So Instagram (which is owned by the insidious, anti-democratic Facebook, natch) is directing potentially millions of users to anti-vax propaganda, John Berman said on CNN this morning.
"More people than ever now are looking for information about the vaccine, particularly as we've seen it's now approved for younger teenagers. But take a look at what's happening when you search for vaccines on Instagram," CNN's Donie O'Sullivan said.
"Look at these tweets from Jocelyn Hook, a great reporter at the Washington Post who pointed this out. Among the top accounts being recommended, Moms Against Vaccines. The other side of vaccines. This is not in some dark corner of the internet, of Facebook, of Instagram. This is actually what Instagram is recommending to millions, potentially, of its users.
"And worse again, a second one of Jocelyn's tweets. What happens when you click into an account and follow one of these anti-vax accounts? Instagram recommends you follow more anti-vax accounts. They're recommending to users they go follow more anti-vax accounts. Why does all of this matter? Instagram last night, when we raised this issue with them, they came back and they tweeted a statement to her and said that these accounts have now been banned and that they shouldn't have been searchable.
"But even as I sat with John Avlon this morning, there's more accounts back up there. Anti-vax accounts, even if you type in 'vaccines' this morning. Why does this all matter? Should people be getting their vaccine information or misinformation from Instagram in the first place? Realistically, that's where many people now go to get information and earlier, just a few months ago, we spoke to a mother in Texas who got really pulled down the anti-vax rabbit hole on Facebook. Have a listen."
"You thought if your daughter took the vaccine, she might die."
"That she would. Not 'might,' would. I feel like a lot of the anti-vax moms all found each other all at once. I was getting, like, a friend request per minute. We were all just friending each other. It was weird," Heather Simpson said.
"You said your intent was to inspire some parent to stop their child from getting vaccinated. Do you think you did that?"
"Yeah, I know I did. I've had people tell me that they're not vaccinating because of my post."
"How does that make you feel now?"
"Really bad," Simpson said.
"John, you can see there that, you know, it can start with a simple search on Facebook, on Instagram and you get pulled into these communities as this woman did. Thankfully she's now come out of it, but it does start with something as simple as a search on Instagram," O'Sullivan concluded.
"You search for vaccine and you get back anti-vax content," Berman said.