back to article Anti-5G-vaxx pressure group sues Zuckerberg, Facebook, fact checkers for daring to suggest it might be wrong

Mark Zuckerberg has been personally sued by an anti-5G/anti-vaxxer pressure group for daring to suggest its claims may not be entirely credible. In a 115-page lawsuit [PDF] filed in a federal district court in San Francisco this week, the Facebook CEO, his web giant, and three fact-checking organizations Facebook uses to …

  1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

    The enemy of my enemy is my friend. But _which_ enemy ?

    1. Joe W Silver badge

      No. The enemy of my enemy is my enemy's enemy. No more, no less.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        And vice versa/

    2. DS999

      Facebook being utter shits doesn't mean anyone should be rooting for the antivax nutjobs in this case.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Can't we all just sit back, safe in the knowledge that both Facebook and CHD will likely both lose money in this? Sure it goes to lawyers but we can't have everything.

  2. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Tossing their toys about

    It seems that those who don't accept science are once again tossing their toys out the pram and they want everyone to believe and follow their beliefs. The world has gone mad with crackpots suing crackpots and crackpots suing science. The rise of the entitled misinformed paranoids goes on....

    1. Sandtitz Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Tossing their toys about

      "The world has gone mad with crackpots suing crackpots and crackpots suing science."

      I really think there's something in the US tap water besides just fluorine.

      Maybe the crackpot conspiracist are really onto something after all.

      1. idiottaxpayerhere previously ishtiaq/theghostdeejay

        Re: Tossing their toys about

        @sandtitz

        Seems it is not only U.S water

        https://www.gizmodo.co.uk/2020/08/5g-conspiracy-pushers-have-raised-105k-to-sue-the-government/

        Cheers… Ishy

      2. KittenHuffer Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Tossing their toys about

        Yes there is ...... it's dihydrogen monoxide!!!!!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Tossing their toys about

          More people are killed by DiHydrogen Monoxide than by any other single cause.

        2. big_D Silver badge
          Coffee/keyboard

          Re: Tossing their toys about

          Thanks!

      3. Greybearded old scrote
        Coat

        Re: Tossing their toys about

        "I really think there's something in the US tap water besides just fluorine."

        Lead. Or is that just Michigan?

    2. elDog

      Re: Tossing their toys about

      Seems the motive is to pollute the airwaves. To inundate any sentient beings with crapola.

      Random/malicious bits on the internets are essentially free and may cause some desired effects. Various state-run agencies are more cunning, more targeted.

    3. Snake Silver badge

      Re: Tossing their toys about

      We can hope that the words "Dismissed" and "with prejudice" are heard early in the proceedings...

      1. martynhare

        Re: Tossing their toys about

        Maybe the judge can dismiss Facebook’s existence while he’s at it...

      2. parlei

        Re: Tossing their toys about

        No. I want a long drawn out case where the anti-vaxxers have to pay the -- no doubt huge -- FB legal costs in the end.

        1. Snake Silver badge

          Re: paying FB legal costs

          If only America's justice system worked that way. They sue and sue, with no responsibilities, and everyone goes broke...except the lawyers.

          1. tcmonkey

            Re: paying FB legal costs

            Given the two parties involved in this case, I think I might actually be ok with only the lawyers winning for once.

    4. Mike the FlyingRat
      Boffin

      @Mark 85 Re: Tossing their toys about

      I think you're missing the bigger picture.

      Platforms like FB and others enjoy Safe Harbor because they are platforms and do not censor.

      But clearly that's not the case.

      I agree that these groups are a bit 'interesting in a tin foil hat way'.

      However, they shouldn't be censored. Just ridiculed.

      They have the right to sue, and the downside ... is that Zuck may get this case dismissed, however there's possibility that this case removes the safe harbor they enjoy.

      1. Jamesit

        Re: @Mark 85 Tossing their toys about

        They aren't being censored the e posts are being labeled as questionable, the posts aren't edited to remove anything from them.

        1. VBF
          Thumb Up

          Re: @Mark 85 Tossing their toys about

          Thank you - I'm glad somebody else spotted that!

          1. Lon24

            Re: @Mark 85 Tossing their toys about

            It looks like these kooks are seeking to censor FB by not allowing them to express their view (ie their bollocks are bollocks).

            Works both ways. Freedom of expression implies freedom to reply. And these particular kooks need to condemned to a Z-80 disassembly camp without the possibility of parole for having me post something in support of the Zuck.

        2. Mike the FlyingRat
          Boffin

          @Jamesit ... Re: @Mark 85 Tossing their toys about

          But they are being censored.

          Look, I know that half of what is being said on FB or other social media is utter garbage.

          While I don't agree with what they are saying, I do however believe in their right to post it unless it falls outside of the law. (e.g. Germans talking about Nazi party which is illegal or in the US, postings encouraging terrorism)

          They are being censored Those who are doing the censoring are clearly biased.

          A good example is censoring of Trump's posts/tweets. Yet Schiff (congress critter) posts more BS and nothing happens.

          The point is that if these platforms censor, which they do, they can and should be held liable for the content because they are curating it.

          There's more but let that sink it. I'm saying regardless of content, they are curating it and that becomes the issue and why they should lose their legal immunity.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: @Jamesit ... @Mark 85 Tossing their toys about

            They're being censured, not censored.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @Jamesit ... @Mark 85 Tossing their toys about

            Unfortunately for you, Facebook has the right to free speech and can chose to moderate what appears on their own web site...

            ...and no sane person will stretch that to pretend that Facebook must therefore be endorsing all opinions that other people place on their website.

            1. Claptrap314 Silver badge

              Re: @Jamesit ... @Mark 85 Tossing their toys about

              The purpose of the First Amendment is to ensure the free and open discussion of political speech in our society. Since the object of the constitution is the federal government, its provisions apply to the government. But the principle of free and open discussion is much more broad than what is statutorily permitted.

              As for FB & friends, they are playing matters both ways. If they are a platform, that is, if they want the safe harbor provisions of the CDA to apply, they cannot favor some speech (barring other laws) over some other.

              Today, they are talking over people I consider to be idiots. But who is the fool if I assume that I won't at some time be subjected to this same treatment?

              FB is running a public accommodation. If they want safe harbor, they must permit all legal speech.

              1. Yes Me Silver badge

                Re: @Jamesit ... @Mark 85 Tossing their toys about

                If the law says that, the law is a ass. People should not be allowed to post dangerous lies in the guise of "free speech". The main anti-vaccination lies are proven false and are intrinsically deadly dangerous. People die because of them. It should be a crime to post them, and a crime not to take them down.

                Also they are only suing for $5M, it says. That's not even a gnat's bite for FB or Zuck. He won't lose sleep over this.

                1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                  Re: @Jamesit ... @Mark 85 Tossing their toys about

                  "If the law says that, the law is a ass. People should not be allowed to post dangerous lies in the guise of "free speech"."

                  What you need to do, then, is use another law or criminal offense against that speech. The First Amendment, terse as it is, is not absolute due to inevitable rights clash. This was the basis for the US v. Schenck decision (aka the "Fire in a Crowded Theater" decision).

          3. FrozenShamrock

            Re: @Jamesit ... @Mark 85 Tossing their toys about

            FB is evil, sneaky, and dangerous. However, it is a private entity and is free to publish, not publish, or tag anything on their private site as they see fit. It is not censoring since they have no obligation to publish anything. Same with another useless but private entity, Twitter. They could, and in my opinion should, block all tweets from the Orange Asshole in the White House since they are a private platform and don't have to publish anything.

        3. The Experts

          Re: @Mark 85 Tossing their toys about

          thats funny because I've had my post removed from FB an I took snap shots to confirm that

      2. Jim Mitchell

        Re: @Mark 85 Tossing their toys about

        But it sounds like facebook did not censor the group, just added a disclaimer. So they have done what you advise, don't censor, just ridicule.

        1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

          Re: @Mark 85 Tossing their toys about

          Adding a tag that says 'the contents of this post are bollocks' certainly sounds like ridicule, not censorship.

      3. SGJ

        Re: @Mark 85 Tossing their toys about

        The idea that FB and similar platforms enjoy "safe harbor" only if they don't censor material published by third parties is based on a misunderstanding of section 230 of the Communications Decency Act passed in 1996.

        Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Rep. Christopher Cox (R-Calif.) drafted section 230 in response to cases like the 1995 Prodigy* suit which held that Prodigy made themselves liable because, unlike a book shop, they exercised editorial control. Section 230 of the CDA removed this threat.

        Facebook (and Twitter etc) will *not* lose the immunity afforded by section 230 for material posted by third parties if they censor or edit that material.

        * see https://h2o.law.harvard.edu/cases/4540

        1. Mike the FlyingRat

          @SGJ Re: @Mark 85 Tossing their toys about

          Actually they could.

          Two ways...

          1) Congress removes the immunity.

          2) SCOTUS removes the immunity.

          Now you're going to tell me that these platforms which have become a global power unto themselves are not going to be targets for removing legal protection?

          Really?

          1. SGJ

            Re: @SGJ @Mark 85 Tossing their toys about

            Yes, the law could be changed -the law can always be changed. But as things stand Section 230 of the CDA and precedent mean that Facebook and other platforms will not lose immunity for third party posts for editorial actions and that has been the case since 1996.

      4. tfewster Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: @Mark 85 Tossing their toys about

        Facebook and the US Government have no obligation to provide a soapbox for nutjobs.

        1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

          Re: @Mark 85 Tossing their toys about

          Unfortunately that doesn't apply to the BBC where it's important to have representation "from the other side", even if the "other side" is a complete nut job foaming at the mouth moron.

          1. Antonius_Prime
            Devil

            Re: @Mark 85 Tossing their toys about

            Isn't that why BBCx exists? Give them their platform. At 12 at night. On the station no one watches.

            (Used to be BBC2, then 3, then 4... BBC++ didn't sit right. Infinitely incrementing BBC's is an ill-understood threat to existence...)

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @Mark 85 Tossing their toys about

            The BBC are actually fairly good at allowing nut jobs to appear on screen so that they can be seen to be obvious nut jobs.

            In any case, mostly that policy is a guideline for sane political debate. They have yet to feel the need to get someone to appear in favour of legalising murder every time someone is convicted of it...

  3. Rich 2 Silver badge

    Oh really? Did you have to do that?

    The problem with this is that I find myself on the side of Zuk.

    A dichotomy of infinite scope.

    I think I may just have to kill myself. It’s the only way out.

    1. George Spiggott
      Go

      Re: Oh really? Did you have to do that?

      >I think I may just have to kill myself. It’s the only way out.

      So how are you going to do it ?

      5G, aluminium or vaccine ?

    2. The commentard formerly known as Mister_C

      Re: Oh really? Did you have to do that?

      My take on it is "here's a chance to redeem yourself, Zuck". You've got more than enough wonga to face them down, prove them wrong, rip them new ones, and still say "and I'll cover your costs if you agree to shut the fuck up".

      Actually, it's only partially redeem yourself. But it would be a good first step.

    3. seven of five Silver badge

      Re: Oh really? Did you have to do that?

      You have to broaden your scope. It is not just "us" and "them". You' ll have to go for:

      "me", "us", "them", "them others" and "these bloody nutjobs" etc.

      That way, you can hate both parties equally without personal peril.

  4. Elledan Bronze badge
    Coat

    Welcome to the post-sanity world

    If anyone thinks that this lawsuit is 'out there', they better brace themselves for what is yet to come. We have seen the anti-5G, anti-vaxxer and other assorted nutcases pass by during the past months of this pandemic. That's before the mass-vaccination campaigns kick off in (hopefully) a matter of months. We all know how well things like the measles vaccine go over by a (very vocal) minority the past years.

    What are you going to do, force truth and reason on people?

    In psychology there is the concept of cognitive bias, which causes people to filter any incoming information and facts using their own experiences and views. In the most extreme cases this can lead to injury, death and even world wars. That's how we end up with for example Greenpeace bulldozing 'Golden Rice' fields which could have saved millions of children from blindness or forcing the closure of nuclear plants to have the slack picked up by the fossil fuel plant next door. Or how some people make it their life's work to picket in front of women's health clinics with images of chopped up fetuses.

    It are only the ones with enough money and influence who get to really show off their lunacy, such as in this case. And that's before the anti-COVID-19 mass-demonstrations and what not that we'll be seeing before long.

    Mine is the one with a towel in the right pocket. Thanks for the fish, folks.

    1. MGJ

      Re: Welcome to the post-sanity world

      Simple; want to do anything in public, get vaccinated and have proof.

      1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

        Re: Welcome to the post-sanity world

        like a tattoo of the number of the beast?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Welcome to the post-sanity world

          Or the old "Papers, Please."

      2. Mark Exclamation

        Re: Welcome to the post-sanity world

        Agreed, and if they catch anything they could have been vaccinated against, quarantine them and offer absolutely no medical assistance. They can take their chances on god (which is just as unreal as their beliefs).

        1. cdrcat

          Re: Welcome to the post-sanity world

          And here I was thinking a healthy society cared about protecting the poor and stupid from themselves.

          Be careful in wishing the worst upon those that make mistakes lest you fail to be perfect yourself.

  5. limerino
    Meh

    What if COVID-19 causes 5G? Hmm? I bet the fake news sites don't carry this!

    I mean, in the states, Free Speech is a restriction on Government. Since Facebook isn't the government (Yet! Free the Facebook 5! Bastards!) then it's possible this is just ridiculous grandstanding by a bunch of sad people who enjoy attention. Or fake news! Who can tell?

    1. DS999
      Devil

      You might be onto something!

      As coronavirus cases have grown in the US, so has news of 5G deployments.

      1. KittenHuffer Silver badge

        Re: You might be onto something!

        Correlation doesn't imply causation!

        https://xkcd.com/552/

        1. the Jim bloke Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: You might be onto something!

          People on the Autism spectrum are disproportionately present in research positions.

          From this..

          Autism causes Vaccines.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 5G deployments.

        It has already been reported in these forums that 5G makes your beard grow backwards. This is something of great concern to many people.

        .

        .

        But not me ... /rushes off to shave.... :-)

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Idiots

    Just one word - nutcases!

    1. Beau
      Meh

      Re: Idiots

      Idiots, well what do you expect, they're Americans. You only have to look at who they chose as a President and they will do the same again this year.

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        Re: Idiots

        And look at us Brits, we voted in a bunch of utter incompetents after decided to cut off our biggest trading partnership and will soon our esteemed leaders will be sucking anything the USA offers to get a deal which will ruin our agriculture, etc.

        We have villages missing an idiot not to be casting the first stone :(

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Idiots

          "We have villages missing an idiot"

          The perspective from out here in the villages is that we're being invaded by urban idiots.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Idiots

      Everyone's a fruit and nutcase. In the manner of true connoisseurs, you see.

      (to be sung to the tune of Danse des Mirlitons)

      1. Dolvaran

        Re: Idiots

        Actually, I prefer the late, great Frank Muir singing about how everyone is a fruit and nut case - crazy for those Cadbury's nut and raisins...

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Idiots

          Errrrm.

  7. C. P. Cosgrove
    WTF?

    Beyond belief

    Like the poor referred to in Scripture, the idiots you will have with you always.

    I know the US Constitution guarantees freedom of belief but this is ridiculous.

    Chris Cosgrove

  8. Headley_Grange Silver badge

    Hidden Meaning

    CHD just needs to dilute its Facebook posts until there's just a single letter, or maybe a comma left. The diluted post will have the same meaning as the original one, but FB won't be able to censor or flag it because it will appear to be meaningless.

    1. seven of five Silver badge

      Re: Hidden Meaning

      I see what you did there, I just can not prove it. It still helps, though :)

      Just remind them to dillute the post to a single character a day, then it will be strongest.

  9. mark l 2 Silver badge

    Lots of Americans believe that 'free speech' allows them to say whatever they want without any consequences. But in fact the law is quite clear that isn't the case. So far example you could be arrest for shouting FIRE! in a crowded building and causing panic when there was no fire, or inciting people to kill others. And the right to free speech would not be a defence you can use in court against those charges.

    I am not a fan of Zuckerberg or Facebook, but its their platform and if i remember rightly the T&Cs pretty much say that they can do whatever they want with what you post on Facebook, moderate it, hide it from searches, remove it completely etc and the Anti-vax / 5G dumpties all agreed to the T&Cs when they signed up for an account.

  10. Stuart Castle Silver badge

    Conspiracy theorists

    I find it amazing that there are people who are sometimes quite intelligent and quite capable of detailed research, and are happy to dismiss most of what they are told as at least dubious (which is a good way to be, sceptical but with an open mind), are quite happy to believe some random bloke, whose intentions they don’t really know, because he says something they agree with.

    Like that Andrew Wakefield. People are happy to believe a man whose entire income is derived from persuading as many people possible that vaccines are bad, rather than doctors and other experts who generally don’t make any more money if they persuade you to have vaccines. Not say that big pharma is working for the good of people. It isn’t. It is working for profit. It’s just vaccines aren’t big pharma’s only source of income.

    Just got to work out who profits out of the 5g theories..

    1. RM Myers Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Conspiracy theorists

      Unfortunately, Wakefield's research was published in the Lancet, one of the top two medical research journals in the world according to most sources. Further, the Lancet didn't retract the article for around a dozen years, despite others being unable to reproduce his results and clear evidence of financial conflicts of interest being found many years before the retraction, and the co-authors then backing off their support for the article.

      Yes, Wakefield deserves to be vilified, but the editorial staff at the Lancet also bears a large share of the responsibility. The fact the editor formerly worked with Wakefield just adds to the overall stench.

  11. pinkmouse

    Phew. Aluminium is safe.

    1. harmjschoonhoven

      Aluminium

      is in itself not poisonous, but inhalation of aluminiumdust, bauxitdust or aluminiumvapor (from castings) is deadly. Sven Moeschlin, Klinik und Therapie der Vergiftungen.

    2. Headley_Grange Silver badge

      The UK's aluminium is safe, but I've never trusted the American aluminum.

      1. John Jennings Bronze badge

        Aluminium is not safe at all - if exposed to high levels of dust or salts:

        https://www.winchesterhospital.org/health-library/article?id=164929

        Typical exposure is near processing plants, or where extraction contaminates your drinking water....

        Chronic paracetamol use is also toxic - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3921468/

        Long term adoption has been linked to the rise of a particular form of Alzheimer's.

        No evidence of 5g.

    3. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
      Boffin

      Aluminium is safe, but just remember that the government embed tiny (invisible) trackers in rolls of aluminium foil which are activated on contact with head hair.

  12. Kev99

    I can't believe Jack Kennedy's nephew is a Trumper. They seem to be the ones who push this kind of nonsense with no substantiation, verification, studies, etc. to support their claims. If someone shows any proof contrary to their position, they scream fake, conspiracy, etc.

    1. Cederic Silver badge

      They seem to be the ones who push this kind of nonsense with no substantiation, verification, studies,

      I know, things like the gender pay gap, the Duluth model and 4 year olds knowing they're the wrong gender are all pushed by... oh wait, 'Trumper'? No, I don't even know what that is.

    2. John Jennings Bronze badge

      He is not. He is a signed up Democrat - head F**K or what? Not everyone you disagree with is a Trumpian!

      He does, however, believe that his disability (a speach impediment) was caused by vaccination,

  13. The Dogs Meevonks
    Devil

    So if they want to win....

    All they have to do, is prove in court that their claims of vaccines causing autism, 5g cauising whatever wackadoodle conspiracy theory it is they think they cause... is true and do that they're gonna need a whole lot of peer reviewed, widely accepted, and proven scientific evidence from within the actual scientific community.

    Great... can they also prove that the earth is flat, the we never went to the moon, that Trump is actually a nice human being and that good old BoJo the clown has a sense of morals, ethics and decency.

    1. herman Silver badge

      Re: So if they want to win....

      'BoJo the clown' - Wait, why did you have to draw Biden into this?

  14. Woza

    A wasp lands on a scorpion

    Somebody's going to get stung and I don't care who!

  15. Sherrie Ludwig

    Not rooting for Zuck, but

    In this case, the conspiracy nutters have gone after the wrong guy. He has lawyers, more money than God, and will keep these idiots tied up until broke. I hope they are left beating a drum on the sidewalk for pennies.

    1. John Jennings Bronze badge

      Re: Not rooting for Zuck, but

      one thing you wont do is break the Kennedy family....

  16. osakajin Bronze badge

    So normally vaccines take years to develop and test but this one is out after a few months of work and looks like could be made mandatory.

    No thanks. I've had Corona but wouldn't risk a vaccine not simply because I can survive the flu but because mandatory anything worries me because government can't be trusted and science isn't always right.

    Thalidomide anyone?

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Apart from the bonkers Russian publicity stunt one, there are no corona vaccines yet. They’re all being tested still. Admittedly they’re rushing the testing. Which is considered an acceptable risk in the circumstances.

      Last week there were 2 just starting stage 3 trials. So being tested on 300,000 people to check for safety and effectiveness. Those tests will last a year. However if the data is particularly good, in say January, they may be licensed early. Because the risk with vaccines is normally when you take them.

    2. Big_Boomer Silver badge

      Thalidomide was never forced on anyone and I very much doubt that any Covid Vaccine will be forced on anyone outside of the worlds totalitarian states.

      Yes, Thalidomide caused thousands of deaths and thousands to have to live life with severe disabilities, but when used correctly it treats Leprosy and is still being used in some Cancer treatments. Like most drugs it needed more careful testing and because of Thalidomide and others we now have more careful, robust, and peer-reviewed testing.

      Personally, I shall have the vaccine once it is made available. So far I have had some 30+ vaccinations and I'm still here, so one more is no big deal. Is there risk? Of course there is risk, everything is risky, but you have to weigh up the risk vs the consequences.

      1. DJO Silver badge

        The problem with Thalidomide was chirality, the mass production process then made both right and left handed versions, only one of those caused the problems.

        I must admit Thalidomide and subsequent birth defects did occur to me as a warning for the indecently speeded up Russian vaccine. Long term effects are difficult to spot without long term tests.

      2. John Jennings Bronze badge

        THalidomide was actually proscribed as a cure for morning sickness - in pregnant women!

        It was proscribed correctly it had not been tested on pregnant women adequately.

        It had originally be developed as a sedative.

        TBH, it kinda proves the anti-vaxxers point. At the time of Thalidimide comming to market, the testing regime was inadequate to quantify the risk in pregnant women....

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          So "Thalidomide kinda proves the anti-vaxxers point" despite the fact that it was a drug lincensed under the regime in place 50 years ago - and there's no more modern example to give because, we changed the licensing system as a result!

          All drugs have side effects. Vaccines in particular are a problem, because you don't just give them to people who are ill - you give them to almost everybody. This means that they have to be even safer than normal drugs, because the benefits of giving them have to outweigh the harm. That's also why many countries have government vaccine compensation schemes - because the benefits to society of mass vaccination are clear - but the lives you save are non-specific, nobody knows who's been saved. But those few who get side effects are known, and even though there are going to be many fewer of them than the disease victims, they're suffered harm and so get compensation. In some countries from taxes levied on the vaccine suppliers, in others straight from the government who give out the vaccines.

          1. John Jennings Bronze badge

            The only reason I mentioned Thalidomide was becasue it was mentioned in the thread.

            Oxycontin was approved in 1996 - and killed an estimated 60,000 per year since 2002 globally - half in the US...

            Plenty of drugs are still licensed but which are a bad idea in hindsight. I could list a further half a dozen, if you want

            By the way, I am not personally anti vax - I was making a point when Thalidimide was brought up.

        2. ICL1900-G3

          Look up 'proscribed' and edit your post.

          1. John Jennings Bronze badge

            cant edit it now - damn that spell checker....

        3. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          I guess it's also useful to point out that we don't generally test drugs on pregant women or children for very good ethical reasons. This can then create a problem when you go to use drugs specifically tested on adults (and often adult males) in those groups and perhaps the drugs don't work exactly the same. I suspect this is a problem that will always be hard to solve.

          I've seen some of the more annoying feminist types talk about this as if it's a conspiracy by the evil patriarchy in order to disadvantage all women yet again. But the specific reason why most drugs are tested on men is that they tend to do a lot of testing on students, and young males are more likely to take small risks with their health for beer money than young women.

          Hopefully the coronavirus vaccines will be better tested. The UK government have been calling for volunteers for vaccine trials and 100,000-odd people have already signed up. But I don't think that's going to be enough, as some won't be suitable, and they're going to want a good ethnic mix - plus I suspect they may prioritise the testing on key workers who see a lot of people every day - because they'll give the best data on how well it works. The Oxford vaccine is apparently testing on 100k people - and I think the government signed up to buy 30m doses of yet another vaccine last week, and as part of the agreement I think they're helping to fund/organise the stage 3 trials. So 100k sign up doesn't even cover what they've already committed to doing.

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        One of the consequences of Thalidomide, of course, is that clinical trials have become more rigorous. If things didn't move on in medicine and epidemiology we'd still be catching and dying from the plague from rat fleas, cholera from dirty water, smallpox from each other and dying from numerous bacterial infections.

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "I've had Corona"

      Was that diagnosed with a specific test* or was it just some unspecified upper respiratory tract infection?

      Assuming you genuinely did have it how many (obviously unvaccinated) people did you pass it onto? How many more got it passed on indirectly? How many of those did you indirectly kill?

      "I've had Corona" isn't a straightforward statement to make for anyone. Unless they isolated themselves before becoming infected they must realise that there's an ongoing chain of infections extending before them and that people could be dying from what they unwittingly passed on. I'd have expected that the one thing anyone in that position, who thinks the thing through and has any trace of conscience would support anything that breaks that chain.

      * And if you don't trust science how would you know that the test was right? Or even that the virus exists?

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Even if you've had coronavirus, we're not yet sure if that gives you immunity to getting again, or if it does, how long that immunity lasts for. The evidence I've read seems to be that the worse you had it, the more antibodidies you've got, so the more resistant you might be to it in future. Thus meaning having a mild case could mean you risk getting it again. But that's only theorising, I don't think they've got hard data to back any of this up yet - it's all speculation and partial data.

        We'll learn more about immunity from the vaccine testing. But we could end up in a systme of needing an annual booster.

        On the other hand beacuse Covid 19 is far less infectious than say measles, you don't need 90% herd immunity to pretty much stop it spreading. So it's less of a problem if people opt out of the vaccination system.

        But we're getting pretty good at vaccines. After all we've been do annual flu vaccines for years now, where the vaccine is changed every year to match their prediction of which strains of flu are likely to go global. And that's not causing problems of mass side effects - and in general has been given to the least healthy people in society - so a general Covid 19 vaccine given to loads of healthy people should hopefully be as good as that.

        At least in this case people know how bad Coronoavirus can be. Whereas we have resistance to the measles vaccine because it's been so successful we've forgotten how bad measles can be. Mum taught in special schools in the 80s and 90s, so I met quite a few kids at the time who'd had massive brain injuries caused by childhood measles - but lost of people haven't had that experience. When one of the symptoms of a disease is meningitis, then it can have really horrible consequences.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          "At least in this case people know how bad Coronoavirus can be."

          I don't think we do - which adds more weight to your argument of course.

          Research is just starting on the extent to which there can be long term damage to people who think they had it lightly. It's going to make assessing the overall consequence more difficult. HMG have just revised their death toll estimates by putting a 28 day limit in place having realised that under the previous methodology someone previously diagnosed but dying from a road accident would have been counted. But now it's looking possible that damage to various organs could contribute to death some years down the line.

  17. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    This is barely indistinguishable from middle-ages peasants who didn't know where the supernatural ended and science started - mainly because they didn't know those words. These anti-vax, 5g conspiracy theorists are improperly or under-educated and know just enough to get them into trouble. They listen to nutjobs on youtube because it's 'research' and believe that 5g can cause oxygen to be removed from your lungs because the person who told them also suggested that walking barefoot on the earth connected you with the trees, and it seemed to work for someone on twitter.

    The only way out of this is education, education and education. We are too dumbed down as a society: there are people around who know enough to operate their phones, write a barely intelligible sentence and hold down a simple job. They were never taught to be analytical, critical and rational. They were never taught how things actually worked. They'd sooner believe that the earth is flat because it's been a conspiracy theory for over 2000 years than actually see the evidence for their own eyes. 'Do you research' is the mantra of the conspiracy theorists and they don't know what it even means.

    1. DJO Silver badge

      The only way out of this is education, education and education

      Are you mad? If you start educating the electorate they might realise that almost everything the right wing parties (Republicans & Tories) is a complete lie and (heavens forbid) they might actually vote for somebody that will help them.

      No the current govenment is firmly in favour of indoctrination not education. How else do you think we ended up with the insanity of Brexit.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        What about those who don't want to learn...yet are in a high enough position to cause trouble...and have enough charisma to make them difficult to vote out?

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      This is barely indistinguishable from middle-ages peasants who didn't know where the supernatural ended and science started

      FTFY

  18. RyokuMas Silver badge
    Pint

    Lightening the mood a little...

    My six year old daughter is autistic. This does not change the fact that she's an amazing little girl, and incredibly bright for her age - one of her primary autistic behaviours is hyperlexia: she was "reading" (decoding written words into their correct sounds, but not understanding) at the age of two. We've always approached this as her "superpower" and that she has a special brain that is very good at working out some things that other children find hard, but also sometimes finds things challenging that other kids find easy.

    The other day, she showed me a drawing she'd done of some bottles of medicines - I asked her if they were for COVID-19, as this whole situation has had a big impact on her, and she's needed a lot of reassurance, a lot of which has been me explaining to her that "a lot of very clever doctors and scientists are working on a vaccine".

    She said "no, they're for illnesses we don't know about yet" - basically, she'd put two and two together about her "superpower" brain and those of the scientists, and decided she wanted to be a medical researcher when she grows up. She was afraid that I would laugh at her - I made a point of telling her that I wouldn't laugh, and if that's what she wanted to do then I would do everything I could to support her dream.

    Whether she does go for it when the time comes, time will tell - but I will certainly be encouraging her, as with her brain it would be a crying shame for her not to be in some science-related job, plus she loves the idea of doing something that will make the world a better place.

    And if she does, and she ends up working on innoculations for new or existing diseases, then I will take great delight in telling every anti-vaxxer I meet that they've got it backwards and in fact, it is "autism causes vaccines"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lightening the mood a little...

      Wish I could upvote you 100 times.....

    2. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

      Re: Lightening the mood a little...

      She'll need to understand the concept of 'nutjobs whose brains have zero superpowers other than the ability to put 2 and 2 together and get their minds blown by a youtube video about a conspiracy to remove the number 2 from education'.

      These people aren't rational, and don't respond to normal discussions about things. They twist every thing they see, every fact they read, into something to bolster their deranged weltanschauung.

      I hope your daughter goes very far...!

      1. Huw D

        Re: Lightening the mood a little...

        "nutjobs whose brains have zero superpowers other than the ability to put 2 and 2 together"

        You might be giving them too much credit.

    3. Circadian
      Happy

      Re: Lightening the mood a little...

      @RyokuMas

      Thank you.

  19. Quentin North
    FAIL

    I don't understand

    Lawsuits cost money, so I get that lawyers will make money out of this, but honestly the law suit has no chance of winning on any basis so why spend the money and where did the money come from in the first place? I guess this is a bit like some Ponzi scheme or religion, where lots of naive people are encouraged into a belief and then make donations to the organisers of the belief to fund the lifestyles of lawyers and administrators who don't really care about the truth or the principles they are arguing for but just back a position in order to profit from it. Kind of like some churches and political parties. Am i getting this wrong?

    1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      Re: I don't understand

      Follow the money.

      Who will profit ? Lawyers. So it's lawyers pushing the case,, crowdfunding their own salaries

      1. WanderingHaggis
        Big Brother

        Re: I don't understand

        It is not an immediate money question but one of validation. If they win even on the slimmest technicality their opinion is fact -- if they loose they prove that "the conspiracy" is all powerful and trying to silence them because the anti-vaxers are on to something.

    2. Jon Blund

      Re: I don't understand

      "the law suit has no chance of winning on any basis"?

      Donald Trump had no chance of winning on any basis either but still he's the POTUS. The US and the UK have slipped into an alternate reality where logic no longer applies.

    3. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: I don't understand

      Quentin North,

      People who refuse to believe scientists that vaccines are safe, may refuse to believe their lawyers when they say there's no chance of winning the case.

      Although that doesn't explain why you'd then hire those same lawyers to take it. But this is not an uncommon thing, where people take doomed court cases because they want to make a point.

      Also, sending the legal letter and initial paperwork for the case is relatively cheap and helps you get publicity. You can always drop it later, before the spending gets really serious.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: I don't understand

        Signal transmitted: "You don't have a chance of winning"

        Signal received "You have a chance of winning"

        Signal remembered "You have every chance of winning"

  20. Uffish

    Covid 5G

    Whilst it is nice to hear that Zuckerberg is being sued by a bunch of looneys I am more interested in the 5G/corona virus conspiracy theory. It really is a flight of fancy of quite extravagant inanity. Well done loonys, you've just jumped the shark, and an anti-censorship court case thrown in for free.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Covid 5G

      It's a very nicely planted one. When they present with symptoms and say they got it from 5G you don't medicate them (unless they demand bleach), you tell them to protect themselves with a tinfoil hat and self-isolate hide in a Faraday cage. Darwin rules!

  21. Zebo-the-Fat

    Stupid

    Firstly you just can't fix stupid!

    Second, how come these anti science groups always seem happy to use the internet and computers to spread their silly ideas, do they think computers are somehow "natural"?)

    I suspect that the same people who distrust the medical science are quick to ask for medical help if they break a leg

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Stupid

      "Firstly you just can't fix stupid!"

      I have a feeling we'll NEED to find a way to fix stupid...before stupid takes the rest of us with them.

  22. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    The group wants ... Zuck, Facebook, et al "make a public retraction of their false statements."

    Let's have that generalised - the loser makes a public retraction of their false statements.

  23. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Tricky things, rights. Really they're nothing more than pre-negotiated agreements as to how we all behave to each other.

    One corollary of that is that they have to apply all round. So if X has the right to post that 5G caused Coronavirus-19 then Y has the right to post evidence that X's post was bollocks. X can't then argue that Y shouldn't have that right without arguing that they don't have it themselves.

    Another corollary is that as soon as there are multiple rights is that there's a possibility of conflict and precedence is needed to sort them out. We usually put the right to life first so freedom of speech has to take a lower precedence.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      "We usually put the right to life first so freedom of speech has to take a lower precedence."

      Which is why abortion is such a touchy subject. Unlike most other arguments, you're putting two rights to life against each other, AND there are arguments in both sides' favor (which is why I, personally, cannot take a side on the debate at present; I recognize both have points and am pretty much of the mind that you pretty much have to handle these on a case-by-case basis).

  24. EnviableOne Silver badge

    Americans

    Why as a collective do the americans not understand the freedoms that the constitution gives them.

    Freedom of speech, allows you to say it, it doesnt prevent someone else fro, offering a different more reasoned and more factually supported opinion against it.

    IE you have the right to say anything you like, others have the right to say your wrong

  25. Mike Moyle Silver badge

    Am I the only one...

    ...who keeps reading the group's abbreviation as "CHUD"?

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020