Table 2

Rhetorical appeals and explicit claims

% sites
Rhetorical appeal
Evidence of authority and scientific rigour
Quasi official27
“Scientific” references75
Claim to present both sides33
Actually present both sides15
Links to proimmunisation groups31
Emotive appeals
Us and them99
Responsible parenting67
Horror stories39
Back to nature41
Evidence of conspiracy, search for truth
Cover up88
Excavation of the facts98
Free and informed choice86
Support of rebel doctors56
Foolish doctors87
Unholy alliance for profit62
Towards totalitarianism79
Explicit claims
Diseases are trivial38
Vaccines harmful99
Vaccines ineffective83
Vaccines kill63
Erode immune system54
Natural lifestyle gives immunity39
Alternative health superior45
Infectious diseases declined for other reasons57
Diseases caused
Idiopathic ills (various)93
Sudden infant death syndrome63
Brain damage71
Multiple sclerosis34