Monday, September 20

“You are bought, bastard”: the harassment in the networks of a scientist who fights hoaxes about health


“I have inoculated myself with that liquid you call a vaccine and my cell phone totally sticks on my arm. You have no fucking idea about radiology and medicine or you don’t show it, asshole. You’re bought, bastard. Hide where you can when this is known.” It is the threatening tone that includes insults in the messages received by the professor at the University of Castilla-La Mancha, Alberto Nájera.

Alberto Nájera, scientist: “If we had listened to hoaxes and deniers, we would be in trouble”

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It occurs through social networks and is also disseminated through denial channels created on Telegram to question scientific work. Some have thousands of followers and they are used to urge “harassment” those who defend talking about health with scientific evidence or try to deny hoaxes that, in recent times, focus on COVID-19, as denounced by the professor .

Nájera is part of the #SaludSinBulos movement, which in autumn will launch the book ‘Deniers against health’, the result of an investigation with testimonies from numerous specialists on the activity and motivations of Spanish deniers as well as guidelines to combat their misinformation.

Taking advantage of threatening messages to the teacher, these groups continue to influence hoaxes. “Let them know that both the genocidal WHO and the genocidal government have approved chlorine dioxide as effective against the coronavirus, but they have it silenced and hidden.

It is just one example of these messages in which the professor denounces that he is being urged to “harass him” and accuses him of being in the pay of pharmaceutical companies or of being a “satanic genocidal criminal murderer”, among other niceties.

In an interview with elDiarioclm.es, Alberto Nájera explained that these people currently use Telegram’s mass dissemination channels, not only to amplify their false messages (“SARS CoV does not exist”, “there are 20,000 deaths from vaccines, among them 1,000 babies “), but also to raise money. The teacher tells how he receives threats of complaints because, according to the senders of these emails or messages, the teacher with his statements “does not respect his freedom not to be vaccinated.”

According to Nájera himself, “what is really amazing and more worrying are the messages, sometimes more than 100 a day, inciting hatred or harassment from those denialist channels that are interspersed with their paypal accounts …” and in their opinion “we must respond to those hoaxes that go viral, reach hundreds of people …”.

The scientist is also receiving numerous support through social networks. Among them, the one provided by the Association to Protect the Sick from Pseudoscientific Therapies. “We condemn any threat or attempt of violence against any person, especially against those who altruistically fight against hoaxes and misinformation in health matters. All our support for Alberto Nájera,” they have published. Or that of the Society for the Advancement of Critical Thought (ARP-SAPC) which points out that “denialism is not a simple extravagance: they launch themselves to harass those who oppose them, like Alberto Nájera, in a campaign where he is slandered accusing him of venality. It is something very serious. All our solidarity with Professor Nájera. ”

The researcher himself acknowledged to elDiarioclm.es that to legislate to avoid hoaxes or calls fake news “It is very complicated because we collide with freedom of expression but, at least in a pandemic situation, there should be tools to protect public health and people. It has been proven that hoaxes cause health damage because they prevent people from going to vaccines or treatments ”.

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