Wednesday, November 4, 2015, 1:27 PM
Anti-vaccine websites use a clever mixture of heart-wrenching stories, pseudoscience and outright deceit to convince parents not to vaccinate their children, according to a new study.
Researchers unearthed 500 anti-vaccination websites through Google, Bing, Yahoo and (because, why the heck not?) Ask Jeeves, to understand the tactics vaccine skeptics employ to scare parents into opting out of life-saving shots. They then sorted the false claims found on each website into categories. Here’s a summary of the misinformation and underhanded tactics that anti-vaxxers resort to online:
One of the recurring themes in anti-vaccine propaganda is an appeal to authority or—worse—science. Roughly 60 percent of the anti-vaccination websites reference out-dated or patently false “scientific studies”, scientists say, and more than half invoke so-called “scientific authorities”.