Mia Freedman and the family of Riley Hughes have been savaged by anti-vaccination supporters in a vile online forum.
Note: Mamamia has chosen to not publish the names of the people who have written abuse in this online forum at this time.
While anti-vaccination campaigners have long been associated with conspiracy theories and anti-science views, overt nastiness, abuse and threats seem at odds with the nurturing life-style these groups have professed.
But the natural and nurturing approach apparently drops away when anti-vaxxers think they are alone.
The Anti-Vaccination Australia online group has recently unleashed a barrage of personal insults and derogatory comments towards pro-vaccination advocates, including the parents of Riley Hughes and Mia Freedman (the co-founder and editorial director of this website).
The offensive material is extensive and echoed by a number of members.
For example, the group recently re-posted this pro-vaccination comment from Mia Freedman’s FB page.
In response, members of the group called Mia a “drug whore”, “stupid”, “dumb”, “corrupt”, “dangerous” and accused her of “not vaccinating her own kids”.
“Mia is delusional !”
“What an idiot – Mia Freedman is one of those I call “useful idiots”.”
“Her website is horrible & pro vaxx so it’s incredible how these people survive.”
“The “best” thing to do is ignore this pharma cow and leave the choice open!!”
“im utterly sick of these presstitutes & their Big Pharma interests.”
“She is not a very intelligent person, big mouth but no brain behind it. She couldn’t debate a flea.”
“Doesn’t mention all the beautiful vaccine injured and dead children, she just mentions one dead child!…Needs her dose of reality I think!”
Members of this group have also attacked the family of Riley Hughes for speaking out about the importance of vaccinating children.
Riley Hughes died after contracting whooping cough as a newborn and his family have been advocating powerfully for more to be done to increase vaccination rates ever since.
Recently the Hughes family released a heart-breaking video from the final days of his life in a bid to raise awareness about the horrific symptoms of whooping cough.
While the comments are too insensitive and offensive to publish directly, the members of the group made derogatory remarks about the Hughes’ capacity to parent their son.
Mia Freedman is no stranger to attacks from anti-vaccination campaigners, but the contents of these closed Facebook groups demonstrate the nastiness and abuse that dominate discussion when members of these groups think they are alone.
A poster called “Worried Mama” has been using Facebook to create violent, disturbing and threatening memes, designed to influence people to not vaccinate their children.
Some of those more violent memes have targeted Mia:
Some of the memes refer to Mia as a “whore” and suggest that Mia (and by extension anyone who promotes vaccination) is being paid by pharmaceutical companies to support immunization.
Recently, reasonablehank.com revealed online group Unvaccinated Australia attacked Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for faking his own child’s six week vaccinations, because he was apparently being paid off by the pharmaceutical companies.
Their attacks were ranged from churlish to vicious and appalling.
Other anti-vaccination commenters chimed in:
“If that baby got anything done (I would bet NO), it would only be saline solution… conjectures yes, but I am 99.999% convinced as most people I think.”
“Unless he has video footage of her getting her shots I won’t believe it.”
“I wouldn’t even believe it then!”
“Another victim of legal drugging.”
“I would 100% believe that the injections his daughter got were 100% normal saline with not an actual vaccine in sight.”
“Bullshit its a stunt to get people to vaccinate.”
“Yeah right as if he’d actually be injecting his own daughter with the same shit they’re using to depopulate us minions with.”
These were the comments that merely expressed disagreement. Most of them were far too disturbing to re-publish.
While these examples reflect just a taste of closed anti-vaccination forums, it is a powerful insight into their deep and disturbing world – an insight that is powerfully at odds with their public image.