The anti-vaccine movement has sunk to a new low. At a talk he gave, known huckster and producer of a horrible bit of propaganda about vaccines, (which you can still get over at Amazon, tsk tsk), Del Bigtree fashioned and pinned a yellow fabric Star Of David onto his own shirt to suggest that anti-vaxxers are being treated the way Jewish people during the holocaust were treated.
Now we have much of the anti-vaccine community spreading this implication. Here are just 2 examples which we were able to quickly find with a little help from a couple great Facebook groups run by some of our online pals!
Facebook just a day ago that they would be tackling this anti-vaccine problem. Also, as has been widely reported, they said they would go after white nationalist and white identitarian hate speech in addition to white supremacist hate speech. Well, this stuff right here kind of checks both boxes, when they self-identify as pariahs and mock the Holocaust -- implemented by the Nazi government, aided by punch card and chemical corporations, as a means of controlling its citizens, certainly nothing to be cheapened into a costume accessory donned by protesters against immunization -- however, when the above image was reported by many users, they all got the same response from Facebook.
The lunatic who posted this image paid us a visit after we criticized the post, and doubled down, implying that hate or mockery against a religious and ethnic group is totally A-OK, as long as it’s framed as a purely religious dispute. Hmmmm…. Where have we heard this before?
But then again, Facebook does own Instagram, and apparently it’s totally chill for someone whom Facebook kicked off of, well, Facebook, to post anti-semitic stuff on Instagram. Apparently it doesn’t violate community standards. Just days after Facebook put out something saying they would start taking down white nationalist content. Okay then. Whatever.
We probably don’t have to tell you this, but Facebook and Twitter have allowed “bots” to spread anti-vaccine propaganda on their platforms for years. Of course there are many many real anti-vaccine loons out there too, but the bots serve to broaden the reach of these messages. The account above is rather suspect in this regard based on what they post to their timeline. Also important to note here is that several people have had post removals resulting in temporary post bans for their negative responses to the initial post by Montanans for Vaccine Choice, which is where we found the speech where Del was wearing this Star Of David on his shirt.
This is all pretty fucked up when you stop to consider that most conspiracy theorists are anti-semitic to some degree. If you haven’t read what many consider to be the founding document of the modern conspiracy movements, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, maybe you shouldn’t waste your time, but the patterns and arguments in it are still repeated today, so we link to it as a field guide, so our readers can spot anti-semitism in the world. For something one degree removed from having to read the stupidity of the “Protocols” with your own eyes, here’s a great interview about the book and its impact on modern society from Majority Report. In conspiracy circles you will always see/hear/whatever talk of certain Jewish families who have mythic levels of wealth and influence: the Rothschilds, for example. And of course George Soros. The claims can range from Soros hiring protesters or paying “shills” to disagree with the cult of truth online to more dangerous lies about eating babies or blood sacrifices perpetrated against Christians. With the rise of neo-nazi groups and white identitarian violence, mostly spurred on by these social media platforms, it’s kind of appalling that these posts remain. But don’t worry! Facebook is keeping you safe from dangerous posts like this one, which bought one of our contributors 30 days in the facebook pokey:
It is our position that as soon as Facebook put it out there that they would start removing this kind of content, it became incumbent on them to do it. In saying they would do so, they told the world that they would be exercising editorial control over this kind of content. And as such, we think they are in many ways copping to being responsible for the repercussions of this kind of content. The problem for them (and also YouTube, er, okay, especially YouTube) is that this kind of content, both anti-vaccine content and white supremacy content, drives angry responses and long drawn-out arguments which The Algorithm sees as engagement. Maybe they didn’t plan it this way, but it’s baked into the business model. More on that in a later article... or maybe a book, the outline for that one is getting pretty long.
What. The. Fuck. This is some seriously sick and depraved shit. It’s really nothing new in the modern war of bad ideas, but it is still a stomach-turner.