Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, social media platforms have become well-known for both disseminating misinformation and conspiracy theories as well as acting as valuable information sources concerning the novel coronavirus and governments’ efforts to manage and contain COVID. Facebook in particular – the world’s most popular social media site – has been singled out as a key platform for naysayers such as anti-vaccination exponents and ‘sovereign citizens’ to express their resentment at containment measures such as lockdowns, quarantine and self-isolation regulations, vaccination mandates and face-covering rules.
What rationales and beliefs underpin these arguments? How and to what extent are they contested or debated on Facebook? What rhetorical strategies are employed by commentators to attempt to persuade others that their views/facts are correct?
To explore these questions, I chose a case study of a short video (2 minutes 5 seconds long) shared by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Facebook on…
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