May 11, 2021

The volunteers using 'honeypot' groups to fight anti-vax propaganda

In a policy shift, Facebook is now removing groups and pages that discourage people from getting vaccines. The group's name references Bill Gates and completely unfounded conspiracy theories that the Microsoft founder is plotting to kill millions of people and control them with implanted microchips. Although there is some overlap online, our research focused on extreme content - accounts and groups spreading false "Genocide" and "Implanted microchip" claims - rather than legitimate questions people have about safety and efficacy, and stories about rare cases of blood clots. Inside the groups, people who believe in vaccine and Covid-19 conspiracy theories are allowed by the moderators to post false and misleading articles. Mr Hatch told the BBC that the company is now removing groups, pages and accounts that deliberately discourage people from taking vaccines, regardless of whether the information can be verified as false or not.

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