computers confirm, mommy blogs are a hazard to your health

Mommy blogs are filled with so much disinformation and scaremongering, they should be officially labeled an infectious disease vector.

other mother

Long time skeptics know that so-called mommy blogs are often bastions of anti-vaccine sentiment and frequently tell new parents to delay and avoid vaccinations based on agenda-driven pseudoscience and anti-Big Pharma conspiracy theories. This is so well known by now that a team of UCLA researchers used (S)Mothering.com and an unnamed mothering site for a neural network able to analyze and extract narratives from almost 2 million posts which frequently ask how to avoid giving their children vaccines and take advantage of religious and other exemptions, firmly believing that the shot schedule will give their kids autism, even though we’re pretty sure that genetics and neonatal brain development are responsible for this condition, and there’s also some compensatory over-diagnosis after years of brushing off kids with real problems as brats instead of receiving help.

But sadly, we often rely on anecdotes over statistics and anti-vaxxers who are sure that a vaccine is basically poison in a shot thanks to their lack of basic scientific literacy, abuse this to sway parents overwhelmed with the responsibilities of caring for another living thing utterly reliant on them through mommy blogs often ran by effective clones of Jenny McCarthy in the middle of a crusade to prove that they’re smarter than those who spend a lifetime studying how to make people healthier. They will cite countless cherry-picked studies made by quacks selling you their snake oil, they will throw out countless discredited narratives about how sanitation supposedly accomplished what vaccination actually did, and they will scare you with fear-mongering about chemicals they can barely pronounce, and the use of which they don’t understand and refuse to try to grasp. Their goal is very simple. To get you not to vaccinate your kids to stick it to The Man.

So if you’re a brand new parent, it might be best to stay away from all these bastions of purveyors of anti-science and quackery. It might seem like folksy tales of what helps kids are good advice, and in many cases, they may well be, but when it comes to basic immunology, an M.D. from a med school you can look up for valid accreditation beats a B.S. from Google University every single time. It’s going to involve a lot of percentages, nitty gritty details, and lack that down home feel, but in the long term, cold, hard science is always better than wisdom passed down through a game of telephone, especially if that wisdom contains anything about disregarding experts or conspiracies in which your pediatrician is participating in some sinister plot to harm kids for profit and you have to lie about your religion or abuse the law to avoid the regimen that will keep your child out of the iron lung and give him or her a much better shot at a long, healthy life.

# health // skepticism / social media / vaccines


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