss products that turned out to be entirely discredited; for announcing that his own children wouldn't be vaccinated (which he blamed on his wife's insistence); and for suggesting on national TV that the Ebola virus could become airborne.

His show is a magnet for people who are interested in looking younger and losing weight with the least amount of effort. But as Congress and others have pointed out, Oz features some products and advice for which there is little actual scientific evidence.

His TV viewers are likely low-information consumers of health news. But online, his solicitation put him in the cross hairs of some of his harshest critics. And they weren't at all charitable.

Here are some of the responses: