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Russian Trolls Fueled Anti-Vaccination Debate On Twitter, Study Finds

“Russian Twitter trolls have attempted to fuel the anti-vaccination debate in the U.S.,” reports CBS News, citing a study from George Washington University. Bots are reportedly sharing opinions from both sides of the debate to stir up controversy
The Daily Dot reports:
The study further warns that the spread of anti-vaccine misinformation by “accounts masquerading as legitimate users” erodes the public consensus on the effectiveness of vaccination. News of the study comes as the U.S. faces the worst measles outbreak in 25 years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Thursday that 940 known cases of measles have been reported so far this year. “This is the greatest number of cases reported in the U.S. since 1994 and since measles was declared eliminated in 2000,” the CDC said.
While Facebook vowed ten weeks ago to crack down on anti-vaccination information, Thursday the Wall Street Journal reported that instead it “remains widely available” across Facebook — and that Facebook is still running paid ads from a prominent anti-vaccination group. [Paywalled article]

According to the Journal, Facebook “says it is mindful of overreach and is still refining automated tools for culling content.”

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