This will be a quick post. I had meant to write something about this months ago.
The Australian Vaccination Network was ordered to change its deceptive name in 2012. It appealed the order and lost that appeal in 2013. It was thenceforth to be known by the still deceptive – yet not as much – name, Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network.
The AVsN changed its name on many of its fora. It fought hard to weasel its way out of its obligations, with several reminders being sent to the AVsN to comply. It was extraordinary how the compliance checks needed to be carried out by citizens – who then notified the appropriate departments – and not the government departments charged with these tasks.
Since the enforcement of the name change came into place the AVsN have steadfastly tried everything to worm their way out of changing their Facebook page’s name. They know the Facebook page is the most accessed, and the most user-friendly for their task of disseminating anti-vaccination lies. Facebook is big for liars. It gets the most hits, and it casts the biggest net.
Astonishingly, New South Wales Fair Trading have accepted a monster of a lie from Meryl Dorey and her cabal: that being that the AVsN gave the Facebook page away, and that it is no longer owned by the AVsN. Here is an August 2014 letter from NSWFT to a complainant, stating precisely that:
Anyway, I thought I would quickly check and screenshot two AVsN fora to show how easily NSWFT could have found out that the AVsN is lying. It must be noted in passing that the main Facebook page administrator using the AVN Facebook account a month ago was Meryl Dorey. And not only by a nose: Dorey was controlling the page, same as she ever was.
This is a screenshot of the AVsN’s official Twitter page. It was always the AVN’s official Twitter page, and it says as much in the descriptor:
Now, using this screenshot taken from the AVN Facebook page (immediately after), we see that precisely the same vaccines-cause-autism lie appears on the page. The timestamp is the same, even down to the minute:
Checking these two pages off against each other, and perusing the timestamps took less than twenty seconds. It is obvious that the AVsN is in control of both accounts – Twitter and Facebook – and that the claim that they no longer own the Facebook page is an outright lie put forward to deflect any further regulatory and disciplinary action which would surely come the AVsN’s way – continuing to breach orders against claims set out in the Public Health Warning is only one of the ongoing flagrant breaches carried out by Dorey and her cult. It is amazing that the very vaccines-cause-autism lie used above is, in itself, another breach of the findings set down by the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission in the Public Health Warning against the AVsN.
Getting back to the evidence for the claim by Dorey and her cult that the AVsN no longer own the page, I wonder out loud how the claim was tested by NSWFT. This is the AVN Facebook about page:
We can see they still link to the all-important money-maker, the “AVN” shop, and the cashflow-sustaining “AVN membership”. And the page still links to the main AVN URL. They changed a couple of “us” and “we” into “them” and “they” as well. And the sockpuppet who now ‘owns’ the page has set up a gmail account as a contact (a contact which doesn’t issue replies). What other evidence is there that the AVsN, and Dorey, no longer control the Facebook page? This:
This page is owned by and managed by a long-time fan of the Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network but it is not the responsibility of that organization.
This page is owned by Ben Rush, a long-time fan of the Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network (AVN), Inc.
Stick a fork in me and turn me over I’m done.
This is an organisation which is practised at deception and non-compliance, callousness and cruelty. And NSW Fair Trading rolled over and said it was all too hard, and took the word of a cabal of anti-vaccinationists over a bit of digging. Twenty seconds work could have shown them the AVsN are lying, again. But it’s all just too hard.
And you know what makes it stink even more? Four months before the above NSWFT hand-wave, NSWFT notified another complainant that they had contacted Dorey, and that Dorey had advised NSWFT that the Facebook name would be changed:
The Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network and its lead ideologue Meryl Dorey continue to lie to government departments such as NSWFT, and regulators such as the NSW HCCC; and yet here we are. Nothing has been done. The AVsN is still free to lie to parents, with nothing but disdain for those who should be holding them accountable.
Thanks very much to those who provided letters included above.