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The anti-vaccine problems of Instagram and Facebook are not surprising

Instagram is full of conspiracy theories and anti-vaccine sites, Taylor Lorenz reported Thursday for the Atlantic.

The Facebook-based platform writes, "It's teeming with [with] conspiracy theories, viral misinformation, and extremist memes, all chained together through a network of accounts with incredible algorithmic reach and millions of collective followers." 19659003] The Atlantic review was only two weeks after Facebook, Vice President of Global Policy Management, Monika Bickert wrote in a blog post by the company, Facebook is working to "combat vaccine disinformation". These included the promise to "contain content that does not display or recommend incorrect information about vaccinations on Instagram Explore or hashtag sites. "In response to the investigation, a spokesperson for Hill said," As part of our work to eliminate health-related misinformation on Instagram, we're looking for ways to minimize the recommendations of this content and accounts that publish it on Instagram. The spokesman ran the investigation tab, the hashtags, and "Suggested For You" as areas of f on ocus.

However, Instagram seems to make slow progress in vaccine removal. CNN reports that the platform has blocked hashtags such as #vaccinescauseautism and #vaccinesarepoison, the most obvious disinformation campaigns. On Friday morning, when I typed "vaccines" into the Instagram search bar, the first suggested outcome was the @vaccinesuncovered account, which has 43,000 followers, and the Bio "Real Stories." Impfverletzungen. Vaccine Deaths What mainstream media will not show you "and points to a" gentle vaccine detoxification ". After the generic # vaccines hashtag (which is also full of vaccine content), the next results were the report @vaccines_are_toxic, the hashtag #vaccineskill, @christiansagainstvaccines, and @vaccinesaregenocide.

As Lorenz points out, part of the broader issue with incorrect information on Instagram is that it's not obvious to non-teenagers that the platform will be sharing personal photos for anything other than just use. However, their coverage of recent years has made it clear that many younger people view the platform as a primary source of news, as a personal blog, and as a place to develop a worldview that is often pushed through prisms of irony.

A collection of anti-vaccine memes posted by @vaccines_are_toxic.

Despite the thorough scientific disclosure of the most popular claims about the dangers of vaccines, Instagram is not the only major online platform with a problem of misinformation or even specifically an anti-vaccine problem. First, it's an extension of Facebook's longstanding theme of promoting counterfeit science and conspiracy theories. Both YouTube and Pinterest have been forced to take serious action over the past month, and Amazon has recently put all anti-vaccine books on its website for sale. (A recent report from Vox's Julia Belluz also emphasized that social media is only part of the thoroughly bizarre and dangerous spread of vaccine sentiment that has been spread through celebrity media through traditional media such as books, movies, and documentary films .) [19659010] In a follow-up to motherboard released Thursday, reporter Joseph Cox points out the importance of the Instagram Referral Engine, which can turn a user who might follow a misleading or malicious medical page into one within minutes A dozen can follow. It is noteworthy that the algorithm brings together all sorts of health-related content and bounces Cox between anti-vaccine sites and reports that are interested in "herbal diets."

Therefore, although the Atlantic play is disturbing and enlightening, it's not exactly surprising that content like this spreads on Instagram. It's a platform built to seemingly act on illusions and create illusions of health and beauty and domestic bliss, and has been used for years to make money for companies or individuals who have an image to sell , and not much science to support them.

Last month, Suzanne Zapello reported to Vox on the rise of "medical sponcon". It discusses how large pharmaceutical companies have partnered with influencers to sell new medicines and medical devices to build confidence in a new product by publishing beautiful results and editing anything that is inconvenient. Last year, the fertility tracking app Natural Cycles jumped on Instagram and was marketed as foolproof contraception. The 93 percent efficacy and numerous unwanted pregnancies behind a curated selection of perfect smiles have been hidden. The laxative tea or teatox industry is legendary at this point on Instagram. Influencers are known to have been well paid into the six-digit numbers to support doctors' widespread rapid weight loss. Then it was adaptogens. Now it's celery juice.

The spa boom is obviously not all evil and drinking celery juice for a few weeks because a celebrity is probably disgusting, but not at the same level as if he refuses to vaccinate his child. However, if the recommendation algorithms put all the good and the bad together into one big, glamorous spider web, it can be hard to know when to leave the dust.

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