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Global Health: Russian Trolls Used Vaccine Debate to Sow Discord, Study Finds

“Don’t get #vaccines. Illuminati are behind it.”“Do you still treat your kids with leaves? No? And why don’t you #vaccinate them? It’s medicine!”With messages like those, Russian internet trolls meddling in the 2016 presidential election also lashed out at Americans debating the safety of vaccines, a new study has found. But instead of picking a side, researchers said, the trolls and bots they programmed hurled insults at both pro- and anti-vaccine advocates. Their only intent, the study concluded, seemed to be to raise the level of hostility.“You see this pattern,” said David A. Broniatowski, a computer engineer at George Washington University and lead author of the study,…

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