A new social media analysis conducted by media intelligence firm Commetric sheds light on the impact COVID-19 has had on the spread of anti-vaccination conspiracy theories online.
Some of the main findings include:
Most users consumed vaccination content via videos rather than via media outlets, with the most popular YouTube channels spreading conspiracy claims.
Some of the top trending videos on Facebook were several years old and promoted long-standing conspiracy theories.
Much of the conspiratorial thinking was stirred up by Plandemic, a video featuring prominent anti-vaccine activist Judy Mikovits, and by the ever-popular narrative that Bill Gates created the virus to sell vaccines.
The most influential anti-vaxxers on Twitter created an echo chamber populated by users describing themselves as Christians, conservatives, and Trump supporters.
Far-right conspiracy proponents have evolved in their messaging: they have started to oppose calls for mandatory vaccination with a “pro-choice” stance, often treating vaccine resistance as a political campaign.
Read the full research here: