12 accounts in the back of maximum on-line vaccine incorrect information, COVID conspiracy theories


The overwhelming majority of on-line incorrect information and conspiracy theories concerning the pandemic and coronavirus vaccines originates with simply 12 accounts, in line with a brand new document.

Those other people, dubbed the “disinformation dozen” by way of the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), come with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. — nephew of former United States president John F. Kennedy — and Joseph Mercola, a well known anti-vaxxer who peddles well being dietary supplements he claims can treatment illness.

The different named perpetrators have been the joint account of Ty and Charlene Bollinger, in addition to the social media accounts of Sherri Tenpenny, Rizza Islam, Rashid Buttar, Erin Elizabeth, Sayer Ji, Kelly Brogan, Christiane Northrup, Ben Tapper and Kevin Jenkins.

Many of them are related to the spiritual and/or wellness communities.

Elizabeth, who’s spouse to Mercola, additionally posted antisemitic conspiracy theories involving the Rothschild circle of relatives, the document stated.

The document stated that the group analyzed over 812,000 posts on Facebook and Twitter between February 1 and March 16, 2021, and located that 65% of anti-vaccine content material used to be in the long run as a consequence of the ones 12 people.

In this Dec. 12, 2019 document photograph, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. attends the 2019 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Awards on the New York Hilton Midtown in New York. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP, File)

When taking a look at Facebook on my own, the 12 peddlers of incorrect information accounted for 73% of the content material.

The CCDH stated that the ones 12 influencers “do not have relevant medical expertise and have their own pockets to line,” whilst spreading incorrect information about vaccine protection, in addition to downplaying the risk of the pandemic.

The document stated the anti-vaccine activists are attaining greater than 59 million fans on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.

Citing its personal analysis performed in 2020, the watchdog stated social media platforms have been failing to behave on 95% of the pandemic and vaccine incorrect information that used to be reported to them.

In this Sept. 19, 2020, document photograph, a protester holds up a placard as they participate in a ‘Resist and Act for Freedom’ protest in opposition to a compulsory coronavirus vaccine, dressed in mask, social distancing and a 2d lockdown, in Trafalgar Square, London. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

“Social media companies must now follow their repeated promises with concrete action,” the document stated. “Updated insurance policies and statements dangle little worth until they’re strongly and constantly enforced.

“With the majority of damaging content material being unfold by way of a choose choice of accounts, doing away with the ones few most deadly people and teams can considerably scale back the quantity of disinformation being unfold throughout platforms, it added.

After the White House gained the document closing week, US President Joe Biden stated Friday that social media firms are killing other people by way of failing to police incorrect information on their platforms about COVID-19 vaccines, that have many times been discovered to be each protected and efficient.

Bidens feedback got here an afternoon after US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy declared incorrect information concerning the vaccines a danger to public well being, and as US officers suggested that deaths and severe sickness from the virus are nearly fully preventable because of the vaccines.

US President Joe Biden tries to listen to questions shouted by way of journalists as he heads to Marine One at the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, July 16, 2021, to spend the weekend at Camp David. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Biden, requested if he had a message for platforms like Facebook the place false or deceptive details about the coronavirus vaccines has unfold, informed journalists, Theyre killing other people.

The handiest pandemic we’ve got is likely one of the unvaccinated,” he stated.

Speaking Thursday, Murthy stated incorrect information about COVID-19, deemed an infodemic by way of the World Health Organization, used to be fatal.

Misinformation poses an coming near near and insidious danger to our countries well being, Murthy stated all through remarks on Thursday on the White House. We should confront incorrect information as a country. Lives are relying on it.

Given the function the web performs in spreading well being incorrect information, Murthy stated generation firms and social media platforms should make significant adjustments to their merchandise and device to scale back the unfold of false data, whilst expanding get right of entry to to authoritative, fact-based assets.

Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy speaks all through the day-to-day briefing on the White House in Washington, on July 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Too frequently, he stated, the platforms are in-built ways in which inspire, no longer counter, the unfold of incorrect information.

We are asking them to step up, Murthy stated. We cant wait longer for them to take competitive motion.

Facebook spokesperson Dani Lever spoke back to Biden: “We is probably not distracted by way of accusations which arent supported by way of the details. The reality is that greater than 2 billion other people have seen authoritative details about COVID-19 and vaccines on Facebook, which is greater than another position on the web. More than 3.3 million Americans have extensively utilized our vaccine finder software to determine the place and tips on how to get a vaccine. The details display that Facebook helps save lives. Period.

Twitter posted on its platform, As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves world wide, neatly proceed to do our section to raise authoritative well being data.

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