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Monday, June 22, 2020

Facebook Has Failed to Act against Abusive Antivaxxers

In The Politics of Autism, I look at the discredited notion that vaccines cause autismTwitterFacebook, and other social media platforms have helped spread this dangerous myth

Elizabeth Cohen at CNN:
Nine months after Facebook vowed to investigate abuse by anti-vaxxers, no users have been penalized.  
As detailed in a CNN report last year, anti-vaxxers have posted violent, horrific comments and death threats to vaccine advocates -- including mothers who've lost their children -- calling them the c-word and telling them they deserved to have their children die.
One mother who lost a child, Catherine Hughes, says she received thousands of abusive comments, including death threats. She was called a whore and told to kill herself. CNN shared some of these comments with Facebook, and Facebook agreed they were in violation of community standards. Still, Facebook took no action against those users, or others who tormented vaccine advocates, according to a Facebook spokesperson.
"It feels like Facebook doesn't care, like they think this is not their responsibility," said Hughes, who lost her infant son, Riley, to whooping cough in 2015, before he was old enough to be vaccinated against the disease.