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Amazon, Facebook, and other streaming and social media platforms are finally cracking down on antivaccine misinformation

Over the last two weeks, Amazon, YouTube, Facebook, and other social media platforms started to crackdown on the spread of antivaccine misinformation on their services. Will it be enough?

Having written about quackery in general and, in particular, antivaccine pseudoscience for over 14 years now, I like to think that I’m in a position to notice trends. I do, of course, realize that my perception of the existence of such trends could well be a product of confirmation bias or other selective memory; on the other hand, I think I’m probably on to something. For instance, when during my first full year of blogging in 2005, I noticed a tendency of the press that used to drive me crazy. Whenever there was a story about vaccines or autism, pretty much every journalist writing or producing every news story seemed to feel obligated to include a quote or interview with someone from “the other side” (i.e., antivaxers) for “balance.” Many were the posts I wrote back then railing about this tendency towards false balance; these days, I see a lot less of it, and I can’t recall the last time I’ve written a rant about it. These days, stories about vaccines and antivaxers tend to be much more science-based and much less prone to “false balance”. Also, thanks to multiple measles outbreaks, antivaxers are taking a beating in the court of public opinion—and deservedly so. Unfortunately, there are two media areas where antivaxers still have pretty much free reign. One is social media, primarily (but not limited to) Facebook and Twitter. The other is streaming services such as Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Hulu, where quack propaganda movies have long been readily available, including antivaccine movies like VAXXED. Fortunately, that is changing, as you will see.

Before I discuss the developments over the last couple of weeks regarding streaming platforms and social media’s promotion of antivaccine pseudoscience, let me remind you taht it’s not just antivaxers, either. For instance, a month ago, it was announced that Netflix is teaming up with Gwyneth Paltrow and Goop to produce a series for the streaming service. As Variety reported:

Goop, the lifestyle and wellness juggernaut founded a decade ago by Oscar winner Gwyneth Paltrow, is expanding its original content efforts with a new docuseries at Netflix, an exclusive podcast partnership with Delta Air Lines, and a slew of programming centered around beauty, food, and books.

Still untitled, Goop’s streaming series will hit Netflix this fall and consist of 30-minute episodes hosted by the site’s editors, chief content officer Elise Loehnen and Paltrow. The team will utilize experts, doctors, and researchers to examine issues relating to physical and spiritual wellness.

As I’ve written before multiple times here, although it is best known for Jade Eggs that it recommends that women place in their vaginas, Goop is a wretched hive of scum and quackery that has featured quacks ranging from “holistic psychiatrist” Kelly Brogan (who is both rabidly antivaccine and an HIV/AIDS denialist) to Mark Hyman, to a number of other quacks, psychic mediums, and other purveyors of New Age woo. No doubt, the upcoming Netflix series will continue to market the same prescientific, pseudoscientific, and mystical nonsense that is encompassed and promoted by the Goop brand.

What’s more interesting, however, is what happened at Amazon Prime and YouTube recently.

Amazon Prime, YouTube, and antivaxers

Nearly two weeks ago, CNN Business published a story, “Anti-vaccination conspiracy theories thrive on Amazon“. Basically, CNN noted something that those of us who’ve paid attention to the antivaccine movement have known for a long time, namely that streaming services frequently offer what I like to call quack documentary movies, or, more properly, quack infomercials and propaganda disguised as legitimate documentaries. The problem goes way beyond just antivaccine documentaries, but CNN focused on antivaccine movies and books:

Amid a growing measles outbreak in the United States, the role of powerful tech companies like YouTube and Facebook in spreading vaccine misinformation is under heavy scrutiny.

But there is another massive platform offering spurious anti-vaccination content to people seeking information, a review by CNN Business reveals: Amazon, the world’s largest online marketplace. And, asked about it, an Amazon spokesperson only pointed CNN Business to the company’s content guidelines page, which says the following: “As a bookseller, we provide our customers with access to a variety of viewpoints, including books that some customers may find objectionable. That said, we reserve the right not to sell certain content, such as pornography or other inappropriate content.”

A recent search for “vaccine” on Amazon (AMZN) yielded a search page dominated by anti-vaccination content. Of the 18 books and movies listed on the search page, 15 contained anti-vaccination content. The first listing was a sponsored post — that is, an ad for which Amazon was paid — for the book “Vaccines on Trial: Truth and Consequences of Mandatory Shots” by Pierre St. Clair, which Amazon was also offering for free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers.
Among the search results were books and movies that made their anti-vaccination stance clear in their titles, like the movies “We Don’t Vaccinate!” and “Shoot ‘Em Up: The Truth About Vaccines.”

And, of course, as I’ve long known, Amazon Prime did offer Andrew Wakefield and Del Bigtree’s antivaccine conspiracy epic VAXXED, which I described as “antivaccine propaganda at its most pernicious” when it first came out and how it featured the “CDC whistleblower” conspiracy theory, which claimed that a “whistleblower” (CDC scientist William Thompson) made a claim that the CDC had destroyed evidence demonstrating that MMR vaccination was associated with an increased risk of autism in African-American boys. It was a conspiracy theory whose birth I watched in August 2014, it is not what antivaxers claim, and the science presented to support it is epidemiological nonsense.

According to CNN:

Amazon also offers its Prime members a number of anti-vaccination movies for free viewing on Prime Video, like “VAXXED: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe,” which was dropped from the Tribeca Film Festival in 2016 following a public outcry.

Its director, Andrew Wakefield, has played a central role in spreading anti-vaccine propaganda. Wakefield was part of a team of researchers who published a 1998 study that became the basis for the anti-vaccination movement. The study was later retracted and Wakefield was stripped of his medical license.

Amazon declined to comment on how much it was paid for the ad for “Vaccines on Trial” or whether it has accepted money to promote any other anti-vaccination books or movies.

My guess: Quite a bit.

It’s not just Amazon and Amazon Prime that have been facilitating the spread of antivaccine conspiracy theories. A recent BuzzFeed report described how YouTube was recommending antivaccine content in its searches and after users watched any video related to vaccines:

For example, last week, a YouTube search for “immunization” in a session unconnected to any personalized data or watch history produced an initial top search result for a video from Rehealthify that says vaccines help protect children from certain diseases. But YouTube’s first Up Next recommendation following that video was an anti-vaccination video called “Mom Researches Vaccines, Discovers Vaccination Horrors and Goes Vaccine Free” from Larry Cook’s channel. He is the owner of the popular anti-vaccination website StopMandatoryVaccination.com.

In fairness, the results were mixed, but there was a lot of antivaccine misinformation that came up in vaccine-related searches:

But while in some cases search queries like “should i vaccinate my kids” led to authoritative sources and entertainment, in other cases, the exact same search led down a misleading path. In one instance, after a search for “should i vaccinate my kids,” YouTube played a pro-vaccine video called “Why Are Vaccines Required Before My Child Goes to School?” from the Philadelphia Children’s Hospital but followed it with a recommendation for “Mom Researches Vaccines, Discovers Vaccination Horrors and Goes Vaccine Free.” That was followed by “You’ll Be Glad You Watched This Before Vaccinating Your Child!” from iHealthTube, which was followed by three videos in a row featuring anti-vaccination activists Dr. Sherri Tenpenny and Dr. Suzanne Humphries.

Regular readers will be familiar with Tenpenny and Humphries. Both are radical antivaccine activists. Also, videos from VAXXED TV featured prominently. Just this weekend, I did some searches on YouTube for vaccine-related topics, and the results were noticeably less loaded with antivaccine videos than when I did it a week ago.

Of course, popular YouTube content producers could make quite a bit of money running ads during the videos featured on their channels, because ad revenue is based on the number of times the video is viewed. So it is a big deal that YouTube now prohibits antivaccine channels from monetizing their videos by running ads; lack of monetization will hinder the ability of the owners of such channels to make new antivaccine videos. However, I can’t help but note that that doesn’t fix the problem of those videos being on YouTube in the first place and showing up so prominently in searches. YouTube claims that it’s tweaking its “Up Next” recommendation algorithm to prevent the spread of antivaccine videos. We’ll just have to wait and see how successful that is, but I’m somewhat hopeful. I also went to the VAXXED TV channel this weekend and clicked on some videos, and the Up Next list had basically no antivaccine videos listed, which is way better than what I observed a week ago.

But what about Amazon? Apparently Amazon was not happy about the negative publicity that the CNN Business story sent its way. A mere two days later, I received this email from the VAXXED crew (yes, I’m on the mailing list). Here’s what it said:

The pro-pharma folk have won a significant victory today against safer vaccines and health freedom. Following Rep. Adam Schiff’s letter to Google and Facebook, Pinterest responded by removing searches about safer vaccines and vaccine injury so those who are questioning vaccines or want to learn more about the risks can no longer find this information and are limiting advertising possibilities. YouTube also made the decision to limit the monetization of vaccine-questioning content on their platform.

Rep. Schiff sent a second letter to Amazon this morning, which resulted in Vaxxed being removed from Amazon Video, including Prime and streaming. It was available to stream in the U.S., UK, Canada and Australia and had been readily available since 2016 with Amazon earning healthy margins, especially on Prime.

Here’s the rationale Amazon provided for why it pulled Vaxxed:

Availability Issue: We are always listening to customer feedback and iterating on their behalf. During a quality assurance review, we found that the following title contains content that doesn’t meet our customer content quality expectations. As a result, all offers (“Included with Prime”, Buy, and Rent) have been removed. We will not be accepting resubmission of the impacted titles. This will not impact any royalties accrued through the date it was removed and will follow standard payment timelines.

Yes, pressure is working. Not only has YouTube taken actions to make it almost impossible for makers of antivaccine video content to monetize their wares, but Amazon removed antivaccine videos, including VAXXED from its streaming service.

What about Netflix and Hulu?

Of course, Amazon Prime is a major streaming service, and YouTube is a ubiquitous source of all manner of videos, but they’re not the only game in town. That made me wonder: What about Netflix and Hulu, the other major streaming services that feature a wide variety of content? So I did a search on Netflix this weekend for the word “vaccine”. The first movie that came up was What the Health? Oddly enough, it’s a documentary that touts a vegan diet as the healthiest, but, as Harriet Hall pointed out when she reviewed the movie, it also features all manner of conspiracy theories claiming that major health organizations and government agencies have been “bought” by Big Food and Big Pharma and are conspiring to hide the truth from the public. I saw no mention of vaccines in the trailer for the film, but I did see a whole lot of pharma bashing and conspiracy mongering.

So, not wanting to sit through the whole quackfest, given that Harriet had already done so, I skimmed it on Netflix to see if there were any mention of vaccines. From what I saw, I concluded that, if anything, Harriet was too easy on this movie. I’ve rarely seen such a load of New Age codswallop in a single film featuring a veritable boatload of quacks. However, I found almost nothing about vaccines, although I did see a lot of references to “toxins”. Either way, it’s a quack film.

Other films that my search produced included Rotten, which purports to reveal the “dirty secrets” of our food supply, Take Your Pills, Heal (a film featuring Deepak Chopra), The Magic Pill (a film about ketogenic diets), and a number of other films that had no apparent relationship to vaccines, such as FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened. There didn’t appear to be any obviously flagrant antivaccine films, although there were definitely quack documentaries popping up. So I did a search on “immunization” and another on “autism”. The results were similar: Some quack movies, some non-quack movies, and no obviously antivaccine movies. Bizarrely, two of the results that showed up high in my search were Tidying Up with Marie Kondo and FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened. Go figure.

What about Hulu? I did similar searches on this streaming platform and found no obviously antivaccine content. No obviously quacky movies came up in these searches, either. This led me to wonder: What about other forms of quack “documentaries” other than antivaccine movies. After all, as I noted about Amazon Prime in a Tweetstorm the other day:

Yes, Burzynski: Cancer Cure Cover-up and Cancer Can Be Killed, the first a hagiography of cancer quack Stanislaw Burzynski and the second movie a propaganda film for cancer quackery, are still very much available on Amazon Prime. The Burzynski documentary appears to be a combination of the two Burzynski documentaries that I’ve reviewed before on this very blog edited down to one movie, while Cancer Can Be Killed has also been reviewed by Harriet Hall and found to be propaganda for cancer quackery.

Antivaccine movies are gone, but quack movies aplenty remain

Given that observation, I decided to do some similar searches on all three of the main streaming platforms plus YouTube using cancer-related terms in order to see what sort of quackery comes up. I limited myself to cancer because it was a manageable task for a single blog post and started with Amazon Prime and the simplest possible search, the word “cancer”. The first movie that came up was a very good one, the PBS docu-series based on the book by cancer doctor and researcher Siddhartha Mukherjee, Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies. So far, so good. I saw that series when it aired on PBS, and it was excellent. Another film that came up was A Few Things About Cancer, a documentary about “a newlywed couple’s quarter-life crisis through stage four cancer.”

Unfortunately, the next few films in the search were not so good:

  • Cancer Can Be Killed. I’ve already discussed this film in this post.
  • The Answer To Cancer. Its blurb: “In Calcutta, India, the Banerji Protocol, named for a 150-year-old dynasty of doctors and based on the research of homeopathy founder Samuel Hahnemann, can naturally cure cancer and other chronic diseases. The Answer to Cancer is a documentary of this revolutionary alternative cancer treatment.” Yes, it’s a movie about treating cancer with homeopathy, dangerous quackery.
  • Healing Cancer from the Inside Out. Its blurb: “The video covers the failings of conventional treatments and how cancer can be successfully healed with dietary treatments and natural supplementation. Participants include T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D. (The China Study), Brian Clement, Ph.D. (Hippocrates Health Institute), Charlotte Gerson (The Gerson Institute), Mirea Ellis (The Kushi Institute) and many more.” Holy crap! Brian Clement? The Gerson protocol? It doesn’t get quackier than that. This is more dangerous quackery.
  • The Big Secret. Its blurb: “This documentary explores the truth behind some of today’s most widely-accepted medical practices, and seeks to expose how the focus on corporate profits influences traditional medical treatment in the United States.” This one definitely sounds dodgy. It could be a legitimate expose of corporate malfeasance, or not. So I checked out the movie’s website, and the answer is: Yes, it’s a quack movie, featuring quacks like Stephanie Seneff (the one who predicted that by 2030 100% of children born that year will become autistic), Kelly Brogan, a functional medicine quack Filomena Trindade, Dale Bredesen (the one who claims to be able to cure Alzheimer’s disease), and a host of other cancer quacks.
  • Burzynski: Cancer Cure Cover Up. I’ve discussed Burzynski more times than I can remember on this blog. My favorite summary is this article I wrote for Skeptical Inquirer five years ago.

Most of the rest of the results were dramas involving cancer or standard documentaries about some aspect of cancer or another, but, as you can see, there were plenty of quack movies. Now let’s move on to Netflix. I’ll give Netflix credit. I didn’t see any obviously quacky movies in its search results, just a lot of cancer-related dramas and documentaries—and comedy. (Indeed, amusingly the first result was Denis Leary’s 1992 standup comedy special No Cure for Cancer.) I did a similar search on Hulu, which returned a mix of the conventional and bizarre, for instance Stand Up To Cancer, VICE Special Report: Killing Cancer, and RX Early Detection: A Cancer Journey with Sandra Lee, mixed with a whole lot of movies and TV shows about dancing and dancers. So basically Hulu and Netflix did OK.

It was with trepidation that I moved on to YouTube last week, where, as you might guess, the results were not so good. Prominent in the first page of results were videos like a Great Day Houston segment touting a new reality series about Stanislaw Burzynski patients called My Cancer Free Life; episode one of cancer quack Ty Bollinger’s video series The Truth About Cancer: A Global Quest, which Harriet has reviewed and found to be full of quackery and that I mentioned to discuss an episode that marketed the cancer quackery Rigvir; Every Cancer Can be Cured in Weeks explains Dr. Leonard Coldwell; How Laetrile (B-17 or Amygdalin) effectively destroys cancer cells; Top 20 Cancer Killing Foods; Cancer Cures: FDA Corruption In America; Murdered for Curing Cancer: The Story of Dr. Max Gerson w/ Dr. Patrick Vickers; and many other videos promoting quackery. True, there were videos that appeared to be science-based (e.g., Introduction to Cancer Biology (Part 4): Angiogenesis and What is cancer radiotherapy and how does it work?), but my estimate is that about 75% of the search results on the first page were videos promoting quackery. I also know your mileage may vary because Google tailors your results based on your search history, but there’s no denying that there’s a heck of a lot of cancer quackery on YouTube that pops up in search results. When I repeated the search this weekend, the results were similar, except that a lot of stories about Alex Trebek’s recent diagnosis of stage 4 pancreatic cancer were mixed in.

The problem goes beyond antivaccine pseudoscience

So Amazon Prime and YouTube have taken action to limit the reach of antivaccine propaganda, Prime Video by removing antivaccine content and YouTube by demonetizing antivaccine content. Even so, I can’t help but note that Prime Video hasn’t quite managed to remove all antivaccine content. For instance, it still offers the film Trace Amounts: Autism, Mercury, and the Hidden Truth as part of its link with Food Matters TV. Indeed, as subscribers know, if you have an Amazon Prime subscription, you can also pay extra add subscriptions to a number of other streaming services through Amazon and access their content through Prime Video rather than needing a separate app. (I never do this because I think the Amazon Prime app is a confusing, ugly mess and would thus rather access the other streaming service to which I subscribe, BritBox through its own app.) As a result of noticing this, I found a number of other very quacky movies on Prime Video, such as Mobilize (a “cell phone radiation will kill you”-type of documentary); Cut, Poison, Burn (yes, a cancer quackery-promoting film), and The Great Culling: Our Water (a fear mongering film about water fluoridation). You get the idea. Amazon Prime still has a long way to go, even with regard to removing antivaccine content. In addition, I’ve already described the quackery available on YouTube and how YouTube’s search algorithms seem to favor the quackery over scientifically sound content. Basically, from my unscientific perusal of their content, my assessment is that, as far as wretched hives of scum and quackery in the mainstream (as opposed to alternative medicine) online video world go, YouTube is, hands down, the worst. After that I would have said that it was definitely Amazon Prime followed by Netflix, but Netflix is in business with Gwyneth Paltrow and Goop and I view actively producing quack propaganda to be a far worse offense against science than simply hosting already existing quack propaganda. That means Netflix edges out Prime. Finally, Hulu appears, by far, to host the least amount of pseudoscientific and quack content.

So what should be done? I note that the problem goes far beyond just antivaccine pseudoscience. In fact, it goes beyond streaming platforms. For instance, Facebook has become a major hub through which antivaccine messages are amplified and spread, as has Twitter, where Russian bots might even be further amplifying antivaccine fear mongering and pseudoscience.

Meanwhile, Pinterest, a social media platform on which 80 percent of mothers and 38 percent of fathers in the United States have accounts, hobbled its search box so that searches for vaccine-related terms, such as “vaccine”, “vaccination”, and “antivax” don’t turn up any results. It is a rather radical method intended as a temporary stopgap measure while a permanent solution is developed.

Two weeks ago, in response to pressure, Facebook announced that it would soon take action against misinformation about vaccines:

Public health experts have pointed fingers at social media platforms, saying that false claims that vaccines cause autism and other diseases have frightened parents into refusing to vaccinate, resulting in the current measles outbreak that started in Washington state.

The Facebook representative, who asked not to be named, said the social media giant is working with health experts to decide what changes to make and considering a combination of approaches to handle vaccine misinformation. These approaches wouldn’t take misinformation off Facebook but rather make it less prominent.

For example, groups that promote vaccine misinformation wouldn’t show up in the list of groups that Facebook recommends users join. Also, Facebook would make sure that posts containing vaccine misinformation would appear farther down in a user’s newsfeed.

And:

Facebook is also considering making changes in its advertising policy, according to the representative. A CNN search on Facebook’s archived advertisement website found that several groups that promote false information about vaccines are advertising on the site.

Another change would involve putting results with vaccine misinformation farther down when people search for certain terms. This could result in major changes. According to recent CNN searches on Facebook, anti-vaccine groups now show up high on the list of results when the word “vaccine” is searched.

And, since those stories last weekend, it appears that FB really has taken the first step to do something, announcing last Thursday:

We are working to tackle vaccine misinformation on Facebook by reducing its distribution and providing people with authoritative information on the topic. We are starting by taking a series of steps:

  • We will reduce the ranking of groups and Pages that spread misinformation about vaccinations in News Feed and Search. These groups and Pages will not be included in recommendations or in predictions when you type into Search.
  • When we find ads that include misinformation about vaccinations, we will reject them. We also removed related targeting options, like “vaccine controversies.” For ad accounts that continue to violate our policies, we may take further action, such as disabling the ad account.
  • We won’t show or recommend content that contains misinformation about vaccinations on Instagram Explore or hashtag pages.
  • We are exploring ways to share educational information about vaccines when people come across misinformation on this topic.

This sounds like a good start, but time will tell.

It is clear that social media and streaming services have provided excellent platforms for antivaxers to use to spread their misinformation, to the point that the companies running these services are feeling the heat to “do something”, with mixed results. Preventing these services from serving as nodes to spread antivaccine propaganda will be difficult. For one thing, it isn’t always easy to distinguish legitimate questioning from antivaccine propaganda. For another thing, although streaming platforms are under no obligation to host content they do not wish to host, on social media platforms issues of free speech are harder to dodge, even though social media platforms are not obligated to host speech they do not wish to. Automated algorithms are not very effective, and Facebook’s content moderators, for instance, are overworked and grossly underpaid—and suffer psychological trauma from their job.

Still, I can’t help but conclude that, however inadequate some of their recently announced measures are, actions by Amazon, Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube are a good first step in combatting the use of their platforms to spread antivaccine misinformation. Unfortunately, they do nothing about the larger problem of the promotion of dangerous quackery on their platforms, of which cancer quackery is only one example. There’s a lot more that needs to be done to protect parents and patients, and it will not be easy or straightforward.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

208 replies on “Amazon, Facebook, and other streaming and social media platforms are finally cracking down on antivaccine misinformation”

In an enjoyable bit of irony, staunch right-wingers are now complaining about ‘censorship’ from media and Internet giants. Some are even declaring that the government needs to step in and regulate these private corporations in the name of ensuring fairness and impartiality, for the public good. Oh, my sides are aching.

Of course you would say that. It’s a typical response from people who don’t really understand how to approach news.

Hint: Real news is not what you want to hear while fake is is what you don’t want to hear.

You really need to come up with those PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers that show it is better for a kid to suffer chicken pox and/or tetanus instead of being vaccinated.

Seriously why would you want kids to suffer so much?

You should really provide that evidence soon. I am starting to believe you are lying sadistic child hater, especially one who enjoys a young child suffering muscle spasms due to tetanus.

Oh yes my irony meter has exploded over this.

The idea that private companies are doing this cos official of censorship is risible, no one is forced to use Facebook and Facebook is not beholden to host any and every point of view. I mean what are they wanting, the government to step in and legislate Facebook and others host views they either disagree with, think are odious and or stupid. After all no news paper or news show is subject to such government meddling, the Deluth Reader is not being forced to stop printing AV nonsense, and nor are the forced to do so, they get the choice what they print as long as its legal, Facebook and Amazon are no different.

” No one is forced to use Facebook”:

True. Alties employ it to spread their views because it’s so popular:
nearly every website I survey has links to Facebook,Twitter etc embedded. As far as I can see, they use it to spread their ideas and advertise their goods and services. You Tube has also been a way to sell. ALL of this is FREE self-promotion available to alties. BUT that’s changing and they don’t like it..

That’s why quacks hate Wikipedia so much: it doesn’t present them as they portray themselves but sticks to verifiable evidence. So woo-meister A can say he has a PhD and is a professor BUT we learn that the degree is mail ordered from an uncertified school and there are no records anywhere of his professorship. Woo-meister B tells us that he has a degree in science but we may later learn that it’s in writing.

If tossed from these outlets, woo-meisters and anti-vaxxers have to spend more money to create adverts and pay people to host services. Right now, PRN and NN are expanding their internet presence and hiring people.
I’m sure that someone who works in the field can estimate what extravagant sites like the aforementioned cost.

I wonder how these actions by these outlets will impact projects like the next Vaxxed fauxcumentary? I would suspect that group would have relied heavily on Amazon sales given I doubt they will benefit from another highly-publicised Tribeca “controversy” and cinema showings.

As frustrating as it is and I don’t mean to minimise the harms that cancer quackery create, but those videos don’t have the same impact on public health that anti-vaxx propaganda do. I doubt they will be removed from these platforms.

There are legitimate free speech issues involved (or potentially involved) in removing antivaccine content from social media sites. I have difficulty though seeing how it’s “censorship” to prevent such misinformation from being prominently displayed in news feeds, or for Amazon to keep searches from being dominated by antivax nonsense.

Pierre St. Clair, author of “Vaccines On Trial” is a real piece of work.

An Amazon reviewer complained that St. Clair’s book had duped him into believing that the CDC had authorized HPV vaccination of newborns. St. Clair responded to the review by acknowledging this was an error and that he’d corrected the mistake by changing it to ”Three doses of Hepatitus (sic) A for newborns is recommended on the CDC website. The first shot is at birth, the second from 1-2 months, and the third between 6-15 months.” (note that the actual CDC recommendation is for hepatitis B vaccination.

After that howler he admonished the reviewer to change his review, declaring that “we don’t want to mislead viewers or readers”.

There are legitimate free speech issues involved (or potentially involved) in removing antivaccine content from social media sites.

I’m listening.

These are private corporations, they can choose who to host and who not to, its not an attack of free speech for them to not allow AV cranks to spout their nonsense via their service.

No one is stopping the cranks from creating their own streaming or social media platform and showing what the hell they like.

“These are private corporations, they can choose who to host and who not to, its not an attack of free speech for them to not allow AV cranks to spout their nonsense via their service.”

Since the big platforms have effectively a monopoly, this might not apply any more.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_antitrust_law#Monopoly_and_power

“No one is stopping the cranks from creating their own streaming or social media platform and showing what the hell they like.”

This didn’t help AP back in the day.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Associated_Press_v._United_States
The fact that AP had not achieved a complete monopoly was irrelevant. […] Freedom of the press from governmental interference under the First Amendment does not sanction repression of that freedom by private interests (326 U.S. 20).

Since the big platforms have effectively a monopoly

On what? Information?

This didn’t help AP back in the day.

I really don’t see what this is apropos of, but I’ve spent the day engaged in the joy of modern air travel and public transportation, so I’m not at my sharpest.

It IS censorship. Of that there can be no doubt. Words and ideas are being suppressed in favor of the views and moral values of one group (science and health proponents) over the views and moral values of another (antivaxxers and quacks). That’s the classic definition of censorship.

Generally I find censorship quite problematic; if you can do it TO someone, it can be done to YOU. The power Amazon, Google, and You Tube have over information is rather scary. And it won’t stop the hard core antivaxxers, not really. Sure this will slow them down, but they’ll move over to Reddit and continue on.

I’m not saying its a bad thing antivaxxers are having a hard time by having the rug pulled out from under them. I’m glad they’re finding it more difficult to spread their lies and I’m not crying any tears over their problems.

But I don’t forget the broader implications.

I always consider censorship to be be more an official government thing, private companies are often selective on what they allow customers, users clients, what ever, to do in relation to the services offered (look at almost any media organisation and you will find evidence of this on a whole swath of topics). They can choose what ever they like. however It would be censorship if they were required by law to not host AV cranks, but this is not the case.

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blockquote>. . . Words and ideas are being suppressed . . . That’s the classic definition of censorship.

Generally I find censorship quite problematic; if you can do it TO someone, it can be done to YOU. The power Amazon, Google, and You Tube have over information is rather scary.. . .
I’m not saying its a bad thing antivaxxers are having a hard time by having the rug pulled out from under them. I’m glad they’re finding it more difficult to spread their lies and I’m not crying any tears over their problems.
But I don’t forget the broader implications.

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I am aware of the various levels of censorship’s meaning and am uneasy, in principle, both with the level of some social/corporate media’s power and some attempts to curb it. Even directly outside of the activities of HUAC (House Un-American Activities Committee), the Hollywood blacklisting, with it’s cottage industries of Red Channels and it’s ilk and the damage done. I, too, do not want to forget the broader implications, despite the much different landscape than that of the ’40s – ’60’s.

[Damn typing skills. And I cannot offer the excuse that I have bee drinking. Sorry for the double post. I hope this one works.]

. . . Words and ideas are being suppressed . . . That’s the classic definition of censorship.

Generally I find censorship quite problematic; if you can do it TO someone, it can be done to YOU. The power Amazon, Google, and You Tube have over information is rather scary.. . .
I’m not saying its a bad thing antivaxxers are having a hard time by having the rug pulled out from under them. I’m glad they’re finding it more difficult to spread their lies and I’m not crying any tears over their problems.
But I don’t forget the broader implications.

I am aware of the various levels of censorship’s meaning and am uneasy, in principle, both with the level of some social/corporate media’s power and some attempts to curb it. Even directly outside of the activities of HUAC (House Un-American Activities Committee), the Hollywood blacklisting, with it’s cottage industries of Red Channels and it’s ilk and the damage done. I, too, do not want to forget the broader implications, despite the much different landscape than that of the ’40s – ’60’s.

As they say, freedom of the press only applies to those who actually own one. While you have the freedom to speak, you don’t have the freedom to be heard, and no one is obligated to provide you with a platform for you to spread your message, whatever it might be. There’s an XKCD for that, as usual:

https://xkcd.com/1357/

I must admit that I like the topic of the freedom of speech. I think that people like to believe that speech is –or should be– completely free. Unfortunately, since the government has a fundamental obligation to protect its people from threats that they can’t protect themselves from, freedom of speech becomes a liability when citizens start saying things that directly endanger the health and welfare of the rest of the general public. In that situation, the government has basically two choices: 1.) fail at its fundamental obligation and not protect its citizenry or 2.) suspend the freedom of speech and protect people from themselves. Vaccination definitely can fall into this class of issue.

What’s more, I think that freedom of speech can really only exist if people are capable of using it responsibly. As a government by the people and for the people, we depend on a majority of voting citizens to be able to make wise choices on ballot issues most of the time and we also depend on representatives to be able to represent the public interests based on reality. If people are unable to sort available information for the reality of the issues they must vote on, or represent in government (like making laws about how important it is to pray for the flying spaghetti monster every 15 minutes), then information flow must be limited in some way to assure that people making any sort of decisions are still able to vote or represent based on what is understood to the best of our ability to be the prevailing reality. This would necessarily include editing free speech (censorship) in order to protect people from making bad decisions based on the spread of bad information. This is simply to ensure the sanctity of self-government, nothing more. The stakes are simply that if a majority of people are unable to make good decisions about public issues, the government itself is existentially limited… it would eventually make enough bad decisions to run itself into the ground. At that point, representation would have to be suspended and some elite would have to step in and “make it right.” Or not.

Sorry, always feel like I’m standing on a soapbox when I open my mouth on this issue.

Unfortunately, since the government has a fundamental obligation to protect its people from threats that they can’t protect themselves from, freedom of speech becomes a liability when citizens start saying things that directly endanger the health and welfare of the rest of the general public.

I suggest you consider this, especially Trope 5.

Sorry, VOR, but your definition of censorship as being a government thing is incorrect. Lots of private citizens try to censor things all the time. It happens whenever a parent or an organization pressures a library or a school not to carry or require students to read a particular book or view a particular film. It happens when “advocacy” organizations pressure content producers not to produce certain types of works, or museums to remove exhibits because the exhibit is offensive in some way.

The First Amendment only protects us from government censorship of speech, so that’s what I think you’re thinking of. It is not a First Amendment issue but it is still a censorship issue.

Yes Panacea I should have been clearer, the point I was getting at was you don’t get protection from the gov when platforms choose not to host your views, though the gov can not force these platforms to host either.

Nor is this an attack on free speech, as has been said no one is silencing the cranks they are just refusing them a platform to use.

It IS censorship. Of that there can be no doubt. Words and ideas are being suppressed in favor of the views and moral values of one group (science and health proponents) over the views and moral values of another (antivaxxers and quacks). That’s the classic definition of censorship.

So if one gets in trouble for disparaging one’s employer on a message board for professionals in the same field, that’s censorship?

Unfortunately, since the government has a fundamental obligation to protect its people from threats that they can’t protect themselves from, freedom of speech becomes a liability when citizens start saying things that directly endanger the health and welfare of the rest of the general public.

Sigh.

The anti-vax book that concerns me most is “The Vaccine-Friendly Plan” by Paul Thomas MD FAAP. CNN has called it out twice in the last 2 weeks as an anti-vaccine book promoted by Amazon (it is a bestseller in 3 areas per it’s Amazon listing), but no one else has gone after this book whatsoever. Thomas meanwhile has raised his anti-vax freak flag, promoting his book all over social media (tell people to buy it before it’s gone) and a recent antivax op-ed in the Philly voice noted that another printing of 10,000 copies had been ordered and Thomas put up on his FB page how Amazon has had to order another 3800 copies since CNN called out his book. To me, the biggest problems w/ his book is (1) he’s a physician and FAAP, (2) he comes across as more believable than Bob Sears (aka Kermit the Frog per ZDoggMD), (3) He’s touting the crap out of his completely unpublished “study” (other than his book) claiming he can reduce autism 50-fold if you only follow his “Vaccine-Friendly Plan” schedule which among other things delays MMR vaccine by at least 2 years (and eliminates the MMR booster) as well. I found an interview where Thomas proudly claimed only 0.1% of his patients were fully vaccinated and given he now has over 15,000 patients, that’s a huge group of at risk kids right in the middle of that Portland/Clark County measles outbreak. Thomas even testified last week at the Oregon legislature against HB-3063, where he shamelessly plugged his book and claimed that his “vaccine-friendly” schedule would reduce autism over 10-fold (from 900 cases to 90 per year) compared to the vaccine schedule for HB3063 (basically the CDC schedule). This quack is getting more people to follow him in the middle of all these outbreaks, making a small fortune off his book while growing his practice and no one (sans you) seems to have the mettle to call him out (including the AAP who have been railing against social media promoting anti-vax material but not caring enough to realize a lot of that anti-vax material comes from FAAP docs like Thomas, Sears and Gordon. Ok, that’s my morning rant of bile, thanks.

For a start, I’d like to see the vaccine outbreaks named for the anti-vaccine pediatricians nearest the point of origin. For example, I’d like the Disneyland Measles Outbreak, instead of being named for “the happiest place on earth,” be re-named the Bob Sears Measles Outbreak. The one in Washington State should be the Paul Thomas Measles Outbreak. I refrain from using the title “Doctor” for these people in the hope that the FAAP will see sense and retract their membership, and that state medical boards will yank their license to practice medicine.

I am pro-vaccine and mainstream science and oppose quacks and anti-vaxxers. However, I fear censoring them online will only strengthen their resolve to keep pushing their narrative, and make them feel welcome to play the “martyr” being persecuted by the “big bad CDC”… I think the best solution is to continually rally respected scientists and organizations to debunk them soundly. Censorship only leads to people going underground and getting more radicalized and less likely to have an open mind to the other side. Anti-vaxxers already think we’re out to get them and have maleficent intent, this will only radicalize them further…

It sometimes seems that no actions ever lead the antivaccine fringe to rethink their stances. As has been pointed out to me, the target isn’t really to change the hardcore fringe, but to sway the people who are on the fence and to properly weight the information available to those who are genuinely questioning so that they can obtain a better appraisal of the truth.

You can’t change people who are fully invested. They have to change themselves. Any action taken to limit the damage they cause will lead them to feel persecuted, no matter what. Any action we ever take, no matter how small, will lead these people to self-validation… but we can’t take no action. Maybe, if the weight of the “persecution” becomes strong enough, they will start rethinking what they’re doing. I kind of doubt it: as long as the filter silos exist, they will seek the comfort of people who are like-minded. For some of these people, it would take a child dying in their arms of a vaccine preventable disease, and even then, they will rationalize somehow that vaccines are to blame.

Yup. Also, it’s not “censorship” if a private company decides not to stop stocking certain books or offering certain movies on it streaming service because of pressure from customers and the bad PR that its continuing to offer them causes.

@ Orac:

I assume that these companies don’t CHARGE them anything to post videos or sell books. Setting up your own alternative means that they have to pay people ( although Mikey is an internet genius) to create and manage sites. They would prefer that Wikipedia allowed their own advertisements instead of its sourced bios.
PLUS, they’ll never get the exposure the giants have despite their claims of having millions of followers.

think the best solution is to continually rally respected scientists and organizations to debunk them soundly

Nah, we’ve been there and done that.

We need a phalanx of stand-up comedians to ridicule the anti-vaxers. I suspect that having Dara Ó Briain or John Oliver pointing out how crazy they are might beat a researcher with a PowerPoint deck in getting the message across.

The science experts are needed to feed the comedians the actual science and the total craziness of the anti-vaxers. And to convince the comedians that jade eggs and bleach enemas are not jokes.

Dara Ó Briain and bleach enemas; now there is a show I want to see.

But there is so much better material for comedians to attack pro-vaccine propaganda. It doesn’t take any real comedic talent or independent thought to regurgitate talking points they’ve been fed about the official vaccine narrative. But it does tend to lead to more fame and approval from apparent authority, so I guess there’s that.

But there is so much better material for comedians to attack pro-vaccine propaganda.

Your “satire” site seems to have been moribund for some time, Ginny.

The problems for the debunkers is one of time (they rarely have the time/energy to play whack-a-mole with this stuff).

Another one is safety. Just recently, a prominent Québec skeptic (who creates funny cartoons and now has a TV show on national Canada’s national TV’s scientific channel in French, Explora) is thinking of stopping of commenting on a subject because of repeated threats against his person. This was from a recent post about high dose of IV-vitamin C for cancer (which was prompted by a cancer-stricken actor pleading for it on a massively watched show on the same network). There is currently a popular petition being compiled on the provincial National Assembly’s website to include the treatment on the covered list for the public insurance (https://www.assnat.qc.ca/fr/exprimez-votre-opinion/petition/Petition-7599/index.html) which has over 115k names.

Here is the English version of his website (which I recommend): http://www.thepharmafist.com/
I can’t find an English article about his threats, but here is one in French; https://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/1156533/oliver-bernard-cyberintimidation-vitamine-c-injections-cancer

I have to agree with Eukarya. If they censor antivaccinationists, what next? There is an old saying, can’t remember exact; but “best way to combat ignorance/error is to subject it to light of day.”. What I suggest won’t be easy; but not impossible. For antivaccinationist books, Amazon should first contact some expert who will write a summary of what is wrong with it, with hyperlinks to additional information, not just CDC website; but journal reviews available online and descriptions, histories and current status of various infectious diseases. Amazon can then post the book with a large RED warning sign below it, “THIS BOOK’S CONTENTS CONTRADICT WELL-ESTABLISHED SCIENCE” followed by the summary by the scientific expert, not the publisher’s. In addition, any reviews by readers that are obviously anti vaccine should be allowed with another RED SIGN: “INDIVIDUAL OPINIONS OFTEN REFLECT THE READER’S BIAS, NOT THEIR LEVEL OF SCIENTIFIC UNDERSTANDING.”

Obviously I’m sure someone can come up with better headings; but the idea is to not censor; but cast “light” on the book.

Medical groups could openly denounce these books/groups. AAP hasn’t had the spine to take on NVIC since 2011. AMA and AAFP no better. It doesn’t help parents who get scared by NVIC nonsense that they go to AAP’s healthchildrenDOTorg site and see nothing stating nvic is a wretch hive of scum and quackery. Nothing saying Wakefield is a fraud who lost his license. Nothing saying anything against anti-vax groups or anti-vax docs. Honestly, if I wasn’t MD w/ science training I’d be confused as all get out. I try to remember this every time I see parents on the fence on vaccines.

Prominent vaccine researcher Greg Poland, MD, said in the conclusion of his 2011 Mayo Clinic article “MMR Vaccine and Autism: Vaccine Nihilism and Postmodern Science”:

“For anyone adhering to the scientific model of discovery,
experimentation, and evidence, the trial is over and the jury
back—there is no known scientific association between receipt
of MMR vaccine and the subsequent development of
autism. Making the decision to not immunize children with
the MMR vaccine because of fear of such an association
—rather than credible scientific evidence—places children
and others at great risk as current measles outbreaks in the
United States and Europe illustrate. Vaccine nihilists who
continue to claim such associations are simply wrong, and
they pedal an agenda other than for the public good. At this
point, the antivaccine groups and conspiracy proponents
promoting such an association should be ignored, much as
thinking people simply ignore those who continue to insist
that the earth is flat or that the US moon landing in 1969
did not really occur.”

I still think a lot of pro-vax groups have this “ignore-it-and-it-will-go-away” mentality, and we’re no longer “at this point” where we were in 2011 (though I’ll argue ignoring anti-vaxxers in 2011 was not a good decision based on things now).

A simple “solution” would be to move these books and videos to the “fiction” categories where they belong.

I have argued this approach to public libraries for decades—no luck. All the quackery is right there in the medical section of non-fiction. Of course, since the internet, it hardly matters, but this is where a lot of even well-educated people got their first book length blast of pseudo-science.

When I worked at a used book store this was one of the areas of eternal debate; what to do with popular bullshit. Thankfully I didn’t work the medical section, but I did work cookbooks and there was some 100% wacky stuff in the “diet” section. (And it was an amazing telescope into the diet trends of 5-10 years before. Low-fat everything, just as low-carb was the new gospel.)

There were a few things we wouldn’t carry (porn, mostly), but if the buyers bought it, or it came from corporate, we had to stock it. But that didn’t mean we had to recommend it! (We stuffed a lot of questionable things back in the New Age section, which was also the #2 place for theft, behind the CDs/DVDs.)

The librarian in me says that everything should be there, while other parts of me say that some things don’t need to be around in paper.

Indeed. While private entities like Amazon are, of course, free not to associate with antivaxxers and the likes, it’s a blunt instrument that causes as many problems as it solves. IMO a far more positive approach would be:

Fix their “Recommended For You” algorithms to distinguish reliable material from crank fraud. Right now these algorithms’ job is simply to push “whatever crap sells to morans”, which may be a short-term money maker, but it’s a long-term reputational poison. Instead these algorithms should be treated as automated ambassadors for the organization they represent (which they are), and trained accordingly so that they do not mindlessly promote corrupt material which these organizations do not want associated with themselves.
Accurately file crank products under “Denialism, Conspiracy Beliefs, and Scams” instead of “Factual and Documentary”. Far better to throw hard light upon malicious frauds like VAXXED by putting them in their proper context alongside Moon Hoax and 9/11 Conspiracies, Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and other such unhinged and extremist propaganda.

Of course this won’t change the True Believers’ minds (crank magnetism, not its job, etc), but we already know that’s not the goal. What it does do is enable everyone else to view their common pathologies laid out neatly side-by-side, allowing them to draw their own comparisons and arrive at the [obvious to us] conclusion for themselves. Teaching people how to teach themselves is a vastly more powerful and effective tool than gumbit or big bizniz “telling” them what’s right and what’s not; such suffocating paternalism and lack of experience in critical independent thinking being a major cause of the problem in the first place.

“Such suffocating paternalism and lack of experience in critical independent thinking being a major cause of the problem in the first place.”

Very much true. But perhaps not sufficient an analysis to handle the whole problem of misinformation.

“Of course this won’t change the True Believers’ minds (crank magnetism, not its job, etc), but we already know that’s not the goal.”

Yes and no. I tend to disagree and think it’s an important goal. I believe that much of the defiance towards medicine has its roots in some form of medical trauma. The testimonies of “crazy” moms linking their child’s autism to vaccines constitute one such form of medical trauma. This needs to be addressed in some form or another (both therapeutically and mediatically in my opinion) because it’s a major source of irrationalism, and it’s not restricted to the vaccine “debate”.

Given that Amazon has trouble cracking down on real fraud (people who “self publish” in-copyright books, which is plain stealing from the actual author) I don’t have a lot of hope that they’ll make good progress on sorting the cranks from reality. Most of their fraud people are swamped with plain old credit card fraud.

I am sure many at this point are wondering what Greg thinks. OK — even if you’re not — here is my objective take. As cliché as this may sound the antivaxxers have truth on their side and can’t be stopped. The ‘skin in the game effect’ is also vastly compounding the problem — for you guys of course.

The most you can hope for is to slow the antivaxxers down. Measures geared towards stopping the antivaxxers such as censorship will be counter productive, and I agree with Jktideau here. Funny, but sometimes I think doing nothing might be your most prudent course. Just the take of this ‘reprehensible’ antivaxxer.

We think you are an idiot.
Outbreaks will shut up your lot making you whiny incessantly. Anti-vaxxers will lose. You lack the brains to see this.
We’d prefer not to see the outbreaks have to be the cure for people being duped by your ilk.

I am sure many at this point are wondering what Greg thinks. OK — even if you’re not — here is my objective take. As cliché as this may sound the antivaxxers have truth on their side and can’t be stopped. The ‘skin in the game effect’ is also vastly compounding the problem — for you guys of course.

Gosh Greg, tired of all that “winning” yet? I’ve had my ear to the ground on this issue for almost as long as Orac and I can safely say that public sentiment is resounding against your “truth”. The public went from mildly curious to “anti vaxx is a thing?” to anti-vaxx is a thing and my aren’t they stupid, ignorant people who shouldn’t be allowed in public. You’ve effectively done yourselves in by endangering public health to the point that the average person has taken notice and is not pleased.

The most you can hope for is to slow the antivaxxers down. Measures geared towards stopping the antivaxxers such as censorship will be counter productive, and I agree with Jktideau here.

It’s been working quite well in Australia so I think it’s worth a shot.

Funny, but sometimes I think doing nothing might be your most prudent course. Just the take of this ‘reprehensible’ antivaxxer.

I’m sure you’d love that given what is happening to anti-vaxxers right now. But keep pushing and perhaps you’ll see the cost to anti-vaxxers increase, quite literally speaking.

If I ever get a pigeon (not very likely to happen, I suppose I see Greg getting pro-vaccine before I get a pigeon), I’ll name it Greg.

It looks like we have gotten a new chew-toy.

I’ve had my ear to the ground on this issue for almost as long as Orac and I can safely say that public sentiment is resounding against your “truth”.

Science Mom, I beg to differ. Outside of all the news hysteria about measles outbreaks and anonymous ‘nyms rallying in those comment sections to blast the ‘crazy’ antivaxxers, where is the real backlash and provaxxers taking a concrete stance. I mean, how many pro-vaxx parents showed up at the Washington hearing about removing PBEs? What about the recent Congress hearing? The ‘antivaxxers’ showed but where were you guys? Trust me Science Mom — we can’t be stopped. We are everywhere, and we are you.

It looks like we have gotten a new chew-toy.

After all these years, he’s little more than a puddle of rawhide drool.

Actually Gerg, your cohorts are merely “fair-weather” anti-vaxers. That’s why MMR vaccination is up 500% in Washington State. When confronted with the actual disease, anti-vaxer “warrior moms” go running to get their kids vaccinated.

And if Facebook ever does really crack down on anti-vaxers, your friends won’t go running to some “alternative” page, because that’s just too hard. Facebook is the social platform of choice – remove the anti-vax ads, pages, etc….and your “warrior moms” won’t abandon the platform…you remove that energy from your “movement” and with outbreaks happening in these very same neighborhoods, all of the rats will start leaving the sinking ship.

But, keep up with your Don Quixote routine, it remains amusing, if also extremely repetitive.

I mean, how many pro-vaxx parents showed up at the Washington hearing about removing PBEs? What about the recent Congress hearing?

As usual you use the wrong metric because this isn’t a popularity contest. Most people don’t feel inclined to show up for those because they take for granted that the evidence will prevail and showing up to countering anti-vaxxers is akin to countering flat-earthers. As for the recent Congressional Committee Hearing, well why did pro-vaxxers need to show up when so many were already invited to testify?

The ‘antivaxxers’ showed but where were you guys? Trust me Science Mom — we can’t be stopped. We are everywhere, and we are you.

No, they are not “me”, not by any stretch. I understand and accept the evidence regarding vaccine safety and efficacy and question logical issues. Anti-vaxxers are really just a small loudmouthed bunch of fools who have managed to amplify their messages via social media and search algorithms. Now that that’s being taken away, your group will be viewed as the fringe they are and no longer be able to sway scared parents their way. I suspect that sticks in your craw.

Outside of all the news hysteria about measles outbreaks and anonymous ‘nyms rallying in those comment sections to blast the ‘crazy’ antivaxxers

Stupid hypocrisy much, Gerg? I suppose that question has long since been answered. Again: You’re an ignorant, semiliterate coward. When presented with concrete questions, you just run away and change the subject.

Greg writes: “the antivaxxers have truth on their side and can’t be stopped.” I’ve asked him several times on earlier exchanges if he has even considered that he may be wrong, even if chance is 1 in a 1,000. He never answers. Must be nice to have G-d-like certainty. For Greg and others interested, I added one more comment at: https://respectfulinsolence.com/2019/03/06/mmr-does-not-cause-autism/

Greg, you are not just an antivaxxer; but someone who refuses to enter into any open dialogue, responding directly to what others write. Rather than respond to actual points people make, you just double down, posting variations of more of the same. In other words, you are a close-minded moron!

I also asked what you do for a living as you seem to have lots of time to post your inane comments. Being retired I have the time.

Actually, I wasn’t wondering at all.

It’s true that there’s no real way to stop antivaxxers entirely. Thanks for admitting what you are, by the way.

However, it’s not a bad thing that public focus is on antivaxxers or that you’re getting the blowback you are. If anything, it’s well overdue. People are starting to realize just how pathetic and idiotic you are, and in time you’ll be laughed out of the room . . . or tarred and feathered . . . any time you raise antivax views.

Either is fine by me.

However, it’s not a bad thing that public focus is on antivaxxers or that you’re getting the blowback you are. If anything, it’s well overdue. People are starting to realize just how pathetic and idiotic you are, and in time you’ll be laughed out of the room . . . or tarred and feathered . . . any time you raise antivax views.

Either is fine by me.

Science Mom and Panacea, after the passage of SB 277 I was hearing that tune of how we were on the verge of being thrown in the trash bin forever. Other States would follow, and even mandates were about to sweep Europe. Funny, now I am hearing Orac and Christopher crow about how it doesn’t look good for big success on the mandates front. Trying to get social media to shut us down, you may had well announced that you lost.

“Trying to get social media to shut us down, you may had well announced that you lost.”

I do not see things this way at all. I hear more and more a demand for a crackdown on misinformation on the Internet. Doesn’t make me happy, but the trend does seem to get stronger and stronger. The only way to protect free speech is paradoxically to make people like you look like the dangerous fools that you indeed are. Because if that doesn’t happen, you WILL see a more serious crackdown in the future.

The US may be an exception due to its religious nuttiness and fondness for public lunatic figures, but I do not see things going your way in the rest of the world. Except for temporary setbacks such as in Italy, which will not last for long. Willing to take a bet on this one.

You will be crushed because almost no one likes fooling around with medicine and public health. (I personally do, but that’s another topic). Trust me, you haven’t yet seen a thing when it comes to medical fascism: rejoice that you’re having it so nice and smooth for the moment.

Science Mom and Panacea, after the passage of SB 277 I was hearing that tune of how we were on the verge of being thrown in the trash bin forever. Other States would follow, and even mandates were about to sweep Europe. Funny, now I am hearing Orac and Christopher crow about how it doesn’t look good for big success on the mandates front. Trying to get social media to shut us down, you may had well announced that you lost.

As usual Greg, you completely mischaracterise what has been pronounced and by who. You really are looking more and more like the gruesome love child of the Black Knight and Don Quixote.

We think you are an idiot.
Outbreaks will shut up your lot making you whiny incessantly. Anti-vaxxers will lose. You lack the brains to see this.

Very well then Christopher, please follow-up with the latest figures for the health outcomes of those that were infected with measles. Tell me Christopher, which sensible parent would choose permanent brain damage over these ‘outcomes’? Keep wishing for tomorrow Christopher, but what if it never comes?

First you give us citations for your nitwitted nonsense that vaccines cause autism, Greg. The morbidity and mortality of measles are well established and don’t really give a crap about your misbeliefs.

Tell me Christopher, which sensible parent would choose permanent brain damage over these ‘outcomes’?

You mean like SSPE? Oh, wait, that’s brain damage and certain, horrifying death. Fuckwit.

Oh Greg: Stupid on steroids! Yep, there have been few serious cases from the current measles outbreak; but even in the 1950s, prior to the vaccine, out of several million cases per year only 45 – 50,000 were hospitalized, 400 – 500 died, and an equal number developed life-time disabilities. Of course, that discounts the week or so of high fever, loss of appetite, and horrible itching. So, most just suffered for a week. Oops, I forgot that research, you know science, has found that for several months after measles ones immune system is compromised, so some kids later suffered severe infections which, of course, weren’t attributed to measles. Compare this to your mythological permanent brain damage from the vaccine. Well, nothing is impossible; but without the vaccine, the odds of a serious outcome from the natural infection is exponentially higher than from the vaccine.

And most of the hospitalized cases were from a secondary opportunistic bacterial infection which, at the time, was usually successfully treated with antibiotics. Nowadays, with the ever increasing rise in antibiotic resistant infections, if we really had a wide-spread epidemic with 10s of thousands, quite possible that our antibiotics wouldn’t be able to save as many.

If you understood probability, you would understand that the fact that the current number of cases, much less than in the 50s, could easily be those who even in the 50s escaped serious consequences. However, I wonder how the week of illness and suffering was experienced by the kids and their families?

Jesus, you’re so fucking thick that you still can’t even how to reply in the right place even though MJD has explained it to you. And you expect to be taken seriously when babbling about a published paper?

^ That was aimed at Gerg, who senselessly replied to me, in case it wasn’t clear from context.

Grogger, you ask “which sensible parent would choose permanent brain damage over these ‘outcomes’?”,
Clearly YOU were never vaccinated against measles.
You continue to state claims that you can’t back up, and your proclamations of impending victory make you into another Baghdad Bob.
Pray tell, where did smallpox go? What made rinderpest disappear? How is it that measles was gone from Venezuela and only returned when the current crisis led to the cancellation of their vaccination program? Why are the only places with poliomyelitis places where armed psychopaths prevent vaccination? What relation do baited vaccine traps have with great reduction in rabies in wild animals?

Ah, the “brain damage” again….so, what exactly does this “damage” look like Gerg? And by what biological mechanism could a vaccine cause it?

“The ‘skin in the game effect’ is also vastly compounding the problem”

Which is why Peter Hotez’s book “Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel’s Autism” is enraging antivaxers, who can’t bear the thought that a pro-immunization advocate is facing his own child’s autism rationally. Judging from the influx of spam reviews on Amazon, there’s a lot of teeth-gnashing over Hotez’s book among antivaxers.

Of course, being part of a society under threat from vaccine-preventable disease resurgence, and knowing that one’s own children and relatives are being exposed needlessly is a powerful example of “skin in the game”.

Let us (tinu) not forget that Gerg himself has no “skin in the game” — he has no children on the spectrum.

Let us (tinu) not forget that Gerg himself has no “skin in the game” — he has no children on the spectrum.

And why should this prevent me from giving my objective take?

“And why should this prevent me from giving my objective take?”

We’re still waiting for an “objective” take from you.

Surprise us.

Let us (tinu) not forget that Gerg himself has no “skin in the game” — he has no children on the spectrum.

And why should this prevent me from giving my objective take?

Leaving aside the fact that you wouldn’t know an “objective take” if it came in a ball of fire from the sky and lit your crotch on fire, let’s review:

As cliché as this may sound the antivaxxers have truth on their side and can’t be stopped. The ‘skin in the game effect’ is also vastly compounding the problem — for you guys of course.

You style yourself an antivaxxer in addition to senselessly claiming that other people are your “fellows” despite being directly contradicted right?

There is nothing being “compounded” — you’re just an ignorant clod with no skin in the game who simply asserts “precipitous” declines in vaccination, etc., as opposed to advocates of public health, who, like general public, have a great deal of interest in not seeing the resurgence of VPDs.

So, Gerg, are your kids vaccinated? (Unlike you, who has repeatedly claimed that anyone who contradicts your insinuations is lying, I’ll take the answer at face value.)

Hotez isn’t the only one. An excellent book: Roy Richard Grinker. “Unstrange Minds: Remapping the World of Autism.”

Which is why Peter Hotez’s book “Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel’s Autism” is enraging antivaxers, who can’t bear the thought that a pro-immunization advocate is facing his own child’s autism rationally. Judging from the influx of spam reviews on Amazon, there’s a lot of teeth-gnashing over Hotez’s book among antivaxers.

During my last tour here, on this point I did make a comment that motivated my banishment. It had to do with certain figures who participated in the Holocaust and Slavery. Orac and minions (particularly Julian) do you remember the comment?

Wow. Whatever you said must have been pretty bad for Orac to ban you.

Are you asking for a repeat performance?

Orac and minions (particularly Julian) do you remember the comment?

As I recall it, you had been ceaselessly taunting Orac for not banning you until your wish was granted.

I’m pleased that the loons I survey have been shrieking and howling over “censorship”, “N-zis” and the oppression of women’s voices**. They complain about google ( their sites aren’t first on pages), Apple ( certain phone apps) but You Tube and Wikipedia are really sore spots. As I’ve reported, Null and Adams have had to take drastic measures to counteract the actions of those companies- this costs money:
— Adams had to create his own video platform, Brighteon.com ( which shows ads)
–Null has had to counteract Wikipedia’s bio of him and their articles on natural health, energy medicine, reiki etc. by posting dozens of articles on PRN.fm. It should be remembered that his internet radio presence itself was a response to being removed from land-based radio stations ( Pacifica) and most public television. He has lost speaking engagements, book deals and sales.
He intends to sue Wikipedia and other tech giants.

TMR started from a facebook page involving a few of its leaders who went to college together ( right: they went to COLLEGE).
AoA benefitted from outlets like the Huffington Post giving a microphone to one of its principals. No more of that.

So will they go underground? PRN and NN have tried to set up their own social media alternatives in the past but I don’t think that they have been very successful.

** they’re not being singled out because they’re women but because they spread mis-information.Andy and Del are not women. Fortunately for women.

Gather around in a circle provaxxers and give your hear to this ‘odious’ antivaxxer. The vaccination sentiment has thrived extraordinarily in the past due mainly to one factor — willful compliance. People accepted vaccines willing, feeling they were a good thing. Now provaxxers, consider how pushing mandates and censoring antivaxxers may not sit so well with getting.people to love vaccines and choose them.

Most people also accept quarantine when appropriate, drunken driving laws, seatbelt laws, not being able to store large amounts of volatile substances in their garage, not being able to blast ones stereo in the middle of the night, etc. We live in communities, not isolated, thus, rights are balanced with responsibility. I realize that antivaxxers only think of their own child; but wonder what would happen if, for instance, someone on some mission went to Afghanistan, caught polio, asymptomatically returned to the states, infected some antivaxxers kid, and the kid developed paralysis. Except for Afghanistan and Pakistan, thanks to the vaccine, polio has been eradicated from the rest of the world; but as long as it exists anywhere it is a threat everywhere.

By the way, seatbelt laws don’t just protect those wearing them. Since, by law, hospitals must treat accident victims, if uninsured, we pay for it, even if insured, contributes to rising costs of health care.

Why don’t you answer someone who may coping with post-polio syndrome? There was no vaccine when I got poliomyelitis, and I.am sure that my parents would have done anything to get it for me if there was. My case and the sequelae I was left with were relatively mild, but not quite mild enough to suit me. I did end up getting the vaccine(s) because no one knew at the time that I had had it already. Funny, isn’t it, that my birth cohort were virtually all vaccinated with the Salk vaccine, but we didn’t have a significant bump in autism, even considering that many of us on the spectrum were only diagnosed relatively late in life.
As someone on the autism spectrum I resent you antivaxxers hijacking our real issues with lies,fearmongering, and quackery. We are NOT pawns or tokens for you to push your moronic conspiracy theories and monstrous perversion of science.
Go away, Grogger. Sadly, there are many places where you will win plaudits for your willful ignorance, but this is not one of them.
Oh, and as you depart, don’t forget this: https://bit.ly/SF9txz

First you give us citations for your nitwitted nonsense that vaccines cause autism, Greg. The morbidity and mortality of measles are well established and don’t really give a crap about your misbeliefs.

Christopher, at this stage in the game this is becoming a mere talking point. Whether you are a provaxxer or antivaxxer we all have loved ones and don’t desire permanent brain damage (or ‘neurological impairment’) for them. If someone here can show me a way for vaccine injuries to only strike antivaxxers’ then I will show you a way you guys can win.

Ah, the circular logic gambit…..you really aren’t very good at this Gerg…you really need to get out more.

I guess the folks over at AoA either got tired of you or their extremely lack of activity and posts just got boring, right?

I’m not a fan of eliminating non-medical vaccine exemptions Greg. Not because they don’t work–they most certainly do as seen by how low VPD outbreaks are in Mississippi and West Virginia. I’m not a fan of them because: (1) they let you AVers play the saw oh-so-sad oppressed victims you so want to be, and, more importantly (2) short of massive VPD outbreak death counts (such as during the 1917-18 Spanish flu outbreak), I don’t see a lot of state legislatures (esp in Arizona) willing to pass these laws. Even SB277 had to be watered down to pass and now AV physicians in Cali are short-circuiting SB277 writing bogus exemptions for big $$$…and hey, look there is now measles in San Francisco this last week. I just am not behind them with the fervor I see others having. I view these VPD outbreaks as a failure of the US health system to both (1) educate parents about the safety, efficacy and need for vaccines, and (2) combat the anti-vaccine movement head on. I suspect a lot of pro-vax groups are avoiding taking on ant-vax groups and instead are hoping states will legislatively end non-medical vaccine exemptions. I think that’s a pipe dream and in the meanwhile these outbreaks keep increasing as more and more clusters of low vaccination appear.

I tend to agree. No nonmedical exemptions would be ideal from a medical point of view, but from a societal point of view risks causing a backlash. If states can pass laws like SB 277, great, but few are likely to.

I wonder if there might be a middle path if it’s too hard for states to eliminate all non-medical exemptions?

Perhaps make it more difficult to get religious/ philosophical exemptions.
There aren’t many religions who are officially opposed to vaccination so I assume that it’s mostly the parents’ interpretation or distortion of what their faith actually preaches- thus, it’s really a personal belief.
Thus, make them have to write an essay, get a note from a religious authority, answer a questionnaire, take a course on vaccines etc.
In other words, they’d have to make an effort or spend time, which the hard liners will do but those less convinced may find it easier to just get the vaccines.

“In other words, they’d have to make an effort or spend time, which the hard liners will do but those less convinced may find it easier to just get the vaccines.”

That’s manipulating those less convinced to allow keeping a loophole for hardliners. There’s moral hazard in that IMHO.

@ F68.10:

NVIC lists only THREE states with medical only exemptions; 17 have all three- philosophical/ medical/ religious and the remainder have medical and religious.
What I advocate will tighten loopholes that already exist: philosophical and religious exemptions can be anything the parents want. The ideal would be to eliminate non-medical exemptions and screen out faux medical ones BUT it ain’t gonna happen. I’m amazed that the bill passed in CA.
In the meantime, make anti-vaxxers jump through hoops- it might wake a few of them up. And get more kids vaccinated, beefing up herd immunity.

There aren’t many religions who are officially opposed to vaccination so I assume that it’s mostly the parents’ interpretation or distortion of what their faith actually preaches- thus, it’s really a personal belief.
Thus, make them have to write an essay, get a note from a religious authority, answer a questionnaire, take a course on vaccines etc.

No, a thousand times no. This entangles government with religion. That’s why I made this comment.

Actually Gerg, your cohorts are merely “fair-weather” anti-vaxers. That’s why MMR vaccination is up 500% in Washington State. When confronted with the actual disease, anti-vaxer “warrior moms” go running to get their kids vaccinated.

And if Facebook ever does really crack down on anti-vaxers, your friends won’t go running to some “alternative” page, because that’s just too hard. Facebook is the social platform of choice – remove the anti-vax ads, pages, etc….and your “warrior moms” won’t abandon the platform…you remove that energy from your “movement” and with outbreaks happening in these very same neighborhoods, all of the rats will start leaving the sinking ship.

But, keep up with your Don Quixote routine, it remains amusing, if also extremely repetitive.

Lawrence, with the vaccination battle what would you say is the different sides best weapon? I would say provaxxers best weapon is the gullible public. For antivaxxers, I would say it’s autism. Lawrence, whose weapon do you think is better?

“I would say provaxxers best weapon is the gullible public. For antivaxxers, I would say it’s autism.”

I would argue exactly the other way round. Funny isn’t it?

Come on Greg, everyone knows that autism is either result of demon possession or kids being victim of experimentation by aliens, abducted in middle of night, then returned to their beds. Given the overwhelming evidence that vaccines don’t cause autism, the fact that many antivaxxers base their position on it, just says it all. But, since a large number of Americans either believe in demon possession or alien abductions, maybe, one should look into relationship with autism???

I keep marveling at your G-d-like certainty. Must be nice, at least, when looking in the mirror.

“For antivaxxers, I would say it’s autism. Lawrence, whose weapon do you think is better?”
I’m on the autism spectrum and we are NOT your weapon. We are NOT pawns in your submoronic need for vindication at all costs – costs to the truth, to the health of the public, to us on the spectrum.
You’ve just shown us your real face underneath all your verbiage. You don’t give a rat’s ass about real problems affecting real people. All you want is to somehow win the “debate” with what you believe to be your imagined superior word skills.
Go get yourself another weapon, I recommend a Colt Python placed against your temple and discharged. It would be the greatest gift you could give the world. I’d even pay for the cleanup.

YouTube has a lot of problems (the algorithm that suggests videos isn’t great and can lead to some bad and/or ridiculous stuff), but there was moment recently that was kind of cool. A guy who I was seeing briefly started talking about chemtrails, and I just sort of played dumb like I’d never heard of them. Anyway, I went on YouTube at one point and searched for “chemtrails,” just out of curiosity about what these videos and stuff actually say that can apparently convince people.

The first thing on the search results page was a big definition of “contrails” with a link to Wikipedia. 🙂

Not that it’s going to convince any true believers – it’s just more cover-up lies or whatever – but it made me chuckle, and it might prevent some people from falling down the rabbit hole, who knows.

YouTube has some fascinating rabbit holes, like the historical dress rabbit hole (and the branch off of that, historical hair!), and all the knitting instructional videos (what did I do before that?), but man there is some class-A crap on there.

Like, there’s the funny silly stuff (“Irish people eat X!”), but even in my relatively curated YouTube suggestions there’s a lot of random stuff like “we bought a hoarder’s house” or “I only eat bananas!” or “watch me, and adult, open up tiny plastic figurines that I will then throw away in my next de-cluttering video!”.

But I would never ask YouTube for anything serious. That’s right up there with asking Pinterest for medical advice. Like, not the venue.

There’s actually some really great stuff on YouTube these days, believe it or not! I heartily recommend Natalie Wynn’s channel ContraPoints, Oliver Thorn’s channel Philosophy Tube, and Harry Brewis’s channel (hbomberguy.)

They’re all super smart, funny, and talented. I’m in the middle of Olly’s new video on Brexit, and I just watched Contra’s video “The Darkness” last night. (It’s amazing.)

And hbomberguy has a grea video on flat earthers, and, in fact, several about “soy boys.” 😉

What about the Anime Reaction videos – an hour of watching someone watch something on their computer while you wait for them to cry at the end (and you don’t even get to watch it yourself).

Chris! Now you’ve snared me too! I’m starting to think it’s a good thing I can’t find an Edwardian walking skirt pattern that fits. (24 inch waist and 42 inch hips? What kind of foundation garment is that?)

Heh, heh, heh… 😉

I learned about at the first American Sewing Guild neighborhood meeting I attended last Saturday. Such a variety. One woman asked about helping a transgender woman with some shaping products to help get the hip curves less masculine. Even though we are a gray haired bunch, there were some good ideas tossed about.

The other discussion was how to meet some needs of younger folks who sew.

I’m on the autism spectrum and we are NOT your weapon. We are NOT pawns in your submoronic need for vindication at all costs – costs to the truth, to the health of the public, to us on the spectrum

ORD, I would’ve given you more credit there if you had left things entirely at ‘I’ instead of ‘We’. You see ORD, cases like yours are not the weapon that we seek. Sounds like you’ve been gainfully employed and now retired, and it’s obvious that your above average intellect and literary skills went with that success. The target instead that we seek to use to weaponize fear are the lower functioning, less ‘successful’ cases. Fortunately we have a large sample to draw from in advancing our ‘sick’ plot. We are talking the one-third than are nonverbal, over half that are mentally retarded, and close to 90% who grow up unemployed and dependent. Also fortunate ORD, we don’t need permission to use them, their presence alone is permission.

“The target instead that we seek to use to weaponize fear are the lower functioning, less ‘successful’ cases.”

Despicable. I care more about their point of view than about the point of view of those who pretend to care for them.

I want to vomit.

Leaving aside the fact that once again you have replied under the wrong thread:

We are talking the one-third than are nonverbal, over half that are mentally retarded, and close to 90% who grow up unemployed and dependent.

These “statistics” are wrong, you have been told repeatedly that they are wrong, and yet you repeat them.

Sometimes I turn adblocker off just to see what’s there. Last time I saw ads for XL – 4XXXX men’s shirts. I am female, 5’, 2” and 118 lbs. So much for personalized ads.

If you think you are going to silence free speech and ignore the parents of vaccine injured children by getting a couple large companies to shut them down, you’ve not thought this thing through. You better brush up on your networking skills……. They are moving and getting bigger with each move you make to thwart their freedoms.

Ah, Mr. Hit-and-Run strikes again.

You better brush up on your networking skills……. They are moving and getting bigger with each move you make to thwart their freedoms.

Where are they moving to? “Getting bigger” sounds like a doctor should be consulted. Ascites? Gastroparesis? Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (a distinct possiblity)? You should get back on the AoA blower, Gerg, just to warn them about bloating.

It was just half an onion, chopped fine, for sauerkraut. I settled for watchful waiting. Sadly, my knedlíky didn’t rise very well. Never again for Hodgson Mill dry yeast.

Again no one is silencing your right to free speech, these private companies are not obliged by law to host AV crank nonsense you know. If you want to exercise your free speech to pout your bullshit view, no one stopping you creating your own company to host it.

Though there is irony in the subtle suggestion the gov should step in to ‘enforce free speech’ and force them to host things they would rather not….

Have any of your substance free comments been deleted from this blog? Unlike Age of Autism that will censor speech, your idiocy is posted for all to see.

Let the AV publish all the videos they want. With one proviso. They get a mandatory laugh track. I’d watch that.

Compared to the statins deniers the vaccine guys are a joke (comparedtoo how many live they cost), but I rarely see something about that on the skeptics blogs, soy boys

You are right, he is the guy who shows up when I fall asleep on youtube and later wake up, I think youtube tries to radicalize me lol

“It looks like we have gotten a new chew-toy.”

My field spaniel puppy enjoys a squeaky chew toy that looks like a container of McDonald’s fries. It’s also washable (sadly, not an effective option for human chew toys).

Testing 1,2,3 Testing 1,2,3

@ Orac,

Some of my comments are being arbitrarily censored in auto-moderation. Please advise.

Is the dochniak being prevented from distimming the doshes? We’ll just have to wait and see.

@ Narad:

You didn’t catch my drift:
They’re claiming that their reasons are religious BUT there doesn’t seem to be religious prohibition against vaccines SO
it illustrates that their “religious” hesitance is REALLY a personal belief.( Unless maybe if they start their own religion?)
As I said: make them jump through hoops. Demonstrate how vaccination interferes with expression of your religion. Write an essay explain your beliefs. Take a class. Talk to a nurse.

As I said: make them jump through hoops.

This requires a juridical apparatus such as New York State’s. It’s not going to just spring up elsewhere.

Oh man, I just had a big go around with several anti-vaxxers (along with a few other rational humans who also called them out on their bullcrap) on a group for archaeologists (which my degree is in) and the crazy shit they are spewing is insane. This included a lack of understanding of biochemistry, making veiled references to unnamed professionals who I don’t doubt “edumacated them” and said professionals either are not professionals at all or are Not a Doctors, and my favourite was citing a study done on sheep using a vaccine to fatten them up quicker for market and comparing that to long standing vaccines on human beings and how they were the same (that is, the sheep responded badly to the vaccines, especially the aluminium in them). My head hurts from all the face palming I’ve been doing.

Archaeologists? Did you ask them if they’ve ever dug a graveyard or looked at a coroner’s roll for causes of death? I would think they would be at least peripherally aware of the impact of infectious disease on the people they’re digging up.

Or you could say that they’re as right on vaccines as Indiana Jones is on proper excavation procedures.

You will be crushed because almost no one likes fooling around with medicine and public health. (I personally do, but that’s another topic). Trust me, you haven’t yet seen a thing when it comes to medical fascism: rejoice that you’re having it so nice and smooth for the moment.

And you’re not following along. We will not be crushed because for the most part there is no ‘us’ to crush. ‘Us’ are simply those who are frightened of vaccines and they include the parties that we traditionally brand as ‘antivaxxers’ and ‘provaxxers’. Quite often you are a part of us, minus the hypocrisy. Again, how do you plan to win the battle when it will involve defeating yourself? Yes — I realize that it’s imperative that that you protect the vaccination sentiment by pitching this good-guys/bad-guys narrative; still, pitching it does not make it not a farce.

“I realize that it’s imperative that that you protect the vaccination sentiment by pitching this good-guys/bad-guys narrative.”

I couldn’t care less about protecting the vaccination sentiment. You just have no idea of what you’re going against, and I’m just trying to open your eyes. Grow up.

“Again, how do you plan to win the battle when it will involve defeating yourself?”

Defeating me? You have no clue about me. Stop your psychobabble and snap out of it. Or I’ll start psychoanalyzing you against my will.

Measles would frighten many parents, too. My guess is that many parents did not vaccinate because measles was not around. This has been changed.

I recently read a rather prescient novel by Australian science fiction author Greg Egan, Distress (1995), where he has a character saying: “The truth is whatever you can’t escape.” Trofim Lysenko’s misguided agronomic policy couldn’t escape the truth that nature didn’t care what ideology the Soviet Union believed in, and the Soviets paid for it with millions dead from famine. In the same way, we can’t escape the truth that vaccines actually do work and not taking them can lead to potentially fatal sickness, and that their side effects are rare and do not include autism. The antivaxers have sown the wind and are reaping the whirlwind of vaccine-preventable diseases going on the rise again. They’re going to lose, eventually, because reality doesn’t care what you think, but I’d rather not have to pay the price for their stupidity with thousands of sick children, some whom will inevitably die or become impaired for the rest of their lives.

This. So this. I’ve been very nervous about the real possibility of a new “Spanish Flu” that becomes a worldwide pandemic. Even when we develop a universal flu vaccine, resistance to vaccination will mean low uptake and a lot of sick and dead people.

The hospital unit where I take my nursing students is filled with CHF and COPD patients who had an exacerbation of their chronic illness because they got Influenza. These patients are really sick; even the patients who are Stage I CHF (NYHA) and normally have minimal symptoms are quite ill.

Actually Gerg, your cohorts are merely “fair-weather” anti-vaxers. That’s why MMR vaccination is up 500% in Washington State. When confronted with the actual disease, anti-vaxer “warrior moms” go running to get their kids vaccinated.

Lawrence, actually whether you realize it or not you’ve just made my point. There essentially are no provaxxers and antivaxxers. What we have instead are fearful people. People fear measles and when the threat is imminent they will choose vaccines. People also fear autism, provaxxers and antivaxxers included. When a measles threat subside they will go back to spurning vaccines. We see this pattern repeating itself with each and every outbreak.

Tell me then how you will defeat the antivaxxers whey you’re also fearful. We’re all essentially tied at the hip and defeating us will involve defeating yourself. As I said, the essential difference between a provaxxer and antivaxxer is the antivaxxer is merely the one speaking out loud.
Though satisfying for you guys, the illusion of a good-guy/bad-guy battle is just a myth and it won’t carry the day.

The way to defeat the anti-vax crowd is not to keep producing studies that show no connection between vaccines and autism. There are already plenty and anti-vaxxers don’t believe them. They automatically put anecdotal evidence above statistical analysis so they’ll never believe a dry scientific answer when there is a dramatic sob story unfolding. As an aside, its interesting that they never pool their own money to carry out their own studies and analysis. You’d think there would be enough money out there to hire a university dept for a year and pay for the work to be done.

I suspect the only way to defeat anti-vax sentiment is to study autism exhaustively. When it’s finally understood fully, they’ll have to move on to the next item on the list.

I suspect the only way to defeat anti-vax sentiment is to study autism exhaustively. When it’s finally understood fully, they’ll have to move on to the next item on the list.

Agree! Come up with another plausible explanation for autism and you win. Good luck!

Greg. Best presentation about science on autism I found is here. Alas it’s in French. Would like to know if there are similar presentations in English.

“Come up with another plausible explanation for autism and you win.”
This is not a battle or even a test of your putative debating skills.
Here’s what the National Institute of Environmental Health has to say:
“The clearest evidence for environmental risk factors in ASD involves events before and during birth. They may include:
Advanced parental age at time of conception
Prenatal exposure to air pollution
Maternal obesity or diabetes
Extreme prematurity and very low birth weight
Any birth difficulty leading to periods of prenatal oxygen deprivation to the baby’s brain
Prenatal exposure to certain pesticides
Again, however, these factors alone are unlikely to cause ASD. Rather, they appear to increase a child’s chances for developing ASD, when combined with the aforementioned genetic factors.”
I can predict what you will pick out of this list. You will say that mention of pesticides and airborne pollution somehow justifies your “It’s the dreaded toxins in the vaccines, just like I told you.”
Keep it up. It’s sad that the hill you have chosen to die on is a dungheap.

Sorry, Greg. I don’t buy your argument.

I’ve heard too many anti vaxxers rage about the toxins gambit to buy that argument. This isn’t about genuine fear. This is about people who think they’re too good to get sick, and view vaccines as somehow tainting their special pureness. It’s nonsense.

The only reason people have concerns about vaccines is because of bat shit crazy people like you spreading lies and misinformation. You use emotional appeals to gain support because logic and reason are not on your side. Unfortunately, people respond to emotional appeals because logic and reason are by their nature dispassionate. People respond to rallying cries and that’s what you provide even if it is to rally the public into a charge off a cliff.

Luck? Maybe a bit but it’ll be multiple lucky scientific teams that solves the autism question. Not anti-vaxxers.

As I said, the essential difference between a provaxxer and antivaxxer is the antivaxxer is merely the one speaking out loud.

It’s convenient that this is demonstrably false.

“Tell me then how you will defeat the antivaxxers”

We can’t “defeat” antivaxers any more than we can defeat moon landing deniers, Kennedy assassination conspiracy theorists, water fluoridation freak-outs or similar nimrods.

Antivaxers, as has been pointed out, are heavily disadvantaged by the threat and now the increasing occurrence of preventable disease outbreaks due to their actions. It’ll only get worse for them when deaths start making the news (as has happened in measles oubreaks recently in Europe). The equilibrium will shift strongly to getting (and further mandating) vaccine protection, and it’s going to remain there for quite some time, fueled from time to time by new outbreaks in antivax hot spots. Importations of vaccine-preventable diseases from abroad will contribute.

Greg’s “movement” carries the seeds of its own minimization. Not destruction, because it’s essentially impossible to get rid of determined ignorance.

We can’t “defeat” antivaxers any more than we can defeat moon landing deniers, Kennedy assassination conspiracy theorists, water fluoridation freak-outs or similar nimrods.

Antivaxers, as has been pointed out, are heavily disadvantaged by the threat and now the increasing occurrence of preventable disease outbreaks due to their actions. It’ll only get worse for them when deaths start making the news (as has happened in measles oubreaks recently in Europe). The equilibrium will shift strongly to getting (and further mandating) vaccine protection, and it’s going to remain there for quite some time, fueled from time to time by new outbreaks in antivax hot spots. Importations of vaccine-preventable diseases from abroad will contribute.

Greg’s “movement” carries the seeds of its own minimization. Not destruction, because it’s essentially impossible to get rid of determined ignorance.

DB, I am in agreement with you that with the vaccination battle it will be the consequence of actions that settle things — not mandates or censorship. DB, you speak of preventable diseases roaring back, but let me point out that it’s not sustainable to have 1 in 36 of our kids now neurologically impaired, 1 in 10 with ADHD, 1 in 6 with LD and so on and so on. DB, we simply can’t go on like this. Indeed — I believe the ‘equilibrium’ will shift, but not in your direction.

And DB, my exact quote the you cutoff underscores the pickle that you guys are in. It’s not ‘tell me how you will defeat the antivaxxers’ but ‘tell me how you will defeat the antivaxxers when you’re also fearful.’

Some one once said: “It doesn’t exist until you define it.” I believe it was British scientist Lorna Wing. If one looks at books from long ago that discuss infant and childhood mortality, disability, years of schooling, government programs, etc. you might be surprised that what we now label as “neurologically impaired” actually existed long before they were labeled. Keep in mind that years ago low birthweight and very low birthweight infants usually died, that kids that didn’t fit into schools didn’t get special ed, but were expelled, that it wasn’t until the late 1980s that Federal government passed bill to fund special ed and not until early 1990s that follow-up legislation specifically listed ASD.

I remember back in 1950s while in elementary school students who could barely read. In fact, the teacher divided the class into three groups, those whose reading skills were good, those who were modest at best and those who barely could. However, no one in those days did studies of percent of kids in classes relegated to the lowest group. Such group divisions, according to conversations with others of my generation, were quite normal.

Only a few years ago one was considered healthy, not needing medications, if total cholesterol not above 200. Now 170, so, all of a sudden, a large number of people have been added to the group. I won’t go into why I disagree; but just one example how changing or adding a label affects the numbers. However, at least, cholesterol level is an objective physical measure. ASD is based on various behavioral observations and depending on the circumstances, the same kid could be labeled “mentally retarded”/”developmentally challenged”, some form of childhood schizophrenia, etc. I have been friends with someone since early childhood who, though a good guy in many ways, quite eccentric, no eye contact, prefers computers, theoretical physics. There are people in their 70s who have finally been diagnosed with Asperger’s. Did they suddenly develop it or is it that in 1994 it was added to the DSM-IV? Just one example of how the numbers have increased.

I realize that nothing anyone says will change your mind; but hope that others following this page who are open-minded will consider what I and others have written that refutes your rigid ideology.

1 in 6 with LD

17%, Gerg? Citation needed. BTW, what percentage of children and teens outgrow ADHD?

And you are, naturally, begging the question yet again.

Mimi, given that Greg seems to think we’re all in a vegetative state, presumably he gets his ideas from the compost pile. He’s just got no sense of scale at all. He acts like a paper cut is the same as amputation.

Brain damage != autism != ADHD.

Agreed,
You know, it wasn’t so long ago that we sceptics were concerned about the influence of hiv/aids denialists on the general public:
they doubted the existence and/ or danger of the hiv virus, disparaged SBM’s teachings and anti-retroviral drugs. They highlighted people who wouldn’t take the drugs or give them to their hiv+ children.
Today, hiv/ aids denialism isn’t much of a trend and their poster children are dead of aids. HOWEVER, how many vulnerable people took their advice seriously and harmed themselves or others?

Orac writes,

Still, I can’t help but conclude that, however inadequate some of their recently announced measures are, actions by Amazon, Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube are a good first step in combatting the use of their platforms to spread antivaccine misinformation.

MJD says,

I know my Amazon author profile has all but disappeared in Google using the search word “Dochniak.” Science-based teachings on climate change, artificial intelligence, Alzheimer’s disease, and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) will be buried because one (1) of my books was directed at vaccines and ASD. Ironically, censorship spreads like a disease.

There is a huge dearth of reader reviews of your books on Amazon. Only one of them has any reader ratings at all, and there are only two of them. No surprise, they are both one-star,
If your results have been pushed down, it’s most likely because Tina Dochniak, a medical practitioner in Florida, appears to be rather more popular than you are. This is not to mention that precious few of your readers care enough to rate your books, or maybe it’s because there are no zero or negative number stars ratings available.
I saw no evidence that Amazon is trying to censor you over anything. The lack of popular interest probably has more to do with it.
Keep on distimming those doshes, and one day it will all come clear.

Some one once said: “It doesn’t exist until you define it.” I believe it was British scientist Lorna Wing. If one looks at books from long ago that discuss infant and childhood mortality, disability, years of schooling, government programs, etc. you might be surprised that what we now label as “neurologically impaired” actually existed long before they were labeled. Keep in mind that years ago low birthweight and very low birthweight infants usually died, that kids that didn’t fit into schools didn’t get special ed, but were expelled, that it wasn’t until the late 1980s that Federal government passed bill to fund special ed and not until early 1990s that follow-up legislation specifically listed ASD.

I remember back in 1950s while in elementary school students who could barely read. In fact, the teacher divided the class into three groups, those whose reading skills were good, those who were modest at best and those who barely could. However, no one in those days did studies of percent of kids in classes relegated to the lowest group. Such group divisions, according to conversations with others of my generation, were quite normal.

Only a few years ago one was considered healthy, not needing medications, if total cholesterol not above 200. Now 170, so, all of a sudden, a large number of people have been added to the group. I won’t go into why I disagree; but just one example how changing or adding a label affects the numbers. However, at least, cholesterol level is an objective physical measure. ASD is based on various behavioral observations and depending on the circumstances, the same kid could be labeled “mentally retarded”/”developmentally challenged”, some form of childhood schizophrenia, etc. I have been friends with someone since early childhood who, though a good guy in many ways, quite eccentric, no eye contact, prefers computers, theoretical physics. There are people in their 70s who have finally been diagnosed with Asperger’s. Did they suddenly develop it or is it that in 1994 it was added to the DSM-IV? Just one example of how the numbers have increased.

I realize that nothing anyone says will change your mind; but hope that others following this page who are open-minded will consider what I and others have written that refutes your rigid ideology.

Joel, I make it a point not to address your bunk, but just this once I will. Where are all the special needs adults?!

First, the kids in my elementary school who were in the lowest reading group, got jobs at gas stations, thrift shops, five and dimes, etc. Many nowadays labeled as needing special education are capable of surviving, just if given proper help, they can, hopefully, achieve more. When very young I played with the Down Syndrome son of good friends to my parents. Unfortunately, he died at 12. Down syndrome not only affects intellect; but heart defects as well. Nowadays, he would have lived with open-heart surgery. But had he lived then he would have ended up in a home or state home. A Swedish researcher proved that those with Down Syndrome can reach low normal levels of intelligence and Sweden sees to it that kids with various disabilities get all the help possible. So, some get regular jobs.

And I have personal first-hand knowledge. My kid brother was born with brain damage. My mother had eclampsia during pregnancy. However, all the elementary school knew was that he had coordination problems and when kids teased him, he fought, kicked and bit, so he was expelled and, at the time, state law did not allow home schooling, and my parents for a time tried to afford a private school; but eventually he ended up in a state institution for a period of time. Only in his teens did someone suggest he be examined by a neurologist who diagnosed brain damage, including getting hold of my mother’s pregnancy records. He eventually reached a low 5th grade level of reading and arithmetic; but couldn’t hold a job and was finally given SSI disability. Unfortunately, not discovered until too late is that he had a heart valve defect as well and he died young. So, nowadays, he would have received special ed and, of course, been included in the stats.

So, I grew up hearing through the bedroom door my parents discussing/arguing, my mother crying, what to do and every extra cent went to trying to help him, so that I received, due to the income left to my father, what was called a need scholarship that paid part of my tuition and books. My dad always felt horrible he couldn’t help me with my education. Throughout my undergraduate years I worked part-time; but NEVER felt anything but love for my parents because of all the love I received from them.

So, I know first hand what it was like before programs and funding were developed, both for those like my brother and like the Down Syndrome kid I played with.

And I grew up knowing those who didn’t survive unaffected by nowadays vaccine-preventable childhood diseases, para and quadrapletics from polio. Kids with disabilities from measles.

And a long time from elementary school friend, quite successful as computer programmer, if today, would be diagnosed with Asbergers.

So, the answer to your question is that many now diagnosed needing special ed, years ago, especially in a less technologically advanced society where learning disabilities less important, got jobs, or ended up in various institutions, including prisons. Yep, prisons. There have been numerous studies finding how people with various mental problems and disabilities end up in jails and prisons rather than getting the help they need. And there is preliminary British study that looked for ASD in adults and found higher numbers than anticipated.

My brother died young and to this day I feel guilty, could I have done something? He had IQ of 85, low 5th grade reading and arithmetic, poor coordination, and I a PhD, and four Masters Degrees; but I failed him; but I did take care of my parents, buying my mother a brand new car, putting air-conditioning in their home; but I had to be careful as to not hurt my father’s pride.

So, feel free not to address my bunk and GO TO HELL!

When very young I played with the Down Syndrome son of good friends to my parents. Unfortunately, he died at 12. Down syndrome not only affects intellect; but heart defects as well. Nowadays, he would have lived with open-heart surgery. But had he lived then he would have ended up in a home or state home.

My older cousin with Down syndrome was born around 1957 and lived to age 51, fortunately with no heart defects. He did ultimately live in a group home but worked when he was younger, and he apparently saved up quite the nest egg. (I was a bit freaked out by one of the mechanical banks that he collected — I’m 10 years younger — but never by him.)

And I grew up knowing those who didn’t survive unaffected by nowadays vaccine-preventable childhood diseases, para and quadrapletics from polio.

The most superb wine (and beer) expert at the local liquor store has to wear a brace as a result of polio and walks with a distinct limp. I suppose Gerg would consider this a small price to pay to avoid “brain damage.”

AS I’ve written before:
— the grammar school I attended had a class in the basement where students were taught wood working skills and general school subjects: it was all teenage boys, separated from the rest of the student population.
— my friend’s older sister had CP and attended a special school in the county seat where their parents had to drive her: she was at least 18 and had real difficulties with speaking. This is a county with money.
–one of my gentleman’s friends had many characteristics that probably would have been called AS but he was never diagnosed: he had problems relating to people, odd hobbies and sometimes, outbursts. Despite this, he managed to get a year or two of college and worked for the postal service for 40 years
–another guy’s relative is 50 and has similar characteristics and lives a very isolated life with odd interests but works delivering parts for an auto company.
–we probably had kids with LD in school but they were never labelled as such: sometimes teachers gave them extra help but many were left back. I think if they were a certain age at graduation, they were encouraged to leave rather than sent to secondary school
— my best friend became a special ed teacher/ speech correction expert:( when a boy across the street had to do exercises for CP, she volunteered to help the mother).She said that her inclusion in the Italian community revealed that disabled kids were taken care of at home by grandmothers, mothers. She worked with LD kids- for reading mostly, with mentally ill kids in a private school and with ESL kids in California.

I am always amazed that AoA’s Ann Dachel, who is older than I am, can say, ” Where were all the kids with ASD, LDs, etc?” And she’s a teacher!

Maybe (but I doubt it), Greg will see something in your very personal and moving post to calm his agitation. Regardless, I thank you for posting it.

@Narad

The most superb wine (and beer) expert at the local liquor store has to wear a brace as a result of polio and walks with a distinct limp.

The partner of my family physician when I was a teenager used walking crutches and wore leg braces. I forget what was wrong with his legs. He was an excellent physician and took good care of us when our regular doctor was out of town.

Joel, I make it a point not to address your bunk

∗blink∗

You’ve just admitted to compulsively pressing “post comment” without reading what you’re putatively replying to. It’s even better than a behavioral diagnosis.

You’ve just admitted to compulsively pressing “post comment” without reading what you’re putatively replying to. It’s even better than a behavioral diagnosis.

Reading it and feeling it is not worthy of a response are two separate things?

Reading it and feeling it is not worthy of a response are two separate things?

If it weren’t “worthy of a response,” you wouldn’t respond.

@Gerg – there are plenty of them out there. Stop by any medical center & you’ll see buses and shuttles dedicated to “adult day care” or “special needs adults.”

But, when your head is stuck up your own ass, as far as your’s is, I’m not surprised that you don’t see those people.

And time and time again, you’ve been told that autism is developmental delay, not developmental stasis. Autism at 40 is not autism at 5.

My great aunt was kept away from the rest of her family and is being cared for by the third generation of a family her parents picked out to care for her. I don’t know anything else about her except that she’s apparently happy and no one in the younger generations knew about her until after my grandmother died.

So some of them were hidden.

Also, ADHD isn’t special needs and I’m right up in your face.

“Where are all the special needs adults?!”
I’m right here. So is my nephew. So are all the workers in his sheltered workshop. So are many of the Special Olympians he competes against. So are the people in the various adult autism groups I have looked in on.We’re all around you if you look. But you’d rather return to the old talking points, like a dog returning to its vomit, rather than make the minimal effort to find out for yourself.

One more nail in the coffin of antivaccinationists. “Major Study Finds Pregnancy Issue Actually Linked to Autism, And It’s Not Vaccines.” You can find it at:

https://www.sciencealert.com/major-study-finds-a-health-issue-during-pregnancy-linked-to-autism-and-it-s-not-vaccines

Oh, I didn’t rely on the article above; but got hold of the actual journal article.

Given that previous studies have found irregular brain development from 1st trimester, well, this one just adds more. Study was done on 1.8 million children. Well, damn those Swedes, selling out to Big Pharma. A world-wide conspiracy that makes the anti-semitic Elders of the Protocols of Zion make Jews look like rank amateurs. But, of course, as I’ve written elsewhere, see my first paper for Science-Based Medicine, “The So-Called Vaccine Debate: False Balance in The San Diego Union-Tribune”, the “profits” made on vaccines are actually small and the industry would make far more if 10s of thousands of kids got the actual diseases, both hospitalized and staying home using prescribed medications. And it is the height of stupidity by antivaccinationists to focus on profits since almost everything we purchase is sold for profit. If one follows the slippery slope, the antivaccinationists should convince any diabetic friends to not use insulin, any asthmatics, albuterol, those with cancer to forgo chemotherapy, etc. And don’t buy anything at the supermarket. The fact that a profit is made on anything doesn’t say whether it is beneficial, neutral, or harmful, except in the mind of antivaccinationists, although only if it applies to vaccines.

Greg, do get hold of the actual journal article and given your absolute genius, please tell us all the flaws with it?????

Greg, do get hold of the actual journal article

Heh. I have it right here (thanks Alexandra), but I doubt that Gerg even knows what a DOI is or what to do with one. And yes, I have institutional access, but I’m quite a way from the library.

I think I mentioned earlier, but two friends in Sweden each their fourth child was born with Down Syndrome. All surgeries and medical care was free. In Sweden, at the time, there was a small copay for medical; but only after age 18 and if not disabled. A bus picked the kids up, took them to a special school with the goal to mainstream them if possible, that is, for instance, one hour per day in regular school, gradually transitioning, IF POSSIBLE. In addition, a trained home aid person stayed one weekend per quarter to take care of the kids so the parents could have a respite and as adults the Swedes continued with programs. In fact, I just received an e-mail from one of the families and their son with Down Syndrome is in a quality group home, his own room, and activities such as arts and crafts. Unfortunately, he was not one of the lucky Down Syndrome to reach low normal. When doing my Post-Doctoral NIH fellowship in Houston I met a couple who belonged to a group encouraging people to adopt disabled children. They adopted a sweet little girl from a state home with Down Syndrome. The husband ran a business out of his home and when he wanted to add the little girl to his medical insurance the premiums doubled because the insurance company knew that kids with Down Syndrome often need open-heart surgery, hip surgery, etc. And the Houston Public Schools offered mediocre programs for “special” children, this was before the Landmark 1996 Federal legislation funding special ed. Which still doesn’t guarantee that every school district in our nation does equally well. So they put her in a private school. This was NOT a wealthy family; but a family who did something that should be admired and supported, instead, once removed from the state institution, in this country, we washed our hands of it, rather than going out of our way to help, as opposed to Sweden.

Greg writes: “Reading it and feeling it is not worthy of a response are two separate things?”

Well, of course, any response from a us mere mortals would be unworthy of those with g-d-like absolute knowledge. YOU REALLY ARE A DESPICABLE EXCUSE FOR A HUMAN BEING! ! !

There is a reason I him and his friends lying sadistic child haters. Especially after those parents had a child spend weeks in intensive care due to an actual tetanus infection, and they still will not vaccinate. They must really hate their own child.

“YOU REALLY ARE A DESPICABLE EXCUSE FOR A HUMAN BEING! ! !”

Meh, he’s pretty much average for a hardcore antivaxer. 🙂

In other anti-vax news ( that they won’t like)…

Judge in New York denies request to allow 44 unvaccinated students back in class USA Today

Of course, it’s in good old Rockland, in a Waldorf school, in toney Chestnut Ridge**. The parents’ lawyer says the order violates their religious objections. I don’t think that the families are Orthodox Jewish- btw- because the article says that those students go to their own private schools.
If vaccination rate is less than 95%, unvaccinated students are barred.

** which even has a holistic vet

Ugh, Waldorf schools. They’re very anti-vax friendly (I think there was a post about them here recently). And it’s not like the kids are learning anything there at “you’re not allowed to read until your adult teeth come in” school, so it’s really a wash.

“Holistic” vets unfortunately aren’t that uncommon.

The specialty/oncology clinic we took our late Labrador to offered woo in addition to its evidence-based care. I don’t remember if that included reiki and homeopathy, but there was highly dubious stuff on the list.

Our new pup is up to date on his vaccines. Given his occasional puppy crazies*, antivaxers would probably blame them on Toxins in the parvo shot, or somesuch.

*Pluto has a lot of nice chew toys. My fingers and toes are not on the approved list. 🙁

“Holistic” vets unfortunately aren’t that uncommon.

Oh, G-d, I usually listen to Larry Meiller on Wisconsin Public Radio in the late mornings. Once a month, they have Dr. Sandi Sawchuk from the UW–Madison School of Veterinary Medicine. Top-flight advice. Then, about a week and a half later, they have the crunchy vet (it’s Madison, after all). Homeopathy, essential oils, the works, including the “no placebo effect in animals” trope. Cue Scanners.

Despite the Medical Fascists trying to shut down media content exposing the Vaccine Conspiracy, it’s good to see at least one reliable outlet still spreading the word.

Don’t miss tonight’s “Coast to Coast” show with Kent Heckenlively, to be followed by an equally science-based presentation on the “Phoenix Lights”.

No open line call-ins, though. Hmmm….who are they hiding from?

Rich: But remember, it’s unfair to call them “anti-vaccine” – they are only in favor of safer vaccines, a position analogous to their moderate position on rape.

Dear CEOs of Social Media Companies (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc.)

“At a time when vaccine-preventable diseases, particularly measles, are reemerging in the United States and
threatening communities and public health, physicians across the country are troubled by reports of anti-vaccine
related messages and advertisements targeting parents searching for vaccine information on your platforms. As
physicians, we are concerned that the proliferation of this type of health-related misinformation will undermine
sound science, further decrease vaccinations, and persuade people to make medical decisions that could spark the spread of easily preventable diseases.”

“With public health on the line and with social media serving as a leading source of information for the American
people, we urge you to do your part to ensure that users have access to scientifically valid information on
vaccinations, so they can make informed decisions about their families’ health. We also urge you to make public
your plans to ensure that users have access to accurate, timely, scientifically sound information on vaccines.”

Your friends at the A.M.A. (a.k.a. Evil Incarnate).

https://www.ama-assn.org/system/files/2019-03/madara-vaccination-letter.pdf

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