Viral Vendetta: Inside the Conspiratorial Movement Waging a Cross-Platform 'Psychological Warfare' Campaign Against Covid-19 Vaccine Advocates   [open pdf - 0B]

From the Executive Summary: "On Dec. 1, Meta said [hyperlink] it had removed an 'adversarial network' of authentic, duplicate, and fake accounts on Facebook linked to a group known as the V_V movement. The network originated in Italy and France, and was used by anti-vaccine activists to harass specific individuals, as well as spread Covid-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] conspiracies and health misinformation. 'The approach behind this group's social media activity appeared to be two-fold,' Meta said. 'First, they sought to mass-harass individuals with pro-vaccination views into making their posts private or deleting them. Second, they tried to take advantage of popular Pages' audiences to spread anti-vaccination misinformation through commenting at high volume.' Graphika has tracked [hyperlink] the growth [hyperlink] of conspiratorial movements online throughout the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, seeking to understand how these communities have evolved, and to what extent they have enabled real-world and online harms. In the case of V_V, we have observed what appears to be a sprawling populist movement that has combined pre-existing conspiracy theories with anti-authoritarian narratives, and a groundswell of health misinformation. The group claims to be a self-organizing collective of internet 'warriors' engaged in a guerilla 'psychological warfare' campaign against the oppressive forces of 'medical Nazism.' [...] This report aims to contribute to the basis for an informed discussion about how to tackle those challenges by providing an in-depth understanding of the V_V movement, its activities, and organizational structure."

2021 Graphika
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