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IPFS News Link • Pandemic

MIT Researchers Infiltrated a Covid-19 Lockdown/Mask Skeptics Community:

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There is an amazing paper out by mostly MIT researchers that was published earlier this year (ht Mark Changizi)

The researchers are unquestionably faucists but in their infiltration and reporting on COVID-19 lockdown/mask skeptics, they are forced to admit that the skeptics have a sophisticated understanding of how science visualizations are constructed and the skeptics' understanding is grounded in scientific rigor.

 From the paper: Viral Visualizations: How Coronavirus Skeptics Use Orthodox Data Practices to Promote Unorthodox Science Online by Crystal Lee (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Tanya (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Gabrielle Inchoco (Wellesley College), Graham M. Jones (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Arvind Satyanarayan (Massachusetts Institute of Technology):

This paper investigates how these activist networks use rhetorics of scientific rigor to oppose these public health measures. Far from ignoring scientific evidence to argue for individual freedom, antimaskers often engage deeply with public datasets and make what we call "counter-visualizations"—visualizations using orthodox methods to make unorthodox arguments—to challenge mainstream narratives that the pandemic is urgent and ongoing. By asking community members to "follow the data," these groups mobilize data visualizations to support significant local changes.

Indeed, anti-maskers often reveal themselves to be more sophisticated in their understanding of how scientific knowledge is socially constructed than their ideological adversaries, who espouse naive realism about the "objective" truth of public health data.