Vaccination Forum Guidelines Reminder and Discussion - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 333 Old 05-21-2012, 12:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I would like to share some old Vaccination forum guidelines that serve as a particularly good reminder of our responsibilities as posters in this forum. This portion of our forum guidelines was inadvertently lost in the transition to Huddler. I'm bringing it back, edited slightly to account for our new, simpler UA, as I feel it clearly outlines how to keep our discussions here informative and respectful. These guidelines are not new; rather, they clarify what is already in the guidelines for Vax, S&DVax, and INV. But I'd like to use this space to further clarify any of the forum guidelies and to answer any questions you may have. smile.gif
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We are very pleased to have the intelligent, passionate, and wise voices of the parents here that post frequently to the Vaccinations forum to offer advice and information. We certainly want to keep the forum atmosphere a place where they can do so with their passion intact.

However, the passion must also carry a measure of compassion and respect, regardless of who is posting and what they are saying.

We would like our core membership to work in alliance with us in upholding the User Agreement, even in the face of someone who posts in a manner that feels suspicious or with underlying intention or agenda.

We would like to have everyone acknowledge and accept the guidelines of this forum so that all members of MDC, whether new or long-standing, will feel more comfortable posting here.

We would like all members to be aware of and appreciate our concerns about the posting manner here that has caused upset to parents in need of info who perhaps asked in the wrong way, asked without reading the archives, or responded in a way that felt inappropriate. Harsh posts in reply to such members have caused some to turn away from the forum. We want to do what we can to ensure that this does not happen.

This speaks very well of the atmosphere we would like all of our members to keep in mind as they post here in Vaccinations:
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Choosing whether or not to have a child vaccinated, especially in light of the politics of vaccines, must be an independent decision. It should not be coerced, but be the product of true informed consent. Few people even know that they have a choice regarding vaccinations, much less know what informed consent really is... Some parents want to comply with the entire vaccination schedule; others want no vaccinations at all. Some parents want certain vaccines but not others. And some want to delay the vaccines until their baby is older.
From "Vaccinations: Why All The Fuss" by Peggy O'Mara.

We embrace all parents, regardless of their choice. We uphold the Vaccinations forum as a place where they can come and discuss all aspects of all vaccinations, and find support in their desire to make an informed decision to not vaccinate, to vaccinate, to selectively vaccinate, or to delay vaccinations.

We would like all members to understand that this forum is not an anti-vax forum but rather is a forum to discuss issues and concerns so that parents can make an informed decision. This means that we do permit pro-vax posting and that should a member post pro-vax information they should not be labeled a troll or someone that does not belong at Mothering or MDC. Yes, there are lots of other places around the world wide web where this information is abundant. But that does not mean that its presentation or discussion is not appropriate here. Rather than rebuke or brand the poster as a troll, rise to the occasion and opportunity to demonstrate the flaws, inconsistencies, and misinformation you feel are present in such information posted. Intelligent, informative, and civil debate should be the shining light of this forum without stooping to accusation, condescending comments and veiled insults against an individual's character or intentions in posting here, as if that will somehow discredit the person or information.

We expect and insist that all members post here with an open mind and a willingness to learn - even from the new member. There should be an understanding that a large number of Mothering community members are against vaccinations so when you do come here to post to ask your questions, and you have an intention to vaccinate, members here will feel a need to inform you of the concerns about vaccinations. While no one should be labeled as irresponsible or uninformed for deciding to vaccinate, neither should parents here who have chosen to not vaccinate be accused of irresponsibility, not caring for their child, or presenting a threat to others. Please respect each other and refrain from statements that are condescending, hurtful, judgmental, and belittling. We will not tolerate such things and because this issue has reached an extreme we will be more pro-active and quick to warn everyone for such behavior, which could ultimately lead to your loss of posting privileges here in Vaccinations.

New members are advised to research the topic of their question first by perusing the archives and doing specific searches. Your questions are welcome and we certainly know a busy parent has little time for focused research and that the archives and search results can be overwhelming to sift through. But sometimes the info you seek is already posted and just what you're looking for. If you have searched the forum and did not find an answer, please say that in your post so that the members appreciate that you have already done so.

We would like to extend our thanks to all of you who make the Vaccinations forum a treasure of a resource. We you one and all.

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#2 of 333 Old 05-22-2012, 06:50 AM
 
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So….anyone want to talk about it, nicely, preferably with a mod overseeing the discussion?

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#3 of 333 Old 05-22-2012, 06:53 AM
 
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How many chances to posters get when they violate the UA? For example, by accusing people of being pharmashills (but could be any violation)? And are there consequences? Or just deleted posts?

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#4 of 333 Old 05-22-2012, 07:04 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post

How many chances to posters get when they violate the UA? For example, by accusing people of being pharmashills (but could be any violation)? And are there consequences? Or just deleted posts?

 

I was thinking about the pharma-shill thing.

 

Alluding to the fact that some posters may be pharma-shills is bad because:

 

a) there is no strong evidence for it

b) it is trying to discredit what pro-vaxxers say by implying that they are untrustworthy, and may be here under false pretenses and for financial gain.

 

Did I miss anything?

 

From the other side:

 

Not a day goes by  without someone saying or implying that non-vaxxers (either individually or collectively - and yes, I can get numerous links) do not understand science or statistics.  

 

It is also a smear campaign and used to discredit the non-vax point of view.  The only way it differs from the pharma-shill mess is no one is accusing anyone of doing it for financial gain….

 

How about we collectively agree that trying to discredit an entire group on the vaccine boards is not fair play?  

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#5 of 333 Old 05-22-2012, 07:14 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post

How many chances to posters get when they violate the UA? For example, by accusing people of being pharmashills (but could be any violation)? And are there consequences? Or just deleted posts?

 

I was thinking about the pharma-shill thing.

 

Alluding to the fact that some posters may be pharma-shills is bad because:

 

a) there is no strong evidence for it

b) it is trying to discredit what pro-vaxxers say by implying that they are untrustworthy, and may be here under false pretenses and for financial gain.

 

Did I miss anything?

 

From the other side:

 

Not a day goes by  without someone saying or implying that non-vaxxers (either individually or collectively - and yes, I can get numerous links) do not understand science or statistics.  

 

It is also a smear campaign and used to discredit the non-vax point of view.  The only way it differs from the pharma-shill mess is no one is accusing anyone of doing it for financial gain….

 

How about we collectively agree that trying to discredit an entire group on the vaccine boards is not fair play?  

 

I think non-vaxers can also be shills. So the biggest problem is that anyone could be a shill and there is no way to know.

 

I haven't seen much smearing going on as far as the non-vaxers - mostly just a dispute on what sources are credible and believable.

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#6 of 333 Old 05-22-2012, 07:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post

How many chances to posters get when they violate the UA? For example, by accusing people of being pharmashills (but could be any violation)? And are there consequences? Or just deleted posts?
Good question, thanks for asking!

After 3 strikes, a member gets a 1 month "vacation" from MDC. However, there are no hard and fast rules on what will earn you a point. A lot of things that used to earn reminders/warnings no longer do under the more relaxed UA; and if threads go off topic or even a bit cranky, we generally want to allow members room to work it out among themselves. Moderators may call out UAVs on the thread or via PM for an edit/apology, though we do delete some posts if they are not cleaned up or resolved by the poster, or if they are really really bad. We also have official warnings (saved in the system) and the 1-point infractions.

Also, keep in mind that with fewer mods and a more hands-off moderation style, our response time may be slower and we rely heavily on the reports system.
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Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

How about we collectively agree that trying to discredit an entire group on the vaccine boards is not fair play?
It is, both under the UA (respect and courtesy) and these new/old Vax guidelines:
Quote:
While no one should be labeled as irresponsible or uninformed for deciding to vaccinate, neither should parents here who have chosen to not vaccinate be accused of irresponsibility, not caring for their child, or presenting a threat to others. Please respect each other and refrain from statements that are condescending, hurtful, judgmental, and belittling.

Edited to clarify the infraction process

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#7 of 333 Old 05-22-2012, 07:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post

I haven't seen much smearing going on as far as the non-vaxers - mostly just a dispute on what sources are credible and believable.
Needless to say, negative characterizations go both ways and have been present on the boards, both historically and recently. They are NOT ok, in either direction.

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#8 of 333 Old 05-22-2012, 07:58 AM
 
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I haven't seen much smearing going on as far as the non-vaxers - mostly just a dispute on what sources are credible and believable.

 

Do you want me to find you recent links?

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#9 of 333 Old 05-22-2012, 08:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Do you want me to find you recent links?
Keep it to PM please... I'd like to keep this thread about the guidelines and questions. Thanks!

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#10 of 333 Old 05-22-2012, 08:46 AM
 
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Keep it to PM please... I'd like to keep this thread about the guidelines and questions. Thanks!

oh, all right….it saves me some work, anyways! orngtongue.gif

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#11 of 333 Old 05-22-2012, 09:00 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

 

I was thinking about the pharma-shill thing.

 

Alluding to the fact that some posters may be pharma-shills is bad because:

 

a) there is no strong evidence for it

b) it is trying to discredit what pro-vaxxers say by implying that they are untrustworthy, and may be here under false pretenses and for financial gain.

 

Did I miss anything?

 

From the other side:

 

Not a day goes by  without someone saying or implying that non-vaxxers (either individually or collectively - and yes, I can get numerous links) do not understand science or statistics.  

 

It is also a smear campaign and used to discredit the non-vax point of view.  The only way it differs from the pharma-shill mess is no one is accusing anyone of doing it for financial gain….

 

How about we collectively agree that trying to discredit an entire group on the vaccine boards is not fair play?  

 

Agreed it's not fair play to try to discredit an entire group. But both sides have at times been accused of not understanding science and statistics. It seems only one has been routinely and systematically accused of being here under false pretenses and/or for payment (promise I won't post links). IMO, that needs to stop, and I'm glad to see these guidelines posted here. I hope they get posted permanently at the top of the forum and on each subforum as well.

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#12 of 333 Old 05-22-2012, 09:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Agreed it's not fair play to try to discredit an entire group. But BOTH sides have been accused of not understanding science and statistics. It seems only one has been routinely and systematically accused of being here under false pretenses and/or for payment (promise I won't post links). IMO, that needs to stop, and I'm glad to see these guidelines posted here.  I hope the get posted permanently at the top of the forum and maybe each subforum as well.
Thanks for your thoughts! Long ago they were part of the original Vaccination Forum guidelines, and I'd like to restore them there officially as well. That means that these guidelines will apply to all subfora as well. smile.gif

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#13 of 333 Old 05-22-2012, 09:19 AM
 
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Agreed it's not fair play to try to discredit an entire group. But both sides have at times been accused of not understanding science and statistics. It seems only one has been routinely and systematically accused of being here under false pretenses and/or for payment (promise I won't post links). IMO, that needs to stop, and I'm glad to see these guidelines posted here. I hope they get posted permanently at the top of the forum and on each subforum as well.

 

My sense is that the non/sel/ del have been accused of being people not understanding science/statistics way more often than the pro-vax camp.  It is pretty endemic.  

 

That is my sense.  I could be wrong - and I do not doubt we all bring our own POV/baggage to how we look at posts.

 

It should also be pointed out that the pharma - shill line of discussion has come (largely) from one person.  I think she should knock it off - but I also think those who take every opportunity to claim that the pro-vax side is the only side linked with science and statistics should also knock it off.

 

I agree wholeheartedly with the bolded.

 

Mosaic….I hope this line of discussion is Ok.  Do you think we should discuss it (the extreme arguing and lack of respect) on this forum, or should we just read the user guidelines (which rock, btw) and move on?  Whatever you think will work in restoring some harmony.

 

Kathy

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I'm in the middle because I do vaccinate but on an alternative schedule, and I skip some, so guess I get it from all sides. lol.gif

 

Anyway, I think the difference about being accused of not understanding science and statistics and not being real is that only one could be refuted. I mean it's not that difficult to demonstrate knowledge of science and statistics but it's pretty much impossible to prove you are real or not paid by big pharma. It's an accusation that can't really be fought other than saying nuh-uh, so whoever is making it has the upper hand so to speak.

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#15 of 333 Old 05-22-2012, 09:57 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbyGrant View Post

 

Agreed it's not fair play to try to discredit an entire group. But both sides have at times been accused of not understanding science and statistics. It seems only one has been routinely and systematically accused of being here under false pretenses and/or for payment (promise I won't post links). IMO, that needs to stop, and I'm glad to see these guidelines posted here. I hope they get posted permanently at the top of the forum and on each subforum as well.

 

My sense is that the non/sel/ del have been accused of being people not understanding science/statistics way more often than the pro-vax camp.  It is pretty endemic.  

 

That is my sense.  I could be wrong - and I do not doubt we all bring our own POV/baggage to how we look at posts.

 

It should also be pointed out that the pharma - shill line of discussion has come (largely) from one person.  I think she should knock it off - but I also think those who take every opportunity to claim that the pro-vax side is the only side linked with science and statistics should also knock it off.

 

I agree wholeheartedly with the bolded.

 

Mosaic….I hope this line of discussion is Ok.  Do you think we should discuss it (the extreme arguing and lack of respect) on this forum, or should we just read the user guidelines (which rock, btw) and move on?  Whatever you think will work in restoring some harmony.

 

Kathy

 

She has been told repeatedly to knock it off - and then she posted a thread about how they exist and here's proof! Honestly, I don't think a UA does any good at all while she is still here posting about how anyone who posts something remotely pro-vax is a shill getting paid. Even if we WERE shills, we could still post as long as we follow the UA.

 

Now though she's really going to think I'm a shill living the high life....too bad she's dead wrong.

 

I'm also really tired of the conspiracy theory argument - even when the word conspiracy isn't used, if you define conspiracy in your post thats the argument you're making (general "you" - not directed at anyone in particular atm).

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 *

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#17 of 333 Old 05-22-2012, 10:25 AM
 
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Saying someone doesn't understand science or statistics as a general statement is an ad hominem attack. Saying "no, you misunderstood that science/that statistic, it means this" is a different thing.
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I dunno. Some things would clearly require a conspiracy to be true. I don't see anything wrong with pointing that out, but I'm open to discussion about it.

 

Equating questioning vaccines with being a conspiracy theorist is often an attempt to discredit a person or group.  (I am not saying you do this - in fact I cannot remember you doing this - I am just using this statement as a jumping off point for discussion)

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#19 of 333 Old 05-22-2012, 10:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This discussion is about more clearly defining posting behavior that is and is not ok in hopes of creating a more hospitable environment for fruitful discussions. Finger-pointing is neither productive nor helpful in creating a more positive environment.

This forum, its resources, and its tone, are all the result of our combined efforts. We can use those efforts to belabor what went wrong OR we can focus on what we can do, both as members and as your mod, to make this forum informative and approachable again. I think the discussion of clarifying what is ok versus what isn't would help everyone understand how to express their thoughts without causing undue conflict. smile.gif

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#20 of 333 Old 05-22-2012, 10:36 AM
 
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Equating questioning vaccines with being a conspiracy theorist is often an attempt to discredit a person or group.  


 Sure in that way.  But if someone is outlining what amounts to a conspiracy, I don't see the problem calling it just that.

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#21 of 333 Old 05-22-2012, 10:48 AM
 
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Saying someone doesn't understand science or statistics as a general statement is an ad hominem attack.
 
Saying "no, you misunderstood that science/that statistic, it means this" is a different thing.

I agree with the first.

 

I think one needs to be careful with the second.  Most of the time, people do not misunderstand the statistic or science - they just disagree with each other, or have a different focus on what is important.  I think a lot of people think that "if they just understood what I was trying to say/just understood the stats and science, they would agree with what I am saying."  That is not the case.  

 

I am often in awe of  the intelligence and articulation displayed by both the pro and non (and everything in between) vaxxers in this community - I am pretty darn sure most of them have the understanding of science and statistics necessary to make a decision.

 

Moreover, there is no non-inflammatory way to say "you misunderstand that statistic."  Most people would respond to such a statement with defensiveness.  Better, I think, to explain your reasoning with "I" statements rather than   assumptive "no, you misunderstand……."  statements. 

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 Sure in that way.  But if someone is outlining what amounts to a conspiracy, I don't see the problem calling it just that.

Can you give an example (without finger pointing orngtongue.gif).  

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I work with statistics and explain them to people every day. I have advanced training in statistics. Trust me, most people do not understand statistics or probability and therefore risk very well at all. I don't see a problem with pointing out a misunderstanding when there clearly is one. I agree that saying someone doesn't understand when they really just disagree is patronizing and annoying.

There is some burden here in not being offensive when we speak but also not being overly ready to take offense and give each other some benefit of the doubt.
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#24 of 333 Old 05-22-2012, 10:53 AM
 
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In general a good rule of thumb is to keep statements about ideas or issues being discussed and not about the people discussing them.
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#25 of 333 Old 05-22-2012, 10:55 AM
 
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There is some burden here in not being offensive when we speak but also not being overly ready to take offense and give each other some benefit of the doubt.

I was going to edit my previous post to add just this thing!

 

I would like to hear what others from both camps have to say about statements such as "no, you misunderstand the science"

 

Am I being sensitive…or is a statement like this somewhat inflammatory?

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#26 of 333 Old 05-22-2012, 11:17 AM
 
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I think it is difficult because very often some "science" exists on both sides of whatever point is being argued. (peer reviewed/govt/official site)

 

Both sides can understand perfecting well what they are presenting, dislike/dismiss the others' info, and continue to disagree.

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#27 of 333 Old 05-22-2012, 11:23 AM
 
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Equating questioning vaccines with being a conspiracy theorist is often an attempt to discredit a person or group.  


 Sure in that way.  But if someone is outlining what amounts to a conspiracy, I don't see the problem calling it just that.

 

Yeah, I don't think its mostly the non-vaxers that get accused of being conspiracy theorists. I think its mostly "Big Pharma is a conspiracy! They want us to be sick so that they profit off our continued use of meds!!"

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Right, we shouldn't assume disagreement means misunderstanding, but if someone says, for example, that dtap is dangerous to have with a new baby in the house because of shedding, that is a misunderstanding and there's no reason not to correct it.
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#29 of 333 Old 05-22-2012, 11:27 AM
 
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Originally Posted by slmommy View Post

I think it is difficult because very often some "science" exists on both sides of whatever point is being argued. (peer reviewed/govt/official site)

 

Both sides can understand perfecting well what they are presenting, dislike/dismiss the others' info, and continue to disagree.

 

But the point is to put all the information out there - so that those new to the forum can read for themselves and make their own decisions. I don't think its to convince non-vaxers that they are "wrong" or to convince vaxers that they are "wrong".

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#30 of 333 Old 05-22-2012, 11:33 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post

 

Yeah, I don't think its mostly the non-vaxers that get accused of being conspiracy theorists. I think its mostly "Big Pharma is a conspiracy! They want us to be sick so that they profit off our continued use of meds!!"

Got it.

 

I genuinely did not know what you were talking about when you brought up conspiracy theorists in your first post.

 

The only way I have noticed it being used is against non-vaxxers as a "you question vaccine and Big pharm" so therefore you are a conspiracy theorist! 

 

I suspect most pro-vax people look with a more critical eye at non-vax posts, and vice versa.  It is hard to escape.  

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