Headline, August 07 2021/ ''' '' THE -MISINFORMATION-SUPERSPREADER- TAP '' '''



THE ENTIRE EFFORT TRACED BACK TO ONE PERSON : Joseph Mercola. Dr. Mercola, 67, an osteopathic physician in Cape Coral, Fla., has long been a subject of criticism and government regulatory actions for his promotions of unproven or unapproved treatments.

But most recently, he has become the chief spreader of coronavirus misinformation online, according to the researchers. His claims have been widely echoed on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Over the last decade, Dr. Mercola has built vast operations to push natural health cures, disseminate anti-vaccine content and profit from all of it, said researchers who have studied his network. In 2017, he filed an affidavit claiming his net worth ''in excess of $ 100 million.''

And rather than directly stating online that vaccines don't work, Dr. Mercola's posts often ask pointed questions about their safety and discuss studies that other doctors have refuted.

Facebook and Twitter have allowed some of his posts to remain up with caution labels, and the companies have struggled to create rules to pull down posts that have nuance.

THE ARTICLE THAT APPEARED ONLINE ON FEB 9 began with a seemingly innocuous question about the legal definition of vaccines. Then over its next 3,400 words, it declared coronavirus vaccines were a ''medical fraud'' and said the injections did not prevent infections, provide immunity or stop transmission of the disease.

Instead, the article claimed, the shots after your genetic coding, turning you into a viral protein factory that has no off-switch.''

Its assertions were easily disprovable. No matter. Over the next few hours, the article was translated from English into Spanish and Polish. It appeared on dozens of blogs and was picked up by anti-vaccination activists., who repeated the false claim online. The article also made its way to Facebook, where it reached 400,000 people, according to data from CrowdTangle, a Facebook owned tool.

An Internet-savvy entrepreneur who employs dozens, Dr. Mercola has published over 600 articles on Facebook that cast doubt on Covis-19 vaccines since the pandemic began, reaching a far larger audience than other vaccine skeptics, an analysis by The New York Times found.

The activity has earned Dr. Mercola, a proponent of natural health with an Everyman demeanor, the dubious distinction of the top spot in the ''Disinformation Dozen,'' a list of 12 people responsible for sharing 65 percent of all anti-vaccine messaging on social media, said the Center, for Countering Digital Hate, a nonprofit group.

Others on the list include Robert F. Kennedy Jr, a longtime anti-vaccine activist; and Erin Elizabeth, the founder of website Health Nut News, who is also Dr. Mercola's girlfriend.

''Mercola is the pioneer of the anti-vaccine movement,'' said Kolina Koltai, a researcher at the University of Washington who studies online conspiracy theories. ''He's a master of capitalizing on periods of uncertainty, like the pandemic, to grow his movement.''

Some high-profile media figures have promoted skepticism of the vaccines, notably Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham of Fox News, though other Fox personalities have urged viewers to get the shots. Now, Dr. Meercola and others in the ''Disinformation Dozen'' are in the spotlight on vaccinations in the United States slow, just as the highly infectious Delta variant has fueled a resurgence in coronavirus cases.

More than 97 percent of Americans hospitalized for Cocid-19 are unvaccinated, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

President Biden has blamed online falsehoods for people's avoiding injections. But as Mr. Biden has urged social media companies to ''do something about the misinformation,'' Dr. Mercola shows the difficulty of the task.

''He has been given a new life by social media, which he exploits skilfully and ruthlessly to bring people into his thrall,'' said Imran Ahmed, director of the Center for Countering Digital Hate, which studies misinformation and hate speech. ''Its ''Disinformation Dozen'' report has been cited in congressional hearings and by the White House

In an email, Dr. Mercola said it was ''quite peculiar to me that I am named as the #1superspreader of misinformation.'' Some of his Facebook posts were liked by only hundreds of people, he said, so he didn't understand ''how the relatively small number of shares could possibly cause such calamity to Biden's multibillion dollar vaccination campaign.

The efforts against him are political, Dr. Mercola added, and he accused the While House of ''illegal censorship by colluding with social media companies.''

The Honor and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on Superspreaders of Misinformation on Covid, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Sheera Frenkel.

With respectful dedication to Science, Mankind, Students, Professors and  Teachers of the world. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society - the exclusive ownership of every student in the world - and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

Good Night and God Bless

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