Stephen Colbert took a break from dinging Fox News last night to mock anti-vaxxers' latest effort to skirt COVID misinformation guidelines on social media. The Late Show host explained that anti-vaxxers have developed a secret language of code words — including changing group names to things like "Dance Party" — to avoid detection by Facebook's moderators, a decision that he joked will lead to an "actual Saturday Night Fever." Added Colbert, "The only thing spreading faster than COVID variants is COVID misinformation."
While "Facebook has been hunting down or removing groups that present misleading or sensationalized information about vaccines," said Colbert, anti-vaxxers are getting around the platform by coming up with euphemisms, like 'Dance Party.' What will this lead to, you may ask? "Get ready for new dance crazes like Actual Saturday Night Fever, the Harlem Ache, and The Floss (Of Taste and Smell)," ripped the late night host.
Colbert explained that anti-vaxxers have also changed the language in their posts by using code words like "danced" or "drank beer" instead of "got the vaccine," "Moana" for Moderna, and "Pizza" for Pfizer. "Dancing, beer, pizza, Moana, if you're going to describe something you think is killing everybody, maybe don't use code words that are things that everybody universally loves!" he said.
The CBS host did find a silver lining in this dumb Facebook trend. In the case of one woman who wrote that her husband fell ill after "a cross-country trip where he spent 2 nights with dancers," Colbert noted that he'll now have a free pass to get away with anything. "Now her husband has a perfect alibi for going to strip clubs," he said. "'Honey, I spent the night with two 'dancers,' and now I have 'chlamydia.'"
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert airs weeknights at 11:35 PM ET on CBS.
Claire Spellberg Lustig is the TV Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.