“Let’s dance on the graves of anti-vaccinists”

Monday, January 10, the American daily Los Angeles Times published an opinion piece entitled “Ridiculating the death of vaccinators because of Covid is macabre, but it may be necessary.” Several LA Times readers drew attention to the URL of this article, which showed that the original headline was “Why not play on the graves of anti-vaccinists.” The article is signed by Michael Hiltzik and is illustrated with a photo of a California anti-vaccination officer who died of the new flu.

“Calls for politeness are cunning. Their purpose is to reduce and weaken criticism and to divert attention from the truth. These calls are usually made by hypocrites. ” The author of this article provides several links to sites with photos of some vaccinators who died of covid disease. “It may be a little macabre to rejoice and rejoice at the deaths of vaccine opponents. And perhaps it would be good to express our compassion for those he leaves behind. But ridiculing their death is not necessarily an inappropriate reaction, as long as they mocked the anti-covid measures and encouraged others to do so before dying of the disease they disregarded. It is not bad not to feel sorry for them and to always say that their death is due to the fact that they were against the vaccine that would have protected them from this fate “.

The article received a lot of negative reactions from readers and journalists, especially conservatives. Some of the latter had the following observation: imagine that people who have campaigned against compulsory vaccination would make fun of people who have died from the side effects of the vaccine; they would be treated like monsters in the press.

Remaining in the same anti-vaccine zone, an opinion piece published by the Israeli daily Haaretz calls for the criminalization of misinformation and the creation of a kind of Ministry of Truth. The article is signed by Dr. Michal Evron Yaniv, a specialist in political science.

Article quoted by the British publication Unherd, summarizes a Yaniv-based study for the Zulat Israeli Institute, a progressive think tank that focuses on “equality and human rights.” This report shows that misinformation is a danger to public health, encouraging those who refuse the vaccine and eroding trust in the government.

Covid is the main topic, but the study of the progressive NGO goes further and shows that the danger of false news is much greater. Total freedom of expression violates other human rights, such as equality, the right to free choice (because the dissemination of false information can have “harmful influences on election results”) and, ironically, the right to information (“spreading false news and consuming false news threatens to take the place of informed opinions in public discourse ”).

For the progressive NGO, the solution is clear: to extend the authority of the state, to accuse the creators and disseminators of certain false information.

The NGO went further and presented this study in the Church. The study was hailed by several Israeli journalists. And this is not surprising, because 70% of Israelis support “tougher legislation” to combat false news. Some of these measures were proposed by the Ministry of Health during the pandemic – criminalizing vaccine misinformation and criticism of the covid passport.

All the proposals made by the Israeli NGO (which praises recent EU action to combat misinformation in the online environment) to tighten anti-misinformation legislation are based on an arbiter of truth – either a parliamentary committee or an expert council – a body that it would become a “Ministry of Truth.” Israeli progressives stress in their report that the new legislation should maintain a very fine balance in order to avoid unintentional censorship. In other words, the legislation should not target satires, but also politicians who lie to their electorate.

Unherd points out that confidence in Israeli public institutions has been declining for a long time and has intensified during the pandemic. “The attitude of the public towards the proposal of a Ministry of Truth depends on the way in which it explains its distrust in public institutions – either as an effect of the corruption of these institutions, or as an effect of misinformation. Both explanations contain doses of truth. But if the goal is to make this crisis even worse, then all we have to do is create a police force of opinion. “

Source: Cotidianul RO by www.cotidianul.ro.

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