The lion's share of misinformation and conspiracy theories regarding the Covid-19 vaccine born out of a mere 12 individuals, the White House said, reports The Guardian. The US President's office cited a report by the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) as the source of news.
The CCDH, a non-profit and non-governmental organisation, termed the 12 as a "disinformation dozen" who have a combined followers pool of 59 million on multiple social media platforms. Among those platforms, the dozen made the major impact through Facebook, CCDH found.
The "disinformation dozen" includes pseudoscience physicians, a bodybuilder, a wellness blogger, a religious zealot and none other than Robert F Kennedy Junior- John F Kennedy's nephew. RF Kennedy, who linked autism and the 5G cellular network with covid vaccines, was removed from Instagram, but his Facebook account is still active.
The CCDH have checked 8,12,000 Facebook posts and tweets of fake information, of which 65% originated from the disinformation dozen. The dozen is responsible for 73% of all anti-vaccine content on Facebook alone. Ultimately, 95% of this information are not removed yet.
CCDH's CEO, Imran Ahmed, says in the organisation's report that though these social media platforms have policies to curb vaccine misinformation, they failed in enforcing the policies, particularly those against Corona vaccines. CCDH had sought the removal of the dozen from online platforms, as they believe them as dangerous, though many of the posts and three of the dozen were already removed. CCDH claims that the dozen has created vaccine hesitancy among masses at a crucial point during the pandemic.
The report said that removing the select number of accounts of "dangerous" individuals and groups that spread misinformation can significantly reduce the flow of such content.