22 February 2022 - 5:09 pm
We have seen this term used as an insult. It is used as a synonym for “Anti-Science” and has been for a very long time. Ironically the public that end up believing what an “anti-vaxxer” is are usually just that, believers. The whole “Trust The Science” or “Trust The Experts” or “Only Listen To Authoritative Sources” is a direct appeal to authority with the express demand of the person doing the trusting to not ask any questions.
A trust in Science based on belief with no evidence or the ability to question it is not science at all. It is a neo-religious dogma that only heretics question, and we all know what happens to heretics…
But things like heresy went away with the dark ages, right? Well…
On the 9th September 2021 there was a UK Government committee meeting, the “Joint Committee on the Draft Online Safety Bill”. On the transcript page that contains the sub-title of “Corrected oral evidence: Draft Online Safety Bill” it also has this list, under a section titled “USE OF THE TRANSCRIPT”…
- This is an uncorrected transcript of evidence taken in public and webcast on www.parliamentlive.tv.
- Any public use of, or reference to, the contents should make clear that neither Members nor witnesses have had the opportunity to correct the record. If in doubt as to the propriety of using the transcript, please contact the Clerk of the Committee.
- Members and witnesses are asked to send corrections to the Clerk of the Committee within 14 days of receipt.
So has it been “corrected” as per the title and the fact that more than 14 days have passed? Have the “Members and witnesses” had an opportunity to “correct the record” now, as they are requested to send them within 14 days? It states that “neither Members nor witnesses have had the opportunity to correct the record”, but the time period where they are given the opportunity to correct it has well and truly passed.
Whatever we are supposed to make of that complete gibberish, you have the link to the original parliament.tv page and I have attempted to make it clear, albeit confounded slightly by the distinct lack of clarity on the Government page. Oh well…
Star of the show in this meeting is Imran Ahmed, the CEO and Founder of the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH). His (naturally) non-profit USA and UK based company produces garbage reports like “The Disinformation Dozen” where they obsess over a specific group of people they claim to have identified as “responsible for up to 65% of anti-vaccine content”. The report highlights a list of “violations” by this “Dozen”, where the “violations” are either of the ever-changing rules of Big Tech or simply considered wrongthink by Ahmed and his crew. One example of a “violation” is this…
Considering one of the other major things Ahmed constantly complains about is the lack of censorship and de-platforming of those he considers worthy of such treatment, the image clearly shows the “Independent fact-checkers” (who are anything but independent) have deemed Robert Kennedy’s tweet as being false. Obviously that’s not good enough for the CCDH as they just want these people eradicated from the interwebs, because a tweet like this is just so laden with hate. Let’s take Kennedy’s message and break it down. He says:
- That there is no data showing COVID vaccines are safe for pregnant women
- That there are reports of miscarriages among women who have received the Pfizer and Moderna jabs
- That the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are experimental
- That Fauci and other health officials advise pregnant women to get the vaccine
Are those all false? Are any of them true? Well as it turns out…
There is no data showing the COVID vaccines are safe, because that was not one of the measured aspects in any of the early trials that happened before the launch (and rightly so of course). Nowhere will you be able to find any legitimate clinical trial data regarding safety of these vaccines for pregnant women that indicates they are safe. So point 1 is true, not false.
There have been reports of miscarriages among vaccine recipients and they are listed on the US VAERS site and also there are reports in the UK Yellow Card system, and in all likelihood every single adverse reaction reporting system that exists in other countries too.
Yes, the note on the VAERS site does say that a report “does not mean” the adverse event was “caused or contributed to” by the vaccine, but equally it doesn’t mean it wasn’t either. This data was for the months of December 2020, January and February 2021 and so covers only the time before Kennedy’s post which according to the image was 23rd February, and we can safely presume it was in 2021. 112 “abortion spontaneous” events related to the COVID-19 vaccines reported. As of today there are 2,865 reports. Point 2 then is also true, not false.
How about the claim that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are “experimental”? An article recently published on the 19th January 2022 on the British Medical Journal website titled “Covid-19 vaccines and treatments: we must have raw data, now” makes the following points:
Pfizer’s pivotal covid vaccine trial was funded by the company and designed, run, analysed, and authored by Pfizer employees. The company and the contract research organisations that carried out the trial hold all the data. And Pfizer has indicated that it will not begin entertaining requests for trial data until May 2025, 24 months after the primary study completion date, which is listed on ClinicalTrials.gov as 15 May 2023 (NCT04368728).https://www.bmj.com/content/376/bmj.o102
The lack of access to data is consistent across vaccine manufacturers. Moderna says data “may be available … with publication of the final study results in 2022.” Datasets will be available “upon request and subject to review once the trial is complete,” which has an estimated primary completion date of 27 October 2022 (NCT04470427).
So if the primary studies and trials are not yet complete, then these must still be considered experimental. And these trials are not even long-term studies. Those usually take a decade or so and I don’t think anything close to that amount of time has passed. These “vaccines” are still experimental, they were launched with Emergency Use Authorisation, which if they were not new, incompletely tested and experimental that would not have been required. Point 3 then, true not false.
And now we come to point 4, did Fauci and other health officials recommend the vaccines for pregnant women? According to the image, Kennedy’s post was on the 23rd February, presumably in 2021. What were Fauci and other health officials saying at that time? Ignoring the utter hysteria this article is loaded with, the Daily Mail cites Fauci as saying “there are no ‘red flags’ so far for pregnant women getting COVID vaccines”. When you put that with all the fearmongering about how much more pregnant women are claimed to be likely to die if they have COVID, with numbers lacking any context or baseline levels other than this:
Researchers compared hospitalization and fatality rates in pregnancy to those of similarly aged adults, between ages 20 and 39, in Washington State.https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-9224229/Dr-Fauci-says-no-red-flags-covid-vaccines-pregnant-women.html
Results showed 24 expectant mothers, or 10 percent, were hospitalized specifically for coronavirus symptoms.
That is about 3.5 times higher than the COVID-19- associated hospitalization rate of similarly-aged adults, which sat at 2.8 percent.
In addition, one-third of the hospitalized patients were admitted to the ICU.
In addition, there were three deaths among the pregnant patients for a maternal mortality rate of 1,250 out of 100,000 pregnancies, or 1.2 percent,
This rate is 13.6 times higher than the 91.7 deaths out of 100,000 patients, or 0.09 percent, of the non-pregnant 20 to 39 year olds.
…one can only conclude this constitutes “encouragement”.
Obviously every death is tragic, but the statistical tricks to create the worrying figure of a death rate 13.6 times higher based on three deaths in the entire state of Washington seems at best, disingenuous. When you consider the only reason this statistical chicanery is going on is to encourage/frighten pregnant women into accepting the COVID jabs it seems that Kennedy’s point number 4 is also true, not false.
So that means all four points from Kennedy’s post were true, not false. They got labelled as false, and that still wasn’t good enough for Ahmed and his CCDH “non-profit”.
In the Committee meeting mentioned at the start, Darren Jones MP and Imran Ahmed have the following conversation:
Darren Jones MP: Imran, I am interested in the identification of the 12 individuals. Often the tech companies will say, “There are millions of pieces of content. We have warehouses of content moderators and AI systems. It is very difficult to find everything”, but you have managed to hone it down to 12 individuals, which makes it sound quite easy just to get rid of them. Presumably they have multiple identities. Is it more than 12? If it is down to 12, why are the companies not dealing with them at the root source?
Imran Ahmed: Facebook—Monika Bickert, who is their president of content policy—has responded to The Disinformation Dozen now, five months after our report came out and about a month after President Biden had accused them. I am trying to find the statistics that we have on the number of accounts. There are those 12 individuals, some of them are couples, and behind them is a network of 501(c)(3)s, charities, LLCs. They all own companies that have millions of dollars of revenue. These are not just 12 random members of the public. These are sophisticated bad actors. They have 97 accounts between them.
Monika Bickert said that CCDH’s research is nonsense, because there are lots and lots of people who are spreading misinformation. That is true, but these 12 people are the super-spreaders; they are nodes in a network. Online spaces are different: they are not flat spaces, they are hierarchical in who the key influencers are. I have 5,500 followers. If I tweet something, 5,500 people might see it. If they tweet something, a couple of million people might see it, because they have far more followers than I do.
While I obviously have no time for Facebook, the pointing out of the blatantly obvious, that the “CCDH’s research is nonsense” is amusing to see. Ahmed is undeterred as he considers himself an “authority” on these matters. He has set himself and his “non-profit” censorship advocacy company as the arbiter of what can and cannot be said online. Naturally Governments are all over this and will happily indulge Ahmed’s delusions of grandeur regarding his “authority” on such matters as any excuse to censor dissent is welcomed with open arms, and often public wallets. The US Government has obviously done so as Ahmed says earlier on:
The Disinformation Dozen has got us a lot of attention. President Biden cited it in evidence when he said that Facebook were killers, and he was right by the way.
Uhuh, “evidence”. Naturally a US President that is looking to censor certain types of public discourse would lap up a piece of garbage like The Disinformation Dozen report, it plays straight into the narrative the Government is seeking to prop up. What Ahmed fails to understand is that rather than free speech being an excuse, or a defence to spread “hate”, it is what used to protect everyone’s right to express themselves. Everyone else has just as much right to ignore those expressions, or criticise them but for people like Ahmed and Governments of course, that cannot be permitted. All Ahmed had to do in his report was evidence how Kennedy was wrong. It was only 4 points, it’s his self-declared job after all, to “counter misinformation”, but for these people all that means is censorship and de-platforming.
The UK Government also lapped up the CCDH spiel with MP Darren Jones responding with:
To me this just sounds like an organised crime network. What in the Bill will stop that happening?
Without question they have just accepted Imran Ahmed’s declaration that everything this “Dozen” say, is false and how dare they make any money. You’d think that if the promulgation of false information to make money was such a problem for Ahmed, his first target would be the mainstream media, who spend and make way more money via social media tech platforms and spreading misinformation than this miniscule group he’s fixated on, these “super-spreaders” as he calls them.
John Nicholson MP asks Ahmed a question… “What is the motivation of the anti-vaxxers?” as if Ahmed would have an unbiased and objective viewpoint on the matter. Ahmed doesn’t disappoint with his response:
Anti-vaxxers are like any type of groomer or recruiter. You can look at, say, the way that AQ used to recruit, or Hezbollah, or the way in which child sexual exploitation works. This is about making people not trust the authorities that they normally trust.
Anti-vaxxers only have three actual messages. Forget all the nonsense about memes. Look at the themes: Covid is not dangerous; vaccines are dangerous or unsafe, or there is something funny about them, so the people pushing those two things, the doctors, cannot be trusted, because they are compromised. There are only three messages in there. It is the simplicity of what they have to communicate.
We have failed on multiple levels. We have done things like engage with individual memes, actually giving oxygen to the idea that microchips are in the vaccines, or we have given oxygen to nonsense about hydroxyquinoline and now Ivermectin. I keep being asked by US media people to do stuff on Ivermectin. I absolutely refuse to do it. I do not want to talk about it. That is not what this is about. This is about telling people that you do not need to go and get the vaccine; you could just take some horse tranquiliser.
Here Ahmed equates “anti-vaxxers” with terrorists, and not just any old terrorists because you know, countering digital hate and all… he chooses Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah, both of which tick all the right “anti” boxes. He also equates “anti-vaxxers” with child grooming paedophiles. He also betrays just how little he really knows about any of the stuff that’s going on.
He mentions “hydroxyquinoline” which is, according to the University of Michigan Health website, a vaginal deodoriser. Perhaps he meant something else, who knows? He also mentions Ivermectin and refers to it as a “horse tranquiliser”. Hmm yes, that well known horse tranquiliser Ivermectin. And we’re supposed to trust this guy to decide what is misinformation and who to boot off the internet and criminalise?
All this talk about “anti-vaxxers”, but what does that term even mean anymore? There are people that are truly opposed to any form of vaccination, just as there are people opposed to owning a television, or eating meat. But, right now the term “anti-vaxxers” doesn’t even mean that. As we have highlighted before, now the definition has been changed so that if you are pro-vaccines but against regulations mandating them, that now makes you an “anti-vaxxer”. I don’t personally know the individual and precise stance on vaccines by all twelve of The Disinformation Dozen, but I am aware of at least one of them who’s position is a perfectly reasonable one, and can be summed up as not fundamentally opposed to the idea of vaccinations as long as they are safe. And along with that if there are any risks, any risks at all, people should be informed of them and allowed to make a free choice for them or their children with no pressure, social consequences or otherwise negative impacts, other than potentially not being protected against the thing the vaccine is supposed to protect you from.
Just wanting our medical interventions to be optional and safe is hardly an extreme position. It is not “anti-vaxx” to want them to be safe and to be able to say no, especially when it is clear they are not safe or there are too many unknowns. The idea that wanting vaccines to be safe is “anti-vaxx” is as absurd as the idea that you’re “anti-heart-surgery” if you don’t want it performed by your neighbours brother-in-law with a meat cleaver and a sickle.
The claim that vaccines must be safe because the pharmaceutical companies say so, is the same issue Imran Ahmed complains about, the idea of social media tech companies “marking their own homework” with regard to the things he wants to see those companies do. He makes some valid points about these tech companies, that they are profit and control driven, can’t be trusted to manage themselves to avoid detriment to the public. If only he’d apply the same logic to the pharmaceutical companies, the ones with billions of dollars in criminal fines to their names, the ones hiding data and funding the missions to discredit the safe and effective medicines he couldn’t quite remember correctly.
It is quite clear this Online Harms Bill is just more censorship disguised as Nanny Government protecting us all from mean words. It needs to be opposed, not just for the “anti-vaxxers” but for everyone, even the people we disagree with. I don’t want Imran Ahmed banned or de-platformed, I choose to battle his illogical and misinformed stance with evidence, logic and (mostly) polite discourse.
Ahmed’s position will not age well. History will eventually record how people like him who sided with authoritarian Governments and corrupt pharmaceutical companies to silence the voices of those being harmed and those seeking to highlight those harms, as collaborators with the very worst history has to offer.