Your one stop shop for the anti-vaccine hate debate

vaccine hate debate

I and others have written several articles on this website about the anti-vaccine hate debate – discussing the atrocious and hateful behavior of a large portion of the anti vaccination cult.

This kind of “free speech” goes beyond simple mockery, ad hominem attacks, or, though it rarely happens, arguments about the science. Ad hominem attacks are, by definition, personal attacks that are used in lieu of real evidence. So, if you lack evidence to support your side of a debate (even a fake debate like what is happening with vaccines), you attack the person, rather than the evidence.

Of course, if you do lack evidence, you will be mocked mercilessly for lacking said evidence. Cherry-picked evidence doesn’t count. Appeals to authority as evidence doesn’t count. Employing the Nirvana fallacy doesn’t count. The only evidence that matters must come from high quality sources that are repeated many times and are often rolled up into a substantial meta-review.

The vaccine hate debate on exists because they have nothing – no evidence of harm, no evidence of a lack of benefit. None. Ground zero of the Facebook anti-vaccine hate crazies is The Vaccine Resistance Movement (VRM) – read their hatred and lies. Donald Trump would be proud of them.

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Anti-Semitic vaccine deniers – continued attacks on Prof. Reiss

Anti-Semitic vaccine deniers

The second most prolific writer on this blog (after the feathery carnivorous dinosaur) is Professor Dorit Rubinstein Reiss, a tenured professor of Law at University of California Hastings College of Law, one of the premiere law schools in this country. Yesterday, Professor Reiss wrote a detailed article about a recent proceeding with that case which she attended. Within hours, if not minutes, the anti-Semitic vaccine deniers were out in force to attack her.

It’s been clear to me for a long time that those on the anti-vaccine side realize they lack evidence – their only choice is to go for the ad hominem personal attacks. These attacks come in  all forms from accusing people of being shills for whatever company to creating some massive conspiracy that includes those of us who are Jewish and pro-vaccine. Just a note, this dinosaur is Jewish – but I’m flexible on consuming pigs.

The anti-vaccine cult can’t help themselves. Let’s see what they’ve done in the past few hours.

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Racist Facebook troll attacks pro-science writers

racist facebook troll

People try to claim that there’s some sort of debate about vaccines. In fact, one side, supported by the facts that the safety and effectiveness of vaccines is overwhelming and unbiased. The other side has nothing, so they employ a racist Facebook troll to game the system to make it appear that “we” are bad people.

It’s kind of a funny strategy on their part. The troll attacks Allison Hagood, an accomplished author and one of the leaders of the movement to protect children with vaccines. The racist troll has attacked Dorit Rubinstein Reiss and ghostly Orac, both of whom are intellectual heavyweights, who know more about the science and ethics of vaccines than the racist Facebook troll would know in a million years.

One of the troll’s and her minions’ latest attacks was a photoshopped image that made Professor Hagood look like a weird looking Hitler. And just to remind the reader, generally, using images that attempt to link an innocent person to Hitler or Nazism is a form of anti-Semitism, and is considered hate speech.

The racist troll has done all she can do to suppress the intelligent and thoughtful discourse about vaccines – that they protect lives and have saved nearly a million children’s lives in the past few years.

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Antivaccine activists attack Allison Hagood using Facebook

Antivaccine activists attack Allison Hagood

Allison Hagood is a professor of psychology and a public advocate for science and public health, particularly vaccines. She co-authored the book, “Your Baby’s Best Shot: Why Vaccines Are Safe and Save Lives” (with co author Stacy Mintzer Herlihy and a foreword by Paul Offit, MD). Recently, antivaccine activists attack Allison Hagood using Facebook to push their agenda.

Hagood is very active in social media, administering several Facebook pages, including the Anti Vax Wall of Shame (AVWoS), a page created to document, track and mock comments made by anti-vaccine activists. In the past, AVWoS has been the target of concerted attacks from anti-vaccine activists, and these attacks continue today. It has not let up for over a year.

Last month, Facebook banned Ms. Hagood for 30 days, for posting an image that “violates community standards”.  The image, with a caption Allison added, is shown below.  This was her third ban in a row.

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Anti Semitic hate speech of the antivaccine cult

I think I’ve said this close to a million times (give or take a few hundred thousand) – the only thing in science that matters is evidence. That’s it.

It’s been clear to me for a long time once those one the anti-science side realize they lack evidence, they go for the ad hominem attacks, in all kinds of forms from accusing people of being shills for whatever company to going full-Godwin, that is, if you wait long enough while in an internet discussion, someone will claim something or someone is a Nazi.

Well, the anti vaccine cult has reached a new high (or is it low) for breaching Godwin’s Law, bypassing a lame relationship between vaccines and Nazis, and going straight for anti Semitic hate speech and bigotry.

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New Disqus comments system

On 8 June 2014, I switched the comment system from Facebook based to Disqus, a different kind of commenting system. There were a few reasons for this decision:

  1. Facebook allowed too much spam in here. Because of Facebook’s tracking system, spammers could target fake comments that might be attractive to readers of various articles. It was almost creepy in how this spam fit with what was written
  2. You have to be on Facebook to comment in a Facebook environment, and there are a lot of people who did not want to set up a Facebook account. I empathize with that, so Disqus allows for several types of login, including setting up an account that is not on any social network.
  3. Disqus allows for threading of comments, which cannot be done with the Facebook system.
  4. Facebook constantly changed it’s programming which would break the comments section for a day or two every few weeks. It was frustrating, and because Facebook refused to publish its changes, they would happen without warning.
  5. Facebook had a binary moderation mode, either on or off. Disqus has a more vibrant one.
  6. You can up vote and down vote Disqus comments. This let’s the casual reader know who has contributed something useful to the conversation.

I pulled the switch on the change this afternoon. There are a few issues here and there, including a boatload of missing comments. I’m trying to recover them, and some have shown up, but others are being recalcitrant. They’re not lost for me, as I can see them in my database, but making the database talk to Disqus has been a challenge. Eventually it will be all worked out. I want to be able to see all of the antisemitic remarks for the Oberführer of whale.to.

A lot of websites now use Disqus, and it’s pretty easy to remain logged on, so that you can comment to your heart’s content across the internet. Because you know, one day, we will correct all of the mistakes on the internet. OK, maybe correcting the mistakes on Wikipedia will have to suffice.

If you have any comments, suggestions, or complaints, leave them here. Maybe I can fix them. Maybe I can’t. Maybe in a year, I’ll switch back to Facebook Comments. Probably not.

 

 

Chili’s and the National Autism Association–one more thing

I promised myself that I wouldn’t write anything more about Chili’s and their outstanding decision to back away from providing a donation to the antivaccination front group called the National Autism Association (NAA). Since I made that promise to me, and not to my readers, I get to write about Chili’s again with few consequences. Well, other than spending some time this evening in writing this last post, I promise, about Chili’s. I might choose to write something about the NAA again in the future, because they are kind of reprehensible, as you will soon see.

As I pointed out yesterday, the NAA is much more than just an autism advocacy group that lies about vaccines. It also promotes horrifying treatments for autism such as chelation, which has shown to not be effective. And many of the practitioners of chelation therapy are miscreants and other kinds of low lives. As I’ve mentioned previously, simple math, at the level a third grader would understand, indicates that it make take millions of doses of vaccines to be toxic, and only then if the patients kidneys had failed so nothing would be cleared from the blood. So, NAA is encouraging the use of chelation therapy, which does have risks, to fix a problem that we KNOW doesn’t cause autism, and, in fact, doesn’t even exist in the first place.

They could have just made the same claim that magical water cures autism. Oh I forgot, they are sponsored by Boiron, a homeopathy manufacturer.

© 2014, Skeptical Raptor, LLC. Yeah, I went here for lunch in Los Angeles.
© 2014, Skeptical Raptor, LLC. Yeah, I went here for lunch in Los Angeles.

 

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Chili’s makes the right choice–the wrap-up

Updated with more good quotes.

Over this past weekend, a social media protest on Twitter, Facebook, reddit and various blogs created an atmosphere where Chili’s, who was planning to contribute 10% of each guest’s check to an organization whose mission is to support the needs of the autism community, was getting stuck in a tight corner. Although the National Autism Association (NAA) appeared to be a fine charity, helping autistic children in numerous ways, their explicit statement that “Vaccinations can trigger or exacerbate autism in some, if not many, children, especially those who are genetically predisposed to immune, autoimmune or inflammatory conditions,” contradicts the vast mountain of evidence that explicitly and clearly refutes any connection between vaccines, vaccine ingredients, and the number of vaccines with autism.

©2014, Wikipedia Commons
©2014, Wikipedia Commons

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Chili’s does the right thing–severs ties with vaccine refuser group

After an uproar on social media, including Twitter, Facebook, and numerous blog posts (including three from me), Chili’s decided that they would suspend their program to contribute 10% of sales to an antivaccination front group, the National Autism Association, a group that states unequivocally that vaccines cause autism, despite the vast amount of evidence that it’s completely unrelated.

©2014, Wikipedia Commons
©2014, Wikipedia Commons

In a statement on Facebook, Chili’s said:

Chili’s is committed to giving back to the communities in which our guests live and work through local and national Give Back Events. While we remain committed to supporting the children and families affected by autism, we are canceling Monday’s Give Back Event based on the feedback we heard from our guests.

We believe autism awareness continues to be an important cause to our guests and team members, and we will find another way to support this worthy effort in the future with again our sole intention being to help families affected by autism. At Chili’s, we want to make every guest feel special and we thank all of our loyal guests for your thoughtful questions and comments.

I presume that antivaccination lunatics, who lead to more children’s deaths, aren’t a worthy charitable cause for Chili’s. As it should be.

For once, science and rational thinking win. I’d be lying if I didn’t say there’s a big smile on my face.

Anti-vaccine claims, misrepresentation and free speech

Imagine the following scenarios:

  1. A mother comments on an anti-vaccine Facebook page belonging to a Doctor known for her opposition to vaccines, saying that she is about to travel to a third world country for which the CDC recommends certain vaccines. She asks what vaccines, if any, she should get for her unvaccinated eight-months old. The doctor responds with “none; these countries are perfectly safe, there’s no higher risk there”.
  2. Another mother comments on the same Facebook page saying that a dog bit her daughter. She asks whether she should, in this case, get the rabies vaccine or tetanus vaccines. The doctor recommends against it, deviating from the standard of care.
  3. An anti-vaccine organization publishes an article describing measles as a “mild childhood disease,” potentially beneficial to the immune system and repeating the debunked claim that the MMR vaccine causes autism. It encourages readers not to vaccinate.
  4. An anti-vaccine doctor records a video recommending that citizens in a country that had polio discovered in the sewers avoid getting the Oral Polio Vaccine, as their Ministry of Health recommends. The doctor claims that: 1) Polio is not generally dangerous, and the polio epidemics in the United States were caused by use of DDT, 2) the polio vaccine is more dangerous than polio itself, or 3) vitamin C can prevent or treat polio.
  5. These claims are demonstrably false.
  6. An anti-vaccine site has an article suggesting that tetanus is not usually dangerous and can be prevented by letting wounds bleed and cleaning them with hydrogen peroxide.

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