The Disinformation Dozen: The 12 people responsible for most COVID-19 vaccine hoaxes

Twelve people are responsible for 65 percent of anti-vaccine misinformation on social media, according to a recent study conducted by the Center for Countering Digital Hate.

The 12 individuals, who are pervasive on social media and well-known to researchers, are alternative health entrepreneurs, physicians and a chiropractor. Their claims range from denying that COVID-19 exists to promoting false cures over vaccination to accusing physicians of encouraging vaccination based on corrupt intentions, Imran Ahmed, the CEO of the Center for Countering Digital Hate, told NPR May 14.

Most of the 12 individuals are active on the three major social media platforms for misinformation — Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. They often evade violating social media sites' rules by using code words or hand signals to replace words, according to the study.

Each member of what the study refers to as the "disinformation dozen" has a large social media following and produces content at a high and frequent rate. Click here to learn more about each member and how they spread misinformation online.


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