By now most of you have probably heard about the militant push to get Facebook to censor and/or remove what has been deemed "vaccine mis-information". It seems that Congressman Adam Schiff(D) of California has taken it upon himself to spearhead an effort to silence the deafening voices of hundreds of thousands of parents using Facebook and other social media platforms to raise awareness to vaccine risks. He made quite a splash recently with a letter pleading Facebook to take further action than already has been taken to silence the loud minority of vaccine injured advocates.
The letter itself is, as to be expected, rife with plenty of commonly parroted misinformation - an irony un-lost on most of the people it targets - and warrants its own factual rebuttal, but I won't get into the letter's misleading and unfounded content much here, since it's already been done by several higher profile members of the "anti-vaccine" movement, and even The Washington Times.
However, a concern that has been spreading rapidly among social media advocates is that Facebook might actually do it - this time. This isn't the first time Zuckerberg's been begged to shut down the anti-vaccine platform. This whole scene has already been played; coincidentally amidst a different measles outbreak four years ago. Not much came of it then, although Zuck took plenty of time to voice his own opinion on the matter and proved he was serious by publicly vaccinating his newborn at the time. No one accused him of being the sharpest tool in the shed, but he still at least realizes the sanctity of free speech. Besides enacting some new algorithms which make it harder for people to see vaccine skeptic information without looking for it, nothing much came of the last time anti-vaxxers were threatened with the proverbial axe.
This time around, many of the good folks from the common sense camp are jumping ship and taking to alternative social media platforms like MeWe, worried that their voices won't be heard or will be removed entirely.
Here's the thing: If Facebook censors the vaccine skeptics, it proves THEY ARE WINNING. The reason this is even an "issue" in the first place is because it's literally becoming "trendy" to be anti-vaccine. The social media platform is the perfect place for awareness to be spread quickly, and over the past several years the ex-vax movement has grown rapidly, thanks to the efforts of tens of thousands of concerned parents, and the professional efforts of high profile skeptics like Robert Kennedy Jr., Del Bigtree, and even Robert De Niro. It has been repeatedly proven that there is much to be concerned with when it comes to vaccination, and people have taken notice. Among the information commonly shared on Facebook is plenty of peer reviewed science, ingredient list break downs, doctoral and scientist testimonies, thousands of parental injury testimonies, financial conflicts of interest, historical data and statistics, exposing the medical community's lack of training on vaccination in general, and the CDC's very own injury tables and statistics, as well as the documented financial compensations of the federal vaccine court.
This is the information easily accessible online and on Facebook, and if Facebook really hopes to censor this never ending abyss of smoking gun trails, they've got a ton of work ahead of them.
But they won't, and they know it.
Even if Zuckerberg agrees that vaccine skeptics are "dangerous" to public health, as is often stated in the mainstream media these days, he can't really do anything about it. Even Zuck can't stop this wild fire; he knows that drowning these voices on his platform will backfire. If there's anything I know about ex-vaxxers, it's that they don't quit. They won't be gagged. They will find a way to get their message out to the masses, and they will come back even stronger. When you've been scorned and mocked as much as anti-vaxxers have, you develop extremely thick skin and become even more driven for the cause. Even if Facebook really does decide to start axing big voices in the name of "the greater good", they've already sent the wrong message to the general public. Make no mistake people will find out - mainstream media will be all over it and gloating articles will appear everywhere, to garner clicks and appease the pro-vax fan base. And when people find out, there will be even more questions asked than ever before. Queue wildfire.
Just because Facebook censors information doesn't mean the information won't still exist on the internet, and make no mistake, it will still circulate.
The truth will find the light as it always does.
Bottom line: I'm staying on Facebook and will continue to speak out as loudly as possible. I don't like bullies, and my protective personality won't allow me to withdraw quietly to a less effective platform.
I started this thing on Facebook and I aim to finish it there.