Category Archives: Free-Speech

Anti-vaxxers continue their Facebook censorship campaign.

Let’s be clear about this. Censorship is the tool of the coward and so it comes as no surprise that anti-vaccination campaigners always attempt to suppress criticism rather than address it. Their most popular tactic is to abuse the Facebook reporting feature to get their critics kicked off Facebook.

There is a group on Facebook called Anti Vax Wall of Shame (AVWOS) which mocks and ridicules the absurd claims of anti-vaxxers on Facebook in public groups. So rather than simply ignoring AVWOS, or better yet refrain from saying stupid things in public. The anti-vaxxers have decided to play their trump card; Facebook censorship.

The plan is to bombard Facebook with complaints until Anti-vax Wall of Shame is removed. The anti-vaxxers have learned how to exploit Facebook’s automated tools and have a well established history of using it to silence anyone they don’t like. Of course if the plan doesn’t work they have a conspiracy theory all lined up ready to go.

When questioned by other members about freedom of speech they just repeat one of their favorite lies about critics.

You’re asking for proof from anti vaxxers? Good luck with that.

I really hope this is true because it will certainly be a lot of fun. The last anti-vaxxer to accuse me of hacking was ordered by the court to pay my legal costs. It should come as no surprise that lunatic conspiracy theorists don’t tend to fare so well in court.

Anti-vaxxers also oppose the use of virus scanners. For the love of all viruses.

Flooding Facebook with false complaints for the purpose of punishing your critics is harassment. This is a deliberate orchestrated campaign to have people banned from Facebook for daring to post screenshots that have been taken from a public group.

This is not the first time anti-vaxxers have resorted to these tactics and probably won’t be the last. It all started back in 2012. See: Why does Meryl Dorey fear free speech?

Venue cancels after anti-vaxxers threaten to bomb it.

Sherri Tenpenny is an anti-vaccination campaigner based in the United States. She is currently planning a speaking tour in Australia where she plans to lie to parents and convince them to forgo life saving vaccinations for their children. Her tour is being organised by Stephanie Messenger, a woman who openly advocates measles for children. In my opinion Messenger is openly advocating child abuse by suggesting the measles in beneficial for children.

So it should come as no surprise that there is a big push by public health advocates to stop these health menaces from endangering the community. One way to do this is to contact venues and ask them to cancel, most are happy to oblige once they understand that their venue is to be used to spread lies and fear mongering with the aim of increasing the infant mortality rate.

But the anti-vaccination movement has started to fight back with the only tactic they understand. Violence and threats. Already two of the venues have been threatened by notorious anti-vaxxer Frankie Vazquez, who has suggested blowing up a restaurant under the alias Dolmio Joseph Vazques and burning a golf club.

Mr Vazques is no stranger to threats of violence. He sent the following to a critic of the Australian Vaccination Network.

He also had the following to say about vaccination researcher Dr Paul Offit.

Both venues that were threatened by Vazques have since cancelled the anti-vaxxers events. Bringing the total number of cancelled venues upto 10 out of 11. There are few better examples of Foot Bullets than this.

Anti-vaxxers ramp up censorship campaign.

Supporters of the Australian Vaccination Network have increased their efforts to suppress critics by abusing Facebook’s “Report Abuse” feature.

Anti-vaccination activists are well known for their attempts to censor the voices of their critics. Their tactics to silence critics include:

  1. False DMCA reports.
  2. False reporting of critics websites to anti-virus vendors.
  3. Threatening Politicians.
  4. Harassing, abusing, vilifying Grieving Families.
  5. Seeking Court orders to silence their critics.
  6. Abusing Facebooks report feature to get critics banned.
  7. Advocating the use of violence against critics.
  8. Calling their critics terrorists. 

Recently #6 has made a comeback with several critics receiving multiple 12 hour bans from Facebook. Even for mundane comments such as this.

It’s clear that these people are simply reporting everything and anything in order to get their critics removed from Facebook. They have even set up a page to brag about their latest censorship campaign.

This is not the first time AVN supporters have engaged in these tactics. I wrote more extensively about their first round of abuse Here. I have no doubt that this abusive organisation will continue to do whatever it can to silence criticism. But rest assured we will all still be here fighting to close the bastards down.

AVN Founder accuses the courts of corruption.

As expected Meryl Dorey of the Australian Vaccination Network has come out accusing the courts of corruption because they refused to issue orders that myself, Peter Bowditch and Daniel Raffaele be restrained from talking about her on the internet. 

Last year, at the suggestion of police in two NSW jurisdictions, I filed three separate APVOs: against Daniel Raffaele, founder of Stop the AVN (SAVN), Peter Bowditch, committee member of the Australian Skeptics and Dan Buzzard, WA member of SAVN.

I could have filed APVOs against many more SAVN members. So many have threatened and harassed me, as well as inciting others to do me harm, but these were the three whom I considered to be the ‘ringleaders’ – whose abuse and harassment were unremitting. My reasons for taking this action were two-fold

1-    To stop them from continuing their criminal campaign of abuse, harassment and threats against me; and

2-    To send a warning to others that the justice system would protect someone who was being openly abused, harassed and threatened.

1. To date Ms Dorey claims about being harassed and threatened are dubious at best. I still await credible evidence of these claims.

2. I am well aware of Ms Dorey intention to intimidate her critics with these lawsuits. In court I clearly stated that I agree with Ms Dorey taking out AVOs against people who abuse, harass or threaten her. But as I am not one of those people I have to question her motive for naming me in the lawsuit.

I wonder if it had anything to do with the Australian Vaccination Network trying to keep their committee members hidden from the Department of Fair Trading?

Freedom of Information is a wonderful thing.

It is my firmly held belief, based on the evidence from both cases that actually went to trial, that my losses had nothing to do with the evidence presented to the courts. Based on that evidence alone – APVOs should have been granted without question. But both magistrates showed a strong disapproval for the work that I have done for the last 20 years with the AVN and I feel that they were unable to separate Meryl Dorey the mother, woman and victim of institutionalised and long-running abuse, from Meryl Dorey, ex-President of the AVN and vaccine rights advocate.

More lies, the magistrate made it clear that the case had nothing to do with vaccination and was about whether or not Ms Dorey had cause to fear the defendant. In my case despite having an almost 4 year long opposition Ms Dorey simply could not produce any evidence or justification for seeking an AVO against me.

Ms Dorey did present evidence of a death threat sent to her by a user called fantasticfox5@tormail.org but this person has no connection to me other than having emailed me on a single occasion, which can be seen here. I told the court that I think Ms Dorey would be perfectly justified in seeking an order against that individual, but I don’t see how the actions of an unknown third party have anything to do with me.

Just a clarifying note at this point for those who are unaware of my case against Daniel Raffaele: the APVO against him was granted without his making any admissions of wrongdoing even though threatening calls to my home were made from his house in the middle of the night. I was advised to accept these terms rather than going to trial. In retrospect, I think I made the right choice since even with the damning evidence against him, I am unsure that the courts would have granted my application had Raffaele opposed it.

The key phrase here is “Consent without admission” Mr Rafaele consented to the AVO in order to avoid the costly and time consuming proceedure of defending against a vexatious litigant. While I can certainly understand the desire to get the AVO out of the way fast I believe Mr Rafaele made a mistake in consenting to the AVO. Meryl Dorey and current AVN President Greg Beattie continue to make unfounded allegations against Mr Rafaele despite there being no admission to any wrong doing.

When I went to the courthouse last year to make the initial applications, I selected several of the standard orders from the list available (orders which limited the perpetrator’s ability to come near me or enter my property or threaten me). I also asked that they not be allowed to mention me in any online forum in a derogatory manner. At the initial mention in Ballina Courthouse almost a year ago, the magistrate said that he did not have the power to grant the latter order and I agreed to withdraw it. All I was asking the court to do was to prevent them from coming near me or physically threatening me. None of that would in any way ‘silence’ them.

Not true, the purpose of these AVOs was to bully, defame AND silence her critics. I have the documentation that specifically asks that I be silenced on the internet and numerous examples of her defaming the defendants long before the cases even got to court. Her continued defamation of Daniel Rafaele only shows that these application were not brought in good faith and only intended to harass.

In fact, during the time when these cases were still before the courts, sub judice reports were appearing in the media to the effect that taking away my opposition’s right to free speech was the only reason I made these applications.

Ms Dorey was speaking on public radio and sending out media releases about the AVOs within days of filing them. Long before this article was published: Founder of anti-immunisation group Australian Vaccination Network, Meryl Dorey, uses AVOs to gag critics

It is my belief that the magistrate in my case against Dan Buzzard may have used this misinformation in his decision since he did refer to media reports when making his summation. In fact, he criticised me openly many times during the hearing to the point where I was relieved to only have to pay $11,000 in court costs – at one point, I had the distinct impression that I was going to be sent to gaol. I do not remember him sanctioning Dan Buzzard even once despite his admissions to having asked people to send me violent pornography.

I believe that Ms Dorey will be serving time behind bars in the future. Obviously not over an AVO hearing, but over the many unlawful and fraudulent activities engaged in by her organisation. A few of which I have written about. Also I didn’t tell people to send Dorey “violent pornography”, the court obviously realised this.

These people are truly guilty of using bureaucracy and the media to silence their opposition.

All I asked was that the courts protect me from these abusers who had openly threatened and harassed me. This is a protection that should be available to all Australian citizens and residents – indeed – to everyone in every country around the world. It is a basic human right which, thanks to what I consider to be the bias of the courts, was denied me in these cases.

I continue to wait for evidence that Ms Doreys critics have ever engaged in unlawful activity against her. So far as the evidence suggest all SAVN members are operating entirely within the law.

Ms Dorey clearly thinks that the act of simply initiating a lawsuit implies guilt on behalf of the defendant. It does not you still have to prove the allegation in court, she found out the expensive way.

Read about my case here.

Legal Victory Meryl Dorey's gag order failed..

On Thursday I successfully defended an attempt by Meryl Dorey of the Australian Vaccination Network to have me silenced on the Internet. 

The Australian Vaccination Network (AVN) has been trying to silence its critics for a number of years now. So it come as no surprise that the president of the Australian Vaccination Network would eventually file Strategic Lawsuit Agaist Public Participation (SLAPP) suits against critics in an effort to silence them. What did come as a surprise was the choice of legislation. Back in September of 2012 Meryl Dorey chose to file applications for Apprehended Violence Orders (AVO) against myself and two other critics of the AVN.

(Note: During the 11 months between the lodgement of the application and Todays hearing Ms Dorey resigned as president of the AVN).

Ms Doreys application requested that the following orders be made:

1. The defendant must not approach or contact the protected persons by any means whatsoever except through the defendants legal representative.

2. The defendant must not mention the applicant in any online forum in any derogatory manner.

Although Ms Dorey lodged the applications in her personal capacity the intent of this litigation is clear.

Spot the applicant Meryl Dorey or The AVN?

The AVN has been hitting back at it’s critics for a number of years now. The AVN and their supporters employ the following tactics against critics:

  1. False DMCA reports.
  2. False reporting of critics websites to anti-virus vendors.
  3. Threatening Politicians.
  4. Harassing, abusing, vilifying Grieving Families.
  5. Impersonating critics websites (badly).
  6. Spamming, email bombarding Members of Parliament.
  7. Calling Doctors and Courts peadophiles.
  8. Accused a mobile health service of kidnapping kids off the street.
  9. Abusing Facebooks report feature to get critics banned.
  10. Withholding Financial Reports from the department of Fair Trading.
  11. Advocating the use of violence against critics.
  12. Contacting Civil Rights groups and failing to spot the irony.
  13. Promoting a fake church to dodge the law.
  14. Lying to fair trading, and it’s not even a very good lie.
  15. Bullying Doctors.
  16. Calling their critics terrorists. 

So a SLAPP suit is perfectly in line with the AVN and Meryl Doreys standard operating procedures. The timeline of events is as follows:

5th September 2012: Meryl Dorey files her application in a Ballina local court.

14th September 2012: Peter Bowditch notifies me that my name has appeared in the court registry.

20th September 2012: Meryl Dorey goes on public radio to brag about her AVO applications.

25th September 2012: I receive a summons to appear in a court 4,500km in two days time.

27th September 2012: First mention which I am not party to. Meryl Dorey publically announces on the Australian Vaccination Network website that she has scored a legal victory against her critics.

15th November 2012: Second mention. Application to move the proceeding to Lismore local court which has video link facilities.

10th December 2012: Third mention. I am in Paris when I receive a phone call from my lawyer telling me that the magistrate in Lismore does not appear impressed with the applications.

15th January 2013: Fourth mention. The matter is referred to mediation.

6th Febuary 2013: Meryl Dorey fails to attend mediation.

20th Febuary 2013: Meryl Dorey attends mediation, announces her displeasure at the letter I sent to Greg Beattie. Mediation falls apart.

12th March 2013: Fifth mention. A hearing date is set for the 24th May.

26th April 2013: Meryl Dorey loses her AVO case against Peter Bowditch.

21st May 2013: Meryl Dorey submits application for the magistrate to be disqualified. Application is granted in chambers.

24th May 2013: Was a hearing, now the sixth mention. New hearing and new magistrate set for 22nd August.

19th August 2013: An offer is made to Ms Dorey to drop the case and pay smaller legal fees than she will have to if we go to court. She declines.

22nd August 2013: I receive an email from my lawyer at 4:12am containing documents that Meryl Dorey wishes to use in court. We know Ms Dorey likes to file things at the very last minute but this is surely taking the piss. I print the documents out and bring them to court anyway.

 

1. Ms Dorey included a screenshot of some pornography (“Cunt of the year” award) that she alleges was sent to her, no doubt her intention was to blame me for it despite the fact that she has had it since at least 2011, but claims that a message I sent in 2012 incited people to send her porn. I do not believe that anyone involved with SAVN has ever sent Ms Dorey pornographic material. There is no evidence to suggest that anything I have posted on the internet has ever caused anyone to act unlawfully towards Ms Dorey or the AVN.

 

2. On 25th of September 2012 I received an email from fantasticfox5@tormail.org offering to “fuckup those cunts cyber style” to which I politly declined thinking nothing more of it until I saw a post on the AVN facebook wall complaining about a death threat that appeard to be from the same user.

From: fantasticfox5@tormail.org
Subject: flu-reactions
Date: 25 September 2012 10:09:12 AM AEST
To: meryl@avn.org.au
meryl be warned we’re coming for you. and you will be sorry you filthy
baby killer. sharpening the knives now.
We are Anonymous.
We are Legion.
We do not forgive.
We do not forget.
Expect us.

As you can see it is quite a nasty email so I decided to publicly disclose my earlier correspondence with this individual along with the mail headers that might be used to identify the perpetrator. Below you can see the full exchange of my emails with fantasticfox5@tormail.org. Mail headers here.

—–Original Message—–
From: Dan Buzzard
Sent: Tuesday, 25 September 2012 8:17 AM
To: ‘fantasticfox5@tormail.org’
Subject: RE: meryl dorey

Hi,

While I appreciate your desire to stop these low lives I could never support the actions you propose.

Shutting down the AVN requires us to keep our footing firmly planted on the moral high ground, so I must decline your offer to “fuckup those cunts cyber style”.

Have a nice day.

~Dan

—–Original Message—–

From: fantasticfox5@tormail.org [mailto:fantasticfox5@tormail.org]

Sent: Tuesday, 25 September 2012 8:02 AM

To: headreptilian@skep.li

Subject: meryl dorey

nice collection of docs. want me to fuckup those cunts cyber style?

they wont know what hit ’em. i can hack their website with sql injection too. plaster it with all sorts. they lose audiance who are offended by wat i post. its how we operate. i could also organize one of our many botnets to take em down with ddos.

just ask if you need help

We are Anonymous.

We are Legion.

We do not forgive.

We do not forget.

Expect us.

You’ll notice that my reply email does not appear in either of Ms Doreys statements of evidence only the email sent by FantasticFox5. Including the entire dialogue would have weakened her evidence. Ms Dorey’s lawyer engaged in a rather pathetic attempt to try and link me to FantasticFox5.

Ms Dorey is aware that I have an account on WhyWeProtest.net. Her lawyer claimed in court that I am active on this forum. I told him that 5 post in 5 years (4 of them in 2008) hardly counts as ‘active’. I only wish I had submitted a dictionary into evidence. He then proceeded to ask whether or not the forum had a private messaging feature, I acknowledge that it probably does as it’s a standard feature. He then suggests that it is entirely possible that I contacted FantasticFox5 via the forums. Of course he had no evidence to backup this false allegation and the desperation was palpable.

There is absolutely nothing to suggest that FantasticFox5 has anything to do with WhyWeProtest.net the Anonymous brand is widely used across the internet and such a person could have come from any of the thousands of sites sympathetic to the goals of anonymous. I find it highly suspicious that Ms Dorey asserts knowledge of an individual who’s identity is still unknown. It is also suspicious that this email is being used as a major piece of evidence in an AVO Application that precedes it. It’s like telling your insurance company that you need to lodge a claim today because your car gets stolen tomorrow.

I consider the FantasticFox5 allegations to be the most serious of all the material as there is a clear and direct threat. However I think Meryl Dorey, or her supporters likely fabricated this bit of evidence. Then her lawyer lied about it in court.

 

3. On 31st of August 2012 I sent Meryl Dorey a butthurt report form. I originally saw the form posted on the WhyWeProtest.net forum by an anonymous user. Ms Dorey and her lawyer decided to accuse me of being the anonymous poster in their effort to link me to that site. Yet again they had no evidence for any of these accusations, the only name I post under on that forum is ‘CIA_sec‘. So they failed again through lack of evidence. There isn’t much more to say on it but you can read about the time I sent it to Meryl here.

On this forum, a person who calls himself anonymous but who I believe is Dan Buzzard (and the original person who started this thread), posted a copy of a 

form called a Butthurt Report Form. Shortly after posting this (please see below), Dan Buzzard sent me a copy of this form via post to my address. He had taken 

a picture of the envelope addressed to me and posted that to his blog. The only purpose of this letter was to harass and intimidate me. -Meryl Dorey, written statement.

 

4. Meryl Dorey also objected to me calling her a liar and assclown.

Do you see what’s missing from the screenshot of my blog? How about everything except the title and first sentence. Wouldn’t want the court to know that you got called a liar and an assclown for doing something dishonest and potentially unlawful would we? Unfortunately this didn’t get brought up, so I didn’t have a chance to ask what they are hiding. You can see what they didn’t want the court to see here.

 

5. I told the court that if someone is threatening Ms Dorey or sending her pornography then she should file for AVOs against them. What other people choose to do on the internet is nothing to do with me. Ms Dorey’s lawyer argued that I am the only person she can identify with any link to the abuse she’s been receiving. In other words they have no idea who the perpetrator is so they blame me. At one point the magistrate did ask if the person who sent the threatening email was in the court room, they had to admit that the perpetrator wasn’t.

In closing the magistrate read both emails from FantasticFox5, plus my reply email to FantasticFox5 and the two screenshot below.

Let’s not be rude on the internet, right?

So the case came down to these points:

  • Meryl Dorey is upset about things being said on the internet.
  • She alleges that people are sending her porn and death threats.
  • Looking for someone to blame she chooses me. (and Peter Bowditch, Daniel Rafaele)
  • I tell the court that she is lying about receiving pornography and I do not know the identity of FantasticFox5.
  • Dorey and co admit that the perpetrator isn’t in the courtroom.
  • Ms Dorey’s Lawyer tries to draw non-existent link between myself and FantasticFox5, fails miserably.

The end result?

Case dismissed, costs application against Ms Dorey for just over $11,000. The system works.

 The Documents presented in this case are as follows. The more familiar you are with these documents the more you will realise what a baseless and vexatious case this was.

Meryl Dorey also lost an AVO application against Peter Bowditch which you can read about here. A third AVO application against Daniel Raffaele was consented to without admission so long as the gag order was thrown out, which it was. So in the end all three attempts to silence her critics have failed and none of the allegations she has made against any of us have been proven.

The Burzynski video that Eric Merola wants censored..

A recurring theme amongst people who sprout bullshit for a living is their utter hatered of anyone who calls them out on it. The Burzynski Clinic in Texas is no exception.
Here’s Eric Merola producer of Burzynski’s infomercial telling people to report Burzynski’s critics to Facebook as a means of surpressing their opinions.
Not only is Merola advocating abuse of Facebooks automated banning system but his company even sent a fradulent DMCA notice to YouTube in order to censor a short video criticising the clinic.
Apparently, someone thinks that they are the only person allowed to have a public opinion about Burzynski in a moving picture, as false takedown order attributed by Google to Burzynski movie director Eric Merola’s production company has been issued against c0nc0rdance, who posted a very good video about the Clinic in February. Whoever did this, well, they done somethin’ ornery. Skeptical Humanities
As I normally do when I find content being censored by people like Eric Merola I have created a mirror of the video on my own site away from the automated takedown systems of YouTube. Nice try Eric but your censorship tricks won’t work here. 

Why does Meryl Dorey fear free speech?

For the past several weeks Meryl Dorey of the Australian Vaccination Network has been engaged in a campaign of revenge again me for speaking out against her deceptive, fraudulent and misleading practices. It began in August with a few blog posts on the AVNs website titled “Dossier of Attacks on the AVN” where Meryl attempts to hurt her critics by posting complaints we’ve made against her.

However unlike Meryl Dorey the truth doesn’t hurt us; because we’re right while she is proven repeatedly to be in the wrong. So “exposing” us by posting content we freely make available ourselves doesn’t cause us any damage. It would appear that Meryl Dorey is baffled by this as she is constantly trying to cover-up her own actions, while her critics apparently have no need to cover theirs.

No doubt frustrated that her attacks were having such little effect Meryl Dorey decided to up her campaign against me and go after my Facebook account with the intention of censoring me from the “Stop the AVN” page despite the fact that she is not an admin there. To do this she takes advantage of the fact that Facebook has an automated complaints system that does not ask questions.

That’s right just those two posts got me banned from all of Facebook for 24hours. The posts were on a Skeptics Facebook page not the AVN, but obviously they were seen by either Meryl Dorey or one of her supporters. I should point out that this can be done by anyone without any oversight from Facebook.

Of course she won’t stop there, not while she has crime (Perjury in the United States) and misdeeds to cover up. So when I posted a link to my blog on the Stop the AVN Facebook wall (A page Meryl has no ownership or admin claims to) it didn’t take long for her to pounce and hit the report button.

So once more Meryl Dorey has succeeded in censoring me, this all seems a little desperate. Meryl Dorey likes to bang on about how great freedom of speech is, yet she will do anything she can to prevent it.

Fortunately another Skeptic was on the case.

But this reposting was removed twice and I suspect Belinda was likely banned from Facebook after having two complaints filed.

Then another person decided to post my blog directly on the AVN’s Facebook wall. I’m sure the anti-vaxxers would not have been amused by this, but then again the truth always was offensive to them.

Actually the truth can be found by reading the link that appears on the SAVN wall. You don’t find the truth through censorship and suppression of information. Of course those with everything to hide have to choice but to engage in censorship campaigns because the truth is ultimately their undoing.

The user “Skeptic Militia” was kind enough to email me the Facebook takedown notices they received. Along with the resulting ban.

Gee wouldn’t want someone to make it known that they have evidence now would we?

I’m no psychiatrist but Meryl Dorey seems to be getting quite desperate to censor her critics. Although this type of behaviour isn’t new, the AVN is known to abuse, harass and accuse people of child rape if they don’t fall into line with the anti-vaccination ideology. Just for the record Meryl Dorey has stated that she refuses to stop using the rape accusation.

This woman runs a registered “charity”.

So far at least 5 Facebook posts on the Stop the AVN Facebook page that includes a link to:  http://www.danbuzzard.net/journal/how-meryl-dorey-lied-under-oath.html have been removed due to vexatious automated complains. Her insane determination to see the post censored has motivated me to contact the San Fransisco District Attorney’s office to find out if anything can be done in regards to Meryl Dorey lying under oath. Originally it was just going to be a blog post but after such a hostile responce I think it’s worth at least exploring the options since she’s clearly rattled by it.

I also just got word from Facebook that this image has been reported as abusive.

Meryl is due in court on Thursday. So it probably wouldn’t be good for her if someone were to use the above screenshot as a demonstration of her lack of respect for the judicial system. Suggesting the courts may be Bias if they don’t agree with you is unlikely to win any friends.

If anybody has screen shots of warning messages they’ve receive from Facebook. I request that they forward them to me via email: Dan@danscomp.net It would be much appreciated.

While I have no problem with people simply using words. It seems that the anti-vaxxers are determined to go to any length to silence criticism. That includes getting their critics disconnected from Facebook and as a consequence disconnected from friends and family who have come to rely on Facebook (despite my protest) as their primary form of communication.

I have stated previously that I would never sue anyone for their words, and my preferred “weapon” (For lack of a better word) is my blog loaded with yet more words that can address any misinformation stated about me. However now that my opponents are taking action beyond just words and attempting to influence a negative impact upon myself, my friends and family I feel that litigation may be the justified course of action. So far Meryl Dorey has succeeded in disconnecting me from my contracts twice, an online equivalent of cutting my phone line. She has also succeeded in censoring me from Stop the AVNs Facebook page, which she is not an admin and no body at SAVN has decided they want me gone. It is not Meryls place to decide that I should be censored from another person’s plat form, by abusing Facebook’s automated systems she has done just that.

I am concerned that this type of censorship will only increase if it is not stopped. Of course this is only the latest in a long list of attacks against critics.

So far Meryl Dorey has deployed the following tactics against her critics.

  • Blogging – Nothing wrong with this, she’s entitled to her words as are her critics.
  • False DMCA Complaints – She has committed a crime (perjury) under the laws of the United States in order to have her critics censored.
  • Apprehended Violence Orders – She is attempting to obtain restraining orders against her critics including myself, without serving any summons. I may not be a lawyer but I’m reasonably certain that you need to follow correct serving procedures.

  • Making false complaints to Facebook – This results in her victims being disconnected not only from Stop the AVN but also all their Friends and Family who rely on Facebook.
  • Harassment – Meryl Dorey and her followers have engaged in a harassment campaign against grieving parents whose daughter died of whooping cough.

I am becoming increasingly concerned for the safety of people within the Skeptical community because while the anti-vaxxers have historically never posed a direct physical threat. The Australian Vaccination Network in particular it’s president Meryl Dorey appear to be getting more and more desperate to silence critics as time goes on. Perhaps the realisation that the truth hurts only them and not us is prompting them to look for methods beyond just words for silencing their critics.

Dawson Drama Queen vs Trolls.

Charlotte Dawson has been in the news recently for being trolled on the Internet. That’s right just for being trolled this drama queen has generated headline across Australia for her alleged victimisation at the hands of some anonymous twitter users.

While I don’t agree with the actions of the trolls I also find it hard to have too much sympathy for Ms Dawson because she went troll feeding.

There is an old saying that goes back at least as far as the 1980s. “Don’t Feed the Trolls”

On the Internet a “Troll” is a person who attempts to incite an emotional response from others by either posting offensive material or performing an action that causes inconvenience and frustration to other users of the medium in use. The best way to deal with trolls is by NOT giving them exactly what they want so they get bored and leave. As someone who’s been dealing with internet trolls since the 90s I can confirm that this is a tried and proven method for dealing with the issue.

However Charlotte Dawson decided to engage with the trolls instead. First mistake, she has also been retweeting some of the trolls messages to her followers. Honestly what sort of moron thinks it’s a good idea to help spread the trolls’ message as far and wide as you can? These trolls are anonymous; as a result ALL publicity is good publicity.

Of course now the politicians are wetting themselves in excitement as they are now given a new excuse to remove free speech and privacy from the public internet.

HATE-filled Twitter trolls who anonymously taunt, threaten or urge their victims to take their own lives are on notice from today.

Today we launch a campaign to stand up to the faceless bullies and to urge Twitter to unmask them and turn them in to authorities so they can be prosecuted.

Kevin Rudd has 1.2 million followers – more than any other federal MP – and he last night committed to the campaign from China with the declaration: “The time has come for us to build a bridge over the trolls.”

Attorney-General Nicola Roxon is also behind the campaign: “Cyber bullying is reprehensible and has no place in our society.

“What we need is strong co-operation from governments, law enforcement and the community. But we also need the assistance of US-based social networks.” News.com.au

It quickly gets to the point where the persecuted becomes the persecutor. This is where the #StopTheTrolls comes in. The aim is to bully Twitter into disclosing user details so the Australian Government can punish people for what they said online. That’s right; you can be punished for saying something that upsets people.

People not just trolls, often choose to be anonymous on the Internet because they either don’t believe what they say strongly enough to put their name to it. Or because they face serious consequences for speaking out be it government persecution or litigation.

By removing anonymity and punishing trolls all that will happen is the trolls move to more secure form of anonymity and people with a “legitimate” need of anonymity might not have that option available.  Of course what is or is not a “legitimate” use of anonymity is purely subjective.

Terms like ‘Hate Speech’ are thrown about far too easily in today’s society. But classifying what is and isn’t ‘Hate Speech’ is a value judgement. I have people accuse me of ‘hate speech’ simply for disagreeing with them.  So the idea that the government could or should punish people for something based on opinion of another should be a concern to all Australians, not just trolls.

I deal with ‘trolls’ a fair bit. What I post online tends to attract them and it’s the reason user comments below need to be approved by a moderator before they appear. Yet, I still stand by what I’ve been saying for the last 14 years. Don’t feed the trolls, don’t give them the recognition and attention they crave, they will get bored and leave.

Also don’t do a massive Dawson Drama Queen. That only empowers them.

Aboriginal Memes, is Free-Speech Taboo in Australia?

A shit storm is currently brewing over a controversial Facebook page entitled “Aboriginal Memes” the page is now offline but I collected the photos from it so you can see what the fuss is about. Photos Now offline. (I think I’ve made my point.)

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has weighed into the debate over a racially abusive Facebook page, saying he thinks it should be taken down. 

SBS reported yesterday on the Facebook page, which allows posts with racially abusive “memes” about Indigenous people. The page was temporarily removed, before re-appearing on the site with a tag noting that the content contained “controversial humour”.  

World News Australia

However the really horrific thing that I personally found about this page was not the content at all, but rather the fanatical Anti-freedom of Speech groups that setup for the sole purpose of suppressing another persons speech. Yes, that speech is distasteful but supporting free speech means that we must often defend distasteful things.

A page Called Make Facebook Shut Down Aboriginal Memes

Has sprung up in protest of the Aboriginal Memes page  however this situation is nothing more than people seeking to suppress another person’s speech because they happen to find it distasteful. I find it disturbing how many people are radically opposed to freedom of speech in this country. Except of course when it’s their own speech then all of a sudden they are suddenly in favour of it.

But this only shows a gross lack of consideration for what free speech means for all of us. Because you cannot possibly claim to support freedom of speech while simultaneously seeking to suppress another. Free Speech is a right that must be given to everyone on equal ground regardless of its content.

When supporting the Freedom of Speech  you don’t need to agree with the opinions of others but unless you are prepared to defend their right to say whatever they like you cannot call yourself a supporter of Free-Speech and nor can you reasonably expect others to respect your rights when you do not extend that courtesy yourself.

I hate having to defend those whom I disagree with, but it seems I am required to do so more and more often in order to defend free speech these days. This is one of those times.

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. Evelyn Beatrice Hall

Anti-vaxxers trying to censor skeptic blogs.

An interesting event came to light recently. Two well known Skeptic blogs Reasonable Hank and Lucky Losing were being blocked by Trend Micro.

We believe supporters of the Australian Vaccination Network have been reporting skeptical blogs as malware in an attempt to have them blocked by malware vendors. This type of behavior has come to be expected from those who lack the evidence to backup their claims. 

There is an especially nutty fruitloop called Liz Hempel who had a few things to say on Twitter regarding the blockage of Reasonable Hank.

Liz Hempel (if that’s even her real name) is quite clearly making false accusations of fraud and criminal conduct. Without any evidence to backup those accusations of course, but then lack of evidence is what the anti-vaccination movement is all about (and promoting disease).

Liz continues…

Liz clearly knows little about the Internet. She receives the warning because she is most likely using Trend Micro which is blocking the page. Perhaps she thought reporting a page she didn’t like would get it removed entirely from the web, she is wrong only users of that particular blacklist are affected by the blockage.

I like her suggestion of reporting it to WordPress.com. Services providers receive threats, abuse and complaints as part of their daily business but no decent service provider is going to remove content unless compelled to by a court of competent jurisdiction. They espesially aren’t going to act at the whim of anti-vaxx bullshitters. Nice try Liz but once more you fail.

Incidents like this just highlight the lengths that anti-vaxxers will go to; or in this case attempt to go to in order to silence critics of their ideology. While Liz Hempel doesn’t know what she’s doing not all anti-vaxxers will be so incompetent with technology and those of us who run sites likely to incur the wrath of others should take steps to ensure that our sites and services are secure from those who would like to silence their critics in desperation. I expect we will see more underhanded tactics being used in the future, by those with an otherwise indefensible position.