Thursday, January 6, 2011

Who the tweet are you?

I read this great article about Donald Triplett, the first person in the world to be diagnosed with autism (I'd already mentioned it before in my Pants on Fire blog entry). I figured I'd share it with my new-found friends from the blogging world on Twitter:
I soon got a tweet-mention in reply from someone I've never heard of, implying that autism is man-made, due to the use of mercury in vaccines and such:

I replied with a polite: "thanks, but no thanks". Well, anyway, I gave him all the politeness he deserved: 

Tanner's Dad, to show me he does read books, pointed me to The Age of Autism: Mercury, Medicine, and a Man-made Epidemic:

From what I've gathered since, the book is about how mercury in vaccines causes autism. To quote one of the reviewers on Amazon (this reviewer gave the book one star, where one is the lowest possible score):
It speaks volumes about this book that days after its release, yet another of the dozens of studies directly debunking its claims was published in Pediatrics. The only response the authors have on their website is to simply dismiss all inconvenient research as part of a giant, invisible conspiracy.

I won't go into detail about why this book is crap. If you do need convincing, here is a blog which can probably explain this sort of thing better than I can: 

I also learned that Tanner's Dad works for some sort of Jenny McCarthy website. Anyway, there's a great feature in Twitter called "blocking". I used it to make my problem of the unwelcomed heckler go away. Not before dropping one last satisfying zing, though:

I'm not surprised that this sort of book can make a lot of money. Learning your child is autistic can be a very confusing time in your life. There are no easy answers. People would love to blame some outside force for bringing autism into their lives. Preferably a faceless corporation which might be sued one day. A few unscrupulous people out there are preying on the confused masses, and are making tons of money selling books like this one.

What surprised me was how this guy came out of nowhere in what felt like a random sniper attack. Do you think the book's publishers are paying some guys to watch blogs and Twitter for stuff about autism? He came out of nowhere when I tweeted a link to an article on autism from a newspaper! Have any of you had similar experiences with your tweets? Your blogs?


  1. Not yet, and I certainly hope I don't!

    It is a very interesting debate and I claim to have no proven theory. We did not get Master J immunised (our youngest diagnosed ASD) after Master S did have his full immunisations. Master J was still diagnosed with an ASD even without any immunisations. We then had him immunised with most (left one out I think). I don't think there has been any significant improvement or extra delay since the immunisations took place.

    It is indeed a very interesting topic and if I was a scientist, I would be enthralled by it! However I am not.

    I am intrigued however by ridiculous people who commented rudely on your twit - imbeciles I say!

  2. @SquigglyRainbow It's not really a "debate" anymore. Anybody who still sits on the fence on this one is a bit misinformed and should do some more research. I've been surprised to find educated people from posh suburbs of Melbourne aren't immunising their kids!

  3. It doesn't look like Blaxill and Olmsted have made big bucks on their Age of Autism book, fortunately; Left Brain Right Brain had numbers on it and Wakefield's book back in December; they'd both sold around 3,000 copies.

  4. It's amazing how people can set their searches in Twitter and pounce. I got about 20 weight loss related follows when Big Daddy and I talked about his fat camp. And yesterday I sent someone a link that referenced something in Louisville and I immediately got a follow from some Louisville realtor....and the mention was only within the LINK.

  5. You can block people on Twitter? Hmmm. Um, I gotta go take care of some stuff. Be back later. Don't wait up.

  6. yep, I have been blindsided on twitter a few times. I do forget, at times, that everything I tweet is public, as in the whole of twitterworld can see it, not just the people that follow me. I have made use of the blocking function too and as it happens I have come across that tweeter you metnioned. Now to go find you, I'll be nice though :) Jen

  7. I enjoy the blocking ability :)
    and also in our case, husband and I were so scared about vaccinating Owen, that we didn't - not one of them, and BAM - still Autistic! People are uneducated and ignorant.

  8. Vanessa, get your boy his shots! Do you have any idea what polio would do to him? Or mumps?

  9. OMG I love your response. LOL! You rock!!

  10. I am so surprised that guy jumped on your tweet like that! I am not on Twitter too often, but do get tons of weird followers, some of who insist on sharing nude pictures! I work from home so whenever I tweet about that my email blows up with new followers who want to tell me about their work from home scam!