March 13th, 2019


Facebook 13.3.19: Nikki Turner on measles and vaccination

In the TVNZ video*, Nikki Turner says, "It's extraordinary that social media are allowed to just perpetuate stuff that is just straight nonsense and anti-science. We do need some sort of social contract about how we communicate fairly for the sake of people and children's programs." (My transcript.) Her comment comes immediately after the following statement by TVNZ reporter Mei Heron: "In the United States, lawmakers have even asked tech giants such as Facebook to try and manage posts from anti-vaxxers."

If this isn't support for the censorship of people's conversations, what is it?

* From TVONE news, March 8, 2019


Facebook 13.3.19: Nigel Latta on measles and vaccination

I hope we all saw tonight's Seven Sharp interview with pop psychologist Nigel Latta on the subject of measles and vaccination. Latta begins by saying:

"If we just looked at factual information, everybody would vaccinate their children. If your children catch measles, they have a one in 1,000 chance of dying from complications from measles, right? If they have a vaccine, there is a one in 1,000,000 chance of having a serious reaction to the vaccine and dying. So it's kind of like, 'Are you going to put your kids on a plane where there's a one in 1,000 chance of it crashing or a one in 1,000,000 chance of it crashing?' Everyone's going to go for the one in 1,000,000... But what happens is, the anti-vax people have been really good at creating a culture of fear, and they s-p-r-e-a-d it out through social media, so that just normal intelligent people see this stuff, and it sounds credible, and they think, 'Well, maybe there's something about it.' And then we stop evaluating the facts, and we just react from fear."

Latta continues in this inane vein - with helpful interjections from the interviewers - before concluding by comparing "anti-vaxxers" to flat-earthers. "And that's how much legitimacy the anti-vaccination argument has," he says. "It's like the Flat-Earth Society of medicine."