We are watching the anti-vaxx movement become radicalized into far right extremism. In real time. A THREAD:
As a homeschool parent, I have long traveled in the same circles as anti-vaxx Moms. I disagreed with their views on vaccines, but overall these Moms were politically progressive. Woo woo, anti-science, but overall... progressive.
And I was always nervous about the growing backlash against them online. The vitriol of it. The anger and condemnation and blame. Even as I agreed with the people who were spitting mad.
Alienated from progressive circles, I’ve watched as they’ve been sucked in... by medical charlatans, by conspiracy theories, by anti-government and anti-public health narratives. Every year on social media, their posts get a little wilder, a little more desperate.
Enter Covid-19. A global pandemic where the ONLY way out of a medical hellscape for us and future generations is... a global vaccination program. The anti-vaxxers, now primed for fear and conspiracy, immediately on high alert.
Enter the anti-vaxx charlatans. Del, Dr. T, the Instagram-ready angel Moms, etc. They rush in to fill the void of fear with more disinformation. Deeper conspiracies. More and more anger. And to their delight... they reach a MUCH wider audience than they expect. That audience?
The far right. Extremist groups, MAGA madmen, Boogaloo boys. All immediately and loudly join the chorus. And an unholy alliance is immediately born, and quickly cemented. A slick documentary gives it all the sheen of reality.
And what about my sweet homeschool Moms, just trying to figure out what’s best for their kids in a sea of disinformation? I’m watching them become radicalized into the far right. In real time. On Facebook.
I’ve watched as people who I would have counted as compassionate and caring have begun to align themselves with hate. And all the while, their anti-vaxx leaders fall further and further away from reality, greedily lapping up the new fans, new income streams, new reach.
I don’t have any answers here. I’ve know for years that anger and condemnation don’t work. That begs the question... what the hell does?

For now, I just want to share that I have a window into what is happening—

The anti-vaxx is taking a hard and fast RIGHT turn into hate. /END
An excellent wide view at the 5 year history of radicalized anti-vaxxers: https://mobile.twitter.com/gorskon/status/1259927049256546304
One of the many wells that I’m seeing formerly well-intentioned, secular homeschool parents falling down: https://mobile.twitter.com/erumors/status/1259952124995096576
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