A meme about the number of vaccinations two-year-old children receive created by an anti-vaxxer came under fire on the internet after it was posted. Despite the fact that many medical professionals have addressed the concerns of anti-vaxxers and proved their claims wrong, there’s still a strong community of people who believe that vaccines are bad for their children. The online community, thankfully, are also quick to call people out for their spread of misinformation.
As a parent, the amount of information out there on parenting is quite daunting. Especially in the age of social media, it can be difficult to distinguish which posts contain true information, as there’s no designated editor for anyone’s social media accounts. It’s important to be a little skeptical of information found online, and fact-checking with other sources can even save lives. If you’re getting your information from an anti-vaxx forum, you’ll for sure come across posts that are intended to scare you away from vaccines.
The post was found on a Facebook group called “Natural Cures Not Medicine,” but it somehow found its way into the public eye. The meme depicts a doll with around 20 labelled syringes sticking out from it, and the text on the photo reads “doll represents how many vaccines a child receives…by age 2.” The user uploaded it with the caption “do you really think this is safe?” The post, if taken seriously, can scare a new parent—who would want to see their own kid with 20 needles stuck into them at once?
Commenters were quick to respond to the photo. Many of them debunked the user’s argument against vaccines by taking apart the picture. One user stated that they counted around 20 syringes on the doll, and there are 730 days in two years; he would rather have shots in those days than have a crippling disease forever. Another counter-argued that any item count put beside a two-year-old will seem scary—ever wonder how many diapers filled with bacteria your baby has produced?
Thankfully, misinformation online is policed by other users. It’s unlikely that the big tech companies will be able to completely police their platforms themselves, so it’s up to us to call out wrong and misleading posts we see online. It can be a matter of saving someone else’s life.