COVID-19 is a “perfect storm” for conspiracy theories, finds new study that shocked scientists

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May 13, 2020

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

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