Thursday, May 26, 2016

Harassing Scientists- Coordinated Troll Attacks

Another often-used tactic to harass scientists is the creation of multiple accounts in social media by one person.  These are then used to create the illusion of multiple interests with a common theme of a unified argument against a scientist or idea. They are used to post defamatory and false information and propagate it using Twitter's powerful reach.

These highly coordinated troll attacks are likely orchestrated by a single person that creates a series of accounts that interact and reinforce each other.  It creates an illusion of a codified message, when it is just one nutcase stirring the pot. 

It happened before, and after years of abuse an internet sleuth figured out who it was.  She is a professional in California. When I was out there I met with her and she told me all about how it was a guy she was renting to that would use her computer. Sure. I've never posted her name or taken legal action.  Both are still on the table.

Stupid High Road. 

This week a whole new set of fake accounts popped up and unleashed their vitriol.  You can monitor them here.    

Why it is clear it is likely a single person:

  • All accounts are new and were started at the same time.
  • All accounts make harassing me a central focus.
  • All accounts have minimal followers, and follow each other.
  • All accounts are followed by each other and Dr. EnaValikov, the vet in California that has notoriously cyber-stalked my threads for years, and she follows all of these accounts and retweets their vile messages, making her complicit in the defamation.
  • They also love to throw around the word "shill" but are equally challenged in spelling it correctly:

If you google the words "Monsanto Schill" you can find a good candidate for who this likely is. 

In conclusion, it is more of the kind of harassment we see as scientists that simply stand up for evidence-based interpretations of popular assertions.  It is another volley with the intent to create more harm toward my reputation and record by propagating defamatory memes and misinterpretations.

I guess a silver lining is that they tell the world I run GMO Answers. Not sure why they'd give me credit for such an enterprise. And no, I could not name a Monsanto product. I don't work in agronomic crops. 

A Response to Carey Gillam