Considering the 2020 pandemic, you might forget 2019 had its own public health disaster. There were two outbreaks of measles in Washington State last year, bolstered by an anti-vaccination sentiment that festered online.
A new study suggests that what scientists have learned from that event is more important than ever, and not just because the future of reopening society now hinges on a vaccine for coronavirus.
Analysis of millions of Facebook pages during the 2019 measles outbreak revealed that groups promoting distrust of science, like anti-vaccination groups, are better positioned to access undecided people than public health authorities are. These groups also use diverse and appealing narratives to sway people towards their worldview