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 …
Yesterday, antivaxers inundated the public comment session of the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. There were only two pro-science advocates versus a host of antivaccine activists spouting pseudoscience
Autism Awareness Month is nearly upon us again. Unfortunately, the antivaccine movement has found a new way to ruin it by hijacking autism awareness to promote their antivaccine pseudoscience and quackery, along with contempt for autistic people. Behold #SaidNoMother and #SaidNoFather.
Over the last two weeks, Amazon, YouTube, Facebook, and other social media platforms started to crackdown on the spread of antivaccine misinformation on their services. Will it be enough?
So I’m finally back. As many of you surmised, I needed surgery; I had it two and a half weeks ago; and I’m back. I’ll say little more than that it was spine surgery and that no fusion was involved, hence my relatively rapid return to work. I must say, a lot of things happened in my absence. I was also fairly active on Twitter, mainly because I was rather bored not being able to do a lot and sitting in front of a computer screen was too painful until recently while using a smart phone was not. Now that …
A new study shows where in the US antivaxers are most likely to make measles great again, thanks to driving up nonmedical exemptions and driving down vaccine uptake.