A new study shows that many websites that promote unscientific views and misinformation to spread the idea that vaccines are dangerous.
Researchers found that nearly 500 anti-vaccination websites examined in the study, nearly two-thirds claimed that vaccines cause autism. However, the fact is that multiple researches have shown that there is no link between vaccines and autism.
‘Researchers found that nearly 500 anti-vaccination websites that promote unscientific views and misinformation to spread the idea that vaccines are dangerous.’
AdvertisementSome websites also cited actual peer-reviewed researches as their sources of information, but they misrepresented the results of these researches.
"So the science itself was strong, but the way it was being interpreted was not very accurate.It was being distorted to support an anti-vaccine agenda," said study author Meghan Moran, an associate professor in Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School's Department of Health, Behavior and Society.
The study looked at websites with content about childhood vaccines. The researchers used four search engines to find the sites — Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask Jeeves.
They searched for terms including "immunization dangers" and "vaccine danger" as well as other phrases. Their final list of 480 anti-vaccination sites included a mix of personal websites, blogs, Facebook pages and health websites.