from the the-upside-and-downside-of-social-media dept.
Papas Fritas writes:
"Measles is spreading in upper Manhattan and the Bronx, according to public health authorities in New York as about 16 cases have turned up, including two that involved contagion in doctors' offices. Outbreaks have also been reported in the Boston area, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Now the LA Times reports that the first signs of a backlash against anti-vaccination falsehoods emerged last week, when that noted scientific authority and spokesmodel Jenny McCarthy, who has been spreading anti-vaccination drivel for years, got wasted by the Internet community when she left herself open to a reaction.
On Thursday, McCarthy asked a question of her fans on Twitter to see what they'd say. What she got was a dose of the reality she helped spawn. The question: "What is the most important personality trait you look for in a mate? Reply using #JennyAsks".
Just when you think that Internet commentary is nothing more than a wretched hive of scum and villainy, a light shines through so strongly it can help restore your optimism about people says Phil Plait as McCarthy received hundreds of replies including "They vaccinate their kids," "Someone who vaccinates, b/c I'd want our kids to survive," "Someone who respects that science isn't on some secret malicious crusade to screw us over and that vaccinations save lives," "What qualities do I look for in a mate? Science literacy and critical thinking skills," and "Ideal mate accepts scientific consensus & considers the elderly, infants & immune compromised b4 spreading baseless hysteria." McCarthy responded with a tweet saying "Thank you to all the haters who tweet my name. You make my Q SCORE higher and higher. It's because of you I continue to work. Thank you! : )" However, she did not address the substance of the tweets directed at her that her advocacy on behalf of the anti-vaccine movement has contributed to a dramatic rise in vaccine-preventable illnesses."
Meanwhile, Appalbarry writes: (somewhat tongue in cheek):
In less than a month the number of infected individuals climbed from zero to over one hundred, surely a small price to pay to avoid the (mumble mumble) scourge of MMR-caused autism! (In fact the outbreak originated in the Netherlands, but there is no apparent linkage between wooden shoes and autism either.)"