Vaccine Misinformation for Profit: Conspiratorial Wellness Influencers and the Monetization of Alternative Health

Rachel E. Moran, Anna L. Swan, Taylor Agajanian


Influencers in the alternative health and wellness space have leveraged the affordances of social media to make posting misleading content and misinformation a lucrative endeavor. This research project extends knowledge of antivaccine misinformation through an examination of the role of social media influencers and the parasocial relationships they build with audiences in the spread of vaccine-opposed messaging and how this information is leveraged for profit. Through digital ethnography and media immersion, we focus on three prominent antivaccine influencers—the Wellness Homesteader, Conspiratorial Fashionista, and Evangelical Mother—analyzing how they build community on Instagram, promote antivaccination messaging, and weaponize this information to direct their followers to buy products and services.


Instagram, misinformation, antivaccine, influencers, wellness culture, social media monetization

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