11/4 “Just 12 People are behind Most Vaccine Hoaxes on Social Media” – Bridget Hall

In Just 12 People Are Behind Most Vaccine Hoaxes On Social Media, Research Shows, author Shannon Bond reveals that researchers have found 12 people responsible for the misinformation being spread around Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter regarding vaccines. Cat Zakrzewski and Rachel Lerman, authors of Facebook and Twitter must do more to fight anti-vaccine misinformation, a dozen state attorneys general demand, explain how 12 Democratic state attorney generals are holding Facebook and Twitter accountable for allowing anti-vaccine accounts to spread this misinformation. 

According to researchers these 12 people are responsible for 65% of the misinformation on social media. After they share their illegitimate propaganda, their followers are able to repost it, which allows them to reach even more people. These accounts have been “denying that COVID exists, claiming that false cures are in fact the way to solve COVID and not vaccination, decrying vaccines and decrying doctors as being in some way venal or motivated by other factors when they recommend vaccines.” Both Facebook and Twitter are now taking the proper actions to remove these accounts, ban certain users, and remove misleading posts/tweets. A spokesperson for Facebook stated that the best way to “combat vaccine hesitancy is to connect people to reliable information from health experts.” For this reason, Facebook has provided users with trustworthy health professionals that they can ask questions to. But some state attorney generals are claiming that Facebook and Twitter have not done enough. They believe that the social media companies have been allowing these users to violate the terms of service for far too long. 

It is quite scary to think about how many people are basing their decision to get the vaccine off of posts from complete strangers. Whether you are in support of getting the vaccine or not, everyone should be conducting their own research off of social media. There are definitely better ways to gain vaccine information than social media such as reading scholarly articles about the effects of vaccines or speaking to your doctor.

3 thoughts on “11/4 “Just 12 People are behind Most Vaccine Hoaxes on Social Media” – Bridget Hall

  1. Although I did not read this article, your critique helped me understand what it was about, and I agree that it is very alarming to think about the effects only a few people can have on the views of many. It makes me wonder, how can we limit this type of misinformation, without limiting the free speech of those posting it?

    1. I think another interesting point surrounding this issue is asking whether these companies simply providing a link to more information is enough? Or if they should take a more firm stance, as many are pushing them to do.

  2. I felt amazed about that only 12 people could make the information spread fast, and even affected a lot of people’s idea. It is easy and low-cost to make fake news online, and it’s hard to prevent. What we can do is to think over before we fully believe the information.

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