Anti-vax Facebook groups changing names to ‘dance parties’ as social network attempts misinformation crackdown




Anti-vaccination Facebook groups are changing their names to “Dance Party” or “Dinner Party,” to skirt bans from the site, as the company attempts to crack down on coronavirus misinformation.

According to an investigation by NBC News, one major “dance party” group has more than 40,000 followers and has stopped allowing new users amid public scrutiny. The backup group for “Dance Party,” known as “Dinner Party” and created by the same moderators, has more than 20,000 followers.

Groups write in coded language to fly under the radar, NBC reports. One refers to vaccinated people as “swimmers”, for instance, and describes getting a jab as joining a “swim club”. Meanwhile, “danced” or “drank beer” mean “got the vaccine.” References to “Pfizer” generally use the terms “pizza” or “Pizza King,” and Moderna is referred to as “Moana.”

One group member said her husband had become ill after going on a “cross country trip where we spent 2 nights with dancers,” referring to two people who had just been vaccinated, for instance.

“He believes that by being around those who have danced the glitter caused the shingles reactivation,” the group member wrote. The glitter, in this case, refers to “vaccine shedding,” a false theory among anti-vaccine activists that claims people who have been vaccinated are “shedding” their vaccine onto the unvaccinated, and causing them to become ill.

It comes as President Joe Biden urged social media to do more to combat misinformation during his town hall speech. “They’re killing people,” he said.

Meanwhile, a Facebook spokesperson told NBC the company is “helping save lives” by combatting misinformation. Facebook began to crack down on vaccine misinformation in 2019 and pledged in 2020 to take swift action against Covid misinformation.

The Conversation (0)