The Thursday Politics Thread Goes “Dancing”

Mornin’ Politocadoes

Something weird is happening with the Anti-Vax groups on the ole Facebook. Did I say Anti-Vax groups? I meant “Dancing” groups. Yes, very popular dancing groups where lingo like “Never danced with Maxine” is thrown around. Well, who’s Maxine? Maxine is a code word for Moderna, i.e. the Moderna Coronavirus vaccine. Vaccines substitution codes can range from types of dances like “hokey pokey” to more generic things like “beer” The purpose of this subterfuge? Ban evasion. And if this pattern sounds familiar, why it’s the exact same strategy employed by accelerationist groups like the Boogaloo Boys and the QAnon dorks.

I have to say it’s a little rich that many of these people are using code words like, I dunno, Pizza King (aka Phizer) were probably (or at least danced in the same dancehalls as) supporters of the Pizzagate conspiracy theory in the first place. It’s almost like they know what they’re doing is wrong but they want to keep doing it anyway? Huh, weird.

Using code language serves two main purposes: 1. They get to stay on facebook. There isn’t this diaspora to stranger places like Telegram with less of a reach. 2. Using coded language facilitates group identity and bonding. The longer they stay on there, the more people they can get and the more people get entrenched in these beliefs. Build your own cult! It’s totally free right here on Facebook!

Facebook is once again at the center of misinformation spread. And once again, it has claimed that it’s doing all in it’s power to remove anti-vax groups from the platform. But once again, these disseminators of false information are a lot harder to crack down on because they’ve outwitted the algorithms with some really basic word substitution. Facebook cannot quantify the number of these groups because many of them are private groups that cannot be searched for, and these users know what words to avoid. It’s part of the fun for them. Zuck of course has no real interest in stopping it. Engagement and data is all he wants out of his users. So not only is cracking down hard but not in his personal interest.

The White House needs to acknowledge that cooperation from Facebook will always be half-assed. They have no real business model, no way to honestly address it. Hire some researchers who’ve been studying how these sorts of groups operate and come up with a plan. It’s not an unmanageable problem. It can be addressed. Facebook can’t just get away with saying “welp, we banned ‘Nevar take Fauci Ouchey!1! group #151’ what else do you want from us?” Hopefully, a solution can be reached.

Welcome to Thursday! Please be excellent to each other in the comments. The Mayor McSquirrel Rule remains in effect. As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, if you have not been vaccinated please consider finding time to get an appointment. If you have had only one dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, do not forget about the second dose! Even if you are vaccinated, please continue to maintain social distancing measures, wear masks in public areas in accordance with CDC guidelines in regard to your own vaccination status.