Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Skeptical Science: The Censorship of Poptech

"The impact of that ban on PopTech was to silence him."
- Skeptical Science

In March of 2012, the same computer illiterates at Skeptical Science who do not know how to use Google Scholar had their forums "hacked" and the contents posted online. In these I am mentioned in at least 65 discussions, with 17 forum threads started that specifically mention my name and one forum category devoted entirely to discussing the Popular list of papers. These discussions involve almost entirely with how to "deal" with the list. One of the ways they attempted to "deal" with the list was by having a former bike messenger and man-purse maker Rob Honeycutt write a Google Scholar illiterate post. In it Rob failed to use quotes when searching for phrases, is unable to count past 1000 and failed to remove erroneous results such as, "Planet Mutonia and the Young Pop Star Wannabes" - believing it to be a peer-reviewed paper about global warming. After being unable to refute how Google Scholar actually works they resorted to an extensive censorship of my comments and eventually a site wide purge of all of them.

The forum thread on Rob's post shows it initially started off with high hopes,
"Poptech and the other minions of denialdom will hate this naturally I like it." - Daniel Bailey [Skeptical Science], February 13, 2011
This quickly descended into panic,
"Exit strategy for the Meet the Denominator thread: Do we have one? [...] Poptech is indefatigable ...Against such an adversary traditional methodologies are doomed to impasse. This makes the thread the Skeptical Science version of Afghanistan (substitute with many other protracted losing campaigns). I say we let Rob write up a closing synopsis ...but giving Skeptical Science the last word. And lock the thread & throw away the key." - Daniel Bailey [Skeptical Science], February 18, 2011
"Poptech will not go away. I've deleted a number of his ...comments, but I feel no obligation to explain to him why they disappear." - muoncounter (Dan Friedman) [Skeptical Science], February 19, 2011
Friedman was successful in deleting many of the comments I made to Rob's post as I had literally replied (or attempted to reply) to every single comment in that discussion. Even at this point a fraction of my comments remained but enough were removed to give the false impression that I could not respond to some of their arguments.

The outright deletion of the rest of my hundreds of comments came a few months later after I attempted to defend John Christy in another post. This site wide deletion of my comments was known and discussed in their forums but no action was taken to restore them,
"The 1,000+ Denominator Thread now stands at 524" - Daniel Bailey [Skeptical Science], September 19, 2011
"[O]ne of the moderators flagged Poptech as a spammer and that deleted EVERY comment he ever posted off all the comments threads." - John Cook [Skeptical Science], October 11, 2011
"He kept repeatedly posting comments, one after the other, that had to be deleted. I wasn't prepared to stay up all night deleting comments from that loser." - Rob Painting [Skeptical Science], October 11, 2011
When others noticed my comments were deleted and started to complain this was met with nonsensical arguments upholding the censorship,
"Let Poptech complain or anyone else who wants to whine about it. He got deleted not because of what he was saying but he was presenting and defending an utterly undefensible position." - Rob Honeycutt [Skeptical Science], January 11, 2012
Ironically, Rob's initial man-purse company name was "Scumbags".

After I published my article exposing The Truth about Skeptical Science, Cook enacted a new "Poptech policy",
"[W]e should have a blanket ban of any mention of Poptech in any SkS blog posts - not give him any oxygen." - John Cook [Skeptical Science], March 21, 2012
The fact remains that Cook and his zealots cannot debate anyone, which is why they have to muzzle all dissent on their site. This way they can pretend to win arguments, when in reality they have all been refuted.

Note: if John Cook or anyone at Skeptical Science wishes to deny any of these comments I can always post the forum screen shots but I do not think they wish to have their email and IP addresses revealed.

Biker Chic (The New York Times, January 14, 2007)
Refuting 104 Talking Points from Skeptical Science (PDF) (28pgs) (Lubos Motl, Ph.D. Theoretical Physics, March 29, 2010)
Google Scholar Illiteracy at Skeptical Science (Popular, February 14, 2011)
From the Skeptical Science "leak": Interesting stuff about generating and marketing "The Consensus Project" (Tom Nelson, March 23, 2012)
Secret Skeptical Science (Shub Niggurath Climate, March 23, 2012)
Skeptical Science hacked, private user details publicly posted online (Skeptical Science, March 25, 2011)
The Truth about Skeptical Science (Popular, March 18, 2012)
1100+ Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skeptic Arguments Against ACC/AGW Alarm (Popular, July 23, 2012)

Update: As an example of some of my comments that were censored, the first comment page of Rob's post is archived by the wayback machine. "Meet the Denominator" (Archived, July 19, 2011)


bikermailman said...

"[W]e should have a blanket ban of any mention of Poptech in any SkS blog posts - not give him any oxygen." - John Cook [Skeptical Science], March 21, 2012

Sounds like this guy is getting the Charles Johnson (of Little Green Footballs) bunker mentality. The difference? CJ had a good blog and did good work at one point.

papertiger said...

Pop, you are a Saint for even wading into that cesspool. Having to talk to those lying sons of bitches (especially Rob Honeycutt). I hope you got inoculations before you went in.

Personally, I wouldn't interact with them at all, with the possible exception of bringing a libel suit.

God bless you for it.