I just finished writing a novel. I swear I made the whole thing up. Really.
Here’s a scene from the novel, where my protagonist tries to talk sense into people on the Internet:
Following the instructions, she created a username and password for herself. Then she carefully composed a response to a thread titled, “Doctors just want to make your kids sick!”:
You know, it’s not true that doctors are just about the money. I’m a pediatrician, and nothing matters more to me than my patients. That’s why I try to explain why vaccination is such an important part of keeping kids healthy.
and pressed “Submit”. She went back to another site, looking for other forums to participate in, but in less than a minute noticed there was already a response to her posting:
OMG, it’s the allopathic Mafia!! How did you get here? Go crawl back into whatever fascist cave you crawled out of!
followed quickly by:
Who the hell do you think you are? You don’t care about our children. If you did, you wouldn’t insist on injecting them with poisons like formaldehyde and tissue from aborted fetuses.
In less than a minute, there were seven responses, each one nastier than the one before.
Diane was taken aback by their viciousness. What was going on with these people. She tried again:
What are you talking about? I just want to help.
and gingerly submitted her comment. Just as quickly came the responses:
Help yourself to picking our pockets, you mean. You are sucking at the teat of the vaccine manufacturers.
Get lost, you Nazi whore! Stay away from my kids!!!
And here’s an exchange I had the other day on Facebook in response to a woman convinced that her recent stillbirth was from the flu shot (reconstructed from memory, as I can’t seem to find it):
Me: I’m sorry for your loss, but there’s no way it was caused by the flu shot. I’m worried that all these comments may keep other pregnant women from getting the flu shot, which means that more MOTHERS will die, not to mention their unborn babies.
[Someone]: Dino, you are beyond ignorant. Do some research.
[Someone else]: You are a horrible person. Don’t you know that vaccines contain mercury, which is POISONOUS. It’s well known that vaccines are toxic. I’m so glad I never got any when I was pregnant.
and so on.
Here’s another snippet from the novel (again, I swear I made it up):
It was a message from one of the moderators at the same discussion forum, and it read:
Your comments have been removed due to obscene language and abusive behavior. Your username and password have been deactivated, and your email has been placed on a list of individuals banned from participating in our site.
And here is a message I just received on Facebook:
You have been banned from [site redacted to protect the ignorant] Dino. I don’t allow brainwashed morons (I used to be one too for the best part of my life!) who believe that vaccines prevent diseases to post crap on [website].
Color me spooked!