Epidemiological "authorities" of the opposition

Epidemiological "authorities" of the opposition

🔴The anti-virus sect is life-threatening. Even the notoriously non-pro-government MOKs have distanced themselves from the charlatans, EMMI and OMSZ indicated at the beginning of the epidemic that they were dangerous, and now Facebook has also banned their anti-virus groups.

Proponents of these people have often commented in a comment as to why the Operational Staff does not consult with them, why they do not sit down to discuss virological issues in public. This suggestion in itself is a joke, these people have nothing to do with epidemiological issues.

The largest virus skeptical groups have been banned.
The Facebook group of two well-known virus skeptics, György Gődény and Gábor Lenkei, became unavailable on Thursday morning.

Gábor Lenkei and György Gődény, the leader of the “People Adhering to a Normal Life” group, have recently publicly expressed their opinion that the virus, even if it exists, does not pose the same level of threat to society as experts claim. .

The well-known Scientologist Gábor Lenkei stated during the first wave of spring that he could lie down in a tub of coronavirus, then there would be nothing wrong. The exact reason for the bans is not yet known, which has affected the Apache Heart Association’s similarly virus-skeptical side, but it’s likely that so much has been reported that Facebook has intervened because of the spread of fake news about covid-19.

The previously visible group called Unmasked, which was available for a while as MKTLNK, also disappeared from Facebook’s results. And the pharmacist-bodybuilder-coach György Gődény, also on Facebook, likened the night of the long knives (when Hitler settled with his potential opponents) to make several of his “virus-realist” pages inaccessible in his words.

Demarcation and prevention
Incidentally, the Ministry of Human Resources distanced itself at the end of August from any event that denies the risk of the Covid-19 virus and tries to downplay the importance of individual protection. And the National Rescue Service has recently put it this way, "virus scammers are increasingly testifying about their ignorance on community interfaces and trying in various ways to downplay the importance of prevention."

Although it did not attract crowds, “Dr. A demonstration by a virus-sparing group led by Gődény, and several virus-denial groups have recently been banned by Facebook, virus-skeptical, anti-virus, anti-mask posts spiced with conspiracy theories continue to spread. Linguist Nóra Falyuna researches pseudo-scientific content and related conspiracy theories: we asked her about the background of the spread of erroneous and harmful views.
The camp of vaccines against the COVID-19 vaccine seems to be gaining strength again - at least in a recently published study. Would that be the problem?

In itself, being critical of a new vaccine is not necessarily a problem. I’ve also read this survey, and that also includes the fact that most people aren’t specifically anti-vaccinated, but fear possible side effects, which can be a rational fear as well.

There are sure to be possible side effects, every vaccine has. Now, however, we are at thirty million infected and one million dead.

Yes, at the same time, it is important to see that when people make decisions about certain issues that affect their lives or react to some information, such as who they trust, what they believe in, they do not rely solely on scientific information. Emotions, beliefs, individual beliefs,
and what opinions they encounter in their environment. It is only natural that not everyone believes or accepts everything that science or the authorities that communicate on its behalf claim, because interests also arise there. But, perhaps more importantly, poor science communication can also lead to a kind of mistrust or rejection of science. Effective science communication has a very rich international literature, yet in practice we see that most educational activities do not integrate these new approaches, but adhere to the old scheme that knowledge should only be passed on to lay people and if one does not understand or do not accept them in full, you are stupid. This is not the case, the reception of any kind of knowledge takes place in a complex context where not only the claims of science are relevant and not everyone is expected to accept everything just because science claims it. Especially today, when the tap is also about being careful and critical while consuming media and surfing the internet.

In our case, this critical attitude toward science takes us to pseudo-scientific nonsense, endangering human lives.

The problem is not with critical attitudes and differences of opinion, but with the fact that a layman does not necessarily have the right conceptual apparatus to formulate relevant criticism, for example, the process of scientific cognition and the operation of science in general. For believers in various conspiracy theories, the problem is not that they are critical of any authority, but that a

they are characterized by a basic paranoid attitude,
and, as a result, they come to meaningless, unfounded conclusions that presuppose causality in all coincidences. For example, it would be important for trust not only to communicate ready-made facts, but also to communicate how knowledge is born, what the process of knowledge production is, and why uncertainties or explicit contradictions sometimes arise. If they don’t understand this, they just come across a lot of often conflicting information, it’s only natural that a distrustful, dismissive attitude can develop.

If the basic attitudes of these people are critical and even paranoid, then why do they uncritically believe everything to figures like the aforementioned “Dr. Stork ”?

Because such characters appeal to authority and emotion at the same time. When one encounters some scientific information, one not only decides whether to believe it or use it in one’s life, one also decides who to accept as a credible expert. This, in turn, is determined by perceived expertise, which is not necessarily equal to actual expertise, but to what the recipient attributes to it.

It is very easy to create the appearance of expertise and to appeal to authority.
However, such characters are also adept at influencing people’s emotions and consistently, almost dogmatically, stating a couple of very simple things that are much easier, more comfortable, and more reassuring to embrace than following the day-to-day changing position of science.

However, Pál Győrfi, a spokesman for the OMSZ, also carried out the stay home campaign, the operative staff was there, and several doctors, experts and virologists commented and communicated on the coronavirus case.

Yes, and it was basically a very well-structured communication campaign, but in many cases, the expert statements were not consistent. They couldn’t even be, as the situation really changed on a weekly, daily basis, with WHO recommendations on mask wearing, for example, saying for a while that they shouldn’t wear healthy, and then that, in both cases, confidently stating what they claimed. This whole COVID epidemic is a very new thing, and scientific cognition is constantly taking place at the same time as the epidemic, it is only natural that the body of knowledge about it is changing. Many, on the other hand, are unfamiliar with the workings of science, do not know how it is possible that one day it is the norm, the other day it is, they get confused, they do not know what to believe, and they become frustrated.

And then come the figures presenting themselves as experts who constantly and consistently say the same thing,
which is easy to accept and at the same time reinforces the beliefs of the recipient. In doing so, it also provides emotional reassurance in an otherwise tense world situation.

And they themselves become “carriers of the virus,” spreading pseudo-scientific, dangerous misinformation.

That's why it's all really dangerous. Such content is viral, because that is what they are about; in the online space, they even serve as arguments in debates. Scientific criteria do not play a role, even if they are refuted by science.

Is it possible, somehow, even more legally, to take stronger action against dangerous views and to sanction their dissemination?

This is obviously a difficult question that I would leave to competent lawyers. However, in terms of content spread, too many sanctions may not be effective. The anti-vaccination movement, for example, has been advertising dr. Andrew Wakefield’s “discovery” that the MMR vaccine causes autism, even though he managed to delete an article based on his methodologically challenged research of just twenty (!) People. Moreover, a very strong legal action may reinforce a belief in a conspiracy theory, since it is precisely that they do not realize that they believed in false things; but also
the “censorship of evil background power” becomes an argument that their conspiracy is true.
So while such groups are struck from time to time by the authority or, as in our case, Facebook, by the service provider, this is by no means the end of these views, as it feeds the self-myth of “persecution”. For my part, I believe much more that science needs to be able to communicate really effectively in this noisy media space, because there is a huge competition for attention.


Tags: Politics