Anti-vaxxers – fear, anxiety and the psychology of misinformation

Episode 15: Anti-vaxxers – fear, anxiety and the psychology of misinformation

Rafael Behr talks to Imran Ahmed the founder of the Centre for Countering Digital Hate about misinformation.

Show notes

Rafael Behr explores the causes of resistance to vaccine science and its links with far-right propaganda with Imran Ahmed, founder of the Center for Countering Digital Hate.

The chat ranges from the emotional vulnerabilities that lead people to take comfort from conspiracy theories to the political obligations on social media companies to help defend democracy from malevolent, weaponised lies.

Along the way, Rafael and Imran touch on politics, psychology, neuroscience, evolutionary biology, the scientific method, Hugo Boss's Nazi tailoring and some practical advice for dealing with toxic falsehood online.

The two reports mentioned in the episode are Don't Feed the Trolls:

And the Anti-Vaxx Playbook:

Imran also mentions Ashli Babbit who was killed in the Washington DC Capitol riot:

And a Guardian report about the Tuskegee Study Imran discusses:

Our podcast was recently chosen by Feedspot as one of the best 15 English-speaking political science podcasts in the world.

This podcast is hosted by


Rafael Behr

Rafael Behr

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Imran Ahmed

Imran Ahmed

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