Anti-vaccine group CrazyMothers asked that those reporting on their claims stop using the term "anti-vaxxers" because they feel it is "derogatory".
The Facebook-based group tweeted that the phrase 'anti-vaxxer' is "dismissivemy [sic] simplistic, highly offensive and largely false". The group also suggested that the term marginalised women. The tweet asked for "Vaccine Risk Aware" to be used instead of anti-vaxxer.
Dear Media,— Crazymothers (@Crazymothers1) December 1, 2019
Please retire the use of the term “Anti-vaxxer.” It is derogatory, inflammatory, and marginalizes both women and their experiences. It is dismissivemy simplistic, highly offensive and largely false. We politely request that you refer to us as the Vaccine Risk Aware. pic.twitter.com/WtAyFOhLuv
The group's beliefs hinge on debunked studies linking vaccines to disease and disorders such as autism; a theory peddled by disgraced British doctor Andrew Wakefield, whose work on the subject has been pulled from every journal in which it was originally published.
In response, Twitter users suggested alternative names such as "Plague Enthusiasts".
Wonder if plague enthusiast would be more appropriate? Disease monger? Illness advocates?— 🎃 Nix 🎃 (@nickib76) December 4, 2019
Tbh anyone who thinks autism (which vaccines DO NOT cause) is worse than a dead child deserves every name thrown at them and then some! https://t.co/y9Ak8LAbQe
Another user noted that the term is intended to be derogatory.
It's supposed to be derogatory. "Vaccine Risk Aware" is a lie. If it were true, you wouldn't be an anti-vaxxer.— Eric Zeh (@EricZeh) December 3, 2019
Others expressed exceptional anger at the tweet.
It’s derogatory and inflammatory because THERE IS LITERALLY NO OTHER WAY TO GET IT THROUGH TO YOUR THICK SKULL THAT YOU ARE PUTTING OTHER PEOPLE AT RISK THROUGH YOUR SELFISH ACTIONS. Vaccines work and if you grew up in the time of polio you wouldn’t even question it. https://t.co/gmYtLyU4Z0— Aaron Hewett 🏳️🌈 (@urbancreature) December 4, 2019
A handful supported the request.
Anti-vaxxer is a derogatory term used by politicians, media, and the pharmaceutical companies who own them both, to silence and gas light parents who have children who were harmed by vaccines. Alternate labels: brave, loving, badass, educated. Not going away— Jessica Sims (@greekgoddess232) December 1, 2019
The CrazyMothers Facebook-based group alleges links between vaccines and autism, a debunked medical assertion, according to a 10-year population-wide study in Denmark which investigated the purported connection.
Doctors warn that the eradication of many viruses, including measles, requires vaccines, as it is the only form of prevention or treatment.
This comes as regions in the United States are currently undergoing a spike of measles outbreaks, the origins of which are in communities with low vaccination rates.
Measles deaths plummeted after the MMR vaccine was introduced in 1971.