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Online Discussion: Tracking new emerging diseases and the next pandemic

Where The H*** Do I Post This?

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Technophobe View Drop Down
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    Posted: February 18 2019 at 12:36pm
Russian trolls blamed for spreading anti-vaccination propaganda

A deadly measles outbreak that infected thousands of people is thought to be the work of the same Russian troll farms that meddled in the US election.
New York Post
News Corp Australia NetworkFebruary 18, 201910:24am

The same Russian social media trolls accused of meddling in the 2016 US election may be to blame for the deadly measles outbreak across Europe last year, according to a new report.

According to the New York Post, scientists believe the St. Petersburg troll farm also pumped out anti-vaccination propaganda, contributing to the outbreak that killed 72 people and infected more than 82,000, Radio Free Europe reported.

In a study published by the American Public Health Association in September, researchers examined the trolls’ online messages from July 2014 through September 2017 and concluded that their posts were responsible for “eroding public consensus on vaccination.”

Vaccination hesitancy is now one of the top 10 threats to global health, according to the World Health Organisation.

Measles — which was close to being eradicated in many countries — has seen a 30 per cent increase globally.

“The reasons for this rise are complex, and not all of these cases are due to vaccine hesitancy,” the WHO noted.

“However, some countries that were close to eliminating the disease have seen a resurgence.”

The highly contagious viral infection has cropped up in Eastern and Southeastern European countries — including Ukraine, which was the worst hit in 2018.

The country saw dwindling vaccine supplies and services in 2015 and 2016, when the conflict between government forces and pro-Russia separatists was at its peak.


WHO vaccine specialist Katrine Habersaat was dubious about the link between trolls and the measles outbreak.

“We actually don’t know enough about the influence of misinformation available online upon vaccination intentions and behaviours,” she told Radio Free Europe. “What we do know is that there is an element of echo chambers in this.”

This story first appeared in the New York Post and is republished with permission.

Source:   https://www.news.com.au/technology/russian-trolls-blamed-for-spreading-antivaccination-propaganda/news-story/c816f88360b5647f0896825947a905c1
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 18 2019 at 1:52pm
its got Nothing to do with the MILLIONS of unvaccinated "migrants"

flooding Europe......

HAS IT??? ........

not a word about that ..............
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote EdwinSm, Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 18 2019 at 10:29pm
The recent measles scare in Finland had nothing to do with migration, and a lot to do with a conservative religious group. If their mentality is like that of some friends of mine, then they will be easily swayed by internet trolls.

I had heard earlier reports that the trolls were playing both sides of the vaccination debate - possibly to get people arguing about it and so keep their focus away from other important matters.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 19 2019 at 1:56am
Some of the migrants are tourists and some of the unvaccinated are ours.

We are not the only ones at risk and not only innocent party.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 19 2019 at 3:34pm
I think it's more to do with an attack on Science in general....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 19 2019 at 3:50pm
Overall yes.

This specifically was probably not. The Russians are quite science-minded. But there is a huge fundamentalist Christian cohort in the US who are anti-science.

So, you can't Blame the Russian trolls for jumping on such very easy prey. That would be like asking the lions of the Serengetti to leave the barbecued antelope alone - never mind the living ones who can't pronk, limp a bit or get puffed out easily.

Mind you, it is not a question of stupidity, just the rigidity of social systems and the stubborness of ingrained ideas to die. The next generation are fighting back. https://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/teens-defy-parents-to-get-measles-vaccine-during-vancouver-outbreak
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 19 2019 at 3:57pm
Oops, that was Canada!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jacksdad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 22 2019 at 3:32am
Yep, anti-vaxxers and flat earthers are making something of a comeback in the US. Not sure what's fueling a lot of the more dangerous conspiracy theories, but they seem to be gaining traction lately.

Maybe it's the chemtrails...

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"Any community that fails to prepare, with the expectation that the federal government will come to the rescue, will be tragically wrong." Michael Leavitt, HHS Secretary.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 22 2019 at 7:29am

Don't get me wrong, I am not anti-Christian, or anti-any religion for that matter. Fundamentalism is my bugaboo.

That God exists I have absolutely no doubt at all.

But every single religious writing (including my own) has been filtered through the very fallible mind of man. They are the 'percieved' word of God, not the 'precise' word of God.

The only other certainties are scientific ones, which can be proven; not once, but repeatedly. (St. Paul in one of his letters to the Thesselonians said: "Test everything. Hold fast to that which is true.")

God may have created the universe, propbably with a big bang, but man sprang up through evolutionary forces. The Earth is a sphere and infectious disease is caused by microbes not demons (demons were a pretty good explanation for the time though, 'unseen malevolent forces' at least before microscopes. How else could God explain this to an ignorant tribesman a few thousand years before the invention of said microscope?).

Food laws helped to protect against disease and, in the days before stun and bolt guns, at least limited the cruelty of slaughter. The ten commandments (and Jesus's later additions) reduced our cruelty to each other and increased overall happiness. These were good things.

Religion is generally a good thing too. But fundamentalism shows a lack of critical thinking and opens the door to unlimited new horrors.

Belief is good, but not on its own, THINK!!! God arranged for you to evolve a brain, so use it as God intended you to.
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