Thanks to Facebook, anti-vaxxers will soon be the majority - study

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May 14, 2020

Researchers looking at how the anti-vaccination movement has exploded in recent years have found small but highly active groups on the world's biggest social media site are spreading misinformation and unscientific messages about vaccines faster than health agencies and scientists can keep up.

"There is a new world war online surrounding trust in health expertise and science, particularly with misinformation about COVID-19, but also distrust in big pharmaceuticals and governments," said data scientists Neil Johnson at George Washington University, who led the research.

"Nobody knew what the field of battle looked like, though, so we set to find out."

What they found was a network "of unprecedented intricacy that involves nearly 100 million individuals partitioned into highly dynamic, interconnected clusters across cities, countries, continents and languages".

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