Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Anti-vaccine Activists Throw Twitter Tantrum

Unlike Kitty, the anti-
vaxxers don't learn.
Last night, in a stunning display of groupthink, a whole bunch (gaggle? swarm? what's the collective noun for a group of loons?) of anti-vaccine activists took to Twitter in a cynical ploy to draw attention to their latest torturing of science and statistics. I'm talking about the recently published paper by Brian Hooker that appears to have used an improper study design and the wrong statistical measures to reach a preconceived conclusion that MMR vaccine is associated with autism, except that it showed there was zero association with any children except for African American boys who were vaccinated off-schedule. They used the hashtag #CDCwhistleblower to do what really amounted to the social media equivalent of a temper tantrum, whining about how the mainstream media is not reporting on the study. It was really a sad display, as they simply all copied and pasted from the same list of talking points, not even adding their own interpretation. And when presented with links to analyses of Hooker's study, they didn't even bother reading. Instead, what we got were the shameless exploitation of victims of the Tuskegee syphilis experiment, implications that one of the DeStefano authors was a race-traitor and whining that no one was taking them seriously, all while posting links to a video in which the CDC is compared to Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin and Pol Pot. Oh, and accusing the mainstream media that they want to cover the story of being part of the cover-up. And they wonder why people think they're missing a few screws?

Just a short post to let y'all know about the shameful, sad display. Without any actual science on their side, they're left with smearing those they don't like and trying to game the system. I'll leave it at that, as it doesn't warrant a full-length post.

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[Edited to Add (Aug. 28, 2014): Here is a timeline through about 1pm today, courtesy of Liz Ditz (thanks for the amazing work on this, Liz!).]

Posts discussing Hooker's allegations, excluding anti-vaccine sources

Timeline
Posts discussing Hooker's allegations from anti-vaccine sources

Timeline
Other links

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