HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Changing the mind of an a...

Sat Jun 12, 2021, 04:53 PM

Changing the mind of an anti-vaxer - A small success

Over the past weeks I've been trying to learn more about how cults work and how to help someone who has been swept up in the propaganda. On that front I thought I'd share a small success I had this week. To give you the context - I have a relative who has been continually sending me anti-vax videos from quite a wide variety of sources.

I invested quite a bit of time watching a bunch of them and analyzing. In doing so I noticed a pattern.

1) The opening images in the video or the text description of the video includes language that is frightening or dramatic (something to catch your attention and feed preconceived fears)

2) The video contained at least one person who claimed to be an "expert". However the said expert then kept saying that their ideas were supported by "peer reviewed materials in respected journals" without actually providing any references to said journals or research.

3) They then claimed they then had additional access to information no one else had (a scoop of some sorts)

4) They then gave a promise that this new information would be made public soon (without saying when, where or through whom)

5) The speaker then claimed that 'lots of other experts' agree with them (again without saying who)

6) The interviews were carried out by hosts who have known right-wing tendencies all of who support their podcast, show or videos by selling something (e.g. their own products or advertising space). Similarly the so called 'experts' had websites in which they themselves were trying to sell something (books or speeches).


No one video had all of those elements, rather they were common themes across the different videos. I pointed out these patterns to my anti-vaxxer and for the past week, no more videos or links have been sent my way. Also the anti-vaxxer hasn't been spending hours on YouTube this week. Coincidentally the anti-vaxxer seemed to be a better mood all week Coincidence maybe, but I do wonder if pointing out the patterns has in part swayed the person's opinion? I will continue to observe the situation

Thought I'd share the observations I made in case anyone else finds it useful - The Hippo

5 replies, 903 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 5 replies Author Time Post
Reply Changing the mind of an anti-vaxer - A small success (Original post)
Hippo_The_Pointer Jun 2021 OP
CaliforniaPeggy Jun 2021 #1
BSdetect Jun 2021 #2
Hippo_The_Pointer Jun 2021 #4
abqtommy Jun 2021 #3
louis-t Jun 2021 #5

Response to Hippo_The_Pointer (Original post)

Sat Jun 12, 2021, 04:56 PM

1. I hope that your efforts are bearing fruit! Best of luck to you. ♥

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Hippo_The_Pointer (Original post)

Sat Jun 12, 2021, 04:58 PM

2. Seems suspicious that they go to the bother of making videos.

I'd guess that there is a concerted effort to spread FUD by certain sources such as Russia.

Keep people stirred up and divided?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BSdetect (Reply #2)

Sat Jun 12, 2021, 06:08 PM

4. The Russian flanking manouver

Hi BSdetect - On the Russian FUD campaign - have a look at the other post I wrote this afternoon - Basically I think you are right, the Russians are using all sorts of methods against the USA.

https://www.democraticunderground.com/100215521792

Thanks for reading my ramblings...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Hippo_The_Pointer (Original post)

Sat Jun 12, 2021, 05:04 PM

3. Thanks for this. I bookmarked it. It's good to have you on board here at DU.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Hippo_The_Pointer (Original post)

Sat Jun 12, 2021, 07:20 PM

5. Number 3 is a common theme of repug crazy.

I have a cousin who always claimed to have access to information that 'no one else had'. She listened to Limbaugh and a local guy named Mark Scott. She wouldn't shut up for a week when she actually got through to him on air.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread