It shouldn’t be a surprise that few people want to debate someone who is against vaccines, especially when you become familiar with their typical debate techniques.
Anti-Vax Debate Techniques
Since all arguments against vaccines have been refuted a thousand times, what do these folks do when they get in a situation where they have to talk to someone about vaccines or vaccine-preventable diseases?
Science isn’t on their side, so they instead have to resort to fallacious debate tactics to try and trick and scare people into believing them, such as:
- copypasta – arguments, stories, or links that people save and repeatedly copy and paste into online forums and Facebook groups.
- gish gallop – trying to drown or overwhelm someone in arguments, often by posting copypasta.
- firehosing – similar to a gish gallop, but occurs “over time and in multiple venues.”
- JAQing off – these are the folks who say that they are “just asking questions…”, but aren’t really looking for answers.
- cherry picking – when someone chooses to only use information that fits their beliefs (often conveniently packaged in anti-vax binders), ignoring any and all other information that would prove them wrong.
- gaslighting – making someone doubt their reality.
- scare stories – telling vaccine injury stories are perhaps one of the prime tools that are used to scare parents on the Internet.
- vaccine choice – why do some people think that “they” are going to force their kids to be vaccinated without their consent?
- false balance – when all opinions are given the same weight, even those that have no facts to back them up or have already been disproven and discredited.
- dismissing everyone they disagree with as Big Pharma shills.
Whatever technique they are using, don’t fall for it.
You are not making an informed choice if your decision is based on misinformation and propaganda.
“Well, if you’re going to inform yourself about vaccines, I think anybody who’s truly informed will realize that getting a vaccine is much better than not getting one. If you’re choosing not to vaccinate your child, it’s because you’re getting, frankly, bad information about vaccines.”Paul Offit, MD
Instead know that vaccines are safe, with few risks, and are obviously necessary.
More on Anti-Vaccine Debate Tactics and Techniques
- Ask 8 Questions Before You Skip a Vaccine
- More Questions to Help You Become a Vaccine Skeptic
- 100 Myths About Vaccines
- Vaccine Schedules from the 1940s to 2019
- Show Me the Vaccine Insert!
- Graphs That Show Vaccines Don’t Work
- How To Counter Vaccine Hesitancy
- How Pediatricians Should Talk to Vaccine Hesitant Parents
- Are You on the Fence About Vaccines?
- Follow These Social Media Doctors Fighting Medical Misinformation
- Logical Fallacies and Vaccines
- The great vaccine debate – only exists in the brains of anti-vaxxers
- 100 bad arguments against vaccines
- Avoiding False Balance: Vaccines in the Media
- The 20 Most Frequent Objections to Vaccinations
- Tactics and Tropes of the Antivaccine Movement
- IAC Answers Your Vaccine Questions
- Vaccine deniers use logical fallacies to prove superiority
- Lying About Vaccines
- Logical Fallacies
- Study – Fact or fallacy? Immunisation arguments in the New Zealand print media.
- Seven ways to talk to anti-vaxxers (that might actually change their minds)
- Vaccine Confidence Project