Antivaxxers not owed a soapbox

Mon, Jun 28, 2021 2-minute read

In a new post in Science Translational Medicine's "In the Pipeline" blog, Derek Lowe announced that he's tired of antivaxxer spam:

But – and you know where this is going – there have also been several commentators here who have for some time been abusing this site’s hospitality. I have mentioned to these people that they don’t have to be here, that starting constant wrangling arguments about vaccines, pandemic statistics, etc. in the comments section does not have to be a regular feature of their day. No one’s taken the hint.

He then gets to the crux of it:

Do what you like but don’t do it here. You are free to contribute your thoughts on other topics if you honestly have something to add or some question to ask, but any sign of attempted pandemic flaming will be deleted as quickly as I see it. Go away and tell everyone that Big Pharma muzzled you, if that makes you feel better. But in the end, you’re already going to be the last people standing after the vaccines wipe the rest of us out, right? Isn’t that enough?

I think this is the right take. It's not censorship: no one is telling antivaxxers or other conspiracy nuts that they can't say dumb things. It's just that Lowe doesn't feel obligated to give them a platform to spread their idiocy.