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Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Antivax and QAnon

Alex Kaplan at Media Matters:

Multiple online influencers known for spreading misinformation about the coronavirus and vaccines have been appearing on shows supporting the QAnon conspiracy theory, where they have continued to spread this misinformation.

Supporters of QAnon -- some of whom have been tied to violent incidents and participated in the January 6 insurrection at the United States Capitol -- have also played a significant role in spreading misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic since it began. In recent months, as coronavirus vaccines -- which are safe and effective -- have been released, QAnon supporters have turned their attacks on the vaccines, spreading numerous false claims about them.

In recent months, anti-vax influencers have appeared on multiple different QAnon shows, apparently noticing in QAnon supporters an audience primed to be receptive to their message. At least two are part of the so-called “Disinformation Dozen,” influencers identified in a report by the Center for Countering Digital Hate as the originators of an estimated 65% of vaccine misinformation spread on Facebook and Twitter.