Chad Hermann and Todd Wolynn published a study about antivaxers that basically confirmed a lot of what we know about how they use Facebook to harass their perceived enemies. More important is the work they're doing provide a way for those targeted by antivaxers for harassment to light signal fires to attract reinforcements.
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?
Patients with cancer frequently use online crowdfunding to pay for trips to quack clinics. The Good Thinking has undertaken an investigation that is the first to suggest the extent of the problem. The question is: What to do about it?
In Houston, a toddler was admitted to the pediatric ICU at Texas Children's Hospital with a serious case of the measles. Unfortunately, one of the nurses there is antivaccine and blabbed about him on social media. The hospital quite appropriately fired her, but I would go further and say that antivaccine nurses should not be caring for children. Ditto antivaccine doctors.
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.
With the rise of quack stem cell clinics, there has been a rise of crowdfunding campaigns to assist patients in paying for expensive stem cell treatments of unproven efficacy. Unfortunately, as a recent study shows, these crowdfunding campaigns nearly always oversell efficacy and ignore potential risks of the treatments, while making powerful emotional appeals.
Over the weekend YouTube deleted the Natural News channel, which is the video arm of Mike Adams' online quackery empire. Adams, not surprisingly is ranting about "censorship." it's not.