"Do the research." "I do my own research on these things." In the words of Inigo Montoya
This was once mostly popular among the anti-vaxxers, but now has spread to some covid skeptics.
Very few of us do actual research in the formal sense, particularly on medical topics. However, we do use the word in another sense, of reading up on something to learn about it, as one used to do for college papers. That does begin to show the weakness, because while research should mean "finding and reporting on the information, let the chips fall where they may," even in college it could mean "I have this belief and I am going to find the information that supports it." Yeah, Supposed to is not is.
Is it worse now? I wasn't correcting college papers fifty years ago, I was writing them. I think I still believed one was supposed to find the correct information and demonstrate that to the professor. Not that you couldn't do something more speculative and controversial, but if you attempted to show that Japan was not actually a free country, or that Beethoven actually sucked as a composer, you took on the task of an uphill battle. The standards were going to be higher for surprising claims.
Whether it's worse or not, it is definitely in an unacceptable place for some people now, who say they have done their own research when all they have done is read (or just listen to, or just hear about) a source you haven't, that they choose to believe for unclear reasons. My greatest familiarity with this was with alternative medicine advocates in mental health, touting chelation therapy, various herbals, and a host of devices or mental exercises that purport to reprogram or align your brain waves or thought patterns. I recommend Quackwatch, BTW, even though they don't seem to be updating anymore.
When you've seen fifty of these and dutifully looked up the supporting evidence that your patient directs you to and found it to be crap - not only crap, but pretty the same crap as the others - you eventually just turn it all off. Oh, does that mean that I'm the one who's not openminded? No, the simpler explanation is that others are credulous, believing that absolutely anything other than what the experts recommend must be the real treatment, the one being hidden from us by said experts because somehow it would just blow up their little game if the truth got out. So with covid, it was the same song different verse. "But he's the father of mRNA technology! And he says..." No, Malone isn't. He developed a platform. Very nice. Not the same thing. He has a remarkable gift for self-promotion.
It's amazingly simple. When you hear that sort of claim and go to a website - including mine: coming here isn't research either - that makes one of those "the experts are all wrong" arguments, you don't seek to verify that by going to the other sites which that one recommends or the counter-experts are all pointing to. You go immediately to a site that purports to debunk them. It is amazing how quickly you can get right to the heart of it. "None of the so-called experts is talking about this problem!" But you go to that other site and there they are, talking about that problem. I saw one this morning that resurrected that claim from last fall about England that this is a disease of the vaccinated, because vaccinated people were getting the disease at levels they thought weren't consistent with real protection. That one has hung on remarkably well. The article and the graph - it had a real graph and everything - left out some fairly obvious information. Ask yourself who tends to get vaccinated. Oh yeah, old people and folks with worrisome risk factors. And now that you know that, how does it not immediately occur to you that the rest of the data is going to be skewed in some way, and we must find out how much before we can proceed further? Without that the graph (and paragraphs) are meaningless. Also, what is the vaccination rate for the population?
It's not research. I suppose you could stretch a point and say, well, it's bad research, but i don't think that helps us.