The anti-vaxxers are winning the battle on Facebook

Studies of social networks show that opposition to vaccines is small but far-reaching — and growing

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May 13, 2020

Anti-vaccination Facebook Pages are currently better at attracting undecided users to their cause than pro-science counterparts, researchers have found.

As social media sites struggle to purge misinformation and conspiracy theories from their platforms, including campaigns relating to COVID-19, a study has now shown how differing stances on vaccination have evolved and competed over time. The project, led by Neil Johnson, professor of physics at George Washington University, analyzed Facebook communities containing close to 100 million individuals, grouping them into "clusters" to map how members interact, shift and share links.

The clusters were color coded, mapped and analyzed. And the results were surprising, Johnson told Newsweek, describing the current situation as a "perfect storm" that could see legitimate information drowned out by fringe, fake, science.

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