By now, it's likely that most of us have identified that one relative who often gets drawn in by conspiracy theories. And over the past year, you've likely either blocked them from social media or have been treated to a barrage of bizarre claims about the COVID-19 pandemic and the vaccines developed to combat it in recent months.
Yet it's easy to forget just how many of those relatives exist and how powerful they can be when they come together. As an article in the British Medical Journal expressed, social media campaigns sharing vaccine misinformation can have a predictable effect on vaccine hesitancy within offline communities and affect vaccination rates.
Such research and other concerns of the effect of vaccine hesitancy on efforts to curb the pandemic have previously compelled platforms like Facebook to crack down on anti-vaccine posts and groups on their platforms.
However, an ongoing study within Facebook is already revealing that combating vaccine hesitancy on the platform won't be as simple as that.