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.”
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.”
Healio: Online, social media intervention improves infant vaccination rates. “The use of a web-based, social media platform that includes blogs, discussion forums and a way for pregnant women to question health care experts about infant vaccination positively affected vaccine behaviors of parents, according to a study published in Pediatrics.”
University of Colorado Boulder: Twitter a hotbed of anti-vaccine sentiment, finds CU Boulder study. “Anti-vaccine sentiment is alive and growing in social media, with California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania showing the most negative tweets of any states, according to a new five-year CU Boulder study. In Colorado, Fort Collins ranked particularly high for the prevalence of anti-vaccine tweets. Regions around the country with high affluence and/or a large number of new moms were most likely to be hotbeds of anti-vaccine Twitter users, the study found.”