Gates’ Gavi Vaccine Alliance Says Memes Are Super-Spreaders Of Disinformation

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Bill Gates GAVI

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance has taken a shot at alleged “disinformation super-spreaders” in the “anti-vaccine movement”

Founded and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Gavi reposted an article on Feb 13 criticizing meme creators for spreading anti-vaccine messaging and profiting from pandemic fears.

Critics are saying that the alliance is utilizing the “accusation in a mirror” tactic of attributing one’s own misdeeds to opponents.

According to the Defender: The article warned that while memes are often associated with “cute cats and celebrities with funny captions,” they have “a more sinister function” as “part of a highly sophisticated strategy to spread and monetise health disinformation.”

Citing the “long history” of anti-vaccination memes, the article featured an image from 1802 depicting a vaccine monster being fed a basket of infants and “excreting them with horns,” and another from 1892 showing a vaccination serpent and a dancing skeleton threatening a mother and infant.

However, “The most infamous anti-vaccination meme,” the article stated, “emerged from a now discredited 1998 study that falsely linked the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine with autism.”

The article linked to a 2010 Canadian Medical Association Journal piece about The Lancet’s retraction of Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s paper and to a 2011 BMJ editorial calling Wakefield’s study fraudulent.

Wakefield’s study, the article claimed, resulted in the meme “vaccines cause autism” appearing on billboards and circulating “widely in the media.”

Holocaust survivor Vera Sharav analyzed the Wakefield controversy in a multi-part article, noting that the U.K. High Court later found “no evidence whatsoever to support the charge of professional misconduct, much less the accusation of fraud.”

Quoting the Media Manipulation Casebook, the article defined “meme war” as the propagation of memes for “political persuasion or community building, or to strategically spread narratives and other messaging crucial to a media manipulation campaign.”

The authors identified “three recurring themes” in the memes encouraging vaccine refusal:

  1. The government and social institutions are corrupt, politically compromised and tyrannical and are using unsafe and ineffective vaccines for surveillance, control and profit.
  2. Unvaccinated people are unfairly stigmatized and persecuted, “subject to Nazi-like sanctions and social exclusion.”
  3. The vaccinated are morally and physically inferior to the unvaccinated, for example, they suffer from reduced fertility and critical thinking ability.

But the most “sinister” element of the meme campaigns, according to the article, was to “profit financially from pandemic anxieties,” including promoting “potentially harmful” and “unapproved” health treatments like hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin.

The authors did not explain how a person could make a living from selling inexpensive unpatented medicines, nor did they compare this claim to the profits made by companies peddling remdesivir or COVID-19 vaccines.

In conclusion, “under the protective guise of humour and satire” that “can evade fact checkers and content moderators,” meme propagators “build their online following, sow distrust of health authorities, and profit from the promotion of unapproved medicines.”

‘People aren’t buying what they’re selling’  

Laura Bono, vice president of Children’s Health Defense (CHD), told The Defender, “Evidently, Gavi is missing the irony of publishing an article on the spread of vaccine ‘misinformation’ when Gavi is one of the most prolific purveyors of pro-vaccine propaganda in the world.”

Gavi, funded by a total of $4.1 billion since 2000 by its founding partner the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has a long history of pushing vaccines in developing countries in Africa without adequate informed consent over the risks.

Gavi recently launched an anti-malarial vaccine campaign for babies throughout Africa is targeting millions of girls in low- and middle-income countries worldwide with a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine.

Bono said that Gavi and other Pharma-backed organizations are “grappling with the fact that parents around the globe are waking up to the serious risks posed by vaccines, including autism, and that increasing numbers of people aren’t buying what they’re selling.”

“It’s ironic that Gavi is forced to go down this path — they clearly feel threatened,” said C. H. Klotz, editor of “Canary In a Covid World: How Propaganda and Censorship Changed Our (My) World.” He continued, “Little do they know that the people are not stupid, despite the propaganda.”

According to Klotz, more people became aware of propaganda through their experience with COVID-19, “where we were told one thing and the opposite happened.” For example, “Get vaccinated to stop transmission and to protect yourself from ever contracting the virus again.”

“That all turned out to be a big lie,” he said.

Mark Crispin Miller, professor of media, culture and communication at New York University (NYU), told The Defender that Gavi is using the article to attack others “for doing precisely what the propagandists have themselves been doing” — pushing and profiting from unproven medicines.

“This projective tactic is exquisitely disarming and confusing to anyone who doesn’t know the truth, since it defines the honest ones as liars and the mighty liars themselves as founts of truth,” Miller said.

Miller explained how this is “typical of all war propaganda”:

Big Pharma and its cohorts are playing the same head-game played by the Nazis and the Bolsheviks and by various ‘democratic’ propagandists in times of war — which includes political campaigns as well as armed conflicts.

“It’s been called, aptly, ‘accusation in a mirror,’ or sometimes, ‘mirror politics.’”

According to the Dangerous Speech Project — funded in part by George Soros’ Open Society Foundations — the “accusation in a mirror” tactic asserts that “the audience faces serious and often mortal threats from the target group,” for example, “reversing reality by suggesting that the victims of a genocide will instead commit it.”

The Hutu people used this tactic against the Tutsi people in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, accusing their intended victims of the very crimes they planned to commit against them.

According to Miller, whoever engages in this tactic “takes us into the same nightmare world that George Orwell invokes in his book, “1984,” where “War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength.”

Miller was censured by members of his department at NYU for attempting to teach his students — in a course on propaganda — about government and Pharma industry propaganda deployed during the pandemic.

Criminalizing memes? 

Reclaim the Net, picking up on the theme of an impending battle, said Gavi’s post was a “‘call to action’ … to formally criminalize memes,” citing the article’s claim that meme creators “evade responsibility for any negative consequences of their messaging.”

Klotz agreed this could signal a further offensive by Big Pharma and its allies against “misinformation” spreaders.

“The barrage of censorship and propaganda has been relentless since 2020 — I see no reason why it would let up now,” Koltz said. “They are playing for keeps and not playing Mr. Nice Guy. The new battleground is to control our hearts and minds.”

Gavi post summarizes authors’ research article 

Gavi reposted its meme war article from one originally published in The Conversation by two social science professors living half a world apart.

The co-authors, Stephanie Alice Baker, Ph.D., senior lecturer in sociology at City, University of London, England, and Michael James Walsh, Ph.D., associate professor in social sciences, University of Canberra, Australia, co-wrote “‘Memes Save Lives’: Stigma and the Production of Antivaccination Memes During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” published in Sage Journals.

The Conversation article serves as a brief introduction to the Sage article, which cites the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) as its source for identifying anti-vaccine “disinformation producers” on social media.

CCDH is the organization that named Robert F. Kennedy Jr., CHD’s chairman on leave, among its “Disinformation Dozen.”

Baker and Walsh said media influencers use memes for “commercial and political gain,” constructing messages “that correspond with logics of spoiled identity to recast their own stigmatized social position and in the process defile vaccinated groups.”

The authors claimed that “anti-vaccination” media influencers are already a discredited group, without acknowledging the propaganda machinery that labeled them that way in the first place.

They blamed this group for raising well-documented issues: ineffective vaccines that fail to stop infection or transmission; vaccine-related injuries and effects on fertility; suppression of viable therapeutics; exposure to harmful (often fatal) hospital COVID-19 protocols; loss of jobs (and in the military, loss of seniority, pensions); revocation of medical licenses; character assassination; lack of evidence for masking; vaccine passports and surveillance schemes.

The authors focused on extreme instances of satirical memes found on the internet to invalidate any of these concerns but failed to engage on the substance of the underlying arguments. They claimed the creators of the memes were motivated by profit and political advantage.

Baker and Walsh did not identify a single “misinformation spreader” in their research article, claiming they did not want to: 1. “amplify … the visibility of ‘bad actors’”; 2. “perpetuate [a] false equivalence” between the treatment of unvaccinated groups and “groups genuinely persecuted”; or 3. become the targets of “networked harassment.”

New JAMA article perpetuates Pharma doublespeak

The Gavi post comes as JAMA Network on Monday published a “viewpoint” article, “Misinformation and the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System” (VAERS).

The JAMA article argued VAERS reports are frequently misinterpreted to fuel vaccine hesitancy.

“Terming an early-warning and monitoring system the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System and allowing full access to unvetted language increases public susceptibility to misconceptions about vaccine safety,” the authors wrote, adding, “Those seeking to discredit vaccination exploit that susceptibility.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should consider rebranding VAERS, according to the authors, because its reports are “mistakenly cited as confirmation that vaccines may be a significant cause of morbidity and mortality.”

To “rebrand” VAERS, the authors suggested:

“Change the name of this system from the ‘Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System’ to one that more accurately describes its purpose. …

“Reterming the system ‘Vaccine Safety Sentinel’ would remind audiences that the incidents of concern are unverified, related to safety, and part of a monitoring or early-warning system.

“Adding ‘safety’ to the title would align the system with others in the CDC, ‘v-safe’ notable among them, that include ‘safe’ or ‘safety’ in their name; adding ‘sentinel’ would align the system with the FDA’s Sentinel initiative.”

Commenting on the article and recommendation, Miller told The Defender:

“Such euphemism is as pointless as it is transparent. By now ‘vaccine hesitancy’ is unstoppable no matter what they try to do about it, since far too many people have been bereaved and/or sickened by the ‘vaccine’ for any name-change to sweeten their impression.

“The only purpose served by this obscene proposal is to serve as further evidence of the crimes perpetrated by the authors and promoters of this democide.”

The lead author of the JAMA article, Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Ph.D., is director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center. She acknowledged receiving funding “for work on tracking patterns of misinformation about vaccination in general and [the] COVID vaccine in particular.”

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