Being my thesis year, most of my time is spent on Facebook. Though doing my best to avoid learning, my aimless e-wondering has resulted in at least one lesson. In the darker corners of Facebook I have discovered a trend I was previously, and happily, ignorant of. I’m talking about the terrifying world of Crazy Fringe Belief Activism Pages (CFBAP).
For the unschooled, I’m referring to the pages that combine violent outrage at the way the world is, with a complete dissociation from reality. Concerningly, several such pages are incredibly popular and they make some remarkably compulsive reading.
Here, I present to you the top three CFBAs. Behold their mad glory.
The Australian Vaccination Network, currently sitting at 5527 likes, is probably the most dangerous of the CFBAPs in Australia.
The Core Belief: Vaccines are liquid evil. They cause autism and paralysis but do not foster immunity. Pharmaceutical companies, doctors, and the government know vaccines are toxic and are in on a conspiracy to keep giving them to everyone for reasons presumably too obvious to need detailing.
Highlights: Typical posts include a YouTube video of Bill Gates being ambushed at a press conference and accused of using his vaccination programs to secretly carry out eugenics. Also popular are dodgy looking articles claiming vaccines are made from aborted babies.
The Crazy: Literally hundreds of years of scientific research have found vaccinations to be the best tool we have for fighting disease. With vaccinations we’ve roundhouse-kicked smallpox off the face of the earth and are pretty close to doing the same to polio. The tragedy behind the farce is that now, because of nutty beliefs about vaccines being dangerous, there are kids dying of whooping cough thanks to their parents’ refusal to allow vaccination.
Australians Against Chemtrails, currently at 3557 likes.
The Core Belief: You know those white trails that planes leave behind? Yeah, that’s not condensed water vapour from combustion in the jet engine. That’s the government spraying the atmosphere with toxic chemicals to engineer the weather. Governments and scientists deny any knowledge of it, but they would wouldn’t they. Wake up sheeple!
Highlights: The page is mainly just pictures of clouds with outraged comments underneath – “And Labor blames it on climate change, tell the people the truth! GOVERNMENTS are changing the weather!” – but there’s also an attempt to organise a global protest against chemtrails. Proving they exist would probably be on my list before organising a protest but hey, maybe that’s why I don’t have 3557 followers.
The Crazy: I’ve been looking for a while now and I can’t find anything on this page that begins to explain how or why this is happening. Instead of written clarification, the page’s administrators have opted for hundreds of pictures of clouds. Compelling evidence indeed.
Fluoride Free Australia, with 703 likes.
The Core Belief: Contrary to what basic chemistry would have you think, fluoride isn’t a harmless salt that is in most water anyway, it is government poison that rots your brain and gives you cancer. We won’t just stand by and let the greedy government fat cats drug us with these toxic chemicals.
Highlights: Pictures of Australian politicians with incongruent mentions of Hitler.
The Crazy: In Australia most health care is paid for by the government. Literally the dumbest, most expensive thing the government could do would be to put something in the water that damages health.