Originally published on www.nvic.org
Before the Internet was launched in 1992, our thoughts, values and beliefs were informed by our family and friends and by the books, magazines and newspapers we read and by what we heard on radio and saw on television. If we wanted to communicate with each other we would pick up the telephone, write a letter or meet face to face.
The Internet changed everything.
The World Wide Web gave us electronic access to free, uncensored information on our computers, tablets and cell phones and the ability to instantly share that information with each other. It connected us together in a virtual public square, where we could do our own research and talk about our personal experiences, and express what we think and believe and how we feel about important issues that affect our lives.
There are three billion people on the Internet communicating with each other. 1 Except for the printing press created in the 15th century, there is no other single means of communication that has had as profound an impact on freedom of thought and speech as the World Wide Web.
Yes, the Internet has changed everything. And, now, everyone needs to know how the Internet is changing.
In the very near future you may not be able to find information about vaccine science, policy and law published on websites like NVIC.org and TheVaccineReaction.org or be able to connect with us on social media platforms to have an open conversation about it. With the cancellation of net neutrality in the U.S. in 2017,2 3 the two decade forging of public-private business partnerships between governments and politically powerful corporations and institutions has cleared the way for factual information about health to be censored as “fake news” and quietly removed from the Internet if it does not conform with public health policy and government recommendations for use of pharmaceutical and food products.
Has the Internet been hijacked by Wall Street? It sure looks that way.
An electronic wall is being built to block you from getting information you want so you only get information someone else decides you need. An electronic burning of the books has begun, and the people are being silently herded into a virtual Dark Age. While this censorship is starting with conversations about health and vaccination, it will not end there.
Those who have bought and control the Internet now have the power to restrict or block any kind of information they do not want you to see or talk about with your family, friends and others you connect with online.4 5
So who is doing the judging of what is truth and what is “fake news” online?
The Internet Police Thinking and Speaking for You
Web of Trust6 and Snopes,7 both for-profit enterprises, have attempted to police the Internet for the past decade by rating websites for “trustworthiness” or branding articles published online as “true” or “false,” even as they themselves became embroiled in controversy about trustworthiness.8 9 10 But Snopes and Web of Trust are rookies compared to the professional SWAT team hired this year by a new corporation, NewsGuard Technologies, Inc., to rate websites and online publications so, in their own words, they can quote “fight false news, misinformation and disinformation.”11 12 13 14 15 16 17 NewsGuard is collaborating with The Paley Center for Media,18 Google,19 Microsoft,20 21 Publicis,22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 schools, libraries32 and other institutions to protect you and your children from news and perspective they think will harm you and society.
There is no question that “fake news” is a real problem in both mainstream and alternative media when demonstrably false information is deliberately disguised as fact. However, it is also a real problem when demonstrably factual information or perspective is mislabeled as “fake news,” simply because it criticizes government policy or threatens the bottom line of corporations selling government recommended commercial products like liability free vaccines.
One of the most politically powerful public-private partnerships today is the lucrative one that has been forged by the pharmaceutical industry with government,33 34 35 36 37 38 mainstream media39 and wealthy philanthropic foundations with political agendas.40 41 42 43 44 45
NVIC Giving a Voice for the Vaccine Injured, Defending Human Rights
It has been 25 years since the nonprofit charity founded in 1982 by parents of vaccine injured children, the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), began posting vaccine information on the Internet. Our mission is to prevent vaccine injuries and deaths through public education and to protect the ethical principle of informed consent to medical risk taking, which serves as the foundation for the ethical practice of medicine.46 The co-founders and parent representatives of NVIC have a long, transparent public record of consumer advocacy, including working with Congress to secure vaccine safety informing, recording, reporting and research provisions in the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 and serving on federal vaccine advisory committees and testifying in congressional and state legislative hearings.47 48
We represent and give a voice to a vulnerable minority, the ones for whom the risks of vaccination turn out to be 100 percent. But we also represent and give a voice to people who believe that the human right to freedom of thought, speech, conscience and informed consent must be protected.49
Verifiable Facts About Vaccination Not “Fake News”
Ten years before the birth of the Internet, one of the best-kept secrets in America was that vaccines can and do cause injury and death and that some individuals are more vulnerable to being harmed by vaccination. In 1982, an Emmy award winning television documentary DPT: Vaccine Roulette produced by consumer reporter Lea Thompson alerted parents and pediatricians that the whole cell pertussis vaccine in DPT shots could brain damage children.50 51 It was a mainstream media outlet – NBC – that blew the whistle on the pharmaceutical industry’s neglect, and the medical establishment’s denial of DPT vaccine reactions, and the 50-year failure of industry and government to improve the safety of a vaccine mandated for all children to attend school.
These are verifiable facts: the truth, not “fake news.”
Three years later in 1985, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich published DPT: A Shot in the Dark, a book that further documented the risks and failures of the old crude whole cell pertussis vaccine.52 A year later, Congress passed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act. In that legislation, for the first time the US government acknowledged that FDA licensed and CDC recommended vaccines can and do injure children.53 54
Since the 1986 Act was passed, the government has awarded four billion dollars in compensation to thousands of children and adults who have suffered permanent injuries, or whose loved ones have died after being given federally licensed and recommended vaccines.55
These are verifiable facts: the truth, not “fake news.”
Between 1991 and 2013, the National Academy of Sciences published a series of reports on vaccine adverse effects.56 These reports confirmed that vaccines can cause brain and immune system disorders, and that genetic, biological and environmental risk factors make some individuals more vulnerable to being harmed but doctors don’t know how to identify them because of gaps in vaccine science.57
These are verifiable facts: the truth, not “fake news.”
More than 684,000 adverse events following vaccination, including hospitalizations, injuries and deaths, have been reported to the federal government since 1990.58 This number is estimated to represent less than one percent of all vaccine adverse events that have actually occurred.59
These are verifiable facts; the truth, not “fake news.”
The U.S. government now recommends that children receive 69 doses of 16 vaccines between the day of birth and age 18, with 50 doses given before the age of six,60 which is triple the number of vaccinations given to children in 1983.61 Almost all of these vaccinations are mandated by states for children to attend school62 and some children are being refused medical care and adults are being fired from their jobs if they don’t get every one of them, even after suffering vaccine reactions and deterioration in health.63 64 65 66 67
These are verifiable facts, not “fake news.” But very soon you may not be able to get this information or talk about it online.
It is already happening.
Discrimination and Censorship: NVIC’s Information Targeted Online
Traffic to NVIC’s websites has fallen more than 50 percent since net neutrality was cancelled last year and access to our online information was restricted by suppressive algorithms and rating systems.70
Although NVIC takes a pro-education, pro-informed consent position and does not make vaccine use recommendations, NVIC’s Pinterest account was recently suspended.71 The reason given was that Pinterest takes action “against accounts that repeatedly save content that includes harmful advice, misinformation that targets individuals or protected groups or content that originates from disinformation campaigns” and that Pinterest operators “don’t allow advice when it has immediate or detrimental effects on a Pinner’s health or on public safety. This includes promotion of false cures for terminal or chronic illnesses and anti-vaccination advice,” adding that they rely on “information from national and internationally recognized institutions like the CDC and WHO World Health Organization” to guide their judgments.
NVIC is awaiting the judgment of NewsGuard Technologies about whether our weekly online journal newspaper The Vaccine Reaction will be given a green or red rating, which will send a signal to major search engines and social media platforms with the power to preserve or censor and make information disappear from the Internet.
Censoring Information for The Greater Good?
The new Internet Police scrubbing the World Wide Web of information they do not want you to see or talk about is part of the larger culture war going on today in our country and in many countries.72 73 When it comes to vaccination, discrimination and censorship is justified in the name of public safety and The Greater Good.74 75
Who’s greater good? Who among us in society should be given the power to take away our freedom to seek and obtain knowledge, to engage in rational thinking, to speak in the public square and follow the judgment of our conscience when making decisions about what we are willing to risk our lives and our children’s lives for?
In America, where the Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution guarantees civil liberties to protect minorities from the tyranny of the majority, we cannot wait any longer to publicly discuss and answer that question. It is a question that needs open public discussion, not censorship, because what is at stake affects not only freedom of thought and speech, but the loss of autonomy, the first and most sacred of all natural rights that protects every one of us from exploitation by wealthy corporations and politically powerful institutions.
Taking Positive Action with Eyes Wide Open and No Fear
In this time of oppression, we cannot know what needs to be done unless we go forward with our eyes wide open, understanding the new reality without fearing it. It is time to collect, preserve and cherish the good books, articles, films, videos and podcasts that have been published about vaccination and share them with our family and friends; time to save and download to our computers and external hard drives the written and video information still online that we want to keep and share with our children and our grandchildren. Time to expand the open public record by attending, testifying at and recording every legislative hearing, every town hall gathering, and every federal vaccine advisory committee meeting where people discuss vaccination or attempt to eliminate the human right to autonomy and censor freedom of thought and speech.
If the doors to the Internet are closing, we can still stand up and speak in the smaller public squares that have always been there. We can come together and talk the old fashioned way, meeting in cafes, hotels, churches and in the privacy of our own homes. We can set up telephone trees and stay in touch by mail the way we did before the Internet. We can still use the World Wide Web to create private messaging and host webinars. We can create new ways of communicating with each other using more secure channels for uncensored conversations about vaccination and health.
No matter what happens to the Internet, the best way to not lose touch with us is to register today for the free online NVIC Advocacy Portal, which is a secure communications network that puts you in electronic contact with your own legislators and provides you with real time information about vaccine-related legislation moving in your state. Taking that action provides us with an address to send you information in the mail, which also happens if you make a charitable donation to NVIC in any amount.
Today, everybody knows somebody who was healthy, got vaccinated and was never healthy again. NVIC has been here for 36 years telling the truth about vaccination and advocating for better quality vaccine science, higher government vaccine safety licensing standards, more humane public health policies and protection of informed consent rights. The truth about vaccination is out there now and the truth will shine bright and clear in the end, no matter who tries to stop it from being known.
It’s your health, your family, your choice and our mission continues: No forced vaccination. Not in America.
2 Rushe D, Gambino L. US regulator scraps net neutrality rules that protect open internet. The Guardian Dec. 14, 2017.
3 McDonald SM. Net Neutrality’s End Will Let Power Eat the Internet. Foreign Policy Magazine Oct. 17, 2018.
4 Horgan C. What the Facebook, Google and Twitter algorithms hide from you. MacLeans Nov. 8, 2017.
5 Bridle J. Outnumbered: From Facebook and Google to Fake News and Filter-Bubbles. The Guardian Aug. 1, 2018.
8 Martin AJ. Browsers nix add-on after Web of Trust is caught selling users’ browsing histories: Did the users consent to this? The Register Nov. 7, 2016.
9 Leetaru K. The Daily Mail Snopes Story and Fact Checking the Fact Checkers. Forbes Dec. 22, 2016.
10 VanGrove J. Who owns Snopes.com? Dispute puts future of fact-checking site in question. San Diego Union July 24, 2017.
12 US Securities and Exchange Commission. NewGuard Technologies, Inc. Notice of Exempt Offering of Securities Mar. 5, 2018.
13 NewsGuard Technologies, Inc. Brill and Crovitz Announce Launch of NewsGuard to Fight Fake News. Mar. 5, 2018.
14 Morgan D. New venture aims to combat “fake news” on social media with warning labels. CBS News Mar. 5, 2018.
16 Lapowsky I. : NewsGuard Wants to Fight Fake News with Humans, Not Algorithms. Wired Magazine Aug. 23, 2018.
17 NewsGuard Technologies, Inc. NewGuards’ Misinformation SWAT Team Issues Red Ratings to Two Networks Publishing Dozens of Hoax Websites. Oct. 29, 2018.
19 Abrams L. NewsGuard Browser Extension Aims to Alert You to Fake News Sites. Bleeping Computer Aug. 26, 2018.
20 Fischer S. NewsGuard launches first product with help from Microsoft. Axios Aug. 23, 2018.
21 Burt T. Defending against disinformation in partnership with NewsGuard Microsoft Aug. 23, 2018.
22 Publicis Groupe. Brill and Crovitz Announce Launch of NewsGuard to Fight Fake News. Global Newswire Mar. 3, 2018.
23 AdBrands. Publicis Health: Advertising and Marketing Assignments. June 22, 2018.
26 Publicis Groupe. Publicis Groupe Announces Important Nominations and its Transformation Plan. Business Wire Dec. 2, 2015.
27 Microsoft. Publicis Groups and Microsoft announce partnership for Marcel AI platform. Jan. 29, 2018.
28 Weissbrot A. How Publicis Media Helps Clients Navigate the Convergence of Media and Commerce. AdExchanger Apr. 25, 2018.
29 Bloomberg. Publicis Groupe’s Levy Sees Ad Industry Heading the Way of Retail. Bloomberg’s The David Rubenstein Show July 11, 2018.
31 Publicis Groupe. 2017 Annual Results. Publicis Health (Novartis (USA), Genentech (USA), Shire (USA), Adapt (USA), AMAG (USA), Sunovion (USA), Clinigen Group (Global), Purdue (USA), Merck & Co (USA), Intarcia Therapeutics (USA), Flexion Therapeutics (USA), AbbVie (USA), Ipsen (USA), Emmaus Life Sciences (USA), Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical (USA), AcelRx Pharmaceuticals (USA), Merck KGaA (USA), Roche (UK), AstraZeneca (USA), Hospital Corporation of America (USA), Stryker Corporation (USA), Swanson Health Products (USA), Alcon Laboratories (USA), Boehringer Ingelheim (USA), Paratek Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer Inc. (USA), Biogen Inc. (USA), Galderma (Europe). Feb. 8, 2018.
34 NVIC. How NIH Uses U.S. Tax Dollars to Secure Profits for Vaccine Developers and Manufacturers. The Vaccine Reaction May 2, 2018.
35 Perry S. Revelations of CDC’s industry funding raise questions about some of its decisions. Minn Post May 28, 2015.
36 Biotechnology Industry Organization. BIO Praises Vaccine Access, Certainty, and Innovation Act of 2015. BIO Press Release Feb. 6, 2015. List of BIO members, including AstraZeneca, BioCSL, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, MedImmune, Merck, Monsanto, Novartis, Pfizer, Sanofi Pasteur.
37 Hilzik M. The 21st Century Cures Act: A huge handout to the drug industry disguised as a pro-research bounty. Los Angeles Times Dec. 5, 2016.
39 Rein L. Public relations and advertising are a ‘black box’ in government spending. Washington Post Oct. 14, 2015.
40 Gates Foundation. Bill and Melinda Gates Pledge $10 Billion in Call for Decade of Vaccines. January 2010.
42 Storeng KT. The GAVI Alliance and the ‘Gates approach’ to health system strengthening. Global Public Health 2014; 9(8): 865-879.
44 Belluz J. The media loves the Gates Foundation. These experts are more skeptical. Vox June 10, 2015.
45 Curtis M. Gated Development: Is the Gates Foundation Always A Force for Good? Global Justice Now June 2016.
48 Fisher BL, Williams K, Wrangham TK. NVIC Statement to GAO on Implementation of the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) in the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986. July 11, 2014.
49 Fisher BL. The Moral Right to Philosophical, Conscientious and Personal Beief Exemption to Vaccination. National Vaccine Advisory Committee Presentation May 2, 1997.
50 Trebbe AL. Local TV Honors Its Own Channel 4 and 7 Sweep Emmys. Washington Post June 27, 1983.
52 Institute of Medicine. Appendix B: Pertussis Vaccines: A Brief Chronology (1985). In: Adverse Effects of Pertussis and Rubella Vaccines; National Academies Press 1991. https://www.nap.edu/read/1815/chapter/13
54 Myers PH. Fixing the Flaws in the Federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. 63 Admin. L. Rev. 785 (2011).
57 Institute of Medicine Committee to Review Adverse Effects of Vaccines. Evaluation of Biologic Mechanisms of Adverse Effects: Increased Susceptibility. (p. 82). Washington, D.C. The National Academies Press 2012.
59 Ross L. Electronic Support for Public Health Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (ESP: VAERS). Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) 2011.
60 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Recommended Immunization Schedules for Persons Aged 0 Through 18 Years, United States, 2018.
63 American Academy of Pediatrics. Medical Versus Nonmedical Exemptions for Child Care and School Attendance. Pediatrics August 2016.
65 Nelson R. New AAP Policy on Patient Dismissal for Vaccine Refusal May "Erode Solidarity" Among Pediatricians. Infectious Disease Advisor May 24, 2018.
66 Tuttle B. Workers are Being Fired for Refusing to Get Flu Shots. Time Nov. 15, 2015.
68 Meticulous Market Research. With 7.9% CAGR Vaccines Market to Hit $57.5 Billon by 2025. MedGadget Nov. 19, 2018.
69 Market Study Report. United States Vaccines Market is Projected to Reach US$21 Billion threshold by 2025. PM Live Nov. 23, 2018.
70 Jones B. Welcome to 2018. There’s No Net Neutrality. We Made Dystopia a Reality. Futurism Nov. 22, 2017.
71 Wrangham T. Eroding Freedoms: Pinterest Removes NVIC’s Account. NVIC Newsletter Sept. 18, 2018.
72 Fisher BL. Vaccination: Defending Your Right to Know and Freedom to Choose. NVIC Newsletter Nov. 3, 2014.
73 Martin B. Censorship and free speech in scientific controversies. Science and Public Policy 2015; 42(3): 377-386.