Doctors on Facebook are harassed by anti-vaxxers


Facebook is being targeted because anti-vaccination activists are harassing doctors on the platform.

The social network, criticized by Google for allowing the release of anti-vaccination content, was called in The Guardian by Elias Kass, naturopathic vaccine, who was flooded with vitriol after testifying before a committee of the Senate. State of Washington. months in favor of a bill that would eliminate personal and philosophical exemptions for childhood vaccinations and make them mandatory.

The doctor's Facebook page was full of critics of a star and he was described as "disgrace", "pedophile" and "Nazi pharma shill". According to the UK news website, it has disabled the review feature of the page, but users were still able to write comments on publications. Kass has finally created a photo gallery containing hundreds of screenshots of abusive comments.


"Their goal is to tell my patients what a bad person I am, so I lose business," Kass told The Guardian. "That made me reluctant to engage online."

This type of harassment is the latest manifestation of an anti-vaxxers movement that has spread its message and developed in part thanks to Facebook's algorithms and policies.

The Guardian reports that Kass's harassment appears to have been caused in part by two anti-vaccine activists named Larry Cook and Erin Elizabeth, who have built many sites on Facebook. The mandatory Cook & # 39; s Stop vaccination page has over 128,000 subscribers and offers a range of sponsored messages meant to show the problems associated with vaccination. There is also a Facebook group called Stop Vaccinations Obligatoires with more than 150,000 members. The Elizabeth Facebook page has more than 500,000 subscribers and she runs a closed Facebook group called Holistic Lives Matter, which has about 53,000 members.

The World Health Organization calls anti-vaxxers a "major global threat," adding that "reluctance to vaccinate threatens to reverse progress made in the fight against preventable diseases by vaccination".


Cook and Elizabeth both posted links to Kass's Facebook page in their own groups, accompanied by screenshots of his testimony, reports The Guardian.

Since anti-vaccine groups are closed, the content posted in them tends to be one-sided and members are selected prior to joining.

"It shows how Facebook is a key pillar," Kass told The Guardian. "It's their vehicle – without the vehicle, who knows what they would accomplish."

When contacted by Fox News, the social network highlighted a range of changes it has made to address hate speech and misinformation, including the hiring of 30,000 people on its team. security, as well as the use of machine learning and other tools to report content violates its policies.


"We do not tolerate harassment on Facebook. We combine AI, machine learning and manual examination to proactively detect and eliminate harassment across our entire platform, including publications in groups and groups. pages. And since we find that comments can be used to cause harm, we are working to give people the ability to hide or delete multiple comments at once, "a Facebook spokesman told Fox News by email.

Kass, who has been honored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for his work on child immunization, told the British press that he worried about his ability to get in touch with parents now that he was termed "enemy" by these anti-vaccine groups.

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