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Anti-COVID-19 Vaccine Content Shared On Social Media 812, 000 Times In Six Weeks –Report

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A study has painted a worrisome picture of misinformation on social media platforms against the use of vaccines for the dreaded Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.

The Centre for Countering Digital Hate, CCDH, said in a report that its study on the trend indicated that samples of anti-vaccine content was share on two social media platforms 812, 000 times in six weeks.

It noted that about 65 per cent of misinformation on the vaccine spread on social media was traceable to 12 people, which the Centre described as the ‘Disinformation Dozen’.

“Our sample of anti-vaccine content was shared or posted on Facebook or Twitter a total of 812,000 times between Feb. 1 and March 16, with 65 per cent of that sample attributable to the Disinformation Dozen, CCDH said in its report.

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Robert F Kennedy Jr., and a couple, Ty and Charlene Bollinger, were among those listed by the Centre on the Disinformation Dozen.

 “While some anti-vaxxers identified by CCDH have been removed from a single platform, comprehensive action has yet to be taken, and most remain active on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter,’’ according to the CCDH.

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It said deplatforming repeat offenders, was the best way to stop the misinformation from spreading.

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Last week, the U.S. President Joe Biden criticised the spread of misinformation on social media platforms such as Facebook.

“They’re killing people,’’ Biden said.

A day after, Facebook shared a blog post contending that it takes action against misinformation, saying it had removed 18 million such instances since the pandemic started.

“The data shows that 85 per cent of Facebook users in the U.S. have been or want to be vaccinated against COVID-19”, read Saturday’s blog post.

“President Biden’s goal was for 70 per cent of Americans to be vaccinated by July 4. Facebook is not the reason this goal was missed.’’

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U.S. Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy, spoke out against the spread of false information on Sunday during an interview on CNN’s State of the Union.

“All of us, including the media, individuals and health professionals, have a responsibility to share the truth about health, as science dictates,’’ he said.

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