Just 12 ‘influencers’ are behind two-thirds of anti-vaccination online material, it has been found.
Most anti-vax content is produced by figures from the US, who allege to be political or medical leaders, according to the Centre for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH).
Social media firms have been urged to crack down on anti-vax content by political parties and social media experts in recent weeks.
Speaking to Sky News, the chief executive of the CCDH, Imran Ahmed, said there the most effective content creators first lured users in with other health-related posta.
Posts relating to wellness or fertility were gradually linked to vaccination, Ahmed said.
Social media platform’s algothirims mean that users are provided with content related to posts they have previously engaged with or watched. This leads to anti-vax views becoming normalised for users, Ahmed said.
“All the platforms care about is content that people will spend time on so they can serve them adverts at the same time… they are reluctant to take any credible action,” he told Sky News.
The government is readying itself to introduce a new online safety bill, which will impose further statutory legal duties on social media firms to tackle misinformation.
This could see social media platforms forced to remove damaging content or face fines.
Popular anti-vaxxers on Instagram, Facebook and Telegram have amassed almost 1.5 m followers, analysis compiled by Labour has found.
Up to 90 per cent of coronavirus patients in intensive care in England have not had their third booster vaccine, the Prime Minister said earlier this month.