Around two-thirds of viral anti-vaccine social media content circulating on Facebook and Twitter has been linked to just 12 notable individuals in new research.
Content that was shared more than 812,000 times on the social media platforms between February 1 and March 16 was analysed by The Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) and Anti-Vax Watch alliance.
The alliance found that up to 65 percent of the content was attributed to 12 people, dubbed the 'disinformation dozen', including Robert F Kennedy Jr, a prolific anti-vaccine campaigner and son of former US attorney general Robert Kennedy.
In the 40-page report, the CCDH and Anti-Vax Watch alliance variety a breakdown of examples of the types of posts being shared by the 12 people, and devoted a number of pages to each person.
Examples of their posts were included in the report. Some posts perpetuated conspiracy theories relating to Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, unfounded claims that vaccines cause harm to specific groups, or that vaccines cause autism.
Other posts from the 12 people claimed that the coronavirus pandemic was not real, that masks had no effect on transmission, shared unproven coronavirus treatments and the unfounded claim that Covid-19 vaccines pose a threat to pregnant women.