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.
As more and more COVID-19 vaccines find their way into more and more arms, there are reports of bad things happening to people after vaccination. As I’ve been predicting, antivaxxers are now weaponizing these reports and anecdotes before they have even been investigated in order to spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt about vaccines. They’re even blaming Hank Aaron’s death on vaccines.
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 […]
A new report from the Center for Countering Digital Hate shows that nearly two thirds of antivaccine disinformation on social media comes from 12 sources, dubbed the “disinformation dozen.”