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Breaking Vaccination Myths

Ethan Lindenberger's Talk on Vaccines Boasts the Power of the Internet

— June 26, 2019 — Keynote Trends
Ethan Lindenberger -- a high school student, delivers a TED talk on vaccines that is sincere and informed. The speech highlights the importance of accurate information, the power of choice and the ability of the Internet to inform social movements on a larger scale.

The talk on vaccines is not traditional. Ethan Lindenberger implies multiple time that he is "just a normal kid" who happened to "turn into a public story." His journey stems from the fact that he wanted to get vaccinated against conditions like polio, measles, influenza, HPV, hepatitis, and so on. Yet, his mother was against this because "she was misinformed and misled by sources that convincer her that if she was a loving parent, she wouldn't vaccinate."

Never disrespecting his mother, Ethan Lindenberger shared his desire to be assured against these conditions on Reddit, where his story quickly gained traction and he found himself in the middle of an extremely important and relevant controversy. During his talk on vaccines, the high schooler shares his thoughts on criticism, how "it leads to doubt", then to questioning, and eventually to quitting. He also shares how that might impact young individuals.

The power of social media took Ethan Lindenberger for a ride, where he presented at a Senate hearing, influenced businesses, and was even invited for a TED talk. His Reddit post motivated Amazon's removal of misinformed books about autism and vaccines from its e-commerce website and GoFundMe canceling the anti-vax campaigns on its platform.

Coming from a very sincere place, Nathan's message during his talk on vaccines is that "people resonate with people" and not the data -- that we can share and grow from personal stories.
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