The ACL (Australian Christian Lobby) has recently started a campaign to get their followers and supporters to get Margaret Court nominated and voted in as a National Living Treasure by the National Trust of Australia. Women’s Day, one of the most popular gossip mags here in Australia, has a website with a short-list of 100 nominees where you can vote.
In an attempt to counter this, we’d like to try to get as many people as possible to vote instead for Professor Ian Frazer (#32 in the list), the inventor of the Gardasil vaccine. Reasons why you should support him are given below the jump. Read more…
EDIT: BREAKING NEWS! It appears StopAVN have done something fantastic and unexpected at Woodford Folk Festival! Please scroll down to the next bolded “EDIT:” and ensure even if you don’t read most of this, you at least read that!!!
Who are the Australian Vaccination Network?
The Australian Vaccination Network (AVN), despite all claims to the contrary, are an anti-vaccination group. They are headed up by Meryl Dorey and claim they’re not, they claim they just support informed choice and provide a counter to the governments provides. However, the information the AVN provide is wrong on almost all counts which means it’s not really an informed choice they’re providing but a misinformed one, and if the governments provides is pro-vaccine, then any stance counter to that surely must be anti?
Their preferred sources of information are not scientific studies, but rather conspiracy theorist sites such as whale.to (a site that collects any and all articles and claims no matter how crazy and unsubstantiated they are), conspiracy theorists such as David Icke (who promotes world leaders and the royal family being lizard people), and people with revoked medical licenses such as the disgraced Andrew Wakefield.
They’ve had their charity license revoked. In the last two years, only two issues of their 6/year magazine “Living Wisdom” has been released (and despite being so far behind in issues owed, they’re still actively pushing subscriptions). They regularly cry oppression, censorship and demand free speech, despite blocking/banning anyone who dares counter their supposed-not president Meryl Dorey with information that is nothing more than factual. They have also been caught filing numerous false DMCA requests to hide public and factual information they don’t like. The Australian Vaccination Network about as hypocritical as one can get. Read more…
Almost two years ago now I wrote a blog post about Christopher Maloney, Naturopathic Doctor / Not a Doctor / Quack Extroadinairre who had used non-legal threats towards WordPress to shut down a science bloggers blog after the person dared write a post which rightfully called Christopher Maloney a quack.
At the time, Christopher Maloney was throwing out threats of lawsuits left right and centre, and twisting anything and everything he possibly could to make it falsely look like he was being persecuted. Not long after this, all news on him died off and this was the last the blogosphere heard. This wasn’t the end of his actions though.
A few people I’m friends with have been talking the last few days about #OccupySydney, some are even going to participate this weekend (on Saturday the 15th at Martin Place from 2pm onwards, for anyone wondering).
Last Wednesday (5 days ago, 3 business days) I was suspended from Google+ for violating the part of their names policy that states one must use the name they most commonly go by in real life, by using the name I most commonly go by in real life. As I stated in that post when I blogged about it, I selected the button to edit my name, left it untouched, and this then submit my case for review. They state that this review process takes an average of 4 days, and we will continue to be able to use our accounts as per normal while this takes place.
Today I went to +1 someone’s post, and got an error stating “There was a problem performing this action, please try again”. Odd, but not the first time Google+ has acted up on me. Closing the page and re-opening usually fixes it, or restarting my browser. Not this time though, so I thought I’d run a test by posting something to my wall. This time I got a different error.
“Your profile is currently suspended. View profile”.
As you can see from my profile, I last succesfully posted something to my stream yesterday. I have still been getting people adding me to circles on G+ all throughout the day as well. I have not received any emails or notifications to state any changes to my account either through Google+ or through email (spam folders checked as well). My profile cannot be viewed by other accounts either.
Google have just decided out of the blue to change things so that those whose names are under review can no longer use the site as per normal. At least I hope that’s the case as the only other option that comes to mind is that they decided to decline my review and not tell me or provide me with any feedback or options.
My Google Profile has just been flagged for not complying with the names policy. I was just refreshing my Google+ page and the message shown to the left came up. As you can see, it clearly states that the Google+ names policy is to “use the name that you are commonly referred to in real life”. This name, is “Bastard Sheep”. Read more…
Those who follow me on Twitter, MyFace and Google+ will know that I have been linking a fair bit recently to news articles and blog posts about Google disabling peoples G+ profiles for doing nothing more than using a pseudonym. There has been a large amount of discussion about it in the media too which I find surprising. I wouldn’t have expected the media to care less about this story. I’m also surprised so many people seem up in arms about it mostly because it’s been MyFace’s policy to only allow real names from the very start. Nobody seemed to give two hoots back when MyFace started, nor do they give two hoots now.
I thought it was about time I threw my two cents in to the mix, as someone who exclusively uses a pseudonym online and actively uses that same pseudonym in real life. There are already plenty of arguments about who is harmed by a “real name” policy, so I suggest you read those instead if that’s what you’re after. Personally, I’ll be tackling some of the main questions and arguments I’ve seen in the last week in support of a “real name” policy, and why these arguments don’t hold water.
Suggested reading before you go on:
As per my previous post, the Shorty Awards are now OPEN for nominations! Time to get voting!
What you need to do:
There’s a few things you need to keep in mind so I’d like to spell them out nice and early if I could.
- Your twitter account MUST be an active one. Any accounts with zero tweets will not be counted, and if too many such accounts are seen voting for someone, that person could end up being disqualified so do NOT create dummy or bot accounts.
- Your nomination/vote MUST have a reason included. Any nominations or votes without a reason will not be counted.
- Create a twitter account and post a few tweets on it. If you’re not sure how to use twitter then following Lucas Randall’s #TAMOz list may be a good place to start.
- Get involved, reply to people, have a conversation.
- Post some nomination tweets in the format of “I nominate (person) for a Shorty Award in (#category) because (reason)” or a shorter version of “#shortyawards (person) #category (reason)”.
- And of course, spread the word on twitter, facebook, blogs, and any other method available to you (even real life!).
You can keep an eye on how things are going here.
Some of my suggestions are:
“I nominate @DrRachie for a Shorty Award in #health because she does such standup work against quacks.”
“I nominate @BastardSheep for a Shorty Award in #NoPants because #NoPants is life!”
“I nominate @BadAstronomer for a Shorty Award in #science because he always brings us such interesting and amazing info.”
“I nominate @GeorgeHrab for a Shorty Award in #entertainment because of his awesome podcast, music and comedy stylings.”
“I nominate @PZMyers for a Shorty Award in #Religion because of his push to use reason instead of it.”
“I nominate @jref for a Shorty Award in #Education because of their promotion of reason in schooling.”
“I nominate @RSPCA for a Shorty Award in #charity because of the awesome work they do for animals.”
“I nominate @nocompulsoryvac for a Shorty Award in #Quacks because of her tireless effort to spread lies about vaccines.”
Of course, you should feel free to nominate who ever you’d like, and remember you actually CAN nominate multiple people in one category.
Those of you who were around 12 months ago may remember the fun and games that happened during the Shorty Awards. Those of you who weren’t around or don’t remember, I’ll cover that below.
The Shorty’s are only a few weeks away from opening up for nominations, and I’d like to get a jump on that quacks this year so lets start spreading the message already. If you’re interested in helping out Science and Skepticism defeat the quacks, willingly ignorant and blatantly deceptive then please create a Twitter account (if you don’t have one already), get at least a few tweets out there and watch this space ready for the nominations and voting to commence. Read more…