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.