Since when has it been OK to post lies and disinformation on this website?

Ozbargain Mods,

There is a concerted and increasing effort from a minority to spread misinformation, discord, and political trolling on this site. The people who participate in promotion of COVID denial/minimalism are not interested in honest debate on this site. They’re interested in undermining people’s faith in medical science and competent medical experts. Australia is experiencing the severe effects of a COVID Delta wave which is unlike any disease the country has experienced before.

The moderators on this site are standing on the sidelines while these people pour onto the site with comments "COVID is just the flu", "The government is trying to control you" and “vaccines don't work!” or any other number of other unproven lies. Are we honestly supposed to debate this with these people?

The failure to act by OZbargain mods on these posts/comments, the mods are effectively saying: We are ok with our site hosting dangerous disinformation that could lead to the death of more people. In the name of what are you doing this exactly?

this lack of action is embarrassing, and disgusting. Worse yet? It seems you don’t care if people die because of it.

Edit: to the people saying good luck censoring the internet. Most major social media platforms already do moderate COVID misinformation. But apparently this is website is some kind bastion of 'muh free speech'

Comments

                    • +2

                      @screensaver:

                      my agenda was to quote from the report

                      If your agenda was just to quote from the report, you could have chosen to quote this:

                      "Vaccination against COVID-19 is the most effective way to reduce deaths and severe illness from infection."

                      or

                      "suspected adverse events reported to the TGA are often not caused by the vaccines."

                      or

                      "In the last week, an additional 5 reports of blood clots and low blood platelets have been assessed as confirmed or probable TTS. None of these cases were fatal."

                      Every one of the above quotes more accurately portrays the overall message of the report than the quote you chose. The quote you chose (out of context), makes it sound as if hundreds of people over the age of 65 have died from the AZ vaccine. In reality, according to the same report, 9 people in total have died - most of whom were over 65. Nine people dying is awful. Truly awful. But it's the actual number of real people. You could have quoted that if you really wanted to provide information.

                      Your quote was not just chosen at random because you wanted to quote from the report. You chose that quote to support a view that the AZ vaccine is dangerous. That is misleading because it is not what the report says as a whole, and it is fear mongering because it is not supported by the facts of the report.

                      not copy and paste the whole report.

                      Nobody asked you to copy and paste the whole report. The overall message of a report can be summarised. The report even provides its own summary - which does not include your chosen quote or anything similar.

                      No one reads a whole mass of words.

                      Lots of people read a "whole mass of words." That's why reports are written. If you haven't read the whole report then it might not be the best source for you to quote from.

                      This was about astrazenica and the over 65s.

                      You made it about AZ and the over 65s, and then you implied that the vaccine is dangerous for the over 65s by cherry picking a quote to support that view. Yes there are risks, and dying is one of them. The report itself, however, concludes that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks.

                      The rest of it we have all heard before so there is no need to repeat it.

                      You previously stated that "we are in uncharted territory." https://www.ozbargain.com.au/comment/11085201/redir You can't have it both ways. Either we are in uncharted territory where everything is new by definition, or there are known facts that we have all heard before. Am I cherry picking your quotes to support my argument? That is why context matters.

                      Regardless, the report you quoted from states that 9 people have died from the AZ vaccine (out of 10.8 million doses/5.4 million people) - most of whom were over the age of 65. This is in contrast to the 1178 people who have died from covid (out of 88710 cases/people) - most of whom were also over the age of 65.

                      (source: https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavir...)

                      This is important context that you didn't even attempt to provide.

                      This was something new.

                      You don't know what is new to everyone, and fear mongering doesn't help anyone.

                  • +1

                    @wizzy:

                    That is not "fact checking." That is misleading fear mongering.

                    Unusually relevant and on topic for S̶Pamsaver

              • @SBOB: "The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.”

    • +4

      no governnent should allow a medicine known to kill people

      so i guess panadol is off the table also?

  • +11

    There are times you need to just step away from the computer and take a breath, realising that you can't change everyone's opinions.

    This is one of those times…

    • +4

      I'll give you my keyboard when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.

  • Pam is that you?

  • +3

    OP could you link some of the Anti-Vaxers posts on this site ?

  • +2

    There are always negative people with everything… give them a bucket of diamonds and they will complain that the corners are sharp.
    Thats life, thats people…

  • +10

    OP's issue is that they work in absolutes. If someone isn't 100% alongside OP, they must be against them… right..?

    "The government is trying to control you"

    I know you're trying to relate this to coronavirus, but it is now established fact that worldwide most governments do try to control citizens somewhat, and gov overreach and bureaucracy increase as rampant and most people are aware of this phenomenon.

    Someone saying "The government is trying to control you" is actual fact. Someone saying "The government is trying to control you by implanting 5G in the vax's" is prob misguided, eh.

    Good luck OP trying to censor your sections of the internet. Weird 1st forum post.

  • OhOh.. Newcastle has woken up..

  • +2

    And while we are at it why not ban

    Egg buyers who dont buy Free range or should it be Caged.
    Cola drinkers who buy sugared versions
    Those who buy iPhones/Samsungs
    Those who read News/ABC
    Twitter/Facebook subscribers
    Those who advocate voting X, Y or Z party
    Those who advocate a return to plastic bags
    Those tell us ICE cars are cool.
    Those who live in City who expect country people to push their EV to next township

    Reality is that very few (if any) are influenced by any of these posts, even though many think they will convert these heathens to their cause.

    • +2

      Can't we just BAN EVERYTHING already?

  • Its the old Dr Google phenom

  • Report to ACCC, is always the answer on ozbargain.

  • Are we honestly supposed to debate this with these people?

    If senior government figures, including the PM, refuse to condemn nutters like Craig Kelly for spreading misleading covid19 information , what hope do you or mods have?

    I personally find it easier not to engage with the narcissists. Let then wallow in their myth of invincibility… for however long they can do it.

    • +4

      I personally find it easier not to engage with the narcissists

      You don't know what a narcissist is.

  • Some geniuses are considered eccentric

  • +4

    OzB is actually pretty democratic and balanced. People have to filter anything they read on the internet through their own lens. Yes there are some outrageous points of view on this site, but if there’s no substance behind statements it is quickly called out. There’s actually a lot of fairly moderate discussion compared to many places on the internet. Sure people post some pretty dodgy news, data and research, but this isn’t a medical journal, the peer review here is more aligned to what you’ll find in society more generally.

    • I think for some ppl it is hard to get past the BS info, and that is why the minority have their platform to distribute miss information. As for this site. I think for the most, the posters can cut through the BS and call it out. You can't convert these certain ppl. The earth is round right…..

      • +2

        The earth is round right…..

        It's a sphere.

        • I meant Flat. Arrh who knows. Depend on where your looking.

  • +10

    Censorship is a very slippery slope OP.

    Whilst I may disagree with those opposing vaccination and having alternate views to mine in relation to the pandemic etc I much prefer to debate / discuss the merits of the arguments than have someone's opposing views cancelled.

    Be careful what you wish for.

  • Hey OP,

    Yeah, I too am disappointed in the mods. When Trump, Fox and their Lackeys were spewing their propaganda Facebook and Twitter eventually started tagging their misleading information, and then banning them for a certain time. YouTube has got a 3 strike policy. What has OzBargain got? Nothing!
    OzBargain is becoming a breading ground for Trump, Fox, antivaxers, anti-masks, anti science, and the lot that claim COVID is no more harmful than the flu.

    @scotty something has got to be done. Australia has a population of 25 million people, and OzBargain is the 45th most visited site in the country

    • +3

      Australia has a population of 25 million people, and OzBargain is the 45th most visited site in the country(similarweb.com)

      Lol, the forums sections sees significantly less interaction than the deals page. And now the mods have hidden covid forums posts from guests, so don't worry you're safe. More likely people getting their misinformation from reddit, or maybe even Gab 😄

      • +3

        Check out the facemasks, hand sanitiser, and other deals related to COVID, and you'll find those extremist science denier weirdos.

        Gab, what's that?

        • 🎣🎣

          • +2

            @randomusername2017: Lol, you never know. According to similarweb, 1.9% of Gab's traffic comes from Australia. Then again, similarweb and alexa.com shows different stats.

        • +2

          Facebook clone.

          Why you think some people wouldn't just believe everything the government or health authorities say?

          • @ozhunter: Had another closer look, and gave it a Google. Looks to be a echo chamber for the far right lol.

            There's quite a number of posts that are hijacking the Melbourne protest.

            I don't think everyone should believe everything the government says. I certainly don't believe everything the government says. A good amount of scepticism, thought, logic and evidence is healthy for a democracy. I do however trust the health authorities a lot more than the government, I can't find any true information that the health authorities are currently wrong or misleading us in regards to COVID.

            • +1

              @Wystri Warrick: you could start looking at Fauci's NIH funding of the "gain of function" research at the Wuhan institute of Virology … or just trust the science …

        • +1

          Pretty sure it's an alt chat service (like twitter or FB) minus the establishment censorship so you can guess what a lot of the content is alike. :) Most of the people banned from the mainstream platforms or who have boycotted them have ended up on the alt platforms. A LOT of good info there in amongst the usual Flat Earth, Trump is Jesus nonsense if you can be bothered.

          Anyone with half a brain and good BS detector should be able to sort the gold from the dross though.

          • @EightImmortals: Had another closer look, and gave it a Google. Looks to be a echo chamber for the far right lol.

            Didn't come across anything that's true, though I only had a quick look.

            Well at least they now have a home to chat amongst themselves, and back up each other's bs. The rest of us that are normal can always pop by to check out their latest conspiracy bs lol.

            • +1

              @Wystri Warrick: Yeah I don't really do any social media so I was only guessing. Never actually looked at GAB myself and I don't trust google etc to do any unbiased reporting anymore. Oh well, each to their own I guess.

              • +1

                @EightImmortals: Yeah Google returns results based on past searches, so if one is a looney that's always looking to back up their claims via Googling, and then one time they actually look for research their results will be skewed based on their past searches 🙄

                • +1

                  @Wystri Warrick: I use duckduckgo and all kinds of cookie blockers so I don't usually get that problem, I have the opposite problem where I'm finding it increasingly harder to find stuff I'm looking for, especially over the last 12 months or so.

    • +1

      Hey Wystri :),

      I think there is a lot of trolling which slips through the crack. The trouble is I can't really see any way of moderating things in uniform, fair way. The way I see it,
      I think the minority of people posting rubbish are mainly trolls trying to stir things up.

      The positive is that I think the overwhelming number of people on this site very reasonable. On the whole I think anti-vax/anti-science sentiment gets shot down pretty quickly. I think on the whole ozbargainers seem to dislike anti-vaxxers more than Gerry Harvey lol.

      Anways, just my take on where the community is. Its tough especially when you see these stupid protests on TV and are left wondering where these clowns are getting there ideas from.

      Cheers
      Gimli

      • +1

        Hey Gimli :D,

        I think there is a lot of trolling which slips through the crack. The trouble is I can't really see any way of moderating things in uniform, fair way. The way I see it,
        I think the minority of people posting rubbish are mainly trolls trying to stir things up.

        Yeah it would require extra time from the mods to moderate all the trolling that goes on.

        I think as a temporary measure while we're in COVID a report option could be added that the information is misleading, the mods will then see the report, then that misleading comment will be tagged with a notification under it saying 'the above comment contains false and misleading information. For information on COVID please see X y z links'. What's your thoughts @scotty

        The positive is that I think the overwhelming number of people on this site very reasonable. On the whole I think anti-vax/anti-science sentiment gets shot down pretty quickly. I think on the whole ozbargainers seem to dislike anti-vaxxers more than Gerry Harvey lol.

        Lol (that HN comment). Agreed. They do get shot down fast, and I think most OzBargainers's are reasonable people.

        Anways, just my take on where the community is. Its tough especially when you see these stupid protests on TV and are left wondering where these clowns are getting there ideas from.

        Yeah it's hard. I just want people to stop the trolling. I people just to grow up and take their medicine i.e. stop the anti lockdown protestes and the stupidity then we can all get out of this faster and get back to normal/semi normal

        Hope you're ok, and enjoying your day :)

        Cheers,
        Wystri

        • What's your thoughts @scotty

          My thought is that I usually just mentally skip those misinformation and move on.

          The moderation team's thought is that we need to stay independent and be consistent with moderation. I had previously removed some comments & labelled them with "misinformation" but ended up causing more issue. So if you have any concern — don't tag me, ask in TWAM.

          We have included guidelines at the top of the COVID19 forum, and decided that we will not do all the fact checks nor fact checking other fact checkers. So far the community's own moderation seems to work fine.

  • -1

    Wait, where?
    They must be two or three of them tops.

  • +8

    I may not agree with what you say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it. Censorship is a very slippery slope. Eventually, it comes for you too. Be careful what you wish for.

  • The moderators on this site are standing on the sidelines while these people pour onto the site with comments "COVID is just the flu",

    Yeah, that is totally outrageous. COVID is actually just a cold.

    It's just a cold with a significantly higher mortality rate than normal, but it is still a cold.

    • First reports out of Wuhan were of "pneumonia-like symptoms", so even if it was just pneumonia, that's possibly a cold gone south.

      Problem is, there's established treatments for pneumonia, not so much for C-19.

    • Yes we should all listen to you instead of epidemiologists

      What year did you drop out of high school?

  • Wow.. this topic is still up.
    Guess moderation works….

    • +1

      I guess moderators don't flirt with dictatorship as much as OP would like to.

      My view is that we can't and shouldn't block stupid views even if sometimes we have to read awful stuff. It's hard not to get irritated or angry and gently ask someone to (profanity) off, but that's life in society.

      Ozbargain is not here to educate, not even to debate, although that often happens.

      Moderators don't have the authority to determine what is correct and what is not, for every subject or sentence, particularly when the discussion is about a virus.

      People should have enough neurones to make their own judgement and use all the information we receive every day. The same applies to watching television or reading a newspaper.

      If people are stupid and haven't developed critical thinking, that's another problem that won't be solved here.

  • +2

    I thought it was a bargain site! not a radical left, ratbag right vent site. as that great philosopher taytay said, haters gonna hate. bring on the bargains!

  • +3

    So straight away those with constructive views are immediately sanctioned and ostracised, in your argument, which itself is a troll on democracy.

    No one is disputing science, it is you failing to acknowledge that there are alternate views, on the matter.

    I feel OzBargain should sanction you, for incitement and false, uneducated, labelling of others as trolls.

  • Covid-19 is not the first vaccine we do take and not gonna be the last, suck it up! If there is miinformation, why countries around the globe show infections and its direct/ indirect cause of deaths.

  • First I should say I think OP is just wrong in saying ozbargain is a major source of misinformation, trolling etc.
    Yes there is some but most of it is moderated or shutdown by community quite well.

    Obviously this is my view of the site and community.

    But before dismissing OP I think we need to think about possibly where their concerns are coming from. When you see idiots protesting and the news talking about "anti-vaxxers" all the time you are left wondering what is driving this all. If anything, I think ozbargain reduces anti-vax sentiments and idiots protesting but obviously I can't prove it either way.

    • +1

      You're right … lets see where OP's concerns come from …

      if OP is vaccinated, sh*t up, mind your own business and be happy that you are protected …
      if OP is not vaccinated, why not is their own business and I respect their choices for their own health …

  • They’re interested in undermining people’s faith in medical science and competent medical experts.

    Typically borne out of insecurity of their own relative lack of education. They have next to no idea of the titanic level of critical thinking required to complete a PhD in science. They think that because they can simply type on a keyboard or open their mouth to annunciate words that are joined together as part of a diatribe, that they are of equal cognitive capability of said PhDs. And they will typically pander to a crowd of uneducated cheerleaders (eg: Avi Yemini on his YouTube channel), which in their minds solidifies the rightness of their worldviews.
    Miles & miles off the rigour of the peer reviewed scientific process. And peer review is the opposite of cheerleading, its downright depressing for the reviewed.

  • +3

    Just remembered everyone, lockdown may take a toll on OP, mods, even you!

    Poor OP. Tough day champ?

  • You have to be realistic about what resources a site can commit to censoring every bit of covid misinformation.

    Dont get me wrong, I'm ok with that kind of censorship however I would always errr on the side of caution. Better to let a few idiots spout off rather than going overboard.

  • Never say anything bad about the mods unless you want to learn the hard way.