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Russian trolls, bots influencing discord in the debates on immunization, according to a study



FILE – This photo of 6 February 2015 shows vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella on a counter at a pediatric clinic in Greenbrae, California. The outbreak of measles in Portland took dozens of people in Oregon and Washington. with a few other cases suspected and public health officials trying to keep the virus say low vaccine levels are worsening the situation. Clark County Public Health announced on Sunday, January 28, 2019, that most cases include children under 10 years of age. (AP Photo / Eric Risberg, File)

A study found that the same Russian accounts attempting to influence the US election also cite vaccines

The study, published by the American Public Health Association, found that automated accounts bot and trolls – who are people but have their own hidden programs – are giving false information about vaccines on social sites like Twitter.

Scientists studied tweets from 2014-2018. The survey reveals a significant portion of online debates generated by these bogus accounts. He says bots and trolls are about 22 times more prone to chirping for vaccination on both sides – both for professionals and anti-vaccines.

Researchers found that counterfeit accounts originated from Russia in order to create mistrust and disagreement with the vaccination debate.

In fact, they make people hesitate to get their photos. Really greatly increases the likelihood of an outbreak. Well, and partly because of the way epidemics work, "Bronjatowski said.

Broniatowski says these bots and trolls have started using #VaccinateUS on Twitter. He adds that they may appear to publish health information, but they have their own hidden programs.

"They can simply use it as a means to reach a goal or get followers or get clicks, or to attract attention or irritation," Bronjatowski said. "It's not really about Russia against the US, it's about present to prevent an epidemic that can really cause many, many diseases around the world. "

The majority of Americans who think vaccines are safe and effective turn to Twitter and think differently

Karen Dohman of Vancouver says that all her children and grandchildren have been vaccinated, and she calls people to watch past social media to get facts, especially with regard to public health

"I'm not surprised at anything on these sites," she said. everything about the hook, the line, and the sinking when not needed. "

Vancouver's Kathy Kenhauurti does not think the debate is black and white, she says she is not surprised and says the counterfeit accounts turn the Americans against each other.

"I'm confused, I do not know what's right," Kenoorty said. "We do not have to fight, we have to focus on children, what is important."

Broniatowski says it is difficult to distinguish between real people or trolls and bots. Typically, he says there are usually no accounts verified, but can hide celebrities or verified accounts to relay them. He also says trolls have a history of publishing malicious links and schematic websites, and bots usually only recite information.


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