How Mainstreaming of Anti Vaxxers Granted Conspiracy Theorists a Covid-19 Spotlight

In January 2020, before we were familiar with Covid-19, Alex Jones’ channel, Infowars, hosted Del Bigtree — a producer, and antivax streamer — to explain the “vaccine choice’’ protests held in New Jersey. Bigtree went from criticizing vaccination legislation to rooting what he considers scientists’ false belief in vaccines, then to a WHO vaccine “safety scandal” and to the claim that pharma owns the media and is trying to censor him. With those claims, Bigtree, an occasional guest at Inforwars, has grown his online audience over the past couple of years via his weekly show featuring antivax, pseudoscience and wellness experts. But as social media companies have clamped down on ads and changed recommendation algorithms he found another way to create buzz. Throughout 2019, as more states across the U.S. pushed legislation to limit vaccine exemptions, Bigtree live-streamed protests in multiple state capitals, and spoke alongside Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and other prominent antivax activists.

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Del Bigtee giving an interview to Alex Jones at Infowars studio
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Dr. Judy Mikovits “allegations” against Dr. Fauci went viral in antivax community back in 2017.
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Data: Crowdtangle
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The invite to the May 2019 anti-vax event at the ultra-Orthodox town of Monsey, NY. Source: GreaterLakewood.com

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