A 12-year-old boy made lots of people on Facebook chuckle recently with his video, “Vaccines DO cause autism,” wherein he showed off his “evidence,” a folder full of empty sheets of paper.
Get it? That’s because vaccines don’t cause autism. The boy, Marco Arturo, who lives in Mexico, posted the video on May 24. He’s young but he’s smart and into science, and the video went, as they say, “viral,” with nearly eight million views.
In the weeks since, he’s been written about all over the place, and because his profile in the vaccine community rose so quickly, he unsurprisingly has caught the attention of the very outspoken anti-vaxx community, who are wont to see conspiracy wherever they look. And in Marco, they have … well … have they found it?
As reported on Jezebel, some anti-vaxxers have decided that Arturo is a “hoax” who is not really “into” science at all. Arturo spent some time responding to comments on his Facebook page, but seems to have kept a sense of humor about the whole thing overall. Last week, however, the community ramped up its effort and began attacking him in earnest, and attempting to dox him. People on both Facebook and Twitter have noted repeatedly that Marco often responds quite sensibly to his critics, but his critics (the anti-vaxxers) persist in trying to “unearth” the truth about him.
Anti-vaccine blogger Levi Quackenboss speculates not only that Arturo is a “hoax” (what he could be hoaxing about is unclear) but that his parents have “made him into a pawn” and that he “does not exist.” He writes: “So who is Marco? I’m not going to post his full name out of respect for him and his parents as well as their safety, but they’ve been a little sloppy about making trails to it so they should clean that up.” Another blogger claims that there is “a lot of money” behind Arturo’s video.
Let’s be clear: Arturo is correct. Vaccines not only do not cause autism, they save millions of lives a year. And while he is clearly a precocious, smart, and well-spoken child, the science on all of this is pretty clear. So clear, in fact, that yes, even a child can grasp it.