Comments Are Effective

Via Facebook:

Commentary accompanying anti-smoking public service announcements (PSAs) in online forums like YouTube has an impact on the PSA’s overall effectiveness. Both negative and positive comments accompanying PSAs degrade the persuasiveness of the videos.

According to researchers from the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication, viewer commentary on PSAs have become an integral part of a PSA’s overall message.

“One thing is very clear: It is no longer possible to consider the influence of news or other messages in the public information environment apart from the comments which follow them,” write Rui Shi, a doctoral candidate at Annenberg, and Profs. Paul Messaris and Joseph N. Cappella.

I guess that means that if you write “Baloney!” under an antismoking ad, it really does make it less persuasive.

“The detrimental effect of comments […] seems to suggest anti-smoking PSAs would be better off without comments, especially if the PSAs are strong or if the target audience is somewhat ready to quit smoking,” they write. The power of audience participation via social media is clearly a double-edge sword.

I must remember that.

But it isn’t really very surprising. I’m very often as interested in the comments under something as I am in the main item.

And if comments aren’t permitted, I tend to wonder why. I usually conclude that they’re trying to shut people up, or they don’t want to know what anyone else thinks.

Which happens to be true for Tobacco Control.

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About Frank Davis

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48 Responses to Comments Are Effective

  1. harleyrider1978 says:

    if the target audience is somewhat ready to quit smoking………. They hope that’s why folks were watching it. Theres a lot to be said for fighting these bastards everyday………. WE ARE WINNING and they know it. This study proves that…………….I actually think its TC’s way of trying to get comments abolished so they can have all the voice as we have seen they want all opposition silenced and they lost yesterday when the courts voted that bloggers are the same as reporters and have the same rights as the press,meaning each of us has that right!

    • Frank J says:

      Harley, mate, the point is that here at ground level, on the street, there’s never been anything to win. The vast majority do not, and never have, given a shit about smoking. For example even a majority of non smokers who may well like the ban for their own reasons, consider it well out of order to completely ban it from indoors.

      The simple problem is that these very few but well funded (particularly by Pharma) anti’s have, over 50 years, worked themselves into a position to drown the majority out, to be able to close down or ignore all opposition and, in several ways, to succeed in closing the ears of successive imbecilic authorities who, concious of their ‘vote’, will believe anything filtered through to them that has the title ‘popular’ or ‘expert on it. And these people are a small group. I think it was Imperial Tobacco who identified about 100 world wide and only about 10, here in the UK.

      Representation is our problem. Presently, very few, for some reason, seem prepared to do it. They can’t all believe it. They must have an extremely limited supply of brain cells if they do. We need one or a group of influentials who are prepared to stand up and shout ‘NO! this is all shit and here’s why!’ But there has to be a caveat for them to do so. Find a caveat and they’ll do it.

  2. As I said in TobakkoNacht: we have a window of truly effective Free Speech today on the Internet where we’re on a level playing field with the big money boys who exert so much control over traditional media. We need to do everything we can to keep that window open by using it well and effectively and keeping the Antis from forcing it closed. If you go to YouTube and look at the antismoking videos or go to the antismoking websites I think you’ll generally find that they are *deathly* afraid of providing us with any form of free speech: they know that they lose in such confrontations and they know that they’re best hope is to play their well-crafted propaganda cards and soundbites without affording any public opportunity for their questioning.

    – MJM

  3. Some other Tom says:

    That’s fascinating, yet intuitive. I love reading comments on articles – they always take on a life of their own, with bickering and new tangential topics coming into the fray. Often it is amusing to discover what really motivates people or how they end up justifying what they believe in.

    I too, am leery when I see something posted where comments are disabled. I’ll go out on a limb and predict that next for them, TC, will be to upload media complete with ready made comments, the majority agreeing with them and one or two (poorly written) ones against, then the comments will be ‘disabled’. That way they can keep the illusion going that they reflect ‘people on the street’ who don’t have a voice, the disenfranchised… I’ve always thought it fascinating the whole concept of TC at all, the fact that everyday they have to claim something bigger, worse, more evil, more disgusting about tobacco/smokers/smoking. If it truly was any or all of those things; it would be evident – you wouldn’t need to create massive campaigns and denormalize people or treat them as subhuman. And everyday, their campaign needs to be reinforced and amped up a little bit. It’s because the lie doesn’t linger in daylight. If they disappeared tomorrow and people were able to decide for themselves the entire thing would become the topic of jokes told over cigarettes in bars.

    It’s intuitive because it reminds me of a psychology experiment I saw not too long ago. It was a group of 8 or so people (all of them a part of the eperiment except one) responding to a ‘teacher’ and questions. Eventually the group begins picking, in larger numbers, the wrong answer to very simple and obvious things – which line is longest, etc. Eventually the test subject begins to answer along with them, knowing that the answer is wrong. Conformity and trust in the mass opinion is stronger than individual thought in most…

    I wonder if it is because lies and most of what TC resorts to is meant to invoke an emotional response – anger, fear primarily – and they need to be constantly inflated and reimagined – lest they lose the power, the shock and awe.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Trust me it doesn’t take much to reduce a TC ADVOCATE to their basic level that of a Bigot. After they’ve lost they go str8 into well it stinks and I have to wash my hair and its disgusting habit………… Then I hit em with ” Well disgust isn’t enuf in the eyes of the law as justification for criminal law now is it.”

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Just last week here in Kentucky I had one of them on the phone under false pretences that openly said oh they are mean in those comments sections……….Then we did a tit for tat on fighting the battle and where our weaknesses were and she well our only strong point is the asthma story………. Then I told her that’s not even that good as their nearly 40,000 other triggers out there besides and this was the best that she should be looking for nicotine inhalers to fight asthma attacks soon as they actually are working at using nicotine to fight asthma in research at this very moment Ive already read of!

    • Frank Davis says:

      the lie doesn’t linger in daylight.

      Very true. And so it takes a lot of work to keep it alive. I Wonder if the fact that they’re screaming louder and louder about tobacco, alcohol, sugar, etc, means that they’re having to work very hard to keep the lies in the air, because people are increasingly switching off. They’re losing credibility, and so they’re shouting louder. And finding more and more dangerous things everywhere.

      I sometimes wonder if even antismoking zealots are getting sick of it.

      • Rose says:

        I think they probably are, Frank, it was all going to be so easy once they got some political clout behind them.

        “Godber recollected that he had said in 1962 to Keith Joseph, another of his Conservative ministers, that “we really have to do something about abolishing smoking”

        “Godber replied: “No, but I want to see it reduced to an activity of consenting adults in private.”
        http://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/sir-george-godber-governments-chief-medical-officer-who-helped-to-establish-the-fledgling-national-health-service-1607201.html

        “Need there really be any difficulty about prohibiting smoking in more public places?

        The nicotine addicts would be petulant for a while, but why should we accord them any right to make the innocent suffer?”
        http: //legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/nub2aa00/pdf

        “There will be no trouble at all.
        The smokers, meek as lambs, will either stand obediently outside or refrain from smoking”

        “As you stand outside your pub or your club or your restaurant, or even your friend’s dinner party, you will find you have become part of a sad, excluded, sheepish army of no-hopers, the huddled masses who loiter, sucking deeply on their drug of choice.”
        https://cfrankdavis.wordpress.com/2011/12/30/the-great-betrayal/#comment-45096

        Now it seems to have gone horribly wrong. The “addicts” are more than petulant and will never forgive either them or their political allies.
        The drugs don’t work, the pubs started shutting shortly after the ban and haven’t stopped since, now theres the problem of e-cigs and above all else the constant and unrelenting stress of pretending it’s all been a “Huge Success”

        • Frank Davis says:

          With my added emphases:

          “And that, dear smokers, is the great alienation that you face. In the reborn, smoke-free England, prepare to become perceived as a relic. You’ve been left behind. Worse than that, you must prepare to be regarded as, well . . . ever so slightly down-market.

          As you stand outside your pub or your club or your restaurant, or even your friend’s dinner party, you will find you have become part of a sad, excluded, sheepish army of no-hopers, the huddled masses who loiter, sucking deeply on their drug of choice.”

          What an utterly obscene thing to have done to so many people! And with such grinning, clear-sighted foreknowledge! “Smokers will be exiled to the outdoors,” Deborah Arnott said. She knew too. And yet she pressed on ahead anyway.

          It was a crime. A terrible crime.

          For the sense of exclusion is indeed very great. And the alienation is profound. And all to “help create a (long overdue) mood of café culture”.Why was cafe culture ‘overdue’? What was wrong with old, convivial British pub? Is there some unstoppable tide of history that leads inexorably to European ‘cafe culture’? Is there really? Really?

        • Frank Davis says:

          Nobody seems to have told Melanie Reid that riding horses is a much more dangerous pastime than smoking cigarettes.

          She broke her neck and back in April 2010 whilst horse riding, and is now a tetraplegic. Following her accident she spent twelve months in the spinal unit of Southern General Hospital in Glasgow.

  4. harleyrider1978 says:

    We learned that about one-fifth of Dr. Bourget’s patients smoke, and an unspecified percentage of those are diagnosed with “tobacco use disorder,” the term newly adopted in the May 2013 version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM V), (Exhibit 40499).”
    http://tobaccotrial.blogspot.ca/

  5. cherie79 says:

    I always notice on comments that smokers and non smokers against the ban are mostly polite, put forward sensible compromises and are tolerant of others opinions. The TC crowds and antis immediately resort to insults, bogus statistics and abuse, no effort ever to engage in serious argument. Says it all really.

  6. harleyrider1978 says:

    Pfizers e cig is FDA APPROVED…………………..GO FIGURE

  7. harleyrider1978 says:

    bans, health, politics, studies, vaping

    Pfizer’s E-Cigarette Exposed!

    January 17, 2014 , 0 matt black

    how-does-nicotrol-inhaler-work2

    So, a “nicotine vapor cartridge” is pierced when put into an “inhaler” and you puff on it. That sounds a lot like the same products all of these cities and states are banning right now due to the “potential health risks” and “unknowns”.

    However, Pfizer’s e-cigarette is FDA approved and prescribed by doctors.

    So… Pfizer’s nicotine suspended in propylene glycol is good. But my nicotine suspended in propylene glycol is bad.

    Mine tastes like watermelon and honeydew and is delicious and doesn’t cause me to cough or have burning in my throat, while Pfizer’s admittedly does:

    “Side Effects: Many people experience mild irritation of the mouth or throat and cough when they first use the Nicotrol Inhaler. Most people get used to these effects in a short time. Stomach upset may also occur.”

    I go through 1 tank per day, while users of Nicotrol have to visit their doctor approximately 3 times per day due to the fact that they can use up to 16 cartridges per day, while only 6 cartridges come with the Nicotrol inhaler:

    “Most successful patients in the clinical trials used between
    6 and 16 cartridges a day. Best effect was achieved by frequent continuous puffing (20 minutes).”

    Nicotrol_InhalerAnd, based on Pfizer’s research on Nicotrol (which, again, is FDA approved), the super dangerous side effects of nicotine, delivered orally, not through a combustion based mechanism (ie, a cigarette), which is what’s sparking all of these bans, are:

    “…….and hiccup.”

    Okay, it’s not just the hiccups. It’s diarrhea, nausea, and hiccup, but that’s only in 3% of users of nicotine, and the same side effects are present when nicotine is delivered via a combustion based mechanism. None of which are life threatening. All of which would most likely make you stop using nicotine, whether that’s via an e-cigarette, or traditional cigarette.

    You can read Pfizer’s whole study on their e-cigarette here, which applies to the e-cigarettes people are actually using, because Pfizer’s is garbage, because.. surprise.. the taste of bitter nicotine, without additional flavors, doesn’t really appeal to people. However, add something like watermelon, or strawberry, or any other delicious flavor of your choosing, and it changes everything.

    Oh, wait, that’s right. According to Clearway, and the anti-nicotine-and-tobacco zealots, no adult would ever eat, drink, or vape something as childish as strawberry, watermelon, or chocolate. That’s why UV Vodka makes all of those delicious flavored vodkas.

    For the kids.

  8. I have been banned from posting on the Facebook pages of the Tory and Labour parties, but they always tell us how they are ‘listening’. Ironically, I have made far more derogatory remarks on the SNP’s page, yet have not been banned (yet). Although there are plenty of silly cybernats who think being ruled from Brussels is ‘independence’ to shout me down.

    And tons of MPs have unfriended me on FB and blocked me on Twitter.

    They’re listening all right: to what they want to hear.

  9. And the EU is so worried about internet ‘trolls’ that they are paying for an army of EU internet trolls to counter negative comments.

    The European Parliament is to spend almost £2 million on press monitoring and trawling Eurosceptic debates on the internet for “trolls” with whom to debate in the run-up and during euro-elections next year amid fears that hostility to the EU is growing.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/9845442/EU-to-set-up-euro-election-troll-patrol-to-tackle-Eurosceptic-surge.html

    • beobrigitte says:

      This would complement yesterday’s post nicely; I have suspected this for a while; all the anti-smoking vitriol is from PAID employees of tobacco control. Many of them are really doing a LOUSY job!

      • prog says:

        Regardless of motive, ultimately most damage the anti smoking crusade. It’s fascinating, even gratifying, to witness the BS spouted by the drones.

  10. nisakiman says:

    It’s why I am a serial commenter on all sorts of obscure articles around the world (I use Google alerts so pick up smoking related articles globally). I’ve always believed it makes a difference if I can post a comment demolishing the thrust of an article, with references back to original research, even if I’m the only naysayer. It makes people think, even if they’re fully brainwashed antis.

  11. gimper30 says:

    The lead story on Google news is Speaker of the House John Boehner’s appearance on Jay Leno’s Tonight Show last night. When asked if he would run for President, he replied that enjoys his red wine and cigarettes too much to ever want to quit. Hear, hear!

  12. harleyrider1978 says:

    The tide has turned………………

  13. harleyrider1978 says:

    John Atkinson

    Hello Michael, this piece has certainly generated much buzz which perhaps is what you were going for with your essay and note above regarding the essay. Looking at some of the threads of conversation, my biggest concern is that when you present ill-informed conclusions about something like the effects of second hand smoke, the result is further confusion and misinformation. This result could have grave consequences regarding people health – a very real impact of misinformation. I’m aware that the Council of Medical Officers of Health wrote you a letter regarding this piece, expressing their concern over the damage you may cause via your piece. I encourage you to review the sources and review of the evidence (massive body of evidence) and post another note that clarifies the issue in order to repair some of the damage.

    http://www.cbc.ca/thesundayedition/2014/01/22/an-update-secondhand-smoke-and-cancer/

    My comment back: if it gets posted

    John Davidson

    @John Atkinson; John since you now openly admit that Mr Enright has been officially threatened via a letter from the Council of Medical Officers of Health.

    Perhaps youd like to share the active members who provoked this letter against a citizen expressing his views about this Junk Science being used to justify criminal laws against normal law abiding citizens.

    Lung Cancer a Different Disease in Smokers and Nonsmokers

    PHILADELPHIA — Lung cancer that develops in smokers is not the same disease as lung cancer that develops in people who’ve never touched a cigarette, a new study finds.

    There are nearly twice as many DNA changes in the tumors of people who have never smoked than in the tumors of people who smoke, which suggests the cancer of “never-smokers” is different from smokers’ cancer, said Kelsie Thu, a Ph.D. candidate at the BC Cancer Research Center in Canada.

    “We think this finding provides evidence that never-smoker and smoker lung cancers are different, and suggests they arise through different molecular pathways,” Thu told MyHealthNewsDaily. “Never-smokers might be exposed to a carcinogen, not from cigarettes, that causes their tumors to have more DNA alterations and promotes lung cancer development.”

    ……………………………Follow up comment

    John Davidson

    @John Atkinson I will ask you were Heather Crowes Tumors ever analyzed to determine their origin.

    Seeing as how you abused her to be the Poster child for SECOND HAND SMOKE to pass the unjustified Indoor smoking ban in Canada.

    • cherie79 says:

      It is not quite that straightforward as that. I had/have squamus which is the usual for smokers, however I know of several smokers who have adenocarcinoma more usual for non smokers, sometimes you even get a mixture of both. Same for small cell, rare in non smokers but it does occur and is usually dx very late as not suspected. If they would just lay off smoking as the cause of all lung cancer maybe they would try to find out the various possible causes.

  14. Junican says:

    I recently had the same thoughts as Frank about the need of TC to continuously increase the horrors they claim. Let us consider two TV adverts:
    1. Is for a car.
    2. Is describing the ‘dangers’ of smoking.

    What is behind the ads?
    In the case of 1, it is “Buy this car – it’s the best!”
    In the case of 2, it is “Do what we say, you cunt”

    The makers of ad 1 can repeat it ad inf. without it losing its effect because the message appeals to the desires of people, but the makers of ad 2 find that the effect of their ad very quickly falls away. This is because people soon ‘switch off’ when they encounter unpleasant things.
    The failure of TC to have much effect, as a result of people ‘switching off’, explains their need to become more and more aggressive, untruthful and demanding. In the end, they will be seen for the bullies, bigots and liars that they are. That will be their downfall eventually.

  15. beobrigitte says:

    “The detrimental effect of comments […] seems to suggest anti-smoking PSAs would be better off without comments, especially if the PSAs are strong or if the target audience is somewhat ready to quit smoking,” they write. The power of audience participation via social media is clearly a double-edge sword.

    So, they DO KNOW that virtually no-one likes them and that they are re-using the same lame arguments that my Grandparents + parents became to hear to the point of throwing up!

    People do voice their opinion in comments, that is what they are there for!! I ALWAYS read comments – they reflect many different aspects of the same issue. Articles that do not allow comments usually are not worth the paper they are written on/the broadband “space” used pulling them up. Too one sided.

    Both negative and positive comments accompanying PSAs degrade the persuasiveness of the videos.

    Firstly: I AM an adult and do NOT wish to be persuaded, less even “nudged”.
    Secondly: By now we expect ANYTHING and EVERYTHING brainless from tobacco control.
    This leads to a question: Can I pursue a law suit against tobacco control for abuse? They abuse me, as a law abiding citizen, claiming I am a fourth-hand citizen; incite hatred against me; throw me out of every building, even the ones I actually PAY for service?; they deny treatment on feeble excuses; invade MY property and are working towards my disappearance on the face of this planet.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      The PSA are a bloody joke………….kid says grandpa how long you been smoking…….then the kid laughs at TC’s claims.

  16. harleyrider1978 says:

    Monday’s Lead Letter: The phony compassion of liberals

    No one has more compassion, empathy or concern for others than liberals in the United States.

    Liberals are so kind, caring and full of concern that it frustrates, baffles and bewilders them when everyone else does not think exactly as they do.

    “Like, why can’t those knuckle dragging, conservative neanderthals realize we truly know what is best for them and all others?”

    Consider the Second Amendment to the Constitution that guarantees all citizens the right to own and bear arms.

    Liberals — that intellectually superior group — don’t want to own firearms.

    And they don’t want anyone else to, either.

    All citizens of the United States — and the whole world — know the dangers of cigarette smoking. Many Americans have stopped.

    Joining this battle for a healthy set of lungs, and it’s certainly commendable, are liberals.

    But it’s got to be done their way.

    First, they demanded separate sections in restaurants.

    Then, they decided that the threat of “secondhand smoke” was too much and insisted there be no smoking at all inside restaurants.

    Next they attacked the business places and were responsible for “smoke free” working spaces.

    Then they decree no more gathering around outside doors.

    They have even promoted legislation to prohibit smoking.

    Bet you’ve never seen a conservative trying to ban either guns or cigarettes.

    They may choose not to own a firearm or not to smoke, but you won’t find them publicly urging antigun laws or legislation to ban smoking.

    It gets back to how all of us look at our society.

    Do we want small government, or do we want a nanny state to rule us from birth to the grave?

    Now, liberals — along with libertarians — are promoting the right to smoke pot.

    It has recently been legalized in Colorado and Washington state.

    So it’s OK to smoke and ingest the pollutants from marijuana into human lungs but not that of good old American tobacco.

    Of course one way they justify it is by professing that it is a medicine and badly needed by the medical establishment in America.

    Philip Harris, Jacksonville
    http://members.jacksonville.com/opinion/premium-opinion/2014-01-24/story/mondays-lead-letter-phony-compassion-liberals?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+JacksonvillecomOpinion+%28Jacksonville.com%3A+Opinion%29

  17. magnetic01 says:

    Concerning this “update” article:
    http://www.cbc.ca/thesundayedition/2014/01/22/an-update-secondhand-smoke-and-cancer/

    I posted a number of comments to the original article. They all passed moderation and were published.

    I posted a number of comments on this second article. These all became, one by one, “content disabled”, i.e., censored.

    • Magnetic, I think they’ll disable a comment if it pretty much just repeats a point made in the comments to the first article. I had one or two disabled as well and I think that was the basis. I guess they figure that anyone reading the comments in the followup will almost certainly have read the comments in the primary so it’s being treated as though we’re simply multiple-posting the same comment on the same thread. Not too unreasonable.

      I’m surprised they’ve allowed our comments at all. The NY Times and several other outlets have pretty much shut down comments on smoking stories totally in order to ensure that only the party-line gets out there in the public eye.

      – MJM

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        I think its a glitch in their commenting software I had the same trouble and then after a repost not in the reply box but in the top comment box they appeared. But today and yesterday no problem at all perhaps Enright is doing the approvals himself now and got rid of a Nazi that was doing it.

  18. harleyrider1978 says:

    It doesn’t appear our dirty lil friend is going to answer back,they seldom do!

  19. waltc says:

    @ Junican
    I agree with your premise (except that they’re also pitching to “dickheads”) but take it a step further. The grosser they get, the more we tune out (lilterally– I’ve developed some enviable hand-eye coordination by pouncing on the remote at the sound of the first gasp). If their response to this, however, is to get even grosser (more slanderous, more hectoring) we’ll pounce even faster and in greater and greater numbers. Defining a death spiral for the TC message.

    I’ve often wondered if television and radio stations are aware that when they run these ads, they lose their existing audience, often for at least the rest of the regular commercials in the block and even on occasion for the rest of the hour. Nor do I imagine that nonsmokers like to have their idle moments of entertainment interrupted by dire warnings and medical porn. They ought to be informed that running this stuff is against their interests and those of their paying sponsors.

    OT: Frank.
    I’m just curious. What time of (your) day do you usually post new articles?

    • “They ought to be informed that running this stuff is against their interests and those of their paying sponsors.”

      Unfortunately they don’t have a lot of choice: they’re REQUIRED to run a certain amount of PSAs.

      The only way around it is if they’re willing to work some social engineering into the dialogue and plots of the programs themselves. Showing characters getting lung cancer and blaming it on smoking, inserting dialogue about how nasty drug users, alcoholics, or smokers are, etc, can all be used to “write off” certain amounts of PSA obligation. And the audience, who normally is experienced enough to put up their psychological guards against advertising, isn’t expecting it in the midst of their favorite sitcom — so it just goes in subliminally as “the truth of what’s out there.”

      Can we spell O R W E L L anyone?

      :/
      MJM

    • Frank Davis says:

      After midnight, Walt. And usually before 3 am. That’s prime time for me.

  20. harleyrider1978 says:

    O/T but right on

    from longrider

    RIP Freedom of Speech

    So dies freedom of speech in the UK.

    Two people have been jailed for sending abusive messages on Twitter to feminist campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez.

    Isabella Sorley, 23, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison and John Nimmo, 25, of South Shields, was jailed for eight weeks.

    They had pleaded guilty at Westminster Magistrates’ Court to improper use of a communications network.

    http://www.longrider.co.uk/blog/2014/01/24/rip-freedom-of-speech/

  21. Pingback: A Ticking Time Bomb | Frank Davis

  22. jaxthefirst says:

    “Both negative and positive comments accompanying PSAs degrade the persuasiveness of the videos.”

    Emphasis mine. Well, that’s a surprising little snippet. Like most others on here, I’m always intensely suspicious about any article which disallows comments and, also like others, I often find the “onward debate” sparked by comments as interesting to read as the original article. But I’ve always assumed that when it comes to the drones, they’d be sitting there nodding in agreement whenever a fellow anti puts fingers to keyboard and starts spouting all the usual old stuff. But as this study doesn’t even seem to mention any “reinforcing effect” of already-held opinions it would seem that this isn’t the case.

    Maybe, as Cherie points out above, the irrational spitefulness contained in the average anti comment is starting to irritate even erstwhile ban supporters. Do they really want the impression put forth that people like themselves who approve of the ban are all like that? Probably not. They’ve spent decades coming up with platitudes such as “we’re not anti-smokers, we’re just anti smoking,” or “we’re not being unreasonable – we’re just asking people to step outside for five minutes if they want to smoke,” and although most of us smokers knew that these reasonable-sounding comments were just a front, these frothy-mouthed loons are really blowing their cover in quite a major way. The kind of antis who let rip the moment any smoking-related article appears on the net are, from the point of view of the whole anti-smoking movement, a huge PR disaster. As Leg-Iron has so often pointed out, the Righteous always end up imploding in a major way. This time it’s their own supporting drones who are doing the job for them.

    But they’re right in a corner, aren’t they? To try and re-balance the internet-reading public’s view of anti-smokers they’d have to give some ground to smokers and smoking and (whisper it quietly, folks) start talking about compromises and middle-grounds, and start saying unthinkeable things like “I think the ban is sensible as it stands, but enough is enough now”; but at the same time – being of the mindset that all antis are – it’s almost impossible for them to do this without feeling as if they’re getting into bed with the Devil himself.

    I suspect that the response will be damage limitation, and that the anti-smoking movement will gradually wind down the number of articles/pieces that appear on the internet which allow comments. The only trouble with this is that – as Debs Arnott discovered to her cost (remember her no-comments-allowed blog?) – it’s just too easy for savvy pro-choicers to lift items wholesale from their original site, and reproduce them somewhere else, but this time with the facility for comments enabled. Or maybe they’ll just restrict themselves to the one-way mediums of radio/TV/newspapers etc. Which, of course, means that the Internet – surely the fastest-growing means for people to obtain whatever information they want about anything – will be left pretty much entirely to the pro-choicers who, because they aren’t paid to lie, remain undaunted by the possibility of dissenting commenters.

    So, it’s all good news, then!

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Its just plain obvious unless they keep up the daily B.S. claims the whole damnable business becomes forgotton by the public. Its a politicians business to know that the public minds memory is only about 3 -6 weeks then they forget it…………… With states cutting TC budgets they cant put out the daily BS they depend more and more on making news that costs them nothing that reporters will report on. Or letters to editors. That’s what you do when you are bankrupt but have enough to pay for a few employees until that money runs out.

      Now Big Tobacco is going after states for lower MSA payments and the states in turn are cutting TC to the bare bones and many cutting the quit lines altogether. The ACS was making about 12 mill a year running the nationwide quit lines but not sure how much of that is even left for them.

      Don’t forget many states took lump sum money from wall st on the MSA and they have to come up with that money to pay back plus interest if the tobacco companies cut the payments because of lost market shares. Big Tobacco is fairly smart and they know how to play the idiots against themselves in the long run it now is apparent.

  23. The CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) seems to normally leave their commenting boards alive for at least a week or two. After a few embarrassing moments for some of the bigwigs in the Canadian antismoking movement on Michael Enright’s board over the last two days they’ve closed down the commenting in under 60 hours at:

    http://www.cbc.ca/thesundayedition/2014/01/22/an-update-secondhand-smoke-and-cancer/

    I guess this way it won’t be so painfully obvious that Schabo, Atkinson, and Wakelee have nothing to say in their own defense once they’re challenged on a *real* “level playing field.”

    – MJM

  24. Pingback: Still Petulant After All These Years | Frank Davis

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