And Voila, An Anti-Mask Twitter Rando

Chloe Humbert
5 min readApr 7, 2023


Is it prediction or part of manufacturing consent?

I came across a particularly aggressive anti-mask account on twitter in early 2021. He made a ridiculous capitalist fever dream argument to justify duping people into unmasking and getting sick, and maybe dying, for business interests. It seemed so blatantly ridiculous.

Tweet from @reubenR80027912 dated 1019 am May 7, 2021 says Main Street is Very simple. Do 3 things PSA campaigns that you won’t die if vaxxed. Remind people kids aren’t a risk. Remove masks everywhere so people don’t constantly live in fear. Voila. Roaring economy. Spending is about freedom from fear. Quote-tweet from same account on February 22, 2021 says There’s something to the Mad Men pilot and covid. Telling people they’re more likely to die in a car accident than covid doesn’t matter. Nor do vax stats. Happiness is freedom from fear, a billboard that screams whatever you’re doing is ok @ DKThomp

Just 2 tweets are a distilled statement of all the offensiveness of right wing worship of the false god they call The Economy. Who cares about human lives? Apparently we’re just here to feed the machine labor and money.

But people do want to be told what they’re doing is ok, safe, and it’ll all work out fine.

At the time I didn’t realize a full Edward Bernays scheme would actually turn out to be the mindset and agenda embraced by society, including liberals and lefties. They were of course targeted with advertising to make it that way. Edward Bernays would be so proud. Less than a week after that tweet, the Biden administration seemed to be following this guy’s playbook for The Economy in total, despite having campaigned on a platform of a real pandemic plan. The CDC told people not to mask anymore, and Biden erroneously promised people they wouldn’t get the virus if they were vaccinated.

Toxic Sludge is Good for You 2002

It’s a pivotal moment where the basic idea of democracy, that the public is capable of thinking, and that if provided with adequate information the public is capable of determining its own destiny. That idea begins to become seen, particularly by people involved in PR, and Bernays is I would say a central figure, that idea begins to be seen as more and more dangerous. If you let people examine the facts and think about things it’s going to get in the way of executive action, plain and simple.

It seemed pretty clear that it was all based on The Economy, and seemed very much to me like leaders everywhere are buying into this fever dream nonsense of sacrificing people on the altar of The Economy. Unmask and urge people to forget there is danger by coaxing people to feel shame about not wanting to get sick by revving up their friends and family to demonize them for protecting themselves, convincing people not to worry about spreading disease with moral disengagement, and normalizing bad outcomes.

All just to get people back on cruise ships and airplanes, by not having them “reminded” about the danger.

It seems to have worked because there’s not a week that goes by that I don’t hear about someone who is sick and doesn’t test, or they test and don’t bother getting the pax, deny it could be covid, they don’t mask, they don’t even bother getting boosted, all because they think “it’s over” and somehow magically they don’t need the vaccine or treatment. Then they do get sick and they don’t get better like they thought they would, and they’ve been sleeping 15 hours a day for months now and they’re on the verge of losing their job because of performance and attendance issues, but they’re still planning on going to that big wedding next month. And if asked about any of this they’ll bring up the online troll factory mantra how cars are dangerous. But I don’t know anybody who’s sleeping 15 hours a day and struggling to keep it together because they had a little fender bender a couple months ago.

Happiness is pretending it’s not happening. Suffering is being healthy and avoiding the spread of disease. It’s an upside down bizarro world. When will we be shitting in the drinking water again? I think that’s actually a fair question judging by assholes like the voila guy.

Twitter profile of @reubenR80027912 — Listed name Reuben Rodriguez. His profile photo is a 200 year old painting portrait of Simón Bolívar. The account joined February 2019. At the time of the screenshot this account was following 652, and had 8,683 followers. The bio says Desantis Democrat, Please get vaccinated.

Who even knows who this guy might be. He called himself a Desantis Democrat of all combos. And he was at least gesturing at being pro-vaccination in 2021. At the time of these screenshots Ron Desantis, governor of Florida, was also pro-vax. Now Desantis is anti-vax. These days Voila guy removed his bio text about Desantis and vaccination. And he retweets things like Matthew Yglesias pining for a time of nihilistic nothing-matters attitudes. Or retweets of people overhyping ChatGPT. He even tweeted that Trump was “very covid cautious” in 2020.

He’s as anti-mask now as ever. A zealot about it really. He seems to blame a lot on masks. A lot. All the old favourites from right-wing propaganda marketed and designed to push and influence people. There’s no way to know if he’s an active purveyor or merely a conduit of informational learned helplessness marketing.

Psychology Today: Giving Up: Informational Learned Helplessness. It’s exhausting when it’s hard to figure out what is true and what is false. By Susan A. Nolan, Ph.D., and Michael Kimball, Reviewed by Jessica Schrader Posted December 23, 2021

The history of misinformation is a long one that predates the printing press, the invention of which offered an enormous increase in the spread of misinformation. As the distribution of information increased in number and reach, so did a multitude of opportunities for false information. As you can imagine, these opportunities increased exponentially with the internet. If it feels like information, misinformation, disinformation, and malinformation (see our last post for the differences among these) are overwhelming, it’s because they are. If you feel helpless in the avalanche of input, there’s a name for that. It’s called informational learned helplessness and the concept “is based on psychology scholarship that shows that people who experience prolonged exposure to difficult, uncontrollable situations, which they can neither avoid nor alleviate, will ‘learn’ to accept the situation as a given” (Nisbet & Kamenchuk, 2021).

The impairment of cognitive processes has two harmful consequences: i) Contextual maladaptation, resulting in errors, missed gestures or temporary inhibition; and ii) Lasting disorder, which affects the personality and transforms its victim by locking him or her into a form of behavioral strangeness or inability to understand the world. In the first case, it is a question of causing transitory consequences, circumscribed by a particular critical environment (cf. Figure 4–1 Figure 4–1 is a drawing that could be reversible a rabbit or a duck depending on how you look at it. ). The second concerns the transformation of the decision-making principles of individuals who then become disruptors or responsible for erroneous actions, or even non-action (cf. Figure 4–2 Figure 4–2 is A soldier sitting on a stump thinking with hand on chin and rifle at side, and the caption says A Thinker: what about the inhibition of action due to indecision or cognitive overload.). First NATO scientific meeting on Cognitive Warfare (France) — 21 June 2021

Who is paid and who are hapless actors? Nobody knows. Social media is just endless hallways of smoke and mirrors.