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How Social Media Is Used as a Manipulation Tool for the Anti-Vax Movement

With some things, if you're honestly not a part of the solution, you're a part of the problem.

We live in a very black and white world where there is a self-proclaimed overly opinionated expert for just about every topic imaginable. One aspect of society that has been affected by this is our health care system and especially the pharmaceutical industry.  

Whether it’s the anti-vaccine movement or wannabe doctors or therapists that think spending all day on YouTube makes them a qualified professional. 

When you take a look at the various social media groups out there regarding these topics, they have a very cult-like beliefs system and following.  

These movements are incredibly dangerous because they say that it’s ok to ignore medical advice regarding you or your child’s health. One way that these groups are gaining a lot of momentum is through mommy groups and other groups that do nothing other than spread misinformation. 

Cult's recruitment techniques are often deceptive regardless of the negative impact it has on others, just like that of anti-vax groups:

Just like cult groups  the anti-vaccine movement prey on people’s fears and hesitations regarding the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. How do they do this? 

Here are just a few examples of what they do to manipulate you into joining their cause.

  • They use outdated information and make it look like it's innovative and up to date research.
  • Also they have a tendency to excel in creating cognitive biases by being very one sided in the way they present their information.
  • They say things to make you think they have your child’s best interest at heart, when in reality they just want to make a profit from exploiting you and your family.
  • They use phrases like “conspiracy,” “big pharma,” “ I take the natural approach” to make it seem as if they are taking the moral high ground, when in reality all that they are actually doing is trying to push their own products.
  • Using scare tactics, such as vaccines cause autism or other medical conditions. 

 

They bash or ignore anything outside of their own views: 

When you look at various social media groups or pages, have you noticed that anyone who has a different view gets blocked or has their comment deleted? Another thing, have you noticed that instead of having an educated respectful debate with multiple opinions, what they do is say things such as “big pharma trolls” or anything to take away from the legitimacy of the point that the person is trying to make. 

This is nothing more than a manipulation tactic that they use. These groups want to have absolute control over the things that people say and are scared of opinions that contradict their opinions—especially when those opinions are coming from people who are educated in medicine, psychology or pharmacology.

They claim that they don’t make profit or that they are in it for the money: 

Let’s take a look at what the net worth is of some of the major people who lead this movement is

  • David Wolfe 50 million dollars (Zero medical training and is a glorified nutritionist)
  • Del Mathew Bigtree 1.7 million
  • Goop 250 million dollars (Ran by an actress)
  • I couldn’t find Andrew Wakefield’s net worth but the pictures of his mansion are really nice for someone who doesn’t make money from manipulating people.

These people claim that “big pharma” is trying to make us all drug addicts and yet they are all millionaires from profiting from pseudo science. Also, these guys are only a couple of examples of people who make money from spreading misinformation and fear regarding the healthcare industry. 

Consider that the average net worth of doctors in the United States is between 200k and 500k and the average pharmacist makes around 120k a year. Also a drug company CEO’s net worth is far less than the David Wolfe’s of the world. 

Ask yourself the following question: Which one of these is the rich one? Not the doctors or the pharmacists—granted, they do have good salaries. They have nowhere near as high a net worth as the people who peddle pseudoscience and other dangerous alternative treatments. They spend so much time telling you the atrocities of the medical system in order for you to not focus on how they profit even more of you.

In conclusion the danger of supporting these movements and why we should make these people liable for the dangerous advice that they give can be seen in our everyday life.

“Vaccinations are one of the of most incredible aspects of modern medicine. They can make previously lethal diseases disappear from society and save countless lives. There is, however, a chance that the vaccines work a little too well and our collective memory is too short to remember the devastating effects some of these diseases caused just a few short decades ago.”

In other words, be wary about who you take advice from and that's especially true regarding your health, while also remembering that just because someone has a lot of followers doesn't mean that they necessarily know what they're talking about.

This picture shows the best way to spot an everyday anti-vaxxer.

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How Social Media Is Used as a Manipulation Tool for the Anti-Vax Movement
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