Anti-vaccine writers have earned upward of $2.5 million with newsletters featuring misinformation on the publishing platform Substack, researchers say. The Center for Countering Digital Hate found that five newsletters alone raked in the huge sum. Joseph Mercola, who has long been seen by experts as one of the most influential spreaders of COVID-19 misinformation, pulled in $1 million in a single year by charging subscribers $50 for his newsletter. COVID contrarian journalist Alex Berenson also got in on the action, earning $1.2 million with a newsletters that costs subscribers $60. Controversial virologist Robert Malone, anonymous writer Eugyppius, and tech entrepreneur Steven Kirsch brought in the remaining $300,000 with newsletters on the platform. The chief executive of the Center for Countering Digital Hate has called on Substack to do more to filter out the dangerous misinformation. “They could just say no. This isn’t about freedom; this is about profiting from lies,” Imran Ahmed was quoted saying by The Guardian.
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