"Anti-vaccine content creates a vast amount of engagement for leading technology platforms, including Facebook and Instagram, with an estimated total social media audience of 62 million people. The arrangement works both ways, with the anti-vax industry earning up to $36 million a year," said the report. "The Center for Digital Hate, based in Washington D.C., has called on social media companies to deplatform leading anti-vaxxers, who are responsible for the majority of vaccine misinformation generated online. The Center's CEO, Imran Ahmed, said that the $36 million estimate was conservative and that their real profits could be much higher."
Earlier this year, another analysis by the Center for Digital Hate found that just 12 anti-vaccine activists are responsible for 73 percent of all vaccine misinformation shared on Facebook, referred to as the "Disinformation Dozen." Most of those activists are still producing content "despite repeatedly violating Facebook, Instagram and Twitter's terms of service agreements."
"The Center for Digital Hate's investigation also found that influencers' attempts to push their followers onto 'lifeboat' accounts on smaller platforms such as Telegram has had limited success, while deplatforming is successful in preventing them gaining wider audiences," continued the report. "Leading anti-vaccine organizations led by big names in the industry, such as Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Del Bigtree and Larry Cook, have admitted in legal filings that they need mainstream platforms, such as Facebook and YouTube, in order to make money and spread their ideas."
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