On the morning of Tuesday the 16th of November ‘UCD Life Society’ shared a Facebook Post, which was quickly removed. The post was deemed to have content, which surrounded vaccines, that spread ‘misinformation’.

The post, which was spotted by The College Tribune prior to removal, was quoted stating “unsafe vaccines can cause autism”. The post also contained an image charting the number of people who are diagnosed as autistic. The reporter could not obtain any record of the post as it was swiftly removed.

A graph displaying Autism diagnosis increases, used in the original post.

The post may have been removed as a result of Facebook’s new policy which aims to “curb the spread of misinformation and false news.”

The College Tribune reached out to UCD Life Society in order to understand why the post was removed, and whether the Society stood by the sentiments shared.

Vaccination Stance

We were informed “Life society opposes unsafe vaccines; we don’t have any problem with vaccines provided that they are safe.”

The Life Society was  asked to define a vaccine it deemed safe. A spokesperson for the Society responded that a “safe vaccine would be a vaccine that does not cause death, harm or injury to anyone who is meant to receive it.”

The Society continued to defend their views by referring to a Robert De Nero interview, where De Nero appears to question whether his son’s autism diagnosis has been caused by vaccines provided by pharmaceutical companies. However, the overarching point is the society believes in the use of “vaccines once they are safe”.

The spokesperson gave examples of unsafe vaccines including testimony from “Irish schoolgirls who had their health destroyed by the HPV vaccine.”

The Life Society also referred to a “committee member’s close friend “who had her life destroyed by a similar sleep disorder that forced her to drop out of school after she took the HPV vaccine.” The Life Society then went on to describe how she “made several attempts on her own life” but is “confined to her room today.”

The Society then questioned The College Tribune on whether the publication opposes “the distribution of unsafe vaccines” and suggested The Tribune undertake “real journalism” by speaking to “the school children who had their lives destroyed.”

Misinformative Posts

The UCD Life Society informed The College Tribune they “actually have no idea what happened to it” regarding the removed Facebook post. The society acknowledged the removal, stating “Facebook… recently began censoring posts related to vaccines which they deem to be misinformation.”

The Life Society defended the post, stating it was from credible sources, such as the Huffington Post, and Centres for Disease Control (CDC) whistle-blower, Dr William Thompson.

The Huffington Post article referred to by the society is a blog article for the publication, written by Lawrence Solomon. Solomon is a Canadian journalist and executive director of a non-governmental Canadian environmental policy organisation. He has no qualifications in immunology, or in any medical field.

Dr William Thompson claims that a CDC study “had omitted mention of a correlation they found between vaccination and autism in African-American boys”. The CDC later confirmed any correlation ceased to exist, after in-depth analysis of the study participants in 2015.

The Life Society further informed The College Tribune they “oppose the use of aborted baby cells in the development of vaccines and any other drugs.”

The College Tribune reached out to the UCD Societies Council on the status of UCD Life Society and what their policy is on Societies spreading misinformation. They have yet to respond.

The UCD Life Society is an unregistered Society from University College Dublin. The Society was formed during the build-up to the referendum on the 8th Amendment, in the Autumn of 2017. They believe “all human beings deserve love and protection, especially defenseless human beings in their mother’s wombs”.

The Life Society has since removed their pages on both Facebook and Instagram.

Luke Murphy, Co-Editor