Meryl Dorey and her anti-vaccine organisation: abusing Facebook's reporting mechanism with spite

The soon to be ex-Australian Vaccination Network has an extended history of hypocrisy. The duplicitous anti-vaccination organisation heralds itself as a champion of the oppressed; a defender of “health freedom”; a campaigner against the suppression of free speech. Calls to arms and ACTION ALERTS along these very lines have been lucrative. They are like trigger words for the hypnotised marks of the organisation. Help us help you…Your freedom isn’t free…If you don’t stand up and donate you will be the arbiter of your own suppression…Fight government blackshirts…They are conspiring to take away your freedom…the SAVN terrorists are coming…Donate now…

From September 2012, Dorey doing god’s work, or something. Not that she’s anything like Jesus. This example is by no means rare:

AVN 6705 Dorey September 2012 strike a blow for freedom of speech by donatingAnd, another common clarion call, supporting her regular pleas for other people’s money:

Censorship is NEVER acceptable! Meryl Dorey April 2012

AVN 4869 Dorey tweet censorship is never acceptableDorey even went so far in her freedom rhetoric to dupe the University of Wollongong’s Professor Brian Martin into defending her attack on children’s health. Writing an article for Dorey’s now defunct cash-cow/magazine, in a 2011 article (that link goes to the UoW online publications…well played, champs) titled Debating Vaccination, Martin – the now former AVN member – wrote this. It could not be more breathtaking that he was not saying this in Dorey’s ear; but, directing it at Dorey’s critics:

AVN 6434 Martin comment free speechIt is interesting, then, that Martin doesn’t shine his freedom torch squarely at Dorey and her organisation. In a previous period of frantic and vicious censorship Dorey relied on abusing the DMCA take-down mechanism, publicly admitting to fraudulently reporting over 50 posts for copyright infringement, under penalty of perjury. Read that again: 50 posts. She did this purely to censor her critics. She did not own the copyright. The posts were overwhelmingly public Facebook posts. And she bragged about in her own 2011  blog post:

AVN 6659 Dorey 50 reports DMCA take downsBut Dorey has form abusing other reporting mechanisms to reach her goal of the censorship of her legitimate critics. As seen in her own admission she freely reports posts for abuse. In Dorey’s world, remember, “abuse” generally means “disagrees with me”.

In my recent post I included another conspiratorial Dorey admission, tucked away amongst other nasty admissions that AVN supporters strive for censorship by intentionally marking unfavourable posts as spam:

Meryl Dorey: To add insult to injury, I reported about 10 posts from SAVN that actually ARE abusive. Facebook rejected all of the reports! It is obvious that SAVN has an inside track to Facebook. I wish there was an alternative but Google + is unworkable and there just don’t seem to be any other good social networking sites as of yet. Any coders want to start a Facebook alternative?

Liz Turner: That’s okay Meryl Dorey. I will play their game too. I’ve reported all of Hank’s wordpress posts (since the blog I posted was also a wordpress blog). Shouldn’t take too long for his to disappear either. Screw them!

Even only a few months ago Dorey was actively using the latest AVN tactic: censoring critics by reporting any and all Facebook comments that use a full or partial name.

This tactic is especially unsavoury. Nothing is off-limits. If you mention a name, even in courtesy, you can be reported. For this, your comment will be deleted by Facebook, and you will receive an instant 12 hour ban from Facebook. The AVN and its acolytes know this. And, they have been going to town, even provoking conversation only to come back and report comments.

Here is a comment Dorey reported in September, 2013, having the commenter banned:

AVN 6690 Dorey banned comment September 2013And here is another from September, with the same outcome:

AVN 6691 Dorey banned comment September 2013Dorey has been playing dumb over the latest round of reporting. However, she is clearly one of the instigators, her acolytes following her ethics to the letter.

Only one week ago today Law Professor Dorit Reiss wrote eloquently on this latest abuse of Facebook’s algorithm:

It seems obvious, but apparently it’s not: getting someone banned from Facebook for posting polite, factual comments you disagree with is a problematic tactic. If that’s what you have to resort to, it means that you have no credible arguments. It also reflects badly on your debating ethics.

But that’s what some anti-vaccine activists have chosen to do. And they’re proud of it.

In the week since Professor Reiss wrote that article the reporting abuse has continued. In the short period following Dorey’s reports, above, the AVN acolytes started using the tactic. From September:

AVN 6692 Martin banned commentRemembering that each of these reports are meant to be for violating Facebook’s community standards. Read each of them and make up your own mind.  Remember that each of these reports results in a 12 hour ban from Facebook, for the user. Now, add to this deceit that this campaign of censorship is orchestrated, so that comments from months ago are found and reported in a timely fashion coinciding for the moment when a user’s 12 hour ban is over. One user has had multiple bans, reported at one per day, so he has not had continual access to his account for over a week.

This is not a petty Facebook squabble. This is an orchestrated campaign of censorship being waged by a Health Service Provider and Charitable Fundraising Authority holder who maintains a steady cash flow of donations due, in part, to its standing as a defender of the freedom of speech. It screeches loud for its own free speech. It doesn’t even whisper in the defence of others’ rights to the same. In fact, it carries out that which it purports to despise. And it doesn’t even break a sweat.

Here is a list of banned comments. This list is not extensive. Not all banned users retained a copy of their Facebook notification. If you have one which doesn’t appear here, and it is genuinely not abusive, link to it in the comments.

All of these comments are from the last two weeks:

AVN 6640 John banned comment

AVN 6641 Meleese banned comment

AVN 6642 Amy banned comment

AVN 6643 Maddy banned comment

AVN 6644 Ann banned comment

AVN 6649 Meleese banned comment

AVN 6650 Jane banned comment

AVN 6652 Shelley banned comment

AVN 6653 Heidi banned comment

AVN 6654 Harry banned comment

AVN 6655 Maddy banned comment

AVN 6657 Kate banned comment

AVN 6663 Dan banned comment

AVN 6666 Peter banned comment

AVN 6672 Paul banned comment

AVN 6681 Sian banned comment

AVN 6682 Ken banned comment

AVN 6683 Graeme banned comment

AVN 6684 Rhianna banned comment

AVN 6685 Peter banned comment

AVN 6686 Sue banned comment

AVN 6687 Patrick banned comment

AVN 6689 Sian banned comment

AVN 6694 Amy banned comment

So, Happy New Year.

In the words of Meryl Dorey and her band of brazen hypocrites at the Australian Vaccination Network:

May everyone be happy, healthy, filled with abundance and free to speak 

AVN 6688 Dorey HNY 2014 free to speak outShe really said that.

Update January 1 2014

This brand new banned comment is the first ban of 2014. It was reported by an Australian Vaccination Network supporter on the AVN Facebook page:

AVN 6693 Patrick banned comment

Breaking her silence on this very issue, Dorey has today commented on the AVN Facebook page, declaring – in the overwhelming face of concrete evidence against her, from only a portion of her own admissions as seen in this blog post – that she is unaware of such practices of deceitful, nasty, petty censorship. Dorey then goes on to strongly advocate that her acolytes carry out the very practices she employs, yet somehow denies: she tells her followers to “Report posts that use your name without your permission”. I don’t know whether to cry, or stand and applaud such a grand set of testicles as possessed by this person:

AVN 6697 Dorey not aware of reports tells them to report use of their name

More general reported comments which have resulted in bans for commenters:

AVN 6699 admin banned comment

AVN 6698 admin banned commentAVN 6700 Dumbldore banned commentAVN 6701 Dumbldore banned commentAVN 6702 Jane banned commentUpdate January 2 2014

AVN 6706 Harry banned commentUpdate January 3 2014

AVN 6710 Natalie banned comentFrom a few months ago, this abusive comment:

AVN 6711 Addryanne banned commentUpdate January 6 2014

This resulted in the Facebook banning of a user who was trying to organise events surrounding her father’s death:

AVN 6715 Leonie banned comment

About reasonable hank

I'm reasonable, mostly.
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50 Responses to Meryl Dorey and her anti-vaccine organisation: abusing Facebook's reporting mechanism with spite

  1. Wow, that is pretty pretty low of them.

  2. This comment was removed as it contained some facts that Dorey didn’t like.

  3. nicolamonk says:

    FB outsources the moderating to private companies outside of the US. Basically, if you report something, and it’s not actual child porn, it’s very random if it’s taken down. The companies are primarily interested in getting through the volume of complaints, and the workers may not even read english fluently.

  4. Keated says:

    Ah, so transparent… when simple logic will blow a hole in their argument, their only option is to put the breaks on the conversation.

    What exactly IS covered by the ToS?If I reassign names to any antivaxxer I talk to on FB, for example Crazy 1, Crazy 2 and so on, can they get me, or would I have to just go further – would K-Bizzle be acceptable to FB’s auto-searching? Or Steve, haha XD

  5. Andy says:

    The stupid thing is that this reporting “glitch” is so open to abuse, it’s a wonder it hasn’t been patched. It seems clear that the name recognition is automated, hence the need for correct case and spelling (though not the full account name), so the person doing the reporting only has to have an account with the same name, or partial name, as the name mentioned in any comment they want to suppress for any reason.

    So if I happen to see some guy on a US politics site saying stuff I disagree with to some other guy named “Andy”, it seems I can get the abuser banned even though it’s not me he’s abusing. The target “Andy” would be none-the-wiser.

    Gosh, if were a troll, I could just spend my days searching random FB sites for anyone who mentions “Andy”, and get the users banned for the hell of it. If I had an FB account, that is.

    • wzrd1 says:

      I’m fortunate in that I have very, very little to do with my spare time.
      I sent a message to Mark about the issue, we’ll see if I have to follow up on the matter.

      And no, I don’t know him. But, I’ve long ago learned, complain to the top, get results, as staff read the complaint and a respected blog entry that contains evidence like this tends to be noticed and action taken to correct the problem.
      Especially as I mentioned that it *is* impacting Facebook’s reputation, such as it is.

      This crap is *why* I rarely use Facebook. Indeed, the only reason I have an account was to see my grandchildren when I was overseas.

      So, why has she gotten away with perjury? Has a complaint been filed with law enforcement?

      • Leper says:

        The perjury part of a DMCA takedown notice only covers the claim that the complainant is authorised to act on behalf of the copyright holder. This is what happens when the copyright industry writes laws to its own benefit. Given that the complainant is likely Meryl and she does own the copyright on her posts, she isn’t committing perjury. However, any counterclaims to the initial DMCA complaint should be able to argue that your copying is legal under the fair use provisions of commentary and criticism.

        To actually stop Meryl and her cronies from abusing this feature you’ll likely need to thoroughly document their abuse and find some humans to complain to. One place to start would be contacting Facebook and finding out their policy on stopping and dealing with abuse of the reporting tool.

      • wzrd1 says:

        I received a form letter response to my complaint to Mark on Facebook.

        Thank you for reporting this potential abuse on Facebook. We’ll review the reported material and remove anything that violates our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. If warranted, we will also warn or disable the person responsible.

        Remember that you should also contact the authorities if you ever feel threatened by something you see on Facebook.

        In the future, you can use the “Report” links (which you can find next to most things on Facebook) to report something to us. Note that people will not be notified when you report their content. Learn more:

        You can also learn more about our policies by reading the Facebook Community Standards:


        User Operations

        We’ll see if anything gets done about the rampant abuse of the FB reporting system.
        Not holding out a lot of hope, but stranger things have happened in the past.

  6. aussiemooselet says:

    My first (of 3) bans was for this: “Well the AVN page is nothing more than an echo chamber of sock puppets. Ironic given KL is also a cowardly sock.” Didn’t even use a name, just capitalised initials. Truly pathetic.

  7. Ken McLeod says:

    Ms Dorey has filed a vexatious copyright claim, under oath, that she was the copyright owner of a letter sent by a NSW government department, and had it removed from the internet for a while. How’s that for dishonesty?

    It goes like this: I was notified by Scribd (an on-line repository for documents) that a complaint had been received that my reproduction there of a letter from NSW Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing (OLGR) to the Public Officer of the AVN, Ms Meryl Dorey, was a breach of her copyright. I protested, and eventually the document was restored. I also requested a copy from Scribd of the copyright violation notice, and Scribd obliged. What did I find in it? I found that Meryl Dorey was the complainant and claimed that she was the copyright owner. She then went on:

    “Under penalty of perjury in a United States court of law, I state that the information contained in this notification is accurate, and that I am authorized to act on the behalf of the exclusive rights holder for the material in question;…………”

    So Meryl Dorey claimed, under oath, that she was the copyright owner of the letter written by the NSW Government. The NSW CRIMES ACT 1900 – SECT 330 says:

    “ A person who makes on oath any false statement knowing the statement to be false or not believing it to be true, if it is not perjury, is liable to imprisonment for 5 years.”

    So this defender of free speech will lie under oath to prevent people seeing a document she doesn’t like, and risk prison in doing so.

    The document in question can be viewed at It’s no wonder that Ms Dorey didn’t want anyone to see it; the government department was notifying her of the findings of an investigation of her running of the AVN. It contains a description of her lies, incompetence and fraud.

    All the correspondence with Scribd is at

  8. Doug says:

    Perhaps we can refocus on the (soon-be-ex-) AVN’s difficulties with reporting their financials and compliance with the terms of their granted status? That doesn’t require FB. Get their organisational status removed for non-compliance and conduct not permitted under their terms of existence.

  9. Kirsty Hayden says:

    I was banned on Christmas Day for a post which was so old, I couldn’t even remember posting it in the first place. There was a poster on SAVN using only the first name for their Facebook account of Dorreen. From the looks of my post, I quite rightly accused this person of being a troll & hiding behind a false identity. I closed with saying that unlike me, who is a real person using my real name. Being banned on Christmas morning just topped off what had been the most miserable Christmas Day since the one just after my father’s death when the people who had promised to come for lunch just didn’t bother to turn up or even phone to appologise for the no show. Someone needs to hold these people to account. They even have a Facebook page on which they boast about what they are doing. Why can’t we get them closed down? There was -nothing- in my pist which in any way violated the ‘community standards’ & these ‘people’ (and I use this term to be polite) need to be made accountable for -their- actions.

  10. Jane Surburban says:

    And another for today.

    It’s because MD hates SAVN for bringing down her lucrative AVN business; a business that gave her an income, attention and, for a while, some credibility which her lack of education and career had previously denied her. Because of this, she’s in hate and revenge mode and is taking down as many SAVN supporters that she can. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if she is Karen Little (or at the very least, the Karen sock is a family member).

  11. Sue says:

    Childish gloating has appeared from one of the apparent perpetrators – they don’t appear to be able to contain their glee. I guess people who feel disempowered intellectually have to exercise control in whatever way they can.

    • wzrd1 says:

      That rather well explains the brutish behavior of the tea party in the US, where actual threat of arms has repeatedly entered political conversation.
      It also explains their sudden silence when I mention both that I also own a significant number of firearms and that I consider it highly impolite and irrelevant to the discussion of politics.
      Their intellectually disempowered minds seem to lock up at the notion that a reasonable person can both possess firearms and not mention that fact until that fact becomes germane to the conversation.

      Of course, my firearms are secure in firearms safes and come out only for hunting or firing in competition for prize. They are most certainly not to defend against some mythical tyranny, especially if said claimed tyrannical government possesses such a bewildering variety of arms as the US government does.
      But then, the intellectually disempowered are also quite short on common sense and a sense of reality.

      They never realize, you fight governments in politics and in courts. You fight ignorance with education. You fight irrationality with both education and reason. You fight willful stupidity with humor, well, causing the majority to laugh the willfully stupid person out of the room.

  12. Stephen says:

    Thanks Ken McLeod for that interesting little story regarding your stouch on Scribd.
    Wonders never cease.

  13. Andy says:

    A herd of sheep?
    Someone needs to do some flocking research.

  14. TLPG says:

    I did notice on the AVN website that Dorey is now relying on 68 reports (it’s actually 70) that Ginger Taylor put together that “prove” that vaccines cause Autism. Liz Ditz put together a list of them (plus another 2 for a total of 72) with their layman debunkings and provided me with a copy. Since October I’ve been trying to find a way to get them looked at properly and either clarified (some of the reports don’t even make the connection to the point that either Autism or vaccines aren’t even mentioned) or finally debunked in a comprehensive and public blast in a reputable scientific journal designed to quash the myth once and for all – through science. It hasn’t been easy to find the right people, and the federal government have been NO help, because when I asked them to take a tougher stand against the anti vaxxers I was told “We can’t”! The idiot who told me that is now getting an award voted on by the members of my website called “Idiot of the Month”, unless something comes up from December that appears before January 8 (and it now being January 2 I doubt it). So far, Melbourne Uni have said no because of a lack of funding and I haven’t heard back from Adelaide Uni. I’m considering a direct approach to the CSIRO, but aside from other universities I don’t know who else to contact. Those reports need a combined response that addresses the reports and not the people who wrote them or support them (ie Taylor, Dorey et al).

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  17. Natalie says:

    I don’t know how to reproduce my ban notice, but I remember exactly what I wrote in the post that got me a 12 hour time out:

    “Karen some people are allergic to penicillin. Does that mean penicillin is evil and should be banned? No, it just means some people are allergic to penicillin. Just because a very tiny number of people have a reaction to some vaccines should we now decry all vaccination?”

    I’m still extremely pissed off that Facebook banned any of us over this bullshit. I emailed them and gave them a serve.

  18. Addryanne says:

    It is also worth noting that months ago, I received a 12 hour ban for posting “Is it Meryl?”. Long before these socks started reporting posts, Meryl was the ringleader.

    So, by denying it all she is simply telling another lie.

    • Leonie Price says:

      Do you have the email address I could use to complain to Facebook? I need to log in and reply to notices of condolences. I will also give them a serve about facilitating this degree of malice.

      • wzrd1 says:

        I used the FB page of Mark Zuckerberg to communicate the contents of this page and irritation over the abuses a minority does to silence the majority, which harms the reputation of Facebook.

        The initial response was automated and rather disheartening, but a later response suggested human examination of the problem.

        At this point, it’s a wait and see if they do anything to protect their reputation or not.
        Though, to be honest, after reading of your problem, I’m honestly balancing visiting my father in his rehab home (he suffers from moderate dementia and had a major behavioral issue that was a danger to himself and those around him and is now being treated) or driving up to NY and personally visiting Mark Zuckerberg.
        I’m personally infamous for wheedling myself into meeting with someone, when necessary.
        Still, I’d prefer to wait for a little bit longer before doing just that. I’d prefer for them to do the right thing and protect their reputation.
        I’d also rather not expend what little financial resources I currently have available to travel to do this if it isn’t absolutely necessary.
        There are a few other options available, I’ll explore them as is necessary.

        But, to be honest, Leonie, your situation royally pisses me off. That is something Generals actively avoided doing while I was in the military.
        I’ll keep your current problem well in mind and its time sensitivity. I’ll likely be experiencing a similar situation in the somewhat near future.

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  20. Excellent post, Hank, thanks for cataloging the hypocrisy and low standards set by Meryl Dorey and perpetuated by her devotees.
    I also copped some bans over the last couple of weeks. Pathetic, juvenile tactics at the base of it, and if the AVN, their President, and their Public Spokesperson thinks that is going to make me cease in my efforts to ensure that they are held responsible for their dangerous misinformation and fear mongering; or the financial shenanigans then they are going to be sorely disappointed.

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  22. Leonie Price says:

    I am currently working my way through a number of bans by “Karen Little”. These were put in place after Christmas. They were reported while I was using Facebook to advise relatives OF THE DEATH OF MY FATHER, and was helping spread word of the funeral. As I was obviously busy with more important things I still haven’t had a chance to properly log in and receive all the notes of condolence from the last week. Do you want to read the heinous post that provoked this ban? “@Karen: “In any case, it isn’t short term side effects from vaccination that bother me, it’s the long term negative effects ones. The ones that aren’t acknowledged such as autoimmunity.” Where is your proof to back this up? I suggest if they aren’t ‘acknowledged’ it is because there is no proof. You just saying it is so doesn’t cut it.” Yes, the AVN really are that low. At this rate it may be February before I can finally log in and reply to the notes from friends and relatives.

    • I’m sorry that happened to you, Leonie, and my thoughts are with you. This is very sad.

      • wzrd1 says:

        Sad makes one wish to weep or otherwise experience grief.
        This one enrages.

        The worst rage isn’t the emotional rage, but the stone cold and silent intellectual rage that spurs movement toward a solution.
        I know both quite well. I’m infamous for the expression of the latter.
        For, with the former, there are screams of rage, potential for violence.
        For the latter, there is pure, distilled intellect guiding action in the worst public relations nightmare imaginable or other options explored that do not involve emotional actions.

        I’m going to think this one through a bit, await a FB response, as I did get a human response that was somewhat sympathetic.
        The worst case scenario is a MAD solution. I’m quite certain it shan’t go that far, or even vaguely near it once the upper management realizes the scope of the problem (it’s not only AVN doing that crap, there are many far right groups doing the same thing on FB).

      • Leonie Price says:

        Thank you. When I first discovered the ban I was beside myself. The timing was so malicious it simply took my breath away. I have had a chance to calm down and am more philosophical now.

    • Sue says:

      So sorry to hear about your news, Leonie – grief made worse by the frustration of a childish bit of behaviour.

      IF the gloating child who instigated the bans is reading here (and I suspect they are), I hope this causes a moment’s pause. (Though, with the lack of insight shown so far, I have my doubts).

      • Leonie Price says:

        Like I said I am now philosophical about it. The karma for them is having to live being so petty and pathetic. In the end it is its own punishment.

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