Third episode in a continuing series...

... of antivax morons

You'll recall from yesterday's post that Jane was the lovely lady wishing that my next shot was a lethal one. She then suggested that my good friend Peter should "gargle bleach [to] help with the smell of shit of your breath". Jane is a wonderful human being. She also later accused Peter of being incarcerated for 18 months for aggravated assault (untrue), and of being sued over a post on his "ratbags" webpage (also untrue).

I hit my posting limit this evening, in addressing the pure idiocy of these folks. Today was perhaps a little less juvenile than yesterday's descent into the schoolyard, but the lack of critical thinking was no less prominent

"Mj" has been a particularly special case today. Numerous assertions posted, nearly all of which would turn out, after research to be completely opposed to the AVN's view. One in particular took moments to debunk:

This was the biggest fun of the day, but probably the biggest action from the Antivax side was MJ's declaration that she was leaving and forming a new discussion group, which was "NOT FOR DEBATE". Odd definition of a discussion group, but still... there you go. The group can be found... here.

Towards the end of the evening, the lovely Jane started deleting her own posts, to the point that our responses to her (now missing) posts started to look like surreal comedy

The missing post at position #2 was along the lines of "I said gargle, not swallow". The one at position #4 was along the lines of "you're pathetic". I really don't recall what it said, excepting that once it went missing, I noticed.

So, situation normal, pretty much. The AVN are continuing their campaign of anecdotal evidence, strawman arguments, misdirection, subject changing and flat out insult. Not one substantive link has been posted, but a few of the AVN's own links have turned out to support the skeptics' side, without us evening having to do the legwork.

Again, the supporters of the AVN have lost the game.

Expect MOAR!!

I have Saturday's party to arrange tomorrow (hope you're coming, skeptic mates!), but I'll be checking in on the AVN through the day. This will be, as the current trajectory suggests, a triumph.

More lulz from the Anti Vaccination crowd

If you saw yesterday's post, dear reader, you'll be aware that I've been flexing a little skeptic muscle on the Australian Anti Vaccination Network's Facebook page. The subject of yesterday's post, Erwin Alber, seems to have slinked off with only a parting Hitler reference to remember him by. But we've got a whole 'nother batch of crazy cooking up.

Enter Jane, Lauren and Nicola, three rabid supporters of the Antivax movement. Through today blows were traded, statistics cited (our side), anecdotes rambled (their side), links provided (our side) and emotive fearmongering employed (guess which side)

It eventually became clear that the strain was beginning to show. Jane was the first to seriously crack

Jane Beeby, caring mother

Nice huh? "May your next shot be lethal one Jason". OK, grammatical errors aside, that's a pretty nasty sentiment right there. A nervous, paranoid person (say, for example, an american) might consider it a threat. I consider it a clear sign that I touched a nerve.

By the evening, after one thread (in which I outlined in no uncertain terms my stake in the matter) was mysteriously deleted, the AVN side had run out of talking points and started resorting to ad-hominem attacks, threats of bans and flat-out schoolyard insults.

The fact is, they have no real data to backup their claims, so this is really all they're left with. Eventually Jane dug up a piece of classic copypasta on the subject of trolls, starting "I believe that most trolls are sad people", and decided to settle in for a night of flat-out insults and troll-labelling.

Thing is, though, Jane fails at the internet. Her copypasta is old. Really old. It dates from the days when Usenet was king. When the newsgroup was where all the discussion happened. When trolls were the bad guys. In short, from an earlier age of the internet.

These days trolling has emerged from under the bridge and has become a serious tool of internet activists. Witness, for example, Anonymous. These guys are proper, genuine internet trolls, out in the streets doing some serious advocacy work, with a more than healthy side order of lulz. Witness the denizens of the internet's dankest dungeons pulling out all stops to track down and save Dusty the Cat. Trolls have grown hearts and social awareness. Who knew such a thing was possible?

Fact is, if you label me a troll, I'll generally just smile. If you label me an epic troll, well, I'll get the beers in. That's a victory

We're doing what trolls have always done, but we're not doing it solely to annoy any more. We're doing it to disrupt online activities we consider harmful, we're doing it to demolish misinformation and we're doing it with facts, with a knack for research and a keen eye for the lulz.

And frankly, it's fun.

I do believe today, Jane, Nicola and Lauren, you lost the game.
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