MB Comment: Message boards on the virulently pro-vax web site ORAC Respectful Insolence (Gorski) advocate fraudulently impersonating disease-injured families and insane people on the comment sections of vaccine injury and vaccine freedom websites such as Age of Autism, Mothering Magazine and Amazon.
These pro-vax maniacs’ purpose in life is to discredit anything that casts doubt on vaccines, which is their pseudo-scientific religion.
The next time you see comments saying: ‘My unvaccinated child has autism’ or ‘My immune-compromised child can’t take vaccines – it is your duty to immunize your child so my child doesn’t get sick’ or ‘My sister got measles and died’ etc. – please be aware that these may be totally fabricated lies concocted by vaccine fanatics to intimidate and discredit vaccine freedom and awareness websites and facebook pages.
They also advocate setting up phony email accounts and IDs so that their dishonest comments cannot be traced back to the source.
This despicable behavior makes it impossible to believe the veracity of any pro-vax comments you may read on news articles, Amazon forums, Mothering Magazine, etc., where these slimebag commentators lurk.
If you needed any further proof that vaccine zealots will stoop to any level to deceive and intimidate parents who are looking for truthful vaccine information, read on.
g724 April 20, 8:54 pm
‘Use emotional warfare on anti-vax blogs. Tell emotional stories full of tears and sobbing and unbearable grief and terror, about people in your own family or people you read about, who were sick with or died of terrible diseases. Don’t hold back details about bodily fluids and suchlike: the more gross the better. This stuff has a way of infiltrating the minds of readers and subtly influencing their decisions, in a manner similar to advertising.’
‘Go in there and “agree with them” and then say things that appear thoroughly delusional, overtly nuts, blatantly and obviously wrong even to nincompoops, etc. Occasional spelling and grammar errors are also useful but don’t over-do. The point of this exercise is to create an impression that drives away undecideds who may come in to check out these sites. It helps to do this as a group effort and begin gradually, so the sites appear to be “going downhill slowly.”‘
‘But it is useful to have an email address that can’t be traced back, for certain legitimate and ethical uses, just as it is useful to have a mail box at say the UPS store.’
April 25, 4:08 am
Poe2go @ 12 is right on target: post that kind of schizophrenic word-salad on the anti-vax sites in large quantities, under various pseudonyms, and clog up the sites with it until it appears that a large fraction of the members are downright wacko. This will seriously turn off undecideds who check out those sites. Poe2go’s comment is an excellent template for this tactic, but you can easily make up your own by inserting random words into sentences and then going on digressive riffs about the random words. Be sure to Capitalize occasional Nouns and Verbs as well.
Really: listen up folks, the way to fight this crap is NOT by “patiently explaining” to people who are already way past being persuaded that the Earth isn’t flat. You may as well be talking to rocks (healing crystals?:-). The way to fight it is by sabotaging the anti-vaxers with crazy stuff that drives away undecideds. The way to fight it is with emotional narratives that undermine the ones that the anti-vaxers are pushing.
Re. Matt @ 16: What will the anti-vaxers do after enough data come in that unvaxed kids have the same autism prevalence as vaxed kids? Simple: they will blame the autism on the vaccinations that mothers and fathers got when they were kids, that “damaged their DNA!” and “warped their chromosomes!” and so on. (Remember the old claim that LSD caused chromosome damage? That kind of scare tactic used to work, it may still.)
Denise @ 26 and others: Yes, the hyperbole contest. So we should sneak into the anti-vax blogs and compare vaccines to the 9/11 attacks, complete with lots of weeping & wailing to make it “interesting.” And of course lots of embedded 9/11 CT, for example, “Just as Dick Cheney piloted those planes into the WTC by remote control, vaccine-pushers pilot their deadly shots into our children!” That kind of stuff also drives away undecideds. …
April 25, 5:25 pm
Denise @ 76: The way to do it is to set up a fictitious email address. Speaking from experience working on research on extremist groups:
Start by setting one up on your existing broadband provider: AT&T, Comcast, and the rest of ‘em give you five or more email addresses of your choice. Create a totally fictitious name and then an address that reflects that name e.g. John Doe and JDoe1234@.
Next, get an address on a free service provider such as Yahoo or Hotmail or whatever. Since most of these ask for your “other” email address as proof of identity, give them the one on your broadband provider. They will send a confirmation email to that address giving you your starting password.
Third, after about a week of using your new fictitious address in various places that let you sign up for comments, you can be sure it’s working, so then go in and delete the address you created on your broadband service. Typically they deactivate the address immediately and then take a month to free up that slot for re-use. This step ensures that your Yahoo or Hotmail address becomes un-traceable back to your broadband provider.
Fourth, wait a month for the original fictitious name to completely purge from your broadband provider.
Fifth: Now you’re home free to get onto the anti-vax boards and any other objectionable boards you want to go after, and make all manner of noise to make them look ridiculous and drive away the undecideds. Yeee-hawww, round ‘em up!
Speaking of rounding ‘em up, you now have an untraceable email address …
That said, the option of simply going forth and making noise on anti-vax boards makes it all worthwhile. Every undecided you scare away from those boards, is one more family that will probably get their kids vaccinated. And that helps boost herd immunity and contribute to preventing outbreaks. So the work it takes to do this stuff translates directly to reduced risk of measles, whooping cough, and so on in the general population. That (plus the possibility to help catch criminals) makes it all worthwhile …
I think it was Denise, at 83 (I can’t see the posts while in Preview mode): This isn’t Black Ops, it’s Gray Ops. Gray Ops are nonviolent. I don’t approve of Black Ops.
Y’all need to pay closer attention to how hardball politics are played, or you’re going to lose, and lose, and lose some more. How do you like fighting creationists and other flat-Earthers in the 21st century? How do you like fighting for contraception in the 21st century? How’bout faith healing and power-placebo water and crystal magic and all the rest of it? Read up on what happens in the pediatric wards of Christian Science “hospitals,” and read up on dominionism, and the impact of home-schooling on science literacy, etc. etc. Do you think any of those wackos are the slightest bit deterred by propriety and politeness?
Sure it’s not “nice.” But infectious diseases don’t care about your sense of propriety.
The goal is to make anti-vaxism as socially unacceptable as public nose-picking, and then repeat the exercise on parental use of quack “healing” on their kids. But beyond that, the goal has to be to stop playing “defense” and go on the attack, and push all of these forms of pernicious irrationalism right off the far edge of the table and into the proverbial recycle-bin of history. If people want to believe silly things that are harmless, that’s their choice. But when they attempt to inflict quackery on their kids, or on the general public by becoming walking disease vectors, or write it into laws or public policies, that’s where we have to stand up, step in, roll up our sleeves, and fight.