The Disinformation Dozen on social media

Researchers have found just 12 people are responsible for the bulk of the misleading claims and outright lies about COVID-19 vaccines that proliferate on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

“The ‘Disinformation Dozen‘ produce 65% of the shares of anti-vaccine misinformation on social media platforms,” said Imran Ahmed, chief executive officer of the Center for Countering Digital Hate, which identified the accounts.

After this story published on Thursday, Facebook said it had taken down more of the accounts run by these 12 individuals.

These figures are well-known to both researchers and the social networks. They include anti-vaccine activists, alternative health entrepreneurs and physicians. Some of them run multiple accounts across the different platforms. They often promote “natural health.” Some even sell supplements and books.

As usual, Facebook isn’t performing the simplest categories of self-checking misinformation and deception.

5 thoughts on “The Disinformation Dozen on social media

  1. Smell-test says:

    On Wednesday, Facebook published a blog post rebutting an influential recent report by a nonprofit that found a dozen “superspreaders” of false claims — the so-called “Disinformation Dozen” — were responsible for some 73 percent of misinformation about the coronavirus vaccines on Facebook. “There isn’t any evidence for this claim,” wrote Monika Bickert, Facebook’s vice president of content policy, of the finding by the Center for Countering Digital Hate. She offered in its place a different statistic, asserting that those 12 people are responsible for just 0.05 percent of all views of vaccine-related content on Facebook. Facebook itself didn’t offer any evidence to back up that figure.

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