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Taximom5 05-19-2012 06:03 PM

The following are two separate posts that appeared in the last month or so on a site called "Respectful Insolence," which is a very hard-line, pro-vaccine site.  These posts urge readers to troll "anti-vaccination" sites, or sites with known vaccine safety questioners, and even give step-by-step instructions on how to create a non-traceable account to do so:

 

I am posting this information here because most parents (perhaps even the mods here) have no idea that this actually happens.  I know I was both shocked and horrified when I stumbled on this. As someone who has had severe reactions to vaccines, and whose children have had severe reactions to vaccines, I feel that this kind of trolling is dangerous to the point of being life-threatening. I am highlighting some of that trolling advice, because it looks very much like some of the things we have seen recently at MDC, and I think it would be a good idea to keep this in mind when researching the vaccine decision.

 

I think, after reading this, we can all see the distinction between someone who is here to actually discuss vaccines, and someone who is here with an ulterior motive, as described below.

http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2012/04/thanks_antivaccinationists.php
 

Fight woo with woo if necessary. OK, put on your rubber gloves and swamp boots first, but none the less: When someone claims that "vaccines aren't 100% effective," trot out the quantum woo and claim that "since the universe is fundamentally uncertain, there are exceptions to everything including the so-called law of gravity, but none the less, getting your shots is as smart as not leaping off ladders." Devoted students of the sociology of woo ought to be able to come up with some good examples.


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.


"Prescribe the symptom," also on anti-vax blogs. 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."


There are plenty of other possible tactics along these lines.
Posted by: g724 | April 20, 2012 8:54 PM

http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2012/04/the_annals_of_im_not_anti-vaccine.php

Denise @ 76: The way to do it is to set up a fictitious email address. ...

 

[I am editing out the 4-step instructions of setting up a fictitious email address, as I do not think it is appropriate for MDC. If you need to ascertain that this site actually posted someone's instructions on how to do so for the explicit purpose of trolling "anti-vax" boards and boards where people are questioning vaccine safety, feel free to go to the site to do so.  -T.]

 

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 for use in reporting illegal activities you may run across from time to time. If you run across anti-vaxers or others promoting illegal activities (such as sending contaminated material through the mail, some of the anti-vaxers do this with chickenpox-contaminated lolly pops and so on to "share natural immunity" and it's a felony), you can safely turn 'em in to the appropriate authorities without fear of retaliation. 
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. 

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.
G724 April 26, 2012 


Slmommy 05-19-2012 07:09 PM

I remember someone posted a link or several links about an article comparing extreme pro-vax outlook to religion, this is really in the same vein.


Rrrrrachel 05-19-2012 07:39 PM

Are these things that respectful insolence posted or that someone posted in the comments on that site? I think that's a science blog that sometimes posts about vaccines, not a vaccine blog, btw.

AbbyGrant 05-20-2012 10:27 AM

It was in the comments section.


WildKingdom 05-20-2012 11:15 AM

It was in the comments section.  However, it's interesting that Taximom didn't post the followup comments to that, which basically tell that poster that he's an idiot and his idea is stupid.

 

 

 

Quote:

Oh, not this from g724 again. I thought he'd finally bought a clue and given up this stupid "let's win against the antivaxxers with an ethics-free dirty tricks campaign!!"No. We have an advantage that the antIvaxxers cannot match, which is that ours is the one that doesn't need lies and distortions to support it. There are few stupider ideas anyone could come up with than "let's do lots of dishonest things to counter the antivaxxers! Let's post fake messages pretending to be crazy anti-vax conspiracy nuts!" Yeah, that's a great idea. You know what happens if we do that? Any crazy anti-vax conspiracy crap that comes from anyone other than an established antivaxxer can be written off as "probably just a vaccine pusher up to dirty tricks again." Yeah, g724, let's give them plausible deniability; great idea! For the last time, stop with this crap! If you can't defend science-based medicine with anything except dishonesty, it's not because antivaxxers are such an unconquerable enemy, it's because you aren't up to the challenge; it's no excuse for stooping.

Posted by: Antaeus Feldspar | April 25, 2012 7:02 PM

 

 

 

Quote:

@ g724:

Altho' your plan has its charm- if you like black ops- I believe that *my* own strong point is that I use my education and experience to expose the blatant lies and posturing by those who rely upon pretense: I can't do what I'm opposing.

I could probably present myself in a way that might be more appealing to the average alt med-friendly person: I could talk about my (non-existent) children or play down-home girl-next-door but that's not who I am. Like Antaeus says, we do have something that the woo-meisters don't: a better grasp on how the real world works.

Posted by: Denice Walter | April 25, 2012 8:12 PM

 

 

Quote:

What Antaeus Feldspar said about g724 proposal.

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.

 

 

 

 

Quote:

g724:

There is a difference between appealing to emotion and lying. To put it simply: showing actual video of a child suffering from measles or pertussis, or an interview with grieving parents, appeals to emotion. You can do that without claiming that the vaccine is 100% effective, or lying about how many children died of pertussis last year. Remember: even one child dying needlessly in pain is too many.

Posted by: Vicki | April 29, 2012 10:10 AM

 

 

Quote:

g724: Why would you ever consider indulging in dirty tricks, when you have this forum and other forums to express your disgust with the drivel cranked out by notorious anti-vaccine websites?

Just looking at the number of "hits" and actual posts that RI receives...and the number of times mass media journalists link to RI, should be proof enough that the scientific studies we refer to, have an impact within the science community and the larger popular media audience.

Don't forget we have science on our side and the decrease in vaccine-preventable diseases incidence and prevalence in a highly immunized population. We also have the results of outbreak investigations that show the unimmunized "index case" infects other unimmunized kids and adults.

Posted by: lilady | April 29, 2012 11:14 AM

 

 

Basically, Taximom cherry-picked ONE comment out of 92 on that post.  Every response to that comment, and I mean every single one, uniformly said it was a bad, unethical thing to do.


Taximom5 05-20-2012 11:45 AM

Wildkingdom, I left out the flollow-up comments because the fact that a few people disagreed with g724 didn't, IMO, make up for the gist of the posts I quoted.

There were also a couple of "amen, brother" follow-up posts, too but I didn't include them, either. Too bad--I should have preserved them. Looks like they edited themselves out after reading this follow-up:

Psychological warfare doesn't work when it's so clumsily done that it's likely to be exposed and backfire, and you are gently carressing exposing it right now. You are trying so hard to show how clever you are, you are doing the second least clever thing you could possibly do (the first is making this announcement, of this plan of yours to discredit antivaxxers, on Age of Autism."

And this one:

(quote: g724) Sure they'll try to claim that any contrary postings on their sites are the work of Nefarious Vax-Pushers and Big Pharma Spies (capitalize those nouns!;-) who want to make them look bad. They'll do that anyway because they're paranoid and that's what paranoids do. But in the end, paranoia on the part of anti-vaxers only plays into our hands, because it turns up the conspiracy theory to 11 and turns off even more undecideds.

Antaeus Feldspar: "Unless, of course, they can point to comments that were posted on a public website where a Nefarious Vax-Pusher publicly announced an intention to make false posts to make them look bad. If undecideds aren't turned off already by antivaxxer paranoia, do you really think they're going to be turned off by antivaxxer paranoia that the antivaxxers can prove is justified by a publicly announced dirty-tricks campaign being conducted against them??"

In other words, it's not the trolling Mr. Feldspar objects to, it's the fact that g724 clumsily announced his plan on a public website.

WildKingdom 05-20-2012 11:51 AM

I posted every single follow up to that comment.  There was not a single, "Amen, brother" among them.  The posts that you posted were all from the same person, g742.  I find it interesting that in a post where you are basically accusing people on this site of being lying pharma shill sock puppets,  (when you say "I am highlighting some of that trolling advice, because it looks very much like some of the things we have seen recently at MDC, and I think it would be a good idea to keep this in mind when researching the vaccine decision.") you yourself are being less than honest regarding your source material.


Taximom5 05-20-2012 12:04 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by WildKingdom View Post


It seems to me that you are attempting to deflect the focus onto me, and away from the shocking fact that there are pro-vaccine people who are willing to troll forums where vaccine safety is questioned, and that these people are willing to LIE in order to protect the accine industry.

I copied the posts I posted weeks ago, and sent both link and copy to mods here. In the meantime, it would appear that some editing took place at respectful insolence. (I will say, though, that I am amazed that the original quote wasn't taken down.)

Feel free to check with mods here. Since I gave the the link and quotes well before posting them here, perhaps they took a look at the page before it was edited.

Taximom5 05-20-2012 12:09 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by WildKingdom View Post

I posted every single follow up to that comment.

Did you? Really?

What about the follow up comments I posted just aft you supposedly posted "every single follow-up comment?" You, umm, kind of missed those.

beckybird 05-20-2012 12:16 PM

Thanks for the info Taximom. I appreciate it!


WildKingdom 05-20-2012 12:31 PM

Respectful Insolence doesn't edit, ban, or moderate comments. Anyone that reads that blog on a regular basis knows that.

WildKingdom 05-20-2012 12:38 PM

Ah, I see you had two links up. I only looked at the second one. I guess the amen, brothers were all in the first one? I couldn't even find your quoted comment in the first one. And yes, for the second link, I quoted all the follows up that referred to your quote.

WildKingdom 05-20-2012 12:51 PM

Ok, I just went thru all 216 comments from your first link. One comment in support of g724. That's it. Out of 216 comments. I paste the quote for completeness sake.
Quote:
47
@g724
Bravo. That was quite a lengthy, well thought out list of possible attacks against disease promotion by the anti-vax crowd.
Posted by: MikeMa | April 21, 2012 7:20 AM

purslaine 05-20-2012 12:56 PM

I could not find the comments, so could not figure out if Taxi is right, or if Wild Kingdom is right and it is  simply one poster.

 

I would not be surprised if  Taxi is right   - that site is vile and full of hatred and venom (and a touch of stupidity)  towards non-vaxxers.


Taximom5 05-20-2012 01:55 PM

Wildkingdom, most of the 216 comments are about the blog, not about the comment I quoted. so why would you expect a high percentage of comments to be about the comment I posted? And why would you expect a significant portion to be dumb enough to post their support of illegal activity?

You seem intent on making this about me, rather than about the fact that somebody is exhorting pro-vax readers at respectful insolence to lie, manipulate, and create false email addresses on boards where vaccine safety is questioned.

Imakcerka 05-20-2012 02:16 PM

Taxi... you really think the voice of dissent is coming directly from that blog?  I'm pretty sure that both camps look else where for their information.  And I find it inflammatory that you feel that that blog is what is motivating people on here to argue for vaccines.  Or that they're copying and pasting pat phrases.

 

You had more credibility when you weren't trying to discredit the other MDC camp with this garbage. 

 

Carry on.


WildKingdom 05-20-2012 02:20 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taximom5 View Post

Wildkingdom, most of the 216 comments are about the blog, not about the comment I quoted. so why would you expect a high percentage of comments to be about the comment I posted? And why would you expect a significant portion to be dumb enough to post their support of illegal activity?
 

 

I wasn't aware it was illegal to create a sock puppet.  


AbbyGrant 05-20-2012 03:02 PM

      Quote:

Originally Posted by slmommy View Post

I remember someone posted a link or several links about an article comparing extreme pro-vax outlook to religion, this is really in the same vein.

 

I guess if one wanted to get into into it, one could compare the extreme anti-vax outlook that puts complete faith in the immune system, homeopathy, and clean living to religion.

 

Anyway, I don't see what two comments from the comments section of a blog have to do with members here. I think it's really poor form to put it mildly to bring that shit here to try to cast suspicion on MDC members. I'm pretty sure it's against the UA, at least it used to be. In response, I'm tempted to start a thread about how suspicious I am of a member who only posts on the vaccine forum and who seems to be using similar tactics to discredit vaccines and the people who support them and who throws in the occasional support of the curbie industry, but I'll try to stop myself.


Taximom5 05-20-2012 03:40 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Imakcerka View Post

Taxi... you really think the voice of dissent is coming directly from that blog?  I'm pretty sure that both camps look else where for their information.  And I find it inflammatory that you feel that that blog is what is motivating people on here to argue for vaccines.  Or that they're copying and pasting pat phrases.

You had more credibility when you weren't trying to discredit the other MDC camp with this garbage. 

Carry on.

Whoa, Imakcerka--please don't put words in my mouth.

I never said that ANYONE here came here from that blog.

I started this thread in response to accusations that I was paranoid for thinking that there could possibly be such a thing on MDC as a pro-vaccine troll.

I proved that the possibility not only exists, but has happened. Did you read missmayinga's comment? "That was during my days (well, day really, since my account was banned within the first 2 posts I made) trolling the Mothering Dot Com forums."

Exactly what do we accomplish by shooting the messenger?

Rrrrrachel 05-20-2012 03:43 PM

Where was that accusation made? I missed it.

Taximom5 05-20-2012 03:45 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rrrrrachel View Post

Where was that accusation made? I missed it.

I did not say that you made it.

Rrrrrachel 05-20-2012 03:46 PM

Uhhhh, neither did I? I was just wondering when it was made, because I missed it.

purslaine 05-20-2012 03:59 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Imakcerka View Post

Taxi... you really think the voice of dissent is coming directly from that blog?  I'm pretty sure that both camps look else where for their information.  And I find it inflammatory that you feel that that blog is what is motivating people on here to argue for vaccines.  Or that they're copying and pasting pat phrases.

 

Imakcerka...I have seen posters on another forum urge members to come on here and "set them right" about vaccines.   It was not the forum Taxi posted.  Some are here.  Oh......And they might not be copying and pasting "pat phrases" but they are copying and pasting.  

 

I know some people are OK with it shrug.gif - but I am not.

 

Can you imagine someone on the homebirth forum, for example, urging someone to go to another message board (like ivillage) and urging them to explain to the parents how misinformed they are to be considering a hospital birth?  How self-righteous!

 

Do I think most posters are genuine?  Yes, I do.  I am not naive enough to think everyone is.  Do I think those who cut and paste and are urged here by other posters on other forums are genuine?  Somewhat.  I do not doubt they believe in vaccines.  I also do not doubt they are pretty scuzzy.

 

Edited to add:  if anyone is genuinely curious about what site I am speaking of, pm me.  


stik 05-20-2012 04:02 PM

Taximom, lots of people come to MDC and debate issues surrounding a number of topics. If you think someone is trolling - ie., pretending to be something they are not, which sometimes happens and usually involves attempts to get people to send money - report it to the mods.

I've been an active participant in multiple online parenting forums since 1998. I've been active at MDC off and on since 2001. I am sometimes paid to write - about Star Trek, not about vaccines or crazy people. I am not amused by your blithe assumption, stated several times in several threads, that the people who disagree with you are faking fakers from fakeville. Real people in the real world really disagree about real things.

Here's something you may also want to consider: the belief that some of the people in your life are not real, and therefore don't "count" is known as depersonalization. Depersonalization is Easy on the Internet, but it's also a sign of bad things. It's often what is behind bullying among teens and preteens, both online and in real life. If you're fighting the urge to depersonalize people you are talking to online, or crossing the line over to encouraging others to depersonalize them as well, it might be a good idea to step away.

Rrrrrachel 05-20-2012 04:04 PM

If someone comes here to engage in a conversation about vaccines, why does it matter where they came from? Isn't that what a discussion forum is for? I came here on my own, but the reason I post is to share what I feel is accurate information. Call that pretentious if you want but I think that's probably why all of us post in this forum.

Taximom5 05-20-2012 04:05 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rrrrrachel View Post

Uhhhh, neither did I? I was just wondering when it was made, because I missed it.

Uhhh, I didn't say you did? Hello, i don't post copies of pm's I receive--but if I think it's appropriate (and obviously, I did) I may respond to them publicly, without calling out the pm-er.

I do hope that's okay with you.

And now can we please get back to the subject of the thread? Or do you guys feel the need to continue personal attacks and questioning my honesty? If so, please either use the handy little "flag" button, or take your personal issues with me to pm.

Imakcerka 05-20-2012 04:09 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

Imakcerka...I have seen posters on another forum urge members to come on here and "set them right" about vaccines.   It was not the forum Taxi posted.  Some are here.  Oh......And they might not be copying and pasting "pat phrases" but they are copying and pasting.  

 

I know some people are OK with it shrug.gif - but I am not.

 

Can you imagine someone on the homebirth forum, for example, urging someone to go to another message board (like ivillage) and urging them to explain to the parents how misinformed they are to be considering a hospital birth?  How self-righteous!

 

Do I think most posters are genuine?  Yes, I do.  I am not naive enough to think everyone is.  Do I think those who cut and paste and are urged here by other posters on other forums are genuine?  Somewhat.  I do not doubt they believe in vaccines.  I also do not doubt they are pretty scuzzy.

 

Edited to add:  if anyone is genuinely curious about what site I am speaking of, pm me.  

 

 

Why didn't she go to the mods?  Why did she post it in this forum?  Almost as if she's trying to discredit anyone who has a differing opinion. 

 

No it's not right to go on a forum just to be a jerk but if her goal is to try to discredit everyone that opposes her position she's grade schooling it all the way. 


Rrrrrachel 05-20-2012 04:10 PM

Jeepers, I was just asking. "it was in a pm" is sufficient, really. No one is questioning your honesty or attacking you personally.

stik 05-20-2012 04:11 PM

Seriously, you're going to bring in your personal messages now? Did someone pm you to say "ooh, you caught me! I'm really a shill for Big Pharma"?

You know what, go for it. If you have, in your PMs, the names of 500 MDCers who are in the employ of nefarious drug companies, post them. Post them all. Dish. I'm on a deadline PLUS I have lessons to plan. It'll keep me awake. Anything In your pm box that you feel is important for the broader community to know, I will be happy to read.

AbbyGrant 05-20-2012 04:41 PM

      Quote:

Originally Posted by Taximom5 View Post

And now can we please get back to the subject of the thread? Or do you guys feel the need to continue personal attacks and questioning my honesty? If so, please either use the handy little "flag" button, or take your personal issues with me to pm.

 

I thought we were discussing the subject of the thread which was you accusing people here of being sock puppets/shills of big pharma who are engaged in a conspiracy to bring down the anti-vax movement.  And I already used the handy red flag button to report your OP, but in the mean time, let's discuss. 



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