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The Zuckerberg Photo

When your net worth is estimated at $42.6 billion and you are the co-founder of an online social network used daily by more than 1 billion of the world’s 7.4 billion people, anything you say or do, no matter how mundane, has the potential to become instant, bigtime news that just about everybody is commenting on.1 2 It even has the potential to stir up controversy and take over countless headlines in newspapers, magazines, and blogs.

That is precisely what happened when Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took his five-week-old daughter Max to the doctor’s office, ostensibly, to receive her first round of vaccinations (although the CDC child immunization schedule appears to recommend the first round of infant vaccinations at eight weeks). He then proceeded to post (on January 8, 2015) a photograph of the two of them on his Facebook page with the caption, “Doctor’s visit- time for vaccines!”

Predictably, the photo and the story have gone viral, giving a boost to the evolving conversation on vaccine safety and effectiveness. The same thing happened when Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Rand Paul generated news headlines last September when they offered views perceived by some to fall short of a 100% endorsement of current U.S. government vaccination policy.

On the surface, the story would seem to be unworthy of such widespread coverage. After all, it’s one baby’s visit to the doctor to get vaccinated, and it’s one father’s remarks in support of vaccines. Just how many times has this scene been played out when mothers or fathers take their children to pediatricians’ offices for “well baby” visits?

But the story really isn’t about Zuckerberg and his daughter, or the millions of likes and tens of thousands of comments posted in response by people visiting Zuckerberg’s Facebook page. If you read the articles about the “event”, what you find are quotes of peoples’ views on vaccines. Some are in favor of following the CDC’s vaccine recommendations without question; some want to use fewer vaccines or a different schedule; some don’t want to use any vaccines and some haven’t made up their minds yet. The story is in these views, because they reflect the growing debate and conversation about vaccination, health and autonomy that is taking place among families, and within towns and cities throughout the country.

Contrary to what some people would like to think, the issue of vaccines and vaccine policy is alive and well. The debate is awkward and often uncomfortable, almost always emotional and personal. But it is taking place, and it is building. Like it or not, the issue is not going away. That’s the story.

Zuckerberg has left no doubt as to his position on vaccines. On February 18, 2015, he posted the following on his Facebook page:

Vaccination is an important and timely topic. The science is completely clear: vaccinations work and are important for the health of everyone in our community.3

Fair enough. That’s one opinion, and many people vocally agree with it. Then there is the equally vocal chorus of others who don’t or are just asking for balance. For example, Amy Smith, who was quoted in article by World Tech Today. She said,

Vaccines are a pharmaceutical. The baby has a new immune system and the blood brain barrier has not formed. I don’t think it’s controversial. It’s pretty simple. A pharmaceutical carries risks. If you wanna vaccinate then great. But get the full story on what it does to your immune system to be ‘tricked’ so early in life. Ask yourself if you have a strong family history of autoimmune disorders. Know that it gives an immune system extra jobs which may lead to less ability to fight off other ailments.4

In the midst of many superficial, crass and one-sided remarks, both complimentary and critical of Zuckerberg’s photo, words and perceived motives, Smith’s thoughtful perspective tends to be the exception—a breath of fresh air. Sadly, that’s also part of the story.


1 America’s Richest Entrepreneurs Under 40. Forbes.
2 Curent World Population. Worldmeters.info
3 Mark Zuckerberg. Facebook.com Feb. 18, 2015.
4 Lunn-Romer C. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stirs up anger after supporting vaccines. World Tech Today Jan. 10, 2016.

4 Responses to The Zuckerberg Photo

  1. Redpill1 Reply

    January 14, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    The media seems to have a superpower that the rest of the world doesn’t have. Do you see anything beyond MZ sitting, with his child fully dressed in a space with a desk with a wooden bulletin board behind him? MZ and his wife, a pediatrician who is in the business of promoting vaccines, both are part of the Task Force for Global Health via their charity which includes the WHO, Gates Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, UNICEF, SAVE THE CHILDREN, CDC, and others, who go around the globe vaccinating children in third world countries, do you honestly think they can live their pregnancy, birth in the public eye and NOT make a statement saying their child has been vaccinated? Please! Being the owner of Facebook he is the ideal Poster Child for big pharma and the CDC’s agenda of mandatory vaccines for all Americans.

    The timing of the “event” is no coincidence. This time last year the country was embroiled in a rabid false flag fear mongering campaign, Measles at the Happiest Place on the Planet-Disney. It’s too early and would be extremely suspect for another “outbreak” of a fear mongering childhood illness to occur somewhere in the US that can generate the emotions and fear as the Disney event so MZ’s deceleration of vaccinating his child serves as a reminder of the Disney event. I have read over the last few days multiple online sites reminding people how important vaccination is and how a year ago there was this “horrible” outbreak of deadly measles at Disneyland. So IMHO MZ’s photo op was nothing but pure propaganda and a way for the CDC & pharma to reignite that spark of fear they worked so hard to embed in the country last year.

  2. Colorado Reply

    January 15, 2016 at 4:32 pm

    This vaccine reaction paper is ‘the press’. Whatever they’re doing on facecrook, is not ‘the press’.

  3. Kelly Reply

    January 17, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    This is yesterday’s news on facebook. Pick up the speed. Only controversy I see now are these stories about the controversy. Facebook is a fast paced social media source. Keep up or get out of the way.

  4. Colorado Reply

    January 19, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    Facebook is not media itself, and cannot be trusted to follow the rules of journalistic integrity. They’ve proved that facebook is not to be trusted with such duties, time and time again. And there is no good business, unless it’s old business. Facebook operates as a tool to distract and discredit, and has not accomplished anything meaningful to the betterment of society, in and of itself. What did happen to Paul Walker? The dark net says he found out critical information about the differences between dirty and clean vaccines, was going to blow the whistle, and was immediately removed from the picture. I’m quite sure that the owner of facebook had special triple tested clean vaccines, and did not get the normal dirty vaccines the public receives.

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