Keep in mind that anti-vaxxers aren’t arguing that vaccinations definitively cause autism. They are arguing that we don’t know. They are arguing that experts are forcing children to be vaccinated against their will, which sounds like oppression. What they want is choice — the choice to not vaccinate. And they want information about the risks of vaccination, which they feel are not being given to them. In essence, they are doing what we taught them to do: questioning information sources and raising doubts about the incentives of those who are pushing a single message. Doubt has become tool.
Did Media Literacy Backfire?
danah boyd

This is an inadequate summary of the vaccination issue, and I dare say, a dangerous one. Whether or not people should have a personal choice over vaccinating their own children is not the issue with vaccination. What is the issue is the threat to “herd immunity” that will happen as more and more people become susceptible to contracting the disease. Personal choice is irrelevant when it comes to preventing outbreaks of contagious diseases (quarantine is not optional). Neither is “we don’t know” an argument for proceeding with an action that can have serious consequences (see the precautionary principle). The very fact that vaccination is being presented in the media and online as a personal choice issue devoid of the more critical issue of herd immunity demonstrates to me that the media has failed us in a more critical way: It is unwilling to present the full context of an issue because it is too long to fit into the sound bite requirement world of the media itself. Equally as culpable are the consumers themselves, who seemingly don’t want to spend more than a minute reading about anything and gorge themselves on sound bites, arguing heads, and click-bait headlines.

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