Oof Grandma... Get your head out of your ass woman.(This is in Jest, Grandma knows and thought it was funny. ya'll chill)* Where are you getting your news lately because I just sent you an article from our national news organization and you just told me you can't believe it... Why?
We live and love in the beautiful free country of Canada and despite any individual political leader, we can find comfort in the fact that we have many elected officials that listen to their constituents and ultimately intend to better the lives for our nation. Canada is a mighty developed country and she has designated important bodies to help protect us from the wolves that prey on the weak. We have the CBC a nationally funded non profit organization that has authorship and integrity to the journalists they hire and a long history of helping the truth and redacting and outright dismissing disinformation (now more commonly called fake news). In this article I've sent you, it has sources directly involved in the measles outbreak, including doctors who are licensed through a board that verifies their integrity and ethics and authority in medicine. Also sourced is the CDC; another body that was appointed by Canada herself to keep her citizens healthy and safe, these are not groups of scientists with a vested interest to lie to anyone as that would jeopardize the safety to our entire nature... Yet these highly educated and well funded scientists are refuting your hypothesis grandma.
I think in order to understand what is happening here we need to both step back and ground ourselves in a neutral territory towards a scholarly pursuit and work towards the advancement of our society. To do this we need to frame our perspective to that of a scholar to which I think you and I both agree we are proud to call ourselves anyway. Me, a university student and you an independent researcher: truth be told, as a student of an organization like Ryerson, I have access to a wider breadth of knowledge in our online resources and databases of peer reviewed articles that I can search through with ease, but our goal will be the same and can be achieved only if you think critically with everything you read - you seem well versed in this regard so kudos let's proceed.
As a critical thinker and scholar we are nothing without our authority which is provided through our knowledge-base in factual information. I don't need to be an expert in biology, medicine, or even journalism to be able to have confidence in reading the news article I sent you; but as a scholar I have the ability to verify the authority to the people making the claims in the article. Every person involved in a professionally investigated article are sourced and cited and provide proof to their authority. It's why the CBC discloses their journalists and is also why they'll happily fire them if they fuck up - their integrity is on the line - same with every scientist working for the CDC. Canada does not have a vested interest in the perpetuation of fake news and disinformation, this isn't fucking Russia! (or the U.S. for that matter - Fox news is GOP run television FYI).
This is critical thinking and needs to be understood before you assume authority to the Facebook posts you read. Think of the platform you are getting your news from - Facebook: an American company with a vested interest in advertising to its users. They are NOT a news agency and have zero regulation in verifying the authority of authorship. Anyone can write any shit they like, and the more clicks they get, the more money Facebook makes. In-fact they will happily sell any message you like so long as you're willing to pay for it. I can post just about anything under the guise of "free speech" so long as it does not contain "hate speech" (technically a crime in Canada) and then pay Facebook a couple hundreds of dollars to get that post higher up on my friend's walls. It's how their platform works and regardless of whether a post has been promoted by Facebook themselves or not they are in the business of clicks. In this age of terrorism and fear mongering, the posts, articles, links, and videos that induce the most controversy and fear will gain the most clicks - this is human nature! Facebook doesn't care, they got their money as they are now one of the largest messaging services in the world, second only to WeChat which is a government controlled chinese messaging app linked to their social credit system meant to repress their citizens... hmm...
As Canadian philosopher Marshall McLuhan famously said in his thesis Understanding Media, “For any medium has the power of imposing its own assumption on the unwary… But the greatest aid to this end is simply in knowing that the spell can occur immediately upon contact, as in the first bars of a melody.” unfortunately the advent of social media has only perpetuated the scaling of the media, the importance of the messages, and the shallow knowledge-base of its users to apply the unwary en masse.
To quote a larger bit of McLuhan to drive this point home:
“The American stake in literacy as a technology or uniformity applied to every level of education, government, industry, and social life is totally threatened by the electric technology. The threat of Stalin or Hitler was external. The electric technology is within the gates, and we are numb, deaf, blind, and mute about its encounter with the Gutenberg technology, on and through which the American way of life was formed. It is, however, no time to suggest strategies when the threat has not even been acknowledged to exist. I am in the position of Louis Pasteur telling doctors that their greatest enemy was quite invisible, and quite unrecognized by them.” (McLuhan was a man before his time., this was written in 1954) “For the “content” of a medium is like the juicy piece of meat carried by the burglar to distract the watchdog of the mind. The effect of the medium is made strong and intense just because it is given another medium as “content.” The content of a movie is a novel or a play or an opera.
The effect of the movie form is not related to its program content. The “content” of writing or print is speech, but the reader is almost entirely unaware either of print or of speech.”
Do not kid yourself, social media is no different than any other media. The content of the message is NOT the message. Who is posting the dribble and fake news and WHY? understand the author and their authority and you will begin to think critically again. You wouldn't pick up a history book without knowing who authored it would you? Facts are facts, and fake-news is disinformation by another name.
Now to return to our CBC article about measles and your claim that there is a connection to the MMR vaccine which has the potential to cause autism (despite how fucking stupid this shit is, I'll entertain your hypothesis for a moment).
Where are your critical sources and statistics to prove any semblance to propose such an outlandish hypothesis? Because I can't seem to find any real ones in my databases here and every time I've asked you for your proof you've failed to provide any.
If the vaccine were to cause autism you accept that there is a chance this vaccine may put a child at harms risk. The reality is you are saying you'd rather risk your child potentially getting a deadly disease and potentially becoming maimed and permanently injured through contact with the disease and worse contaminating others and spreading the harmful pathogens to others just out of fear of potentially could get autism... again, supported without any fact or evidence? Janet's post from Antivax-moms facebook group is non an authority of fact and no medical body has rightfully confirmed a case of autism to the MMR vaccine... so where is our proof again? Big-vaccine is out to give autism to our children?
By not immunizing your children you are immorally upholding your child's life over that of your nations and against those you interact with on a day to day basis. You are no longer in a small town - we are a massive country with very loose borders so we can invite friends and family to visit. But when we don't protect our basecamp, the wolves will get in. That goes for fake news just as much as it goes for measles. We already have guards on duty to protect our children, our sick, our immune deficient elders and infants from harmful diseases. These treatments work and you and I are the proof in the pudding. Where is this form of tribalism coming from where you would rather "protect" from autism but not measles, mumps, and rubella? These are the wolves we must fight, and we can't let our guard down just because a post of Facebook has a few thousand clicks.
We are in the age of disinformation and globalization, whether we like it or not there are a select few who are controlling the messages we perpetuate online. Unfortunately it's the confusion and lack of authority to the messages that has guided us towards a harmful future that is now killing children all over the world.
stop spreading misinformation and think critically. You are better than that... you are a scholar!
I love you, and I hope you take this to heart.
Seeing that the post was more appropriately moved to ~talk I'm hoping I can start a bit more of a dialogue that has unraveled from talking with the rest of my family. I told my internal family about my conversation with Grandma which we've all had by now, we bring fact, she still isn't sure there isn't a bigger picture that she isn't seeing. She's been fed too many stories to really believe the true ones. How are we meant to respond to this? My dad kinda pissed me off, he said it's like pushing on rope and said it wasn't even worth the effort - especially since someone like my Grandmother doesn't intend to have anymore children and all her family members are well ingrained in the Ontario health system... despite his position, we get issues where families are believing information and causing significant harm to our society... what do?
My bad argument style aside, has anyone else felt like they've been pushing on rope lately?