The Most Influential Spreader of Coronavirus Misinformation Online
Researchers and regulators say Joseph Mercola, an osteopathic physician, creates and profits from misleading claims about Covid-19 vaccines.
You seen this floating all over the Place, Doctor Offices and you didn’t even Check on who authored it-
Folks, this tomfoolery is Killing People!
The Disinformation Dozen are
responsible for up to 65% of anti-
At the outset of this research, we identified a dozen individuals who appeared to be
extremely influential creators of digital anti-vaccine content. These individuals were
selected either because they run anti-vaccine social media accounts with large numbers
of followers, because they produce high volumes of anti-vaccine content or because their
growth was accelerating rapidly at the outset of our research in February. Full profiles of
each are available at the end of this report.
- Joseph Mercola
- Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
- Ty and Charlene Bollinger
- Sherri Tenpenny
- Rizza Islam
- Rashid Buttar
- Erin Elizabeth
- Sayer Ji
- Kelly Brogan
- Christiane Northrup
- Ben Tapper
- Kevin Jenkins
The Disinformation Dozen are responsible for up to 65% of anti-vaccine content
Our analysis of over 812,000 posts extracted from Facebook and Twitter between 1
February and 16 March 2021 shows that 65 percent of anti-vaccine content is
attributable to the Disinformation Dozen.
This shows that while many people might spread anti-vaccine content on social media
platforms, the content they share often comes from a much more limited range of
sources. Exposure to even a small amount of online vaccine misinformation has been
shown by the Vaccine Confidence Project to reduce the number of people willing to take
a Covid vaccine by up to 8.8 percent.6
Platforms have failed to act on the Disinformation Dozen
Despite repeatedly violating Facebook, Instagram and Twitter’s terms of service
agreements, nine of the Disinformation Dozen remain on all three platforms, while just
three have been comprehensively removed from just one platform.
This is an extension of platforms’ failure to act on vaccine misinformation. Research
conducted by CCDH last year has shown that platforms fail to act on 95 percent of the
Covid and vaccine misinformation reported to them, and we have uncovered evidence
that Instagram’s algorithm actively recommends similar misinformation.7
Tracking of 425 anti-vaccine accounts by CCDH shows that their total following across
platforms now stands at 59.2 million as a result of these failures.
8 The 20 anti-vaxxers
with the largest followings account for over two-thirds of this total.