1./ Wired says it's a mistake to assume that all anti-vaccine sentiment is based on misinformation per se. There has lately emerged a wealth of polling and newsreports providing insight into the motivations of the vaccine-hesitant. One of the most common reasons they give for their reluctance is that we don’t yet know if the vaccines have long-term side effects. Another is that the Food and Drug Administration hasn’t officially approved any of the vaccines. Both of these facts are technically true. Are they sensible reasons to refuse the vaccine, in light of all we do know? No. But they are not false. (Wired)
2./Facebook is under fire once again over the proliferation of vaccine misinformation on its platform, after Joe Biden said tech giants such as Facebook are “killing people” for failing to tackle the problem.The White House has also zeroed in on the “disinformation dozen”: accounts that have been shown to be responsible for the bulk of anti-vaccine misinformation on social media platforms.And while Facebook has defended itself, saying it has removed more than 18m pieces of Covid misinformation, experts who study online misinformation say it has still largely failed to address the issue and that falsehoods about the vaccine are still reaching millions of people.(Guardian)
3./ Russia's vaccination rates fall far below those in any other country other country where vaccines aren't a scarce commodity. Low vaccination uptake and the emergence of the Delta variant have driven Russia's daily caseload and number of reported COVID-19 deaths up by 2.5 times over the last month, putting its current mortality rate at one of the highest in the world. Why aren't Russians protecting themselves? (Think Global Health)
4./Bill Would Strip Social Media of Protections for Health Misinformation. Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s measure covering Covid-19 would create exception to law known as Section 230 shielding platforms from suits (paywalled) (WSJ)
5./Chat records and other documents obtained by Logically show that a U.K. group of lockdown-skeptic political activists and health professionals have been coordinating efforts to lobby MPs and gain political and media influence, with an aim to “wrestle control back from SAGE." (Logically)
6./A mysterious marketing agency secretly offered to pay social media stars to spread disinformation about Covid-19 vaccines. Their plan failed when the influencers went public about the attempt to recruit them. (BBC)
7./Sebastian’s mum has become one of the leaders of Britain’s conspiracy community, collecting tens of thousands of followers with false claims – including denying coronavirus exists, blaming the symptoms of Covid-19 on 5G radio waves and likening the NHS to Nazi Germany. (BBC)
8./ Dr. Mercola, 67, an osteopathic physician in Cape Coral, Fla., has long been a subject of criticism and government regulatory actions for his promotion of unproven or unapproved treatments. But most recently, he has become the chief spreader of coronavirus misinformation online, according to researchers.. (New York Times)
That's it for this week. Our next newsletter will hit your inbox in SEPTEMBER. Our next podcast episode – the first for the next season is also out in SEPTEMBER. Is there a story we should add to next week's newsletter? Someone we should interview on our podcast? Ping us!
I'm headed to France, wishing everyone avvsafe and happy vacation!
See you in September!
Eva and Daiva
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