Leading anti-vaxx influencers promote Jew-hate to hundreds of thousands

EXCLUSIVE: New claims super-spreaders of vaccine disinformation are incorporating antisemitic conspiracy theories into their messaging


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Some of the top 12 super-spreaders of vaccine disinformation are using their vast networks to disseminate antisemitic material, an anti-extremism group has warned.
The 12 accounts are “responsible for almost two-thirds of anti-vaccine content” online, the Centre for Countering Digital Hate has said in a new report.
Their false claims have seen up to 29 million times since 25 March, the CCDH said.
The CCDH also told the JC that it had uncovered several antisemitic posts published by three of the accounts in a survey of their activity on Twitter, Telegram and Instagram.
The material includes a post - discovered on Telegram and attributed to Sherri Tenpenny – which says “the CEOs of the major vaccine manufacturers are Jews”. The account has more than 47,600 followers. 

Several tweets visible on Rizza Islam’s feed - which has around 54,700 followers - contain claims Jewish people control sectors such as banking and the media. 
An Instagram post shared by Erin Elizabeth maintains “global elites are running the show… #Rockefeller #Epstein #Weinstein #ExposeBillGates…” while the accompanying graphic contained conspiracy theories about peer Jacob Rothschild. 
The post was taken down for breaching the site’s hate speech policy after the JC reached out to Instagram’s parent company, Facebook, for comment. 
The company updated its hate speech policy last year to ban some forms​ of implicit hate speech including harmful stereotypes about Jewish people controlling the world. 
Ms Elizabeth, who has 125,700 followers, denied accusations of antisemitism, saying she’d had “no idea what his religion” was. 
Twitter has said that none of the tweets flagged breached its rules. 
A spokesperson said the company prioritises “the removal of content when it has a clear call to action that could potentially cause real-world harm, that may contain misleading information, and take escalated enforcement action on repeat violators of this policy.”
CCDH chief Imran Ahmed says some anti-vaxxers are “introducing new audiences to old conspiracy theories and hatred” in addition to “putting the success of the vaccine rollout in jeopardy.”
“It’s no surprise to see many of the most prominent superspreaders of anti-vaccine disinformation have also engaged in antisemitism.
“The worldview preached by anti-vaxxers, which states that the global pandemic and vaccine programmes were all planned by a shadowy global elite, are just a step away from prominent antisemitic conspiracy theories,” he told the JC. 
A Facebook company spokesperson said it had  “connected over 2 billion people to resources from health authorities, including through our COVID-19 Information Center.” 

Twitter said it had removed over 22,400 tweets as part of its covid-19 misleading information policy.

Telegram was approached for comment.

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