Monday, May 24, 2021
Creating False Consensus with Bots
Sunday, May 23, 2021
Allegations of Threats
Over the last week the trolls are back, and polluting social media with more anti-Folta nonsense.
I won't even touch on it. Nobody has looked at it, nobody really cares. It gets few likes, retweets, etc., and those that do show some love to the filth are in the defamation network. It's dead.
But sadly I need to always play defense. Now that these allegations are forever placed in findable space, I must reluctantly respond. I teach students, I work with kids, I lead community initiatives, and when someone claims that I'm issuing "threats" I unfortunately have to provide my perspective.
First, Carey Gillam. She tweeted this, this week:
Over the last decade she has trashed my work, made false claims about me and my motivations, and has been generally horrible. She is paid by USRTK, the organization sponsored by industry to endlessly harass me, so she gets a paycheck to post defamation like the above. That's her job.
If she had "bizarre and oddly threatening emails" from me she would have posted them, or paraded them around the internet.
I simply told him, we can discuss this privately, or make it public, you pick. That's not a threat. This is me kindly offering to work it out together privately, rather than having it blow up publicly and have to explain it, like is happening here. I don't want to wreck the guy's future like he wants to wreck mine.
Keep in mind that this was several years ago. I just learned of this complaint last week (5/2021) when it went public, and if it didn't go internet-wide I would never have said anything publicly. They guy has enough problems and could still sort it out and be a good contributor.
If it is false, then we can talk about it and sort it out. It was his refusal to discuss this important issue, and my need to get to the bottom of it that prompted my response. It was not "social blackmail", as proven by the fact that he did not discuss it with me and I kept quiet-- I never made it public until now, when his complaint became public.
And now this long-forgotten annoyance has become very public, not by me, I'm busy working and teaching science.
Which means I now need to work even harder at producing good media and better outreach. Good. I needed a little fire to refocus my efforts in positive ways.
Friday, May 21, 2021
Hang It Up Stacy
In 2015 the anti-science, scientist slander machine called US-RTK provided my emails and a story to New York Times reporter Eric Lipton. As stated by Lipton on the 9/17/2015 Kojo Nnamdi Show on NPR, (USRTK leader) "Gary Ruskin handed me a story and wanted me to publish it."
The result was a gross misrepresentation of me and my motivations to teach science. To them, it was all part of a corporate cabal to misinform the public in exchange for grant money.
Time has shown that none of it was true. Still the story lives on the internet, forever attached to me in a Google search.
And folks from USRTK keep it alive and well. Last week Stacy Malkan, a USRTK henchtwit, continued to post links to the Lipton story, at least to the documents that supported it, plucked from their context for easy re-interpretation.
Their recent attacks on Dr. Peter Dadzyk brought them sharp rebuke by social media, and their website visits plummeted.
While I'm not speaking at conferences as much and have been living through the other hassles of hard defamation, things are going generally very well. Research is fun, teaching is going great, and I'm investing time in other community leadership efforts. All good.
The Talking Biotech Podcast is entering its 7th year, approaching 1.5 million downloads and 300 episodes.
When you are a hate group that targets scientists the world will catch up, and you will lose relevance. When you do good work that grows with time, you gain relevance.
Why do they beat a tired old story from 2015 that they created? It got them what they wanted at the time, but in the rear view mirror of time it is clear that it was a targeted hit piece that ultimately proved to be bullshit.
And their defamation page on me is alive and well. My students visit it and laugh. They know me, and that's not me.
In a world of important problems, why not focus energy and time on solving them? What dig the heels into defamation of public scientists working for the good of others?
It is a failed formula. Stacy doesn't get that. Maybe she will when USRTK is out of business. Coming soon.
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