After permanently banning Dr. Robert Malone, Twitter is now promoting an AP “fact-check” that claims () “mass formation psychosis”—a phrase Malone used on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast—is “an unfounded theory.”
However, the source AP used to fact-check Dr. Malone has previously claimed the only way to fight COVID-19 is to “nudge and encourage” the public to “do the right thing” by using “social and behavioral sciences” to align people’s beliefs “with the recommendations of epidemiologists and public health experts,” as detailed in a Nature article from 2020.
“Until we get a vaccine, our only real tools are behavioral. We have to think through the lens of behavioral science,” wrote New York University assistant professor of psychology Jay Van Bavel. “What can we do to nudge and encourage and cajole and motivate people to do the right thing?”
In the Nature article, Van Bavel said that “insights from the social and behavioural sciences can be used to help align human behaviour with the recommendations of epidemiologists and public health experts.”
He even talked about using fear as a means to control people: “A meta-analysis found that targeting fears can be useful in some situations, but not others: appealing to fear leads people to change their behaviour if they feel capable of dealing with the threat, but leads to defensive reactions when they feel helpless to act. The results suggest that strong fear appeals produce the greatest behaviour change only when people feel a sense of efficacy, whereas strong fear appeals with low-efficacy messages produce the greatest levels of defensive responses.”
Additionally, Van Bavel used a quote from Nazi general Joseph Goebbels to point out that propaganda is most insidious when the “manipulated” public believes they are “acting on their own free will.”