misinformation, disinformation, vaccine, social media, regulation, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, COVID-19, pandemic, measles, algorithm, bots, influencer, European Union, Russia, soft law, anti-vaccine
This essay examines the main characteristics and shortcomings of mainstream social media responses to vaccine misinformation and disinformation. Parts I and II contextualize the recent expansion of vaccine information and disinformation in the online environment. Part III provides a survey and taxonomy of ongoing responses to vaccine misinformation adopted by mainstream social media. It further notes the limitations of current self-regulatory modes and illustrates these limitations by presenting a short case study on Facebook—the largest social media vehicle for vaccine-specific misinformation, currently estimated to harbor approximately half of the social media accounts linked to vaccine misinformation. Part IV examines potential ways to improve stringency of ongoing modes of self-regulation of vaccine misinformation, as well as the creation of cooperative monitoring and mutual assistance networks dedicated to addressing issues specific to the field of vaccine misinformation.
Santos Rutschman, Ana, Social Media Self-Regulation and the Rise of Vaccine Misinformation (February 9, 2021). University of Pennsylvania Journal of Law and Innovation (Forthcoming, 2021).