Twitter is a favorite place for antivaxers to promote their message. A recent study suggests how the antivaccine Twitter community has changed.
A study released yesterday has led to numerous breathless headlines in the media about Russian bots on Twitter sowing discord about vaccines by spreading polarized antivaccine and provaccine messages. The stories imply that this is a huge problem. But is it? There's no doubt that this study showed some Russian bots Tweeting polarized messages about vaccines, but, contrary to the news stories, it doesn't support the concept of a widespread Russian effort to stoke conflict about vaccines. It's unclear whether the Russian effort was opportunistic or experimental, but it wasn't huge.
Before 2005, I did pay attention to the antivaccine movement, but it wasn’t one of my biggest priorities when it comes to promoting science-based medicine. That all changed when Robert F. Kennedy published his incredibly conspiracy-packed black whole of antivaccine pseudoscience entitled Deadly Immunity. Sadly, almost exactly ten years later, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. hasn’t changed. He’s still spewing the same antivaccine pseudoscience and conspiracy theories that he was spewing a decade ago, with no sign of letting up. One thing that has changed over the last decade is the social media landscape. Back when I first started blogging, pretty …
Sayer Ji is outraged by a "Google Document Dump" that allegedly shows that Google views antivaccine views as being similar to conspiracy theories like Pizzagate, QAnon, Holocaust denial, and the like. I'm surprised that, if these documents are real, Google actually "gets" what antivaccine views are.
Actress Jessica Biel Joined Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. to lobby California lawmakers to reject SB 276, a bill to stop bogus vaccine exemptions. Despite her claims that she's "not antivax," lobbying with a long time antivax crank like RFK, Jr. and expressing to legislators your belief that vaccines are both dangerous and ineffective are pretty much the definition of antivax.
RFK Jr. has been a frequent topic of this blog since 2005 because of his extreme antivaccine views. Now the Kennedy siblings have called him out for his antivax views, and it's true. Junior dishonors Robert F. Kennedy's legacy through his promotion of child-endangering antivaccine pseudoscience.
Josh Rushing takes on antivaxer Del Bigtree on Fault Lines and does what needs to be done. Although the report is not without problems, Rushing pwns Bigtree most satisfyingly.
Faye Flam of Bloomberg Technology defended Presidential candidate Marianne Williamson against charges of being antivaccine and antiscience. It does not go well. Flam ignores the worst nonsense and misunderstands science.