Majority of Covid misinformation came from 12 people, report finds

On Facebook alone, the dozen are responsible for 73% of all anti-vaccine content, though the vaccines have been deemed safe and effective by the US government and its regulatory agencies.

Photo Science Library/Alamy Stock Photo

By Erum Salam

The Guardian

The CCDH finds ‘disinformation dozen’ have combined following of 59 million people across multiple social media platforms

The vast majority of Covid-19 anti-vaccine misinformation and conspiracy theories originated from just 12 people, a report by the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) cited by the White House this week found.

CCDH, a UK/US non-profit and non-governmental organization, found in March that these 12 online personalities they dubbed the “disinformation dozen” have a combined following of 59 million people across multiple social media platforms, with Facebook having the largest impact. CCDH analyzed 812,000 Facebook posts and tweets and found 65% came from the disinformation dozen. Vivek Murthy, US surgeon general, and Joe Biden focused on misinformation around vaccines this week as a driving force of the virus spreading.

On Facebook alone, the dozen are responsible for 73% of all anti-vaccine content, though the vaccines have been deemed safe and effective by the US government and its regulatory agencies. Photograph: Science Photo Library/Alamy Stock Photo

CCDH finds ‘disinformation dozen’ have combined following of 59 million people across multiple social media platforms

The vast majority of Covid-19 anti-vaccine misinformation and conspiracy theories originated from just 12 people, a report by the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) cited by the White House this week found.

CCDH, a UK/US non-profit and non-governmental organization, found in March that these 12 online personalities they dubbed the “disinformation dozen” have a combined following of 59 million people across multiple social media platforms, with Facebook having the largest impact. CCDH analyzed 812,000 Facebook posts and tweets and found 65% came from the disinformation dozen. Vivek Murthy, US surgeon general, and Joe Biden focused on misinformation around vaccines alone, the dozen are responsible for 73% of all anti-vaccine content, though the vaccines have been deemed safe and effective by the US government and its regulatory agencies. And 95% of the Covid misinformation reported on these platforms were not removed.

Among the dozen are physicians that have embraced pseudoscience, a bodybuilder, a wellness blogger, a religious zealot, and, most notably Robert F Kennedy Jr, the nephew of John F Kennedy who has also linked vaccines to autism and 5G broadband cellular networks to the coronavirus pandemic.

Kennedy was since removed from Instagram, which Facebook owns, but not from Facebook itself.

“Facebook, Google and Twitter have put policies into place to prevent the spread of vaccine misinformation; yet to date, all have failed to satisfactorily enforce those policies,” wrote CCDH’s CEO, Imran Ahmed, in the report. “All have been particularly ineffective at removing harmful and dangerous misinformation about coronavirus vaccines.”

Although platforms have since taken measures to remove many posts and even remove three of the 12 from one platform, the CCDH is calling on Facebook and Instagram, Twitter and YouTube to completely deplatform the disinformation dozen they believe are dangerous and instrumental in creating vaccine hesitancy at a crucial moment in the pandemic.

[…]

Via https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jul/17/covid-misinformation-conspiracy-theories-ccdh-report

7 thoughts on “Majority of Covid misinformation came from 12 people, report finds

  1. That is a whopping lot of people … Is there anything in the report that states exactly what disinformation was spread ? Was the total number (5,000 +) of deaths regarded as disinformation or is it untrue, for instance.

    Like

  2. Yes there’s a lot of detailed information on articles they refer to as disinformation – even though the research cited is based on peer reviewed research. I was especially concerned on the articles they cited from Dr Mercola and Robert F Kennedy Jr, as both are extremely careful about the factual information they post (for legal reasons).

    It’s a long report, and I couldn’t find any specific info about the number of vaccine deaths.

    The report’s embedded in the Guardian article – about halfway down the page:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jul/17/covid-misinformation-conspiracy-theories-ccdh-report

    Like

  3. It strikes me as odd that twelve people are targeted as spreading disinformation, when I perceive this blitz of propaganda for vaccination as an unwarranted assault on my right to choose what, if any, medical interventions I receive. As you know, the three vaccines approved for use in the US were “fast-tracked” though the approval processes here and have not proved their long-term effectiveness or safety. Also, you’ve posted articles about blood clots and other complications possibly from the vaccines themselves. I respect both Bobby Kennedy, Jr., and Dr. Mercola (who, I believe, is a DO, so medically trained). If they are being denied a voice, it bodes ill for freedom of speech in this country.

    Also, statistics about deaths give little information, since there are so many confounding factors. Life is ultimately terminal, after all, and coroners often have to use their judgments to identify actual “cause of death,” when there are potentially many possible causes, especially in the elderly or infirm.

    Like

  4. I have followed most of these people for years and they have always been credible and their articles were written with integrity. They are the best of the best. The disingenuous are threatened by them and must go on the attack lest people might find out which is which!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.