A Turn-of-the-Century ‘Vaccine Revolt’ in Brazil Carries Seeds of Today

Anti-Science Arguments, Mistrust of Public Health, and Fake News Incited the 1904 Uprising Against Mandatory Smallpox Immunization

On November 9, 1904, the Brazilian newspaper A Notícia published the government’s vaccination plan against smallpox.

The following day, the so-called Vaccine Revolt began in Rio de Janeiro, then the country’s capital. The popular uprising left at least 30 dead and shook the structures of Brazil’s then-young republic.

The circumstances that led to this unprecedented revolt—a swirl of anti-science arguments, denialism about the benefits of vaccination, and fake news about the effectiveness of the vaccine—are not too distant from what’s happening in Brazil today. As with smallpox in the early 20th century, …

Ending the Disinformation Era | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Ending the Disinformation Era

In an Age of Distrust, Local Media Is Our Secret Weapon

After an election, an attempted insurrection, and a transfer of power defined in part by a massive amount of disinformation, what would it take to get Americans to begin trusting …

Conspiracy and Complicity Got Our Democracy Here | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Conspiracy and Complicity Got Our Democracy Here

What Role Have We All Played in the Spread of Disinformation and the Rise of Authoritarianism?

Two phenomena have characterized the outgoing Trump administration and spilled over to other countries around the world. The first is the astonishing power of conspiracy theories. The second is the …

Only You Can Defeat Vladimir Putin

Russian Interference With America Is Profound and Systematic, So the Best Self-Defense Is We, the People

Vladimir Putin has done a masterful job of sowing hatred and confusion in the West. By tampering with elections, hijacking social media platforms, and cranking out reams of bogus conspiracy …