Great Supremacy Member
- May 24, 2013
- Reaction score
I would like to preface this by saying this is obviously just my opinion, and comments are always welcome. Please feel free to correct my mistakes or lack of understanding lol.
So recently I had a big argument with my mom about the safety of mRNA vaccines, and how they would supposedly cause “blood clots” and “reproductive issues” 10-20 years down the road. Young people will supposedly die en masse because of these “Western vaccines”. If these arguments sound familiar, it is because they are some of the most common bad faith arguments propagated online by countries such as China and Russia in a bid to promote their own vaccines while also trying (and succeeding) in sowing doubt and discord.
Of course, the 12 doctors expressing their opinions on that matter did not help things at all, and only served to cause more confusion around the matter. Now with the expert opinions on her side, she reasoned that the mRNA vaccine is therefore not safe for young kids, and no amount of persuasion will cause her to change her mind. So if you are one of the 12 doctors reading this, I hope you are happy, because I sure am not.
Now you might laugh and say, haha boomers am I right, but the truth is that this is a result of years of psychological warfare by adversarial states around us. In this instance, I will focus mostly on the Chinese medium, but this will still apply even if you are of other races or religions.
First of all, most of these misinformation are spread in Chinese, through platforms such as WeChat and WhatsApp where our government seems to have basically no control over. Case in point, there has yet to be a single POFMA notice listed on the platforms above, while we have had multiple on HWZ, Facebook and Twitter, which seems to limit the efficacy of such measures. I would assume that many of the folks at MCI don’t seem to use the Chinese platforms much, because why would they?
The other problem is that our only broadsheet (yes Wanbao and Shin Min don’t count) Chinese newspaper Zaobao seems to have done an exceptionally poor job of trying to dispel such rumours. Many of such articles are hidden behind paywalls, and are relatively sparse in information as compared to the ones you might find on ST or CNA. Some articles like this and opinion pieces are also not translated, and unsurprisingly this vacuum is being filled with all the trash articles online on the platforms I listed above.
I have found that older people tend to only remember the last few articles they read and base their opinions on those. However, we cannot deny that Chinese standards for the younger generation have obviously fallen off a cliff, and given our small population there was no way in hell we would be able to compete and churn out articles fast enough to keep up the ever-increasing deluge of information. Of course, there are other contributing factors, like the sheer number of PRs handed out a few years ago, but I will leave that for another time.
So now we have a group of people who are anti-vaxx, or at the very least do not trust “western vaccines” because “Sinovac is superior”, where do we go from here? For one, POFMA must start getting enforced more frequently, and on more platforms, specifically those owned by Chinese companies. Good thing Tencent and Bytedance both have offices here, and I suppose a cup of tea/kopi with the executives at Cantonment can’t hurt… (I kid, I kid.)
Zaobao also need to do a better job and stop putting vital articles behind the damn paywall. Save those for celebrity gossip BS, I’m sure there are people who will pay for that. Of course, now that SPH is wholly owned by the government, I expect things to change…
More online media outlets are also needed, as they tend to be much more flexible and attuned to the ground per say. For all the hate thrown towards Mothership(yes you guys may copy my homework), I guess it is preferable to having none and letting foreign countries dictate what we read.
TLDR: China vaccine misinformation too powerful, experts start to contradict one another, nobody knows how WeChat works and Zaobao is useless.