Scientists discover that anti-maskers are really good at science, according to a MIT six month study published in January 2021.

The title of the study is “Viral Visualizations: How Coronavirus Skeptics Use Orthodox Data Practices to Promote Unorthodox Science Online” and the researchers followed online accounts on Facebook and Twitter for six months (March to September 2020) that were using scientific rigor and publicly available data to put together charts and graphs to show the mainstream narrative (i.e. case count, PCR tests, number of deaths, efficiency of masks, etc) was deceptive.

The study proved that the anti-maskers were right and that they have science on their side and they want solutions to figure out what to do (presently and in the future) because the anti-maskers, anti-lockdowners, covid-skeptics are “winning” using science against them.

The study states “that these protestors reason that a pandemic that affects a few should not impinge on the liberties of a majority to go about life as usual and support their arguments using the same datasets as health officials.”

They admit that the data visualizations created by “anti-maskers” are so well created and compelling that “they would not be out of place in scientific papers, health department reports and publications like the Financial Times."

They note “that during the writing of the paper, Facebook banned some of the groups we studied.” I think we all know why.

The correct data being shown went against the mainstream narrative and called it “misinformation.” We all know data can be manipulated to fit an agenda, as written about by Bill Gates in his book “How to Lie with Statistics” and when real, truthful reading of the same data is shown in easy to read and understandable visuals that go against the science orthodox, well “they” have a problem. “They” need a solution to this problem.

What was the “solution” that they came up with? Well, they noticed that even with scientific data and visuals, anti-maskers have a hard time getting their families and friends to accept the information. Why would that be?

The researchers found that when the counter-narrative from the anti-maskers is grouped together with such groups as white supremacists, climate change deniers, and even American evangelical voters, the public won’t even consider the data because they don’t want to be labeled as someone in those groups.

Shockingly, the researchers state that anyone that goes against the mainstream’s COVID-19 narrative must be white supremacists, or at least try to convince the public as such.

Biden claims that the biggest threat to our country is white supremacists and now we know why.

I encourage all to read the study for themselves and see how propaganda works.

Franziska Owens,

Lakeside

(4) comments

Jaji

[thumbup]Franziska, thank you for your in-depth, thoughtful and on-target letter. I have been puzzled by the resistance to facts and data I see all around me during this pandemic and the willingness of the public to let their liberties be taken from them so easily. Your letter explains so much! I will study the research paper by the two MIT authors and the Wellesley College author to learn more. From a short perusal of it I can see that the paper is a study into how to make propaganda even more effective. To protect what liberties we have left we MUST understand what the researchers are doing and, hopefully, discover ways to keep the truth alive!

Bob Smith

Oh jeez, can you imagine following Facebook posts of anti vaxxers for six months? I would need a couple of shots every hour or two to keep my sanity!

phxnative54

I don't understand why there's a problem with wearing a mask.

I grew up with "No shoes, no shirt, no service." Nobody turned that into a civil rights issue as far as I know.

When I go to a fancy restaurant and they require a sport coat, I don't spit in their face - I put on a sport coat.

When I go golfing and they require a collared shirt, I don't yell and scream and turn it into something political - I wear a shirt with a collar like they asked me to.

When I walk into a place of worship and they ask me to wear a head covering, I am polite and wear a head covering. I don't rant about my God-given right to not wear a head covering.

Right now we're being asked to wear a mask to make everyone feel more comfortable about restarting our society. I don't understand all of the anger and selfishness about that. I will wear a mask for the benefit of everyone. It's what I am being asked to do. And just like in the other instances, I will do it because I don't consider it an infringement on any of my basic human rights. It is simply the polite thing to do for the common good.

ronzim

Well, Ms. Owens comments on both science and communications without any apparent familiarity with either and, in fact, attempts to use the very propaganda techniques exposed in this study toward the same ends as those science deniers laid bare by the study. Here are the main conclusions from the study:

1. “This study forces us to see that coronavirus skeptics champion science as a personal practice that prizes rationality and autonomy; for them, it is not a body of knowledge certified by an institution of experts.”

COMMENT: In other words, science deniers simply reject the reality of science in favour of a personal- choice menu from which they can simply choose whatever they wish in sufferance of their personal prejudices. What is more, “rationality” (reason) is experiential. Science is based on logic which is rule-bound, not experience-bound. Science is also often counter-intuitive which causes science-illiterates to conclude wrongly, on nothing more than a attitude of “Naw! That can’t be right.”or “That makes no sense.”

2. “The findings presented in this paper corroborate similar studies about the impact of fake news on American evangelical voters and about the limitations of fact-checking climate change denialism.”

COMMENT: This shows that fake news consistently attracts and reinforces false ideas which become more deeply entrenched by confirmation bias and less and less amenable to evidence and the facts of the matter.

3. “Calls for media literacy—especially as an ethics smokescreen to avoid talking about larger structural problems like white supremacy— are problematic when these approaches are deficit-focused and trained primarily on individual responsibility.”

COMMENT: This verifies the underlying degeneracy of those convictions which tend to classify everything the government does as a default position of violation of personal liberties which are, in turn, falsely justified by the “personal responsibility” epistemology of their concept.

4. “Powerful research and media organizations paid for by the tobacco or fossil fuel industries have historically capitalized on the skeptical impulse that the “science simply isn’t settled,” prompting people to simply “think for themselves” to horrifying ends. Understanding how these groups skillfully manipulate data to undermine mainstream science requires us to adjust the theoretical assumptions in human-computer interface research about how data can be leveraged in public discourse. As we have seen, people are not simply passive consumers of media: anti-mask users in particular were predisposed to digging through the scientific literature and highlighting the uncertainty in academic publications that media organizations elide.”

COMMENT: In the final analysis, we see that there is a component of ignorance which is shown to exist in science denial. Remembering that ignorance and stupidity are not the same thing (smart people can draw invalid conclusions), we observe, once again, that the failure to understand the basic nature of the science enterprise provides the animus for denials. Science is an iterative, self-correcting enterprise which uses time-tested, vetted processes to provide an increasing body of knowledge about the natural world around us. All scientific conclusions contain some element of uncertainty because an allowance must be made for a future change in information which causes new conclusions. For three hundred years scientists believed that the speed of light was infinite; however, the introduction of improved instruments/procedures for measurement showed that not to be the case; thus, a more valid calculation was possible, and science showed its self-correcting nature. It is not true, however, that when science cannot provide absolute answers (it never can) that means that science is either untrue or inconclusive. When science provides a conclusion that something is 99.67% true, it is ignorance and deception to claim that the 0.37% uncertainty invalidates the entire conclusion. Just the opposite is true.

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