Anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers have infiltrated much of social media in a way that's of concern as the new COVID-19 vaccines are rolled out. Between July and August alone, engagement with anti-vaccine Facebook posts trebled, according to analysis from the Guardian.
Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook have all promised to take measures to deal with misleading content about vaccines and vaccine safety, as well as other misinformation surrounding masks and the virus, from removing posts to deleting groups and users in violation of the rules.
In certain corners of the Internet, anti-maskers and misinformation are rife. One such corner is the "No New Normal" subreddit. Typical posts in the group show masked sheep (get it? They're SHEEPLE!) and likening obedience to mask rules with obedience to rules imposed by Nazi Germany.
Fortunately, there are heroes out there who will correct people within these groups, or at least annoy them thoroughly. A user that goes by the name of carlamonimacaroni took to the subreddit in order to annoy them, in a post titled "one of my friends was wearing a mask and died".
"I f***ing hate this s**t. He used to be anti mask like me. Then he started eating up that lib bs. He started thinking that he would get Covid and die," the post reads. "He got paranoid. So he started wearing a mask. Eventually he was a full blown doomer. And guess what? He f*****g died. At 27 years old he f*****g died. I can’t believe he ate that s**t up like Candy. He wore a mask, and died. But you’ll never hear about that on the news. F**k this bulls**t. F**k it all."
The post, completely straight-faced, received earnest responses from people eager to blame a coronavirus death on masks (which, while annoying, are effective at slowing the spread).
At this point, the user revealed the troll, and informed everyone (in many separate replies) that their friend had been hit by a car.
Another conversation read as follows:
"What does him wearing a mask have to do with this tragedy?"
"He got hit by a car."
"What does that have to do with masks?"
"This is the funniest thing I have ever read, don't you dare try to ruin this."
"Why is it funny? My friend died!"