In 1885, an anti-vaccination march in Leicester attracted a crowd of at least 80,000 people. They thought that vaccines were ‘unnatural’ and therefore bad, and they didn’t want their children to have the smallpox inoculations that had recently become compulsory in England and Wales. Placards featured slogans like Keep Your Children’s Blood Still Pure, which we can see as a precursor to hashtags like ‘#SavetheChildren’ that promote disinformation on social media today.
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