Hoax: Madagascar Pranks March Against Monsanto

Critical Thinker

Senior Member.
Madagascar Against Monsanto: A Hoax to Promote Quality Science Discussions!

 

Pete Tar

Senior Member.
Yeah, that one sort of really hits the first-world privilege guilt button. Wonder how they're taking it.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I've moved this to its own thread, as it's very interesting. I'm generally against hoaxes, as they generally just seem to strengthen the resolve of the people being hoaxed. They take it as an attempt by "them" to trick them. The recent example with Max Bliss shows this quite well.

But being pranked by a student in Madagascar? Interesting - although I think the likely outcome is still going to be them thinking it's a clever Monsanto Psyops.
 

Hevach

Senior Member.
I don't like the idea of pulling this kind of hoax on any people, either, but... man, some of those signs are just Poe's Law incarnate. "Monsanto Kills & Eats Baby Lemurs for Profit" is barely a sentence, let alone economically feasible.
 
I can see the downside of pranking people in this way, but must admit to enjoying the lulz. I hope that this is a true story and I'd encourage kid starts up a Madagascar Skeptics group.

"One MAM Organizer said to me that many people really would
rather go blind than eat golden rice. "Its really that important to them" she posted in a
facebook comment."

---Wow. Who's the blind one here?
 

Oxymoron

Banned
Banned
Except you don't have to eat Golden Rice to avoid going blind:

http://goldenriceissue.weebly.com/my-two-cents.html
The blindness is simply the result of a vitamin A deficiency, (Beta Carotene, which gives the golden colour). The main thing is to address the poverty and ensure that vitamin A is available.

There are many better alternatives to Golden Rice for this.
http://www.greenpeace.org/internati...eport/2001/1/vitamin-a-natural-sources-vs.pdf
But I guess no one informed the hoaxer about this.

The anti GMO people, are simply normal people, some better informed or educated than others. No doubt there are some people who will make silly remarks and it seems the hoax was aimed at luring such people. It would be very easy to only select the less well thought out comments from the group, rather than the more rational and informed arguments. I wonder if that was the intent?
 

Pete Tar

Senior Member.
I think the intent was to see if anyone challenged them at all, ie, would the 'better informed' know and challenge obvious nonsense when they saw it if it was still supporting their 'side'?
And the answer was 'no'.

ETA - that phenomenon of course is not exclusive to the anti-GMO movement, it can be demonstrated in any group that having to correct someone is often a form of confrontation and people mostly like to avoid confrontation. Similar 'tests' have been done on science and sceptic-minded groups too (citation needed), but the difference is such groups try to foster critical analysis and encourage corrections (and yes it does happen here despite what you may think Oxy), whereas most other movements are about solidarity against a common goal and critical analysis of their own movement and its facts is somewhat counter-productive to that.

Basically it shows that the bulk of the antiGMO movement is not very science or critical thinking based though it likes to claim it is (not exactly news to most so a demonstration of the obvious).
 
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Oxymoron

Banned
Banned
I think the intent was to see if anyone challenged them at all, ie, would the 'better informed' know and challenge obvious nonsense when they saw it if it was still supporting their 'side'?
And the answer was 'no'.
How do you know that? It could easily be that the hoaxer decided to ignore the less ill informed responses. In fact it seems highly unlikely that the hoaxer had 'no responsible interactions' from the community, so why not mention those?
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
How do you know that? It could easily be that the hoaxer decided to ignore the less ill informed responses. In fact it seems highly unlikely that the hoaxer had 'no responsible interactions' from the community, so why not mention those?

The point of the prank was to expose the unquestioning nature of the MAM people. And that's what it did.
 

Oxymoron

Banned
Banned
The point of the prank was to expose the unquestioning nature of the MAM people. And that's what it did.
Exactly, 'That was the point of the 'prank'', what better way to achieve 'the point' than to selectively use responses from a broad section of normal people by using the less informed and articulate responses. Like shooting fish in a barrel really. That's the problem when someone has total editorial control of what responses/comments they choose to utilise. Anything that doesn't 'fit their point' can be hidden away.

Without full disclosure the 'prank' is meaningless at best and at worst, it can be said it was done deliberately to disparage the whole of the worldwide movement, (which includes scientists, politicians and eminent thinkers) by selecting a few badly thought out comments from the fringes.

BTW, bit of an oxymoron there Mick when you consider that these people are being attacked precisely because they do question.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
BTW, bit of an oxymoron there Mick when you consider that these people are being attacked precisely because they do question.

They don't question things that align with their existing beliefs. They question things that they already think are wrong. It's all Monsanto = Evil, GMO = Harmful, Natural = Best. That's not questioning, that's dogma.
 

Hevach

Senior Member.
They don't question things that align with their existing beliefs. They question things that they already think are wrong. It's all Monsanto = Evil, GMO = Harmful, Natural = Best. That's not questioning, that's dogma.

It's the difference between "skepticism" and "disbelief." MAM does not question, they state. They do not base their beliefs on evidence, they select evidence based on their beliefs.

(Thought I posted this last night, but it seems my tablet browser can't activate the post button)
 
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