BuzzFeed News: Here’s How One Of Facebook’s Biggest Anti-Vax Communities Built Its Massive Network. “While Facebook is mulling over exactly how to combat a topic as complex and emotional as the anti-vaccination misinformation, members of its community continue to use the site’s tools to promote themselves. For a clear look at how this simple, ad-driven feedback loop works, let’s take a look at ‘Stop Mandatory Vaccination,’ one of the more prolific Facebook communities for anti-vaxxers.”
BloombergQuint: Lawmaker Questions Google and Facebook About Anti-Vaccine Information. “Democratic Representative Adam Schiff sent a letter to Google LLC Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai and Facebook Inc. founder Mark Zuckerberg, expressing concern that their platforms are carrying information discouraging parents from vaccinating their children.”
The Guardian: Facebook under pressure to halt rise of anti-vaccination groups. “Facebook is under pressure to stem the rise of anti-vaccination groups spreading false information about the dangers of life-saving vaccines while peddling unfounded alternative treatments such as high doses of vitamin C. So-called ‘anti-vaxxers’ are operating on Facebook in closed groups, where members have to be approved in advance. By barring access to others, they are able to serve undiluted misinformation without challenge.” Interestingly I just found this notice in my Maine.gov RSS feed about fake anti-vaccine flyers purportedly coming from the CDC.
Knox News: Shots of social media: Study looks at whether posts, tweets help or hinder vaccination rates. “When you’re looking for information to help you decide whether to vaccinate your children, where do you turn? Historically, most people have gone to their health-care provider for information. But with the advent of social media, more and more people are simply logging on. Now a group of researchers with Oak Ridge Associated Universities is looking at the impact of social media on vaccination rates — and whether it could be turned into a booster.”
EurekAlert: Research finds bots and Russian trolls influenced vaccine discussion on Twitter . “Social media bots and Russian trolls promoted discord and spread false information about vaccines on Twitter, according to new research led by the George Washington University. Using tactics similar to those at work during the 2016 United States presidential election, these Twitter accounts entered into vaccine debates months before election season was underway.”
CBC: Researchers predict ‘vaccine scares’ using Google and Twitter trends. “What do Google searches and tweets tell us about disease outbreaks? As it turns out, analyzing search and tweet trends could give warning signs for when a disease outbreak may happen due to reduced vaccinations. An international team of researchers analyzed searches and tweets related to measles and the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine using artificial intelligence and a mathematical model, and detected warning signs of a ‘tipping point’ two years before the Disneyland outbreak happened.”
Thanks to Cogdog for pointing me to this blog post at Hapgood, because it is wild: Digital Polarization on Pinterest Is Scary Aggressive. “The speed with which Pinterest radicalizes your feed with conspiracy-based disinfo is shocking. I speed up this video by 400% but the entire process takes less than 13 minutes I think. Here’s the final frame.” The meat of the article is a video that lasts less than 3 minutes.