Anti-vaccine posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter could be banned under new UK laws

The Independent - Tech

The UK government is considering new rules to ban any anti-vaccine posts from sites like Facebook and Twitter, after a surge across social media in content promoting false information. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said internet firms have a "duty of care" to their users and legislation may be needed to enforce this. Disinformation campaigns from the controversial anti-vax movement have plagued social media firms in recent years, with Facebook among those blamed for helping fuel the misguided belief in scientifically disproven claims that vaccinations are harmful and can cause autism. We'll tell you what's true. You can form your own view.


Has Robert De Niro's Tribeca Film Festival sold out to anti-vaccine crackpots?

Los Angeles Times

Oncologist and scientific watchdog David H. Gorski, who blogs under the nom de plume "Orac" and has been following the Wakefield and Thomson sagas for years, raises the pertinent question: "How on earth did this documentary full of antivaccine lies ... get into Tribeca?"


Meeting with Trump emboldens anti-vaccine activists

Mashable

The discredited researcher who launched the anti-vaccine movement met with Donald Trump this summer -- and found him sympathetic to the cause. Now, with Trump preparing to move into the White House, leaders of the movement are newly energized, hopeful they can undermine decades of public policy promoting childhood vaccinations. At the most basic level, they're hoping Trump will use his bully pulpit to advance his oft-stated concern -- debunked by an extensive body of scientific evidence -- that there's a link between vaccines and autism. "For the first time in a long time, I feel very positive about this, because Donald Trump is not beholden to the pharmaceutical industry," movement leader Andrew Wakefield told STAT in a phone interview. "He didn't rely upon [drug makers] to get him elected.


Teenager pens heartbreaking Reddit post asking for ways to get vaccines without mother's consent

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A 15-year-old boy has asked Reddit users for advice on how to get vaccinated without the consent of his anti-vaxx mother. The boy - known only as Danny691261 - has been unsuccessfully trying to convince his mother that'vaccines are safe' for the past four years. In his native Minnesota, 'minors' are reportedly only able to give consent for the hepatitis B jab, with their parents having to sign off all other vaccines. After questioning whether he could forge his mother's signature, Reddit users were quick to warn the teen this is a crime - punished by up to a $5,000 fine (around £3,810) or even three years behind bars. Feeling he had exhausted his options, Danny signed off saying it looks like he is going to have to wait until he turns 18. 'Danny' said: 'I am writing because I am the 15 year old son of an anti-vaccine parent.


Instagram will BLOCK anti-vaxxer hashtags in crackdown on medical fake news

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Instagram will block anti-vaxx hashtags in an ongoing attempt to crack down on medical misinformation being shared on the social-media site. The Facebook-owned company announced it will minimise'recommendations of this content and accounts that post it'.