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30 thoughts on “Encouragement to Harass

  1. 3

    Other notable signers of that ridiculous petition include “Adolf Hitler”, a supposed “richard dawkins” of Above, WA, and an apparently f’realz Paul Loebe of Rock Beyond Belief (to be expected, but still a sad reminder of better-seeming days).

    I hope the Bay Area Science Festival is taking this petition exactly as seriously as it deserves?

  2. 4

    Thanks for the most informative update, Stephanie. I appreciate that you’re willing to make these kinds of factual corrections, though I’m sorry it’s necessary (and necessary so often!)

    So, she flat-out admits, in so many words, that she hides behind a pseudonym so she can harass others freely and not worry about upholding the standards of her chosen profession. Standards which apply whether or not she’s “on duty”.
    I think we all knew that was the reason, I’m just surprised to see it openly stated.
    Also surprised that she’d pull this particular stunt MORE THAN A YEAR after posting her name, location and profession online for all to see. She’s had plenty of time to make better choices–such as saying such things in face-to-face or private email conversations rather than on a medium as public, persistent and disseminated as the internet. Or by sticking with taunts that aren’t directly connected to medical issues.
    And this person isn’t only a staff MD. She’s also a faculty member at the UW School of Medicine. Faculty members supervise and train med students, residents and fellows. To my mind, that makes her online behavior that much worse.

    Really, how does the internal contradiction not give these people a permanent migraine? If it’s really only a joke, and if one truly believes that the rest of the world also thinks it’s harmless and no big deal, why is it soooooo terrible that one’s professional colleagues and employer know it about it, too? (yeah, that’s one-a them rhetorical questions…)

    (and, yes, that really is the UWMedicine twitter account. Whether anyone will actually see it and/or care enough to do anything about it is another question. Too bad I don’t tweet* and can only idly wonder what the UW School of Medicine’s twitter handle might be. *don’t have to have an account to see others’ tweets if their stream is public)

  3. 5

    D. C., yes, that is a very nice thing to see.

    Anne, the joke comments are amusing. I’m impressed they stayed, since Rebecca’s comment was removed.

    Funny Diva, thanks for making that point about being faculty. I’d vaguely remembered something about that, then forgot to check. I did also look at people tweeting the UWMedicine account. Again, there were only people yelling at and/or harassing Rebecca and PZ.

  4. 6

    You’re a sniveling coward, Damion. You think it’s important to out someone who abused children as he was abused and groomed to do, when he was a child himself, do it in your own space. Not that you will. That would require taking a stand instead of being a walking XKCD cartoon.

    On top of that, you’re either too obtuse or too invested in playing obtuse to comprehend the false equivalencies in your statement that have already been explained to you. That makes you worse than useless. You’ve earned yourself a trip to insta-spamming. You’re done here.

  5. 8

    Damion has fallen into the usual (entirely self-inflicted) Slymepit trap of the belief that once a lie has been repeated arbitrarily many times, therefore it must be true.
    This false reasoning certainly applied in the case that started this off – Matt Cavanaugh uncritically accepting as true and publishing a scurrilous rumour started by Eliza Sutton, explicitly naming her pseudonym as the source.
    The same fallacious reasoning (repeat a lie often enough, it becomes true) is being applied to the idea that “docs have been dropped” on Eliza Sutton. Again, a flimsily protected pseudonym backed up by an e-mail address such as firstname.lastname @ blah.com is not a successful means of quarantining on-line and off-line identities. When I was a moderator over at the A+ forums we kicked out ‘skip teckle’ and ‘skep tickle’ for trolling, so we had a good idea of who we were dealing with all the way back then, and what her real name was as well as her position in the “community” as a Seattle-based skeptic. Instead the new lie will be, “PZ/Skepchicks doxxed Skep tickle!!!1!” Good luck with that.

  6. 9

    @ 2 Damion Reinhardt

    To be clear, it is okay to drop docs on [Skep Tickle], but not [Ogvorbis].

    By George, I think he’s got it! Yes, it is okay to draw attention to a medical professional mockingly inventing a diagnosis of venereal disease while using a transparent pseudonym, but not okay to threaten to publicly shame someone for being a victim of child abuse.

    Fuckin’ ethics. How do they work?!

  7. 10

    Let’s see if I’ve git this more or less correct. Skep tickle flat out admits that she uses a pseudonym so that she can lie and act like a complete ass towards (i.e., harass) other people without consequence to her professional and personal reputation. Apparently she and her fellow slymers think this is a right enshrined in the constitution.

    And then, after outing herself and being publicly shamed for her bad behavior, she thinks she can still get away with it without anyone having the right to complain.

    Apparently, the pseudonymity rights also trump medical ethics considerations, even after similar issues were raised previously with respect to her drive-by diagnosis of Ophelia Benson, after Skep Tickle’s identity became public.

    I am not a medical professional, and so I won’t speculate about the nature of Skep Tickle’s apparent inability to refrain from this clearly self-destructive behavior, but I can’t resist saying, “Doctor, heal thyself!”

  8. 11

    As an academic scientist, who has some collaborations at UW (including a joint patent), I must say I’m appalled at Eliza Sutton’s unprofessional and downright disgusting public behavior.

  9. 13

    I’m intrigued by how many people who have joined professions with codes of ethics that they (presumably) fully recognise as constraints on their public speech with others in their workplace and local community in person, are nonetheless unwilling to accept that those same constraints apply to their public speech via the internet.

  10. 14

    Damion Reinhardt: “Disgusting intimidation tactics should be met with public resistance.”

    Remember when the former (woo hoo!) president of the James Randi Educational Foundation threatened to ruin the “career/life” of Dr. Pamela Gay unless she lied to protect the sexual predator, Michael Shermer? Didn’t Damion defend and praise that action? So, why were DJ Grothe’s disgusting intimidation tactics against a working scientist so awesome, while Rebecca’s single tweet about Dr. Sutton’s public unethical behavior was less awesome? In fact, not a single person now screaming about evil Rebecca had one critical word to say about DJ’s attempted blackmail.

    I guess you can’t expect much from a group of people who equate reporting the public unprofessional actions of a medical doctor with exposing the identity of an adult survivor of horrific childhood abuse.

  11. 15

    [email protected] and tigtog @13

    Yeah, that’s what I was trying to get at in my comment at #3!

    I suspect that if the “report” remains at the level of a single Tweet very little will happen (unless the ‘pitter counter-tweet-whining draws more attention). I’d like to think UWMedicine and UW School of Medicine would care, but would be surprised if the first impulse wouldn’t be to ignore it and the second to protect one of their own unless PZ himself is willing to go to the mat through formal reporting channels. MDs are still considered–and still consider themselves–an all-but-infallible Elite des Elites in many, if not most large teaching institutions like UW.

    *sings* I could be wrong now…but I DON’T THINK SO!

  12. 16

    Except, of course, for assigning my previous comment the wrong number. It’s at #4, not #3…

    Hurr Durrr. I must be suffering from one of those brain-eating cat-related thingies!

  13. 17

    Damion Reinhardt,
    Even you could not be so deluded as to believe your own obvious lie.
    Dr. Eliza Sutton was never doxxed by anyone but herself. Dr. Eliza Sutton came to this blog a year ago to proudly drop her own dox. She then breached medical ethics with the knowledge that people knew her name and that her comment is still in the Almost Diamonds archives for anyone to see.

    You and you’re scummy friends are holding Oggie virtual hostage because you know how hurt he was by his abuser. You know that he still struggles with the pain and you are hoping to use his pain to hurt others, even though he has done nothing wrong. You’re exploiting the pain of child sexual abuse for what? To stop women from talking about being raped, threatened, harassed and abused? To shut down progress and social justice in the atheist community? To punish people for talking about the unethical doctor who let us all know her real name a year ago?
    What kind of disgusting, immoral swine does something like that?
    It won’t work you know. No one is going to stop talking about this. No one is going to back down and let you and your fellow slime continue spreading lies and abuse unchecked. If you hurt this man and his family it will only be for petty shits and giggles and you fucking know it. You know what? You can terrorize every single one of us and it won’t make you look any less like the immoral cretins you are. You’re not going to “win” this fight no matter how you lie, harass and threaten. You can scare and traumatize us. You can demoralize us. You can drive a few of us out of organized atheism or away from the internet for a while, but you will not put this genie back in it’s bottle.

  14. 19

    Thank you for the correction. I could have sworn she announced herself here. I guess after a year, it’s difficult to remember. Was that on the same thread where she internet diagnosed Ophelia with mental illness?

  15. 20

    I love the argument of “she did nothing wrong it’s obviously a joke you horrible people are trying to ruin her life by contacting her employer, so I will contact your employer.”
    If I made an actually harmless joke, or ate chocolate ice cream, or something as innocent as that, and then somebody contacted my employer to inform them about this, my employer would ask that person why they’re wasting their time.

  16. 21

    Reinhardt’s not obtuse. Neither is he ignorant; he knows precisely what kind of ethically undeveloped arsehole he’s bunking in with despite his multitudinous pretensions to reason and fairness. I discovered this during a twitter exchange years ago when the furore over conference harassment policies had just erupted (and when I say “erupted”, I mean “kicked off by thin-skinned man-children like him who objected out of all proportion to being asked to behave like adults in public”). He played the obtuseness card often but it was clear he understood the point of the policies; he had just decided to hang out with the cool kids who were railing against them and use his intellect to defend doing so (not to mention enjoy some trickle-down popularity as a mini-Name, a Vacula-in-training).

    What he is is a rank hypocrite and pathetic little social climber wearing a decency cloak. Pity it’s transparent.

    The “doxing” double standard here is egregious (always has been in the Shame Pit) – the anonymity of a child victim is being held hostage, as if he’s somehow equivalent to a medical professional who insinuated publicly that someone she’s already known to hate contracted an STD from someone else she’s already known to hate (and who are just two of the many people she’s dedicated substantial online time to hating). Not only that, but Sutton revealed her own name publicly years ago so the “doxing” accusation refutes itself before it even gets off the ground.

    No, there’s no equivalency here. The Shamers saw a rock lifted and one of their own exposed to the light for her own shitful behaviour and are after revenge*, pure and simple. It doesn’t matter if their chosen target is innocent; the fact that said target is over here makes them fair game. Collateral damage is of no concern to the Shamers. Their whole MO is similar to #gamergaters and misogynist #keyboardheroes as a whole: as soon as something trips their hair-trigger alarm, don’t verify that it’s a legitimate target, just fire everything. If it turns out you took out an innocent, blame it on the whackos or minimise it or employ the “it’s only online” apologetic or say they had it coming anyway for associating with the designated enemy. Or just insist against all evidence that the attack was perfectly justified.

    ___
    *Hell, their entire fucking shtick is revenge: revenge for “splitting the movement” by insisting on talking about women’s experiences, by which I mean “taking the focus away from lads having a chuckle at low-hanging creationist fruit and making us have conversations that require a little more intellectual and ethical breadth.”

  17. 23

    Funny Diva @ 15 – Yes, of course you are right that it is highly doubtful that there would be substantial consequences. I’ve personally seen examples of data falsification, misappropriation of ideas, and double-dipping on grants at one of the top-5 schools. Also sexual harassment and a prof feeding students answers at my current U. Only the double-dipping had any real, somewhat severe consequences (fac senate proceedings and barred from applying for grants to an agency for a while), but nobody lost their job.

  18. 24

    I’m glad Sutton’s meatspace identity is out there because I live in Seattle and use UW Medicine often enough that there’s a chance our paths could cross. Given her contempt for other women, she is not someone I would want to have to rely on or to be vulnerable around, so knowing her name gives me the chance to avoid her.

    I mean, I’ve known her name since not too long after she outed herself before, but it’s nice for others who might be in the same situation as me.

  19. 26

    Perhaps this is the point Donnie, but I don’t remember the decrying – I only recall the allegation being made, whereas I don’t have any memory of it being retracted or apologised for.

  20. 27

    Dr. Eliza Sutton was never doxxed by anyone but herself. Dr. Eliza Sutton came to this blog a year ago to proudly drop her own dox.

    Exactly. This isn’t doxing. Doxing is finding IP addresses and email addresses and connecting them to FB accounts. It’s gaining remote access to someone’s machine and searching through their files. It’s using public records databases to get individually identifying information. It’s inferring their SSN, DOB, and address. It’s deliberately de-anonymizing an account that doesn’t have a public identity attached to it.

    If you tie your identity to your pseudonym, you don’t get to choose when other people can use your real identity. You don’t get to just assert pseudonymity whenever it’s a convenient defense.

  21. 28

    Ugh. Sometimes I feel like I need a cast page to keep up with these cretinous vermin.

    I had missed the post that kicked this off, so I started a bit confused as to why Rebecca was the one making the Tweet in question–it did seem a bit out of school for her to go after someone who went after PZ.

    But of course, I should’ve known, when dealing with ‘pitters–they can’t just go after a man; they must, at all times, focus on ways to hurt women. So of course the rumor in question also linked to Rebecca by implying that she or someone on her staff was the source of the infection alleged in the libel. Which means that this ‘doxing’ was, in the end, an act of self-defense. At that point, even if it had been a true dox, I’d say Rebecca was justified. Libel, even when generally unactionable (and this probably would be, sadly) is still enough of an ethical violation in itself that you can’t then complain when someone acts to rebut.

  22. 29

    Dr. Eliza Sutton was never doxxed by anyone but herself. Dr. Eliza Sutton came to this blog a year ago to proudly drop her own dox.

    I’m sure the Pit Crew is going to apologize for being wrong about PZ or Rebecca doxxing Sutton aaaaaaany minute now…

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