Updated: 4:46 AM PDT, March 29, 2021
A new study has identified what they call the “Disinformation Dozen,” which includes 12 influential online accounts the study says are responsible for spreading nearly 65% of anti-vaccination rhetoric and disinformation across the internet, according to a new report by the Center for Countering Digital Hate.
The report, which emphasizes that we are in the middle of the deadliest U.S. public health crisis, said that the specific group of anti-vaxxers have a “large number of followers” and “produce high volumes of anti-vaccine content.”
As a result, in the last two months, those accounts have seen rapid growth of their accounts, the report said.
This small group of anti-vaxxers “do not have relevant medical expertise” and are “abusing social media platforms to misrepresent the threat of COVID and spread misinformation about the safety of vaccines,” the report said.
The study is concerned about marginalized communities that have witnessed the most devastating impact of the virus who are also more prone to skepticism and distrust of the vaccines.
The 12 accounts account for 73% of disinformation on Facebook, and on Twitter, up to 17% of misinformation is featured by the dozen, the report said.
The organization has called for social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube, to remove the dozen users and their associated organizations. While just three have been removed from one platform, none have been removed from all, CBS News reported.