Dangerous DIY baby formula recipes go viral amid shortage

On Facebook, posts sharing a photo for a 1960s recipe for homemade baby formula as a workaround to the shortage were by far the most viral on the platform. Posts containing the recipe photo were shared in hundreds of Facebook groups with names like “Country Girl’s Dream Spaces” and “Mommy Talk Madness,” generating 95,899 interactions in the past year, according to an analysis on CrowdTangle, a social media web tool owned by Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc. Though not everyone in the Facebook groups liked or shared the posts, the DIY recipe may have reached as many as 12.5 million people, the analysis showed.

On some of the posts, Facebook applied a label saying the information listed could mislead people. But on others, including one that collected nearly 1,000 likes and shares, the label wasn’t applied. The company appeared to be labeling posts inconsistently “based on very basic text patterns, such as ‘formula recipe,’” said Edelson, the misinformation researcher…

Many of the instructions shared online were based on a homemade recipe from the Weston Price Foundation, a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., that has also advanced false claims about vaccines, cholesterol and Covid-19. “A better, healthier homemade baby formula recipe,” tweeted Darla Shine, the wife of former President Donald Trump’s onetime communications director, attaching a link to the group’s recipe. “Please pass around.” Her tweet collected 150 likes and shares.The link was shared hundreds more times on Twitter, a CrowdTangle analysis showed. On Facebook, the same link was shared hundreds of times, generating 23,600 likes and shares on the platform. It collected 2,400 more interactions on Instagram. Shine did not respond to a request for comment.

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