The Russians continue attempting to disrupt western society and values, this time stirring up controversy and eroding public trust over the health benefits of vaccinations.
The study discovered several accounts, now known to belong to the same Russian trolls who interfered in the US election, as well as marketing and malware bots, tweeting about vaccines.
Russian trolls played both sides, the researchers said, tweeting pro- and anti-vaccine content in a politically charged context.
“These trolls seem to be using vaccination as a wedge issue, promoting discord in American society,” Mark Dredze, a team member and professor of computer science at Johns Hopkins, which was also involved in the study, said.
“By playing both sides, they erode public trust in vaccination, exposing us all to the risk of infectious diseases. Viruses don’t respect national boundaries.”