Covid-19: What’s the harm of ‘funny’ anti-vaccine memes? (BBC)

BBC: Covid-19: What’s the harm of ‘funny’ anti-vaccine memes?. “Memes, often in the form of humorous images and videos, are a major part of how people communicate on the internet, but they can also be used to spread disinformation. We’ve been looking at how these memes can present false and misleading information about Covid-19 vaccines, feeding into concerns about their efficacy or safety.”

Knight Foundation: Researchers Found Anti-Vaccination Discourse On Facebook Increased In Volume Over The Last Decade, And Increasingly Emphasizes Civil Rights

Knight Foundation: Researchers Found Anti-Vaccination Discourse On Facebook Increased In Volume Over The Last Decade, And Increasingly Emphasizes Civil Rights. “For this study, published on October 1, 2020 in the American Journal of Public Health, researchers examined more than 250,000 posts on 204 Facebook pages expressing opposition to vaccines between October 2009 and October 2019. While opposition to vaccines can take many forms, the researchers found vaccine opponents online coalescing around the ‘civil liberties’ argument that individuals have the right to refuse to take a vaccine.”

Reuters: Social media disinformation campaigns tied to vaccine hesitancy

Reuters: Social media disinformation campaigns tied to vaccine hesitancy. “Researchers examined overall Twitter use per country from 2018 to 2019 in a global database of geocoded tweets, then extracted data on 258,769 tweets related to vaccinations. They measured the sentiment of tweets using the Polyglot Python Library; assessed the aggressiveness of foreign vaccine disinformation campaigns on a 5-point scale with higher scores indicating more intense efforts…. Based on the analysis of social media activity for up to 190 countries, researchers found that each 1-point increase in efforts by foreign vaccine disinformation campaigns on social media was associated with a 15% annual increase in the number of negative tweets about vaccination.”

Eurasia Review: ‘Foreign Disinformation’ Social Media Campaigns Linked To Falling Vaccination Rates

Eurasia Review: ‘Foreign Disinformation’ Social Media Campaigns Linked To Falling Vaccination Rates . “‘Foreign disinformation’ social media campaigns are linked to falling vaccination rates, reveals an international time trends analysis, published in the online journal BMJ Global Health. Every 1 point increase in effort is tied to an average 2% drop in annual coverage around the globe, and a 15% increase in the number of negative tweets about vaccination, shows the study, which forms part of a BMJ Collection on Democracy and Health published for the World Health Summit this weekend.”

Washington Post: The pandemic is amplifying the U.S. anti-vaccine movement — and globalizing it

Washington Post: The pandemic is amplifying the U.S. anti-vaccine movement — and globalizing it. “A nephew of President John F. Kennedy rallied a German crowd against big pharma and Bill Gates. American conspiracy theories have spurred anti-vaccine protests in Canada and Britain. A California-made video seeded ‘plandemic’ panic around the world. The coronavirus crisis is energizing America’s anti-vaccine movement and expanding its reach.”

CNET: Facebook bans ads that discourage people from getting vaccinated

CNET: Facebook bans ads that discourage people from getting vaccinated. “Facebook said Tuesday it will bar ads that discourage people from getting vaccinated, a move that shows the company is cracking down on health misinformation amid the coronavirus pandemic.”

The Conversation: COVID-19 anti-vaxxers use the same arguments from 135 years ago

The Conversation: COVID-19 anti-vaxxers use the same arguments from 135 years ago. “As a historian of medicine, it’s become clear from researching the history of vaccines that those who promote anti-vaccination consistently use a standard set of strategies. Although it can be hard to see patterns of argument in the modern context, looking back at a historical instance of epidemic and misinformation provides a useful case study for revealing today’s recurring anti-vaccination strategies.”

Johns Hopkins University: Vaccine Opponents Unite Around A ‘Civil Liberties’ Argument On Social Media, Study Finds

Johns Hopkins University: Vaccine Opponents Unite Around A ‘Civil Liberties’ Argument On Social Media, Study Finds. “Anti-vaccination discourse on Facebook increased in volume over the last decade, with opposition to vaccines coalescing around the argument that refusing to vaccinate is a civil right, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Public Health. As companies and governments scramble to finalize COVID-19 vaccines and develop rollout policies, the findings suggest that opposition from anti-vaccination groups could be fierce as the groups position themselves as a legitimate political movement.”

Media Matters: YouTube terminates anti-vaccine figure Del Bigtree’s account after he pushed dangerous coronavirus and vaccine misinformation

Media Matters: YouTube terminates anti-vaccine figure Del Bigtree’s account after he pushed dangerous coronavirus and vaccine misinformation. “Following Media Matters’ reporting, YouTube terminated the account for anti-vaccine figure Del Bigtree’s online show The HighWire, where he had repeatedly encouraged viewers to intentionally contract COVID-19 and pushed other dangerous medical misinformation. In a statement to Media Matters, a spokesperson for YouTube confirmed his account was pulled for violating the platform’s policies. Bigtree’s show is also broadcast on Facebook, where it remains available for streaming.”

From anti-vax to anti-mask: School districts brace for parent resistance (Politico)

Politico: From anti-vax to anti-mask: School districts brace for parent resistance. “California’s anti-vaccine movement has a new target: masks. The same parents who loudly opposed school vaccine requirements in Sacramento last year are turning their attention to mask recommendations that districts are considering as they figure out how to send kids back to the classroom in the middle of a pandemic.”

University of Minnesota: Facebook studies reveal science mistrust winning on vaccine messaging

University of Minnesota: Facebook studies reveal science mistrust winning on vaccine messaging. “Facebook groups that fuel mistrust of health guidance, such as those that air anti-vaccine views, have gained the upper hand over groups with reliable information from health agencies, a team led by George Washington University reported yesterday in Nature. Meanwhile, a separate study showed that Facebook posts about the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine were largely negative.”

‘Slap them down’ or hear them out: How to handle misinformation ‘superspreaders’? (Sydney Morning Herald)

Sydney Morning Herald: ‘Slap them down’ or hear them out: How to handle misinformation ‘superspreaders’?. “Almost as disturbing as the heat maps showing official death rates from COVID-19 every night on the news are those starting to circulate showing vast networks of influence of the global anti-vaccination movement, some of them run from Australia. At a time when trust in science and gratitude for modern medicine should be high, it’s been terrifying to watch traction gained recently by vaccination conspiracy theorists, some with (opportunistic) Australian celebrity support.”

Yahoo News: New Yahoo News/YouGov poll shows coronavirus conspiracy theories spreading on the right may hamper vaccine efforts

Yahoo News: New Yahoo News/YouGov poll shows coronavirus conspiracy theories spreading on the right may hamper vaccine efforts. “As states relax their lockdown restrictions and responsibility for containing the coronavirus shifts, in part, to the American people, the vast gap between the right and the left over Gates reflects a growing problem: the dangerous, destabilizing tendency to ignore fundamental facts about the deadly pathogen in favor of misinformation peddled by partisans, including President Trump, and spread on social media. That tendency is more widespread on the right, although liberals also believe some false narratives (including that COVID-19 deaths have already surged in states that were quick to reopen).”

ScienceAlert: First ‘Map’ of Vaccine Battlegrounds on Social Media Shows How Dire Things Have Become

ScienceAlert: First ‘Map’ of Vaccine Battlegrounds on Social Media Shows How Dire Things Have Become. “This opinions of nearly 100 million Facebook users across 37 countries has been turned into a colour-coded map of relationships between proponents of vaccines, its opponents, and those whose views lie somewhere in between. Researchers from across the US applied data analysis techniques commonly used in theoretical physics to create the visualisation, intended to give a virtual bird’s eye view of the social media landscape of opinions over vaccinations – and things aren’t looking good.”

Inside Science: Anti-Vaccine Messaging Is Well-Connected on Social Media

Inside Science: Anti-Vaccine Messaging Is Well-Connected on Social Media. ” A video dubbed ‘Plandemic’ that brought together unsubstantiated and debunked claims and conspiracies about the coronavirus, featuring a discredited virologist who is also aligned with the anti-vaccine movement, gathered millions of views last week. Social media platforms have since removed the video for violating misinformation policies, but the 26-minute video highlights one way that the anti-vaccine movement is feeding into the recent surge of misinformation and disinformation swirling around COVID-19.”