November 22, 2023 | Newtral

Wellness influencers shift toward anti-climate conspiracies as pandemic subsides

Wellness and ‘New Age’ social media influencers became a hub for COVID-19 and vaccine misinformation in 2020. But as the pandemic subsides, these influencers have shifted their gears to intertwine anti-climate misinformation and denial narratives with health concerns, as outlined in a recent investigation by ISD Research Manager Cécile Simmons. Spanish fact-checking outlet Newtral covers our findings extensively focusing on the wellness world’s shift to climate topics. The study analysed 154 English-language Instagram accounts over a year, finding influencers spreading known climate misinformation, attacking climate policies, and exploiting health fears to frame climate issues. The report emphasises the underestimated influence of these accounts, especially as they use specific language and frames that challenge the efficacy of social media content moderation in combating climate misinformation. The findings “shine a light on how related issues are shaped by distinct online communities where influencers can command trust and shape their audiences’ beliefs.”