August 4, 2020

"#MeTooSTEM founder admits to creating Twitter persona who 'died' of COVID-19/BethAnn McLaughlin invented @Sciencing_Bi, a Hopi anthropologist who died of COVID-19."

Ars Technica reports.
This certainly isn't the first time a fake persona has manifested on social media.... But the particular case of @Sciencing_Bi is unique because of its unusually long duration—the Twitter account was created in October 2016....

@Sciencing_Bi, identified on her profile only as "Alepo," claimed to be a female bisexual Native American anthropologist at Arizona State University who was involved with combatting discrimination and sexual harassment in the scientific community....
Wait. Wouldn't that have been easy to falsify? How many female bisexual Native American anthropologists could be at Arizona State University who were activated against discrimination and sexual  harassment?
In April, she announced that she had contracted COVID-19 and subsequently documented a months-long struggle with the disease. She specifically blamed her employer, ASU, for her plight, and she claiming that she and other teachers, staff, and students had been forced to remain on campus well into April. She also asserted that the school had cut her salary by 15 percent while she was hospitalized. Then on Friday, July 31, McLaughlin tweeted that @Sciencing_Bi—purportedly a close friend—had died of complications from COVID-19, followed by a series of impassioned tweets eulogizing her late friend. There was the usual online outpouring of condolences and grief alongside outrage at her plight and purported mistreatment by ASU....
Finally, people figured out there was no such person in real life.
Attention next turned to identifying the person behind the fake account. For Twitter sleuths, McLaughlin was the most obvious suspect. McLaughlin is a polarizing figure within the community after having risen to prominence as an advocate for victims of sexual harassment in STEM. She shared MIT Media Lab's Disobedience Award in 2018 with biologist Sherry Marts and #MeToo movement founder Tarana Burke. She also founded #MeTooSTEM....

McLaughlin's motives for creating the sock puppet account are... puzzling to many.... [A]ttention on social media is a form of capital in its own right; we've all experienced the occasional rush of dopamine from a positive online interaction—or the shot of adrenaline when our sense of outrage is triggered. In McLaughlin's case, it seems she sought to counter criticism for her alleged harassment of people of color by creating an indigenous sock puppet—a cool bisexual Hopi scientist—to defend her.

"'I have POC friends' is a line used across the racist spectrum, but inventing your POC friend is next level," a researcher and organizer who frequently deals with misinformation, but asked not to be identified, told Ars....
ADDED: From the NYT article, "The Anonymous Professor Who Wasn’t/A professor at Arizona State University does not exist":
Ms. McLaughlin... mourned @Sciencing_Bi in a long thread, paying testament to her humanity and toughness.

“She was supposed to get Hopi talisman for health as gifts for us but she ran out,” Ms. McLaughlin tweeted. “God. The irony of running out of health talisman.” She also said that she and the person behind the account had been planning on getting matching tattoos in the Hopi language.

Ms. McLaughlin has prompted particular frustration and disgust by posing as a Hopi woman, right as the coronavirus has caused disproportionate harm to Indigenous communities in the United States.

“There are millions who want to be us,” said Jacqueline Keeler, a writer and the editor of Pollen Nation, a Native-led magazine. “These people are centering themselves in our issues, they are heading Native American departments, they are telling Native students what they can and can’t study — it’s to protect their own position. And so it does change our ability to advocate for ourselves when we are constantly being replaced by frauds, white people or other people of different backgrounds pretending to be us.”...

And Ms. McLaughlin’s invention of the character behind @Sciencing_Bi was not as unusual as it may seem.... Dr. Marc Feldman is a psychiatrist who studies factitious disorders in which a person acts as if they, or a loved one, have a disease. He specializes in what he calls Munchausen by internet, in which such deceptions take place online, and said he hears about a new case every couple of weeks.

“I think it happens online more than offline these days because it’s so easy to mislead people via social media,” Dr. Feldman said....

64 comments:

Sebastian said...

"there was the usual online outpouring of condolences and grief alongside outrage at her plight and purported mistreatment by ASU."

Prog are easy prey. They want to believe.

BarrySanders20 said...

The nerve! I would quit Twitter is disgust had I ever signed up.

Twits gotta Twitter.

JAORE said...

Welcome to the new CGI world. Narratives built. Populations created.

Now tell me this woman has been expelled from all her cozy bubble groups.

No?

Well then it must be OK.

Joe Smith said...

It cannot be said often enough or loud enough: Lefty women are fucking insane.

And I looked her up...yeah, kind of what you'd expect.

Nobody was #metooing her unless they were blind drunk.

Original Mike said...

"McLaughlin's motives for creating the sock puppet account are... puzzling to many...."

Yeah, sure they are.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

another manifestation of "fake but 'accurate'"

...from the fake fakers who fake because reality foils them

I'm Not Sure said...

How many fake people do you suppose have been created on Twitter to not die of the Wuhan Flu?

Jersey Fled said...

Ms, McLaughlin obviously valued "truth" more than truth.

john said...

Bethann never had wise counceling like then when she went to college.

Frank said...

This sounds like the plot from the film Lieutenant Kiji, the music to which was written by Prokofiev. From Wikipedia:

In the Russian Imperial Palace, while Tsar Paul I sleeps, a dalliance between two courtiers ends with a shriek which wakens the tsar. Enraged, he demands that his officials produce the culprit or face banishment for life. Meanwhile, a clerk's slip of the pen while compiling a military duty roster results in the inclusion in the list of a fictitious officer, "Lieutenant Kijé". When the tsar inspects the list he is intrigued by this name, and asks that the officer be presented to him. The court officials are too terrified of the tsar to admit that a mistake has been made, and are in a dilemma until it occurs to them to blame "Kijé" for the nocturnal disturbance. They inform the tsar, who duly orders the imaginary lieutenant flogged and sent to Siberia.

When the real culprit confesses, Kijé is pardoned by the tsar and reinstated in the imperial court with the rank of colonel. The courtiers, in fear of the tsar, are forced to extend their creation's phantom career; thus, he supposedly marries the princess Gagarina, after which the tsar grants him lands and money and promotes him to general and commander of the army. When Paul demands Kijé's immediate presence, the cornered officials announce that "General Kijé" has, unfortunately, died. A lavish funeral is held, with full military honours. The parsimonious tsar demands the return of Kijé's fortune, but is told by the courtiers that Kijé has spent the money on high living—in fact, they have stolen it. The tsar denounces Kijé as a thief, and posthumously demotes him from general to private.

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Isn't amazing how the lefties have to constantly invent "hate crimes" of all sort?

It's almost like their narrative is utter garbage. Like none of the bad things they claim are happening in America are actually happening. And that's why they have to lie about it

Char Char Binks, Esq. said...

I’m taking up a collection to send blankets to all bi Indigian STEM professionals, to keep them warm in case of Covid.

Char Char Binks, Esq. said...

Chief Shitting Bull Philips will sing and drum at the funeral.

I'm Full of Soup said...

Just another Mentally ill far left liberal.

whitney said...

That was a fun article! It's always good to get confirmation that the women in charge of the me-too movement are just completely insane and know how much it pained her fellow leftist to read about it. Good times!

Ken B said...

It is easily falsifiable. She knew none of her followers would check, none would have doubts. This is known in the business as “reading your mark”. She read her marks aright; so should we.

Ken B said...

An example of what instapundit says: the demand for bigotry exceeds the supply.

richlb said...

Catfish.

Ken B said...

Perhaps Birkel is a fake? It’s a plausible theory.

chickelit said...

The cunning stunt did nothing for her "cause." Indeed, she is how you get more and more endless Trump.

MayBee said...

This is the kind of thing I think about when someone tries to say, "Why would xyz make up that allegation about abc? What's in it for them?"
The answer is, I don't know. But it happens all the time. People do really weird things.

Rory said...

"These people are centering themselves in our issues, they are heading Native American departments, they are telling Native students what they can and can’t study — it’s to protect their own position. And so it does change our ability to advocate for ourselves when we are constantly being replaced by frauds, white people or other people of different backgrounds pretending to be us.”

But benefits should not be parceled out by demographics in the first place.

Darrell said...

Lies are mother's milk to power-craving Lefties. Their whole world is built from them.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Crazy as a shithouse rat, as they say.

My favorite is the furious masturbatory “grief” those dunderheads poured out regarding the “death” of their “friend.” Doesn’t anyone in academia have even a loose grasp on reality anymore?

btw, the Pantses were all visiting the eldest Pantslet in Tempe for spring break, as she is a student at ASU. The last day of on-campus classes was Friday, March 6.

That weird-ass cow at Vanderbilt owes Daddy Crow an apology for claiming his evil administration kept poor “Alepo” slaving away into April. Among other things.

ga6 said...

BethAnn just another feminist academic gone bad....

wildswan said...

So there's twitterites with fake Twitter accounts who spend their time making up the "thoughts of an authentic Hopi Indian" or whatever when they're nothing but suburbanites with suburban thoughts just like you and me. Only they've taken Soc 101, or possibly 201, and they think their suburban thoughts from their suburban Sociology professors are deep insights into the evil of the Suburb People - with which they are well-acquainted, they being of that tribe. And what better way to expose and challenge all the deep shallowness that lies behind a suburban hedge than "spirit" messages or, in the post-modern world, Twitter messages from a real true Hopi [Suburban Tucson tribe]?
Back in the day there used to be mediums who allegedly had contact with a spirit - Cleopatra or Nefertiti - during a seance. Are these fake twits' tweets so different?

Duke Dan said...

Pierre Delecto sends his condolences.

Caroline said...

People of the lie.

Bunkypotatohead said...

One would think this is the sort of thing that would get her banned from twitter.
But she's probably got the correct politics to avoid that happening.

Iman said...

Absolutely shocking! Just when I thought we’d never catch a fever swamper in a lie.

Drago said...

Ken B: "It is easily falsifiable. She knew none of her followers would check, none would have doubts."

An army of Ingas....

Narr said...

Next they'll be telling us that Carlos Castaneda made all that Yaqui Knowledge shit up!

Narr
What a letdown





robother said...

Elizabeth Warren was unavailable for comment. You would think as a proud member of the high cheek-boned race, she could empathize with the hopping mad Hopii.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

These people are centering themselves in our issues, they are heading Native American departments, they are telling Native students what they can and can’t study

AWFLs

affluent White Liberal Females

effinayright said...

The reason these fraudulent things seem to keep coming from the QWERTYIUOP community is that they desperately want to consider themselves as somehow mainstream rather than what they really are which is:

FUBAR.

When they finally realize that they THEY are the inmates in the "Cabinet of Doctor Caligari", expect mass suicides masked as murders.

Original Mike said...

From "her" Wikipedia page:
Known for Twitter Hoax
Awards MIT Disobedience Award


MIT must be so proud.

Amadeus 48 said...

The demand for victimhood in the USA far exceeds the supply.

gilbar said...

a very wise Labrador Retrieve once told me: On the Internet, no one knows you're a dog

Big Mike said...

Women lie. What do you expect?

Jay said...

I don't think I'll ever be able to forget Susie...

Jay said...

I don't think I'll ever be able to forget Susie...

Tom Crippen said...

"Isn't amazing how the lefties have to constantly invent "hate crimes" of all sort?"

Hmm, good point. Some jerk professor tweeted some tweets, therefore George Floyd never existed.

Roger This said...

Captain Jonathan S Tuttle also could not be reached for comment. He was last seen parachuting over southeast Asia.

eric said...

This seems all too common on the left.

They create fake hate crimes to get attention.

They create fake sexual assaults to get attention.

They pretend to be something they aren't, like Talcom X and that lady from Spokane who said she was black and lead a branch of the NAACP.

What is it about leftist/Democrat ideology that causes people to want to lie like this?

William said...

Was the character well imagined and fully realized? Some of these agitprop figures can be quite effective. I never read Uncle Tom's Cabin, but Stowe's depiction of Tom had a profound impact on people's attitudes.....McLaughlin's character sounds a little too good to be true but so was Tom. Maybe someone with more talent will invent the perfect Covid-19 martyr.

n.n said...

She spoke truth to facts. Many modern civil rights movements in recent decades and in progress, have been founded on careful spun tales of omission, commission, and creation with em-pathetic appeal.

bagoh20 said...

"How many female bisexual Native American anthropologists could be at Arizona State University who were activated against discrimination and sexual harassment?"

I'm guessing most who fit more than one identity check mark also fit the rest. The character development of the drama just kind of flows from one victim group to all. We see this everyday. Being just one kind of victim is kind of lame now days.

Earnest Prole said...

I don't understand what's so remarkable about this story. Until recently a lily-white woman passing as an American Indian was in the hunt for the American Presidency.

jk said...

@Sciencing_Bi was really #Sciencing_Fi

Earnest Prole said...

Academics should have known she was a fraud when she told people “to not stereotype cops” and to “be sensitive to those who have cops as family members.”

PhilD said...

Oh dear, she wanted to create a 'woke' saint.
Meanwhile AOC is badmouthing Father Damian, a real saint.

Big Mike said...

Please tell me ASU is suing her into pauperdom and that the Hopi nation is piling on, too.

tim maguire said...

Did she have no followers at ASU? How is it possible that nobody found out until after the death?

Lewis Wetzel said...

It would be interesting to see a breakdown of the demographics of twitter. I would like to know the age, sex, income and profession of the people who post the most and read the most. I don't think that it would look much like America. I think that it would look like a bunch of crazy people, celebs pushing their brand, and wannabe celebs trying to get the attention of the celebs.

stlcdr said...

When reality doesn't meet your perceptions, you try to create a reality.

Tina Trent said...

Direct quote from the fraudster: "I apologize without reservation..."

Clark said...

I notice she has a family. I wonder if she lied to them as well or if they were in on it. Imagine finding out your purportedly accomplished mother is a total fraud. That would suck.

Roger Sweeny said...

Wait. Wouldn't that have been easy to falsify?

Like so many things that confirm one's politics, it was "too good to check".

Joe Smith said...

Did this post get moved out of order or am I losing it? Both can be correct.

CJinPA said...

@Sciencing_Bi, identified on her profile only as "Alepo,"


Alepo? That’s a city in Syria. Remember the Gay Girl in Damascus hoax? “The identity was presented as a Syrian-American blogger, identifying herself as a lesbian on her weblog A Gay Girl In Damascus.”

Was the “Alepo” profile for @Sciencing_Bi a callback? A hint? Maybe not, but interesting.

Rick said...

Drago said...
["It is easily falsifiable. She knew none of her followers would check, none would have doubts."]

An army of Ingas....


Here's one example:

https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2020/08/waiting-for-umbrella-man.php

If you recall Inga and others were triumphant that supposedly a right winger started the Minneapolis rioting. It turns out there is no evidence supporting this assertion, including that it's not even clear police have identified him since he has not been arrested. The only support for this belief is the statement by an activist officer which if it came from Trump would have "asserted without evidence" appended to it.

What's interesting is how definitive this statement was interpreted to be - even by Althouse. Apparently the left believes police lie about everything except when they blame right wingers. Then they have no doubts.

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Tom Crippen said...
"Isn't amazing how the lefties have to constantly invent "hate crimes" of all sort?"

Hmm, good point. Some jerk professor tweeted some tweets, therefore George Floyd never existed.


George Floyd blatantly lied to the cops (I can't get into the back of your car because I'm claustrophobic, never mind that when you came up to me I was sitting in my car), and fought them to not be arrested.

Oh, and he and the cop who sat on him both knew each other, and had previous conflicts with each other.

George Floyd existed. George Floyd is dead.

It requires a determined blindness to what actually happened to be able to claim that "George Floyd was murdered by a racist cop in a hate crime."

Here:s a simple rule for life: Don't resist arrest.

If the cops are doing something wrong, you can always sue them later, if you're still alive.

Which is less likely, if you're stupid enough to resist arrest

gbarto said...

I was going to say that this reminds me of the Seinfeld episode, The Susie. But after reading Frank's bit about Lieutenant Kijé I'm feeling rather shallow.

RigelDog said...

Real-life has taught me from three personal examples that there are a lot more "fabulists" out there than I would have ever suspected. First, in a relatively small, tight, long-standing internet group I belonged to, we had a trusted member fool people for over a year that she was dying of brain cancer (why is it always brain cancer?). I thought something was hinky about her tales pretty early on but it took most people a long time to realize it. Then, an ex-girlfriend of a friend had everyone convinced from her online posts that she was dying of brain cancer, and that although she was only 28, she was refusing chemotherapy because she didn't want to have her remaining time cut short with side-effects. After many months of people pleading with her to have the treatment, she "gave in" and next thing you know she was cured. Finally, a friend of my daughters, a young single mom, said she had been diagnosed with, yes, brain cancer. She took the charade all the way for over two years: shaved her head, had relatives drop her off at the hospital for treatments, and even garnered enough sympathy and money for a bucket-list trip to California. Her ruse was only discovered when she had to go to the emergency room for something real and the relative who had accompanied her made sure to tell the hospital personnel that she was on chemo. Rut-roh. No apologies or explanations were ever forthcoming either.