sAccording to the NPR broadcaster’s compilation, between January 1 and March 17, 2021, roughly every two days, it was “a story about a person who died after being vaccinated,” which was among the most popular articles on social media.
To the point of introducing distortion: a private citizen’s Facebook feed can actually give them the impression that something interesting is happening.
NPR is seizing the opportunity to recall that according to recent data from the US Center for Disease Control, lightning strikes are three times more likely to strike us.
This aggregation invokes a fundamental dimension of disinformation: Not only is misinformation important, but its spreading and repetition. In this case, the initial information may not be completely wrong: the person has already died shortly after being vaccinated. Except that there is no confirmation of an association: Millions of people die every day around the world (8,000 people per day in the US alone), so in a large-scale vaccination campaign it is statistically inevitable that some vaccines die within days of injection.
According to this compilation, which was carried out with data from the US company Newswhip, the “most common vaccine story” would be an article in the newspaper. Florida Sun Sentinel, Taken by Chicago TribuneOn a doctor who died a few weeks after receiving his vaccine. Although the article explicitly states no link, it handled 5 million interactions on Facebook and Twitter.
It is a feature of the human mind, says professor of communication science Dean Freelon: “to focus on breathtaking stories and remove the most representative stats.”