ISD Analyst Aoife Gallagher and Digital Research Analyst Clara Martiny recent Dispatch on conspiracy communities using predictable tactics to spread falsehoods about the RSV respiratory infection features in The Journal. In it they talk about how these viral narratives about the most recent virus outbreak continue to be recycled and adapted to new diseases, borrowing elements from the claims that circulated about the COVID-19 pandemic and previous anti-vaccine rhetoric that has circulated for years.
“The discourse around RSV and related vaccines is the latest in a somewhat predictable trajectory for communities that became engrossed in science denial, Covid-skepticism and anti-vaccine rhetoric since 2020.”In 2022 alone, these groups and individuals have turned their attention to spreading false information about monkeypox, polio and RSV, with Strep A looking set to be the next target.
“Many involved in these communities have embraced a conspiratorial worldview, which is defined by Professor of Political Science Michael Barkun as having three main components: the belief that everything is connected; that nothing is as it seems; and that nothing happens by accident.
“These viral narratives are often repeated and recycled, borrowing elements from the claims that circulated about the Covid-19 pandemic, or anti-vaccine rhetoric that has circulated for years.”
The full Dispatch is available on our website.