If you saw a post in Facebook that said "Flu Shots Contain More than 250 Times the EPA’s Safety Limit for Mercury", what would you do?
- Think that it's probably right - vaccines can be dangerous and we can't trust big pharma. Then post a supportive comment. (15% people answered this)
- Ignore it. It's just another one of those anti-vaccine posts and it's not worth risking a friendship to get into it. (3% people answered this)
- Look around the net to see if you can confirm whether it's true or not. Post a comment letting your friend know what you found. (31% people answered this)
- Politely debunk the claim and let your friend know that you'll always challenge anti-vaccination propaganda. (40% people answered this)
- Tell your friend that he or she is an idiot. (9% people answered this)
86 people voted.
Most people who post or share anti-vaccine propaganda on Facebook are not fanatics. This campaign is about politely but firmly encouraging them to stop doing that. Remarkably, this works and will help clean up the conversation on Facebook. Opposition to vaccines has existed as long as vaccines and it's not going away. Social media, and particularly Facebook, have emerged as a powerful way for antivaxers to spread their message. Every time someone shares an anti-vaccine link it is seen by a large number of people, and the more often they see it the more credible the message may seem to uninformed people. I have had a policy of never letting antivax propaganda going unchallenged. I will politely respond with questions, arguments and links. Sometimes I am alone in challenging, but often other friends of the poster will join me. I make it clear that I respect their right to their opinion, I strongly disagree and that Facebook is a public forum and I object to their posting propaganda here. Usually the poster will stop posting anti-vax material. It becomes too much trouble, and they aren't all that committed to converting anyone else. If the poster is a fanatic and keeps posting, I hide their posts but continue to challenge anyone who reposts their nonsense. This works. I virtually never see antivax propaganda on my wall any more. If I do, I challenge. If you are willing to take this on as a practice, and invite your rational friends to take this on as a practice, we can go a long way towards cleaning up the Facebook environment. It's a small, but real step towards a rational future. This Cause is affiliated with the Vaccines Save Lives cause, a cause dedicated to promoting awareness of the safety, efficacy and importance of vaccines. You can find it at http://www.causes.com/causes/787378-vaccines-save-lives No comments will be accepted on this cause. If you wish to comment please do so at http://on.fb.me/KZcimU
A Facebook friend posted the following link: http://naturalsociety.com/flu-shots-contain-250-times-epa-safe-level-mercury/. It appeared in my newsfeed*. My friend believes in the "Big Pharma Conspiracy" and, I assume, never checked the claims in the article. He simply shared information that he thought his friends might find useful. However, everything in the linked article is either factually wrong, or incomplete in a way that makes it highly misleading. It's not hard to find refutations. The following is an article from the Neuologica Blog by Dr. Steven Novella. http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/fear-mongering-the-flu-vaccine/ It didn't take more than a few seconds to find the refutation, but then I had to make a few decisions. 1. Should I ignore this post? 2. Do I want to bother to look it up? 3. If it's false do I want to challenge the original post? (It could get messy) 4. Do I want to do something about the spread of this anti-vaccination propaganda or not? If you wish to impede the spread of anti-vaccine propaganda on Facebook, please join the Anti-anti-vaccine campaign. Take the pledge to challenge all anti-vac