Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #antivax

Most recents (20)

For many years I’ve been a scientist.

After studying Biomedicine, and then Medical Pathology science, I undertook postgrad studies in immunology and biochemical reactions in preterm neonates.

I’ve grown tired of #AntiVax pseudoscience, the destructiveness that their message
has caused in places like #Samoa with their current #Measles crisis, with 53 deaths in the last couple of weeks.

I’ve grown tired of the pompous self-righteousness of AVs posting images of themselves on Social Media, & thinking that they’re doing a great thing
by sending packets of Vitamin A over to Samoa, whilst it was their message, and visits by Taylor Winterstein & Robert F. Kennedy jr that has sparked this crisis.

I am sickened that AVs write Measles off as “just a RASH” whilst ignoring the fantastic work of
Read 8 tweets
ICYMI a theory that Trump’s weekend medical encounter was the result of an assassination attempt via poison has been making the rounds in some sectors of #MAGA Twitter. What’s up with that? #AltWankers

cc: @ZellaQuixote
@ZellaQuixote We downloaded tweets containing Trump, hospital, and poison, poisoned, or poisoning. Other than a few early speculative tweets, the story appears to originate with an Infowars article claiming (without evidence) to have info from a White House source about a poisoning attempt.
@ZellaQuixote The retweet network mirrors this - Infowars protegé @PrisonPlanet is the main driver of traffic, accompanied by @gatewaypundit and random #QAnon accounts. The "Trump was poisoned" claim quickly spread from Infowars to other propaganda sites, including #antivax site Natural News.
Read 3 tweets
#Event201 begins. Check it out online to participate virtually! #pandemic #biosecurity
Global leaders in business and government have convened to address the pandemic situation. @T_Inglesby from @JHSPH_CHS Moderates. See the #Event201 website for details on the participants.
Global distribution of cases and deaths from #Event201
Read 45 tweets
This is appalling and evil. We saw the smears against Fethullah Gülen in 2016-2017 at Snopes and were extremely concerned that the United States would capitulate to the disinformation. Of course, the calls were coming from inside the house all along.
These stories seemed to originate from a site called Here’s one of my old pages about Gülen disinformation
Look at who else was involved.…
Read 10 tweets
Meet @WytchesThyme, a Twitter account without which we would never have learned that Robert Mueller is dead, Stormy Daniels is an impersonator, Nancy Pelosi swapped places with a body double to avoid hit-and-run charges, and Julian Assange is an amputee.

cc: @ZellaQuixote
@WytchesThyme @ZellaQuixote Based on the tools at our disposal, @WytchesThyme does not appear to be an automated account. The content is however repetitive in terms of themes and phrasing, and the content doesn't change much over time.
@WytchesThyme @ZellaQuixote What media sites does @WytchesThyme link? RT/Russia Today is the most frequent, with a mix of local and national mainstream sources, government websites, change(dot)org petitions, and #antivax/pseudoscience site Natural News rounding out the remainder.
Read 11 tweets
We analyzed the headlines/titles on 23 news sites for the presence of terms related to these conspiracy theories. Dataset was constructed from links on each site's official English Twitter account(s); additional searches were used to fill gaps in Fox/Infowars.

cc: @ZellaQuixote
@ZellaQuixote This table shows the number of times each site mentioned each term in a headline, with the caveat that not all uses are conspiracy promotion. RT is the most common frequent flier (Skripals, Syria, and chemtrails) and nobody seems to give a duck about directed energy weapons.
@ZellaQuixote Same thing, this time with the most frequent topic for each source highlighted. For mainstream sites, this is generally the vaccine category (the content isn't #antivax.) For all three Russian sites as well as the BBC, the Skripal poisoning is topic #1, followed by Syria.
Read 3 tweets
If only the term "conspiracy theory" had been used at least as far back as 1870, predating both the 1960s and the FBI itself. Oh wait, here's an example! Let's see what kind of conspiracy theories @freedomgirl2011 is into. . .…

cc: @ZellaQuixote
@freedomgirl2011 @ZellaQuixote Partial list of conspiracy theories promoted by @freedomgirl2011 (pre-2019 tweets don't come up in search):

- anti-vax
- 5G dangers
- crisis actors
- directed energy weapons
- chemtrails
- moon landing hoax
- 9/11 #FalseFlag
- Syria chemical attacks staged
- MK Ultra
@freedomgirl2011 @ZellaQuixote Here are some examples of @freedomgirl2011's tweets about vaccines, 5G, #chemtrails/geoengineering, and the supposed use of "crisis actors" to stage terrorist attacks/mass shootings. #Antivax topics appear to be a particular favorite.
Read 6 tweets
With a glowing recommendation like this from a #QAnon account, how can we possibly go wrong with whatdoesitmean(dot)com? #FollowTheWhiteRabbit

cc: @ZellaQuixote
We downloaded tweets linking to whatdoesitmean(dot)com. Low-volume traffic stretches back roughly a decade, but doesn't really take off until 2016. 12.6% of tweets are posted via automation tools (3% is roughly average for datasets we look at.)
What topics turn up in tweets linking to whatdoesitmean(dot)com? #SethRich conspiracies, for one - the recent Yahoo news story about Russian intelligence involvement in the early spread of the Seth Rich murder conspiracies refers to the site often.…
Read 5 tweets
I am going to talk about something I have held on to for a long time. It's going to be sad & gnarly & every trigger warning applies. Long thread.

Thank @weaponizedword1, @NotOfIt7k and their merry bunch of #antivax fanatics for why this is needed.
There was a time I did not know anti-vaxxers were a thing. Sure, I witnessed, from the fringes, the Wakefield scandal, but as far as I understood, it was a fringe phenomenon. As someone living with CVID2, my college nurse first told me about them, cursorily.
I understood my vaccination situation was complex at best, and assumed that kids who did not need ten tries and eight titre tests for a flu shot were lucky and their parents were happy to protect them so easily – just a sharp scratch & a lollipop.
Read 24 tweets
If you want good information on vaccine safety, consult a physician or the CDC website or something. On the other hand, if you want some good old fashioned #antivax conspiracy-mongering, vaccine-related tweets containing YouTube videos might be your cup of tea.

cc: @ZellaQuixote
We downloaded all original tweets from the last ten days containing "vaccine" or "vaccines" and linking to YouTube, yielding 1030 tweets from 697 accounts. 54 (7.7%) appear automated based on 24/7 activity/services used to tweet; these accounts posted 148 (14.4%) of the tweets.
Next, we classified the videos based on whether or not they espoused an #antivax stance. 727 of the 1030 tweets (70.6%) linked an anti-vaccine video, featuring a mixture of dubious scientific claims and conspiracy theories imputing nefarious motives to vaccination laws.
Read 4 tweets
‼️The Brexit Referendum & the 2016 Trump Campaign are intertwined— the same co-conspirators are involved in both.

Brexit ( was a test run for the Trump 2016 presidential campaign.

This thread will illustrate the big picture. Trump = medium sized fish.
Both campaigns focused on common RW themes: Nationalism, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, anti-Soros, income disparity, etc.—all issues exacerbated by the actions of TOC.

📌Cambridge Analytica is the focal point through which we can see the relationships in play & reveals the elephant in the room: Britain tying its future to an America that is being remade - in a radical and alarming way - by TeamTrump.…
Read 72 tweets
If you're in need of a largely automated purveyor of #antivax tomfoolery such as this Russia Today article, @ViraBurnayeva has got you covered. #MakeEradicatedViralDiseasesGreatAgain

cc: @ZellaQuixote
What does @ViraBurnayeva's tweet content look like? Variations on a theme, where the theme is #antivax and so are the variations. @ViraBurnayeva does at least mix things up a bit with the media links; some of them sell supplements instead or in addition to pushing pseudoscience.
For the last four months, @ViraBurnayeva has been tweeting #antivax content 24/7, automated via a custom app called "Vaccines and Homeopathy News", with occasional organic tweets mixed in (largely replies). What happened in the gap between 2016 and 2019?
Read 5 tweets
Is there anything unnatural about naturalnews(dot)com? This site calls itself "The world's top news source on natural health," a subject which starts with anti-vaccine rhetoric and branches out into #FalseFlag theories about, well, pretty much everything.

cc: @ZellaQuixote
First, let's look at the titles of the actual articles. These two figures are based on 13532 titles from 2017-09-01 to 2019-04-07. Major topics: #antivax barflegarble, "shadowbanning" by social media sites, and mass shootings (with accompanying conspiracy theories, of course.)
We downloaded tweets linking to naturalnews(dot)com, yielding 5375 tweets from 2439 accounts in the past 10 days. 690 tweets (12.8%) came from 70 accounts (2.9%) flagged as mostly/fully automated, and another 209 (3.9%) were posted by 46 partially automated accounts (1.9%).
Read 6 tweets
Low vaccination rates are a #publichealth crisis, leading to outbreaks of deadly diseases like #measles. My new research in Vaccine/@ElsevierNews provides insight into the characteristics of people who post #antivax content on #Facebook:…
First, I want to credit my fantastic co-authors: @MTH_Pitt @emfelter @DrToddWo @ChadTRM @PittPubHealth. This research stemmed from thousands of #antivax comments on a video on the @kidspluspgh Facebook page:…
We used social network, quantitative, and qualitative analyses to examine 25% of people who left these comments. Our goal was to answer questions about who these people are, the information they post, and how they are connected.
Read 11 tweets
HOO BOY I just read the "Harvard Study Proves 'Unvaccinated Children Pose No Risk'" garbage, bunk, actually-just-an-open-letter-from-an-antivax-immunologist and I am DANGEROUSLY INFURIATED.

I will NOT be linking to this article. But it is garbage. *RAGE SCREAM* #VaccinesWork
What is notable is the approach: Consistently demonstrating that vaccines are 1) effective and thereby 2) changing the landscape of commonly seen infections to prove that vaccines DON'T prevent spread of disease??

It's a baffling strategy that doesn't work.
It turns out there's a rather good Snopes article debunking a lot of the scientific claims. If you MUST read this thing (which again I wont' link to) you can find it here:…

But since I'm already riled up, here are a few points from me… #VaccinesWork
Read 17 tweets
Let's take a look into the world of anti-vaccine discussion on Twitter. The first challenge here is to find the tweets; there's no obvious hashtag or term guaranteed to be exclusively associated with #antivax tweets.

cc: @ZellaQuixote
A manual review of tweets indicates that #antivax, #vaccine, and #vaccines are all hashtags that occur frequently in anti-vaccine tweets. However, there are lot of false positives (pro-vaccine tweets) in this dataset. How do we isolate the content we're interested in?
Plotting the retweet networks provides a solution. All three hashtags have networks that split into pro and anti-vaccine sections. We can filter out the tweets from the accounts outside the #antivax section to obtain the desired dataset.
Read 10 tweets
The anti-vax movement has been listed by WHO as one of its top 10 health threats for 2019…

#WeThePeople WILL WIN!!!🙏🏻♥️
#QAnon #MAGA @WhiteHouseHstry
@realDonaldTrump ’s new @HHSGov department may BAN #MandatoryVaccinations nationwide and restore health and religious freedom…

#QAnon #MAGA #WeThePeople WILL WIN!!!🙏🏻♥️
@realDonaldTrump @WhiteHouseHstry #vaccines #antivax #AntiVaxxers
#BillGates' Former Doctor Says Billionaire ‘Refused To Vaccinate His Children’…

#QAnon #MAGA #WeThePeople WILL WIN!!!🙏🏻♥️
@realDonaldTrump @WhiteHouseHstry #vaccines #antivax #AntiVaxxers
Read 21 tweets
With the #bomb mailed to #Soros, I'm already seeing the comments come in. In particular, immediately claiming "false flag." A lie to help dems.

Because we've hit that point. There's no data that sways a believer. Any evidence against your worldview is evidence of the conspiracy.
This can't be a real #schoolshooting - it's too conveniently timed. Sandy Hook must have been faked, all the parents are crisis actors.

There can't be a whooping cough outbreak, it's the doctors trying to suppress the truth of the #antivax movement.
When you give in to magical thinking, when you buy a dogma that can't be questioned (looking at you, QAnon), you give up the ability to respond to the world as it is.

You lose something important. You lose the ability to react to new data that doesn't fit.
Read 14 tweets
How do folks even become anti-science?

And don't say religion. I'm a devout Catholic & the majority of anti-vaxxers are white hipster atheists.

So what makes you believe Jenny McCarthy and Robert DeNiro over actual established science?

This is a dog whistle I can't hear.
I know there is a crossover to some extremist religious sects with the anti-vax, but the breadth of this is now owned by people who really should know better.

Someone needs to explain it.
This anti-vax controversy is the most volatile issue.

I don't understand it because I come from a science background, but I appreciate people engaging with me honestly.

Thank you for being willing to answer my questions.
Read 4 tweets

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