NZ blogger Emily Writes has had to close her social media accounts (hopefully temporarily). Online abuse is an ongoing issue but I believe the catalyst for this particular exit was related to the vicious vaccination conversations going on in New Zealand right now. This was in a lot of ways, a perfectly predictable and inevitable result of the current intensity of the debate. It’s like the whole country sat down to dinner, started a reasonable discussion about vaccinations and now everyone’s drunk and rolling around on the table choking each other on top of the mashed potato.
It’s time someone stood on a chair and screamed “STOP!” Seriously, calm your fucking farm New Zealand.
Pro-vaxxers – some of the stuff you’re reading is just as dubious as some of the anti-vax stuff. Unless you yourself are a scientist who has studied the topic, you know as much as anyone else who can read. Trust in your own decisions and remember this important fact: EVERYONE is just trying to protect their own children the best way they know how.
Anti-vaxxers – you are not helping your ’cause’ by ranting online, and certainly not by abusing or bullying. The pro-vax stance has a reason to hassle non-vaxxers (whether they should or not is a different story) – what’s your excuse? Trust in your own decisions and remember, EVERYONE is just trying to protect their own children the best way they know how.
Humans are all just making it up as we go and (hopefully) learning constantly. Right now this is complicated by the fact that we also have to decide which sources of information to trust. All of us are trying to do the best for our children and the society we live in. All of us. So let’s respect each other’s decisions and levels of intelligence, step away from our keyboards, take a deep breath and then continue the dialog with compassion and open minds. Whatever it is that you believe right now, you may not be correct.