5b. Antivax video: Vaccine holocaust
The purpose of this video is to warn new parents about potential risks of vaccinating their children. This is made clear through the emotive language used by the host Mike Adams, for example when he says “If you vaccinate your children, you are in fact inoculating them with cancer.”
The first biological statement in this video was “Now, if you didn’t know that vaccines are made with aborted human fetal cells, then you’re way behind the curve.” Claiming that vaccines are made from aborted fetus cells is technically accurate, however phrased in a very off-putting way, in order to conjure fear and distrust towards the MMR vaccine. Vaccines contain harmless forms of the bacteria or virus that is being immunised against, in order to trigger an immune response in the human. (immunology.org) (immune.org) (healthnavigator.org) Since Measles, Mumps, and Rubella are viruses, that are non-living, a living host cell is required for them to be able to reproduce. As these viruses affect humans, they grow best in human cells, and this is why fetus cells are used. This statement in the video is very biased, as it phrases the sentence in a way that insinuates that the fetal cells are being injected into children. This shows that the host has vested interest, in trying to convince the audience to not get vaccinated. This can have consequences on them if it convinces them to not vaccinate their children, and if many people are not vaccinated, there can be adverse consequences on the general public, with more disease outbreaks.
The second biological statement in this video was “They are injected with the entire genome of a human baby who was murdered to harvest its organs and tissues, and then was genetically modified to promote cancer to the point where there are 560 genes that are linked to cancer risk now being injected through vaccines into your children.” Firstly, this statement is historically inaccurate, as the MMR vaccine was licenced in 1971, and genetic engineering was only first introduced in 1973 (amgen.com) (pnas.org) This means that it is impossible for the fetus cells to promote cancer. Additionally, since the fetal cells are not actually in the vaccine, there would be no point in modifying the genes as they would never end up in people who are vaccinated. (chop.edu) (nebraskamed.com)The emotive language in this statement also shows that it is very biased, for example how the host says the baby is “murdered.” Further research has shown that the host Mike Adams has vested interest as a far right American, and it is likely that the intended audience too are conservative. By appealing to political views surrounding abortion in his video, Adams can create a political bias within his audience, which can cause them to choose not to give the MMR vaccine to their children. This will lead to a further increase of unvaccinated people, which can increase the risk of outbreaks of these viruses, and negatively impact public health.
The third biological statement in this video was “gene transference means that some of your genes and your body pick up the genetic fragments that are in the vaccines cause it’s in your bloodstream, and then you start to grow the cancer tumours that have been engineered into these cancer genes that are put into the vaccines on purpose.” This statement is inaccurate, as the definition of gene transference is quite different, and not specifically related to vaccines. According to Hopkins Medicine, gene transference is the introduction of new DNA into an existing organism’s cell, usually by vectors such as plasmids and modified viruses. This is backed up by medlineplus.gov and bioninja.com.au Additionally, as explained above, the fetal cells would not actually be in the vaccines, meaning that no cancer coding fragments would be injected into the bloodstream. This biological statement is biased, as the author has vested interest in convincing the audience to not vaccinate their children, based on inaccurate facts. This can cause the target audience to fear the risk of cancer, and therefore not vaccinate their children, which could potentially lead to an outbreak of Measles, Mumps, or Rubella.
The following statement “They are literally exploiting the bodies of children for corporate profits” is biased. This is because the host is using specific emotive language to influence the audience into feeling a mistrust towards drug companies. The host has a vested interest because he has personal views regarding vaccines, and he is trying to impose this view on others, and convince the intended audience to not vaccinate their children. There is no accurate biological information that supports this claim, so he is using political bias to his advantage, by trying to influence the intended audience by bringing the idea of abortions into the argument. The consequence of this on the intended audience is that if vulnerable researches believe this misinformation, they may end their research on the safety of the MMR vaccine and decide not to give it to their children. This misinformation can also be passed on to others by the audience, reducing the herd immunity in a community, leading to more disease outbreaks.
The most important piece of information was when Adams says “the truth is, you’ve been injected with cancer causing genes, and it’s all deliberate” This is very high priority, because it is stated abruptly at the very beginning of the talk show. The idea of this is to shock the intended audience, as they were not expecting to hear something like this, and this scares them, and makes them want to pay attention to the rest of the video. The use of personal pronouns impacts the audience by making them feel directly addressed, worry about what is in their bodies, and question if they should do the same to their children.
The next most important piece of information is when Adams says “now, if you didn’t know that vaccines are made with aborted human fetal cells, then you’re way behind the curve.” This is less important than the previous piece of information, as the intended audience has already been captivated, however is still high priority. The way that this statement is phrased is deliberately attempting to make the idea of a vaccine sound gross to the intended audience. This impacts the intended audience because if they were vaccinated, they might think that they have aborted fetal cells in their blood from the vaccine, which can trigger an emotional response that leads them to decide not to vaccinate their own children. Mentioning abortions also brings in political values, and this can further cause the audience to decide not to give their children the vaccine, as they may have a political bias
The third most important piece of information is when Adams says “there are 560 genes that are linked to cancer risk now being injected through vaccines into your children.” This is less important than the previous 2 statements, because captivating the audience is the most important in order to provide an powerful argument, and then scaring the audience into not vaccinating their children is also very effective. This statement is not as strong as the one above, as it does not introduce political bias, however it is still high priority. Introducing statistics into his points makes the argument seem stronger, as the viewer thinks that there might be accurate biological credibility in this claim. This makes the reader want to know more about the proposed negative effects of the vaccine, which could make them want to explore deeper into the anti vax movement, making them more likely to cone to the conclusion to not vaccinate their children.
The overall impact of this video on new parents is likely to be negative, based on the inaccurate biological features given in this show. By introducing inaccurate information, the intended audience can feel scared of the vaccine, and this is built on with the introduction of political ideas, to make new parents feel even more put off. The video is also very biased, as it only shows supposed negative effects of the vaccines, and nothing about the benefits. This means that the reader can’t make a fully informed decision about whether vaccinating their children is the correct decision, and is less likely to vaccinate their children
Alternatively, the impact of this article could be positive. By discrediting anti-vaxxers altogether, some viewers, (likely those who aren’t the target audience) will realise the ridiculousness of the misinformation that this video is giving out, which can turn them away from further anti-vax research. Additionally, the comments section under this video discusses how the holocaust didn’t exist, which could show the wider audience how malleable the intended audience is, turning more people away from this misinformation. This can make people more likely to vaccinate their children.
(I have also done the biological ideas for 2 other resources)