STAT April 10, 2022
Shikha Jain, Vineet Arora and Eve Bloomgarden

The war in Ukraine has had an unexpected side effect noted by many health care workers on Twitter: “a bot holiday” — the sudden decline of social media accounts espousing anti-vaccine views and attacking health care workers and scientists trying to correct their disinformation.

While disinformation campaigns are not new, they were once spread through rather primitive vehicles, ranging from door-to-door snake oil peddlers or mass printing of propaganda leaflets. The advent of the internet and social media have transformed the battlefield for disinformation. The army of bots deployed on social media enables false information to be deliberately and widely spread around the world at the speed of light.

While there is global consensus from the World Health Organization, the...

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