Monday, June 10, 2013

WUWT Policy Violation by a Clueless Female Eco-Nut

Sou | 1:10 PM Go to the first of 32 comments. Add a comment

Update: Seeing there are at least two people who frequent WUWT who have very bad memories and want to present me as some sort of incessant rabble rouser who posted at WUWT a lot, here are all the comments from Sou at WUWT.  Probably not even 30 comments in four years. Mostly polite, though I take a bit of a dig in some. I don't recall ever coming across the moderator Anthony says I annoyed. (He is no longer around, which frees Anthony Watts to use his name in vain.)

Sou 2 February 2014

Anthony Watts (a chap from the USA who runs an anti-science, scientist-bashing website, WattsUpWithThat.com) claims me as a "blog child" of his, though I doubt I've made more than a couple of dozen comments on his blog.  He says I've made "multiple policy violations".

REPLY: This is one of my blog children, banned from WUWT due to multiple policy violations. It is run by a clueless female eco-nut type in Australia who calls herself “Sou”. As usual, she denigrates anonymously, since she has no honor like most of her ilk. – Anthony

I wonder what my "ilk" is? And does being female make me more clueless or more of an eco-nut?  I make mistakes sometimes, for sure, but am I as clueless as this or this or this? What do you reckon?  Whatever, I can't see any WUWT policy that I violated, so this one must be new: "Anyone who points out the bad manners of Anthony Watts will be forever banned".

Some of you may have read my recent test of the new "moderation" approach at WUWT.  But this refers to an earlier ban.

Here is what happened.  Let me point out that this all took place well before I started this blog, although I occasionally mentioned WUWT on my other blog (still in hiatus).  But that was nothing like HotWhopper.

How Anthony Watts doesn't understand Twitter and denigrates Bill McKibben

This is a chronicle of what led to Anthony Watts banning me from WUWT.

Anthony posted a dog whistle to his mob to come and bash Bill McKibben. The reason?  He thought Bill had blocked him on Twitter.  Only he hadn't.  And I let Anthony know he hadn't.

Despite Anthony being so nasty, Bill was very gracious about it all.  He's not snarky like HotWhopper.  But Anthony could have been a lot more gracious in return.  Instead, in an update he grudgingly acknowledged that Bill was correct but still complained.  All he demonstrated was that he doesn't understand how Twitter works and that he has a nasty streak.

How Anthony Watts mistakes a reference to a Report on Lake Tahoe

A few days later I tweeted how Anthony mistook a website reference to a report of Lake Tahoe for a reference to the surface temperature near Lake Tahoe.  The website in question had this statement:
Global warming’s impact on Lake Tahoe is well documented.
Anthony went to a lot of trouble, posting a photo of the weather station and lots and lots of charts of surface temperature. In fact, Governor Brown's website was referring to the report of the lake itself, which included statements such as this one: "The decline in summer clarity may be related to the impacts of climate change".

Here is my tweet together with Anthony's, replying in his usual fashion:

Note his violent objection to what he views as "denigration", how he avoids acknowledging the substance of my tweet, refused to acknowledge his mistake and instead resorts to name-calling using his favourite words "hate" and "angry" and "anonymous".  (The denigration of Bill McKibben documented here and below is not a 'once off' from Anthony Watts. Anyone familiar with how Anthony has a nasty habit of trying to denigrate scientists and others on a daily basis, and how his blog is devoid of 'factual discourse', will be aware of the irony.)

How Bill McKibben is rewarded for being gracious

A couple of days later, despite Anthony's unwarranted nastiness of the 13 August and Bill's gracious response, Anthony lets his dogs loose on Bill McKibben again.  (Maybe it was payback to Bill because Bill was so polite and gracious throughout.)  Anthony posted a very long and overtly nasty article by Caleb Shore, which Anthony tagged humour, satire although it arguably was neither.  I snarkily tweeted about this, referring to his previous tweet to me in which he so strongly objected to "denigration":

Which resulted in him banning me, tweeting:
Anthony chose to interpret the adjective in the literal sense rather than in the figurative sense (which latter meaning is how it is commonly used in my part of the world).  He didn't deny his double standards.  He didn't explain or try to excuse his swift return to his normal practice of 'denigration'. I think he was just looking for an excuse to ban me.  Anthony doesn't like people who prefer information to disinformation, let alone people who point out his mistakes.

So there you have it.  Be warned, people.  There are unwritten "policies" on WUWT.  Thou shalt not criticise what Anthony Watts posts or thou shalt be called a liar and banned forever more.

Readers' bonus - How The Texas Drought produced a Mendacious Idiot and an Emotionally Based Life Form

Here's a bonus for anyone who made it through to the end of this article.  If you want to see more of how Anthony responds to criticism, have a peep at this twitter interaction, in which he calls me a "mendacious idiot" and an "emotionally based life form" for tweeting this about an article he wrote following arguably the most extreme hot and dry weather on record for Texas:

Click here to see the full conversation on Twitter (or here for a copy, you'll need to zoom to 100% and move it with your mouse).

And from last year, a transparent attempt by Anthony to name and shame as is his wont:
Who's the clueless one? Anthony Watts! <--Answer in magic writing :D


Robert Grumbine said...

I've been hearing from folks for years about Watts' banning habits. Commandments seem to include:
thou shalt not criticize Watts
thou shalt not (unless on a preapproved list) present evidence that articles at wuwt include falsehoods
thou shalt especially not persist in the practice

you've got plenty of company. (nit me, as I've almost never commented there -- what would be the point?)

Sou said...

Like all bullies, Watts is especially sensitive to anyone pointing out errors and inconsistencies in what he writes. He makes a habit of dishing out personal attacks on scientists and anyone who accepts the science but can't tolerate any criticism of himself. And typical of bullies, he resorts to childish name-calling rather than address the issue at hand.

There have been people who have been extremely polite throughout, even overtly friendly, like RGates, who ended up being banned - presumably for his persistence in pointing out facts.

I don't know how long Nick Stokes will last, or Steve Mosher. Both of them seem to predominately post at lukewarmer websites that also bash climate scientists, which may explain why Anthony has been reluctant to ban them. (Nick doesn't bash climate scientists and is always polite, despite the onslaught of personal attacks he gets on WUWT. Steve wrote a book on the stolen emails so he is probably given a bit more latitude.)

BTW - given my snarky/more direct approach, and seeing how Anthony behaves more generally, I wasn't at all surprised by Anthony's reaction in my case.

And I agree - there is little point in posting on WUWT. The regulars there have their minds made up. Two centuries plus of science is the world's biggest hoax. Conspiracy nutters are willing to believe anything, no matter how implausible.

dana1981 said...

The irony is that the Wattsbots are always complaining about moderation on real climate science blogs. Yet Watts and Co. censor comments more frequently than any other site I've seen, not to mention banning people because Wattsy doesn't like them. It's a funny little bubble world they live in.

I've never been able to get a comment through the WUWT moderation without at least being censored, and usually they don't let it through at all. I just laugh when they complain about SkS moderation, where we actually have a real set of guidelines that we make people adhere to, rather than WUWT where they just censor any information they don't like.

Sou said...

Dana, I see that you have joined the ranks of Michael Mann, Bill McKibben, James Hansen and others and have become Anthony's "flavour of the month" for his pathetic attempts at *denigration*.

It's signifies how much public recognition and respect you have gained through your work on SkepticalScience.com, and now your Guardian blog and the widespread publicity of the excellent work from you and John Cook and others on the 97% paper.

Wotts Up With That Blog said...

As I've said a number of times before, the main reason I started my blog is because I won't comment on WUWT. I haven't been banned but what I've experience there is sufficiently unpleasant that I won't comment there again. I've been trying to keep my blog moderately pleasant and not too snarky (not that I have any particular objection to snark) but am not too sure how successful that's been. It is difficult :-)

Sou said...

FWIW I think your blog is great. Polite discourse is important and adds credibility.

However there will always be some people who can't see past their own confirmation bias. See here for an illustration of what I mean.

Wotts Up With That Blog said...

Thanks. Great cartoon. During one of my forays onto WUWT I tried to actually rein in my comments so as to calm things down and see if it was possible to actually communicate, and it made absolutely no difference. Once the other commentators have got up their head of steam there's virtually nothing that can decrease the level of vitriol.

Victor Venema said...

You do not comment on WUWT to convince the regulars, but to point normal readers a way back to the facts.

Sou said...

Yes, that's a good point, Victor. I spent many years posting about climate science on the anti-science website HotCopper for that very reason - until they finally found an excuse to ban me (for commenting about sexism). I was normally quite polite, even friendly etc and focused on the facts, although occasionally I used sarcasm to get a point across.

But I know I'm not alone in being banned from WUWT. I doubt that too many people who post facts on WUWT can last more than a few posts. RGates was one exception till he got the boot eventually. Nick Stokes is another but he doesn't comment on too many posts, mainly those involving Willis' wonderings.

dbstealey and a couple of other idiots snap and snarl at anyone who makes a proper science comment. That then gets all the other rabble piling on. Most posters either give up or give in and snap back, which latter gives Anthony an excuse to ban them. (I've got a thick skin and am not put off by stupid flames from deniers. I guess that's why Anthony banned me via Twitter instead of waiting to see if I'd write something on WUWT that conflicted with his "policies" - in which case he would have been waiting forever.)

Out of curiosity, Victor, do you comment WUWT? Please don't take that question the wrong way, I'm genuinely curious and not being accusatory. It's just that your manner of posting is very polite and non-inflammatory and I wondered what reaction you get at WUWT, if you post there.

Victor Venema said...

Simple facts are sufficient to enrage the regulars. Which is great. There is no better way to expose them and no easier way to win a discussion in the eyes of a third party.

I am still waiting for the Victor Venemous cartoon Anthony Watts would ask Josh to draw.

But I admit, I was not that friendly :-)
From Anthony Watts I expect any kind of deception. If something is written on WUWT, by now I initially assume that the opposite is true.

Wotts, I admire your ability to stay civil in the face of all that nonsense. It is good that someone is filling that niche.

Victor Venema said...

Yes, I comment on WUWT once in a while. When a post is about something I have some expertise on, homogenization or Germany.

The reactions are typically below any decency standard. Which I enjoy very much. There is no better way to win an argument as making a polite factual remark and getting such offensive replies. I think it is also helpful to explicitly mention that similar remarks by me would get me banned.

Some favourites:


(I wrote that Anthony Watts was not interested in the truth. That was not allowed on WUWT.)


Two more "beautiful" answers on the new WUWT spybar:


Sou said...

I see :) Yep, you got attacked by Anthony's lapdogs just like everyone else.

I particularly like the "it's not spyware because somewhere if you look hard enough we tell you that we are spying on you".

As for Anthony's comments back to you - pfffft! That's what I mean. They are the standard precursor to being banned.

After the first couple of times I disagreed with one of the WUWT articles, my comments stopped going to the normal moderation queue, they completely disappeared, with some of them to emerge some time later on the website. Seems there were gradations of moderation like Dana said. "Acceptable" commenters could pass "go" automatically and be vetted by any old moderator (now no moderation), while suspect (pro-science) commenters were personally vetted by the great little man himself.

Victor Venema said...

I particularly like the "it's not spyware because somewhere if you look hard enough we tell you that we are spying on you".

That argument was great! And then it is best to stop the discussion, not to divert attention from such a statement.

Peter Gleick said...

Has anyone had the stomach to go thru WUWT comments to calculate the ratio of anonymous to names commenters and the ratio of ad hominem to substantive comments? BTW, I was banished years ago from commenting there, which has made my life so much nicer, actually.

Victor Venema said...

It is almost funny, that Sou calls my posts "very polite and non-inflammatory".

I do my best and I do have some training. If you want to draw attention to a rookie error, a scientist would write that he is not fully convinced yet that the evidence is conclusive.

However, the nonsense of those non-sceptical sceptics once in a while make me give up my politeness. Wotts, keep up the good work.

Sou said...

Not me, Peter. But if you are interested in numbers, Anthony Watts himself did a survey and found that 98.4% of his readers are climate science deniers! That's the exact reverse of the number of climate science (and related) experts who find/accept that we humans are causing global warming.

It explains why WUWT is fact free and chock full of conspiracy freaks. His readership is almost solely the 8% Dismissives plus maybe some of the 13% Doubtfuls.

BTW - a very warm welcome to you, and to Dana who I meant to welcome earlier, and anyone else I missed out on welcoming.

Wotts Up With That Blog said...

Thanks, I'll try. As you note, it is tricky at times. I've also only been at this for a short while and haven't really had any particularly unpleasant comments on my blog yet. If (or when) these do start to happen, I may find it harder to maintain any sense of dignity :-)

rumleyfips said...

I'm going to name you! What's your name. Watt's at his finest.

I made a few comments there ( some sarcasm included ) , was banned and told " we know where you live". Boy was I scared.

I don't look at the site anymore; there's nothing of interest to me. My impression is that a lot of people think that way. Reading your site leads me to think that Tony's increasing shrillness and sillyness is a result of falling visitation and crdibility.


Anonymous said...

I'm a little shocked at the unabashed sexism from Anthony Watts. I wonder what his femail readers think of him using the phrases 'clueless female' and 'no blame, just a statement of fact - you are an emotionally based lifeform'.

I have never held Watts in high regard but this truly surprised me.


Sou said...

He's almost old enough to be a "male chauvinist pig". I doubt the women noticed the 'female' - they would have been more drawn to the 'clueless' and 'eco-nut'.

As for the 'emotionally based life form' and 'mendacious idiot', the former was probably prompted by his sexism. There was nothing 'emotional' from me in the exchange. Nor did I lie, needless to say. Same with him accusing me of not answering a question. He didn't ask me any question.

Anthony likes to reel off whatever words he thinks are insulting. They don't have to be the least bit applicable. He's a crude and rather silly-sounding showman, no finesse. All bluff and bluster.

Reginald Perrin said...

One would have to be a masochist to attempt what you suggest, Watt's astro-turf spin machine generates far to many posts and comments to make it practical for one person to attempt.
What may be more feasible is to crowd source collecting
ad hominems made specifically by Willard,Chris Monckton and WUWT's mods. Maybe if someone asking nicely, Sou would be kind enough host a long running thread where we could post our favourites.

Catmando said...

Are there many women who comment over at Watts? I can see a couple but mostly it is men and a testosterone fuelled bunch they seem to be. Sometimes the commenting veers between the sickeningly sycophantic to the sadly playground bully name calling. I can't be bothered to collect any examples because it depresses me.

Try this to cheer you up:


BBD said...

Never forget Nuccitelli et al. (2012). Source of that figure...

Deniers do not like that figure at all, which doubtless helped fuel Dana's runaway popularity in certain circles.

Spilgard said...

It must have been amusing to be called an "emotional life form" by Mr. Watts, given his rich history of hissy-fits. Perhaps he was channeling the wisdom of Ron Burgundy:

"I'm not a baby, I am a man. I'm a man who discovered the wheel and built the Eiffel Tower out of metal and brawn. That's what kind of man I am. You're just a woman with a small brain. With a brain a third the size of us. It's science."

Ryan said...

I comment there for two reasons:

1.) To help people who stumble across it realize how full of turds Anthony is.

2.) They're hilarious. They can't decide if the CO2 rise is natural or not. They can't decide if it's warming or cooling. They can't decide if the temperature record is a conspiracy or not. But damnit they KNOW that global warming isn't real. That's for damn sure! Lol

Sou said...

Speaking of comment policies, this comment is addressed to the anonymous whose two comments I've cut.

Please stick to the comment policy of HotWhopper, not WUWT comment policy as interpreted at WUWT. If you do not understand the comment policy of this blog, feel free to contact me in private and I will explain it to you. I will use words of one or at most two syllables.

Put simply, a "syllable" is the count of vowel sounds in a word that lie between the hard sounds. For this purpose a vowel sound is the spoken sound of a e i o u or a mix of these. "Syllable" has three counts, with y having the sound of i, a having the sound of a and "ble" having the sound of a mix of u or i or e - it depends on how you pronounce it.)

My contact address is on the About page.

uknowispeaksense said...

I posted a total of three comments before I was banned. The crybaby didn't like the fact I was posting from my university. According to Anthony, I was breaching my university's IT policy, which he clearly hadn't read. Knowing I preferred anonymity, he then in his comment where he banned me mentioned my university. At a staff meeting several weeks later, we were told that the university had received abusive emails and letters from irate people demanding they stop wasting taxpayers money by allowing "warmists" to visit "scientific blogs". Everyone agreed that it's funny that the morons think WUWT is "scientific".

Anonymous said...

'Everyone agreed that it's funny that the morons think WUWT is "scientific".'

Tee hee. Ironically, weren't the Bloggies recently plagued by a plethora of anti-science sites vying for best 'science' site, including WUWT? So much so that Skeptical Science pulled out of the farce before the voting. IIRC, 13 out of the 17 sites nominated were actually ant-science climate 'skeptics' sites. I don't think the Bloggies will ever recover from that (not that I would lend too much credence to an award for which WUWT was a 3-time winner. Everyone knows it's really down to who has the most zealous/sycophantic supporters).

My own attempts to comment at WUWT were voluntarily abandoned about a year or so ago by being told off in rapid succession by both Monckton himself and Richard Courtney for posting stuff there that actually made sense. I have since learned that Courtney is a reverend, and one of the primary signatories of the Cornwall Alliance pile of... steaming nonsense. That explains a lot.


Anonymous said...

I have had the honour of being banned on WUWT too. I found it a very interesting experience. If you disagree with the party line they will abuse you until you leave. Then gloat saying something along the lines that you couldn't handle the facts or WTTE. I decided to stick with it pointing out their abuse and repeating why they were wrong until all they could do was ban me.

I occasionally visit to see what dribble they are posting and have noticed that they are starting to give credence to AGW. This is incidental to the story being told. For instance, one recent thread was describing how good it was that the Artic ice cap was melting because it increased polar bear numbers. It is a big advance that they are admitting the Artic cap was melting away. I guess it is getting harder and harder to deny the obvious.

Anonymous said...

Talking about moderation policy I was amused to see that even WUWT has problems with climate deniers and has to censor them. From WUWT policy page:

"For the same reasons as the absurd topics listed above, references to the “Slaying the Sky Dragon” Book and subsequent group “Principia Scientific” which have the misguided idea that the greenhouse effect doesn’t exist, and have elevated that idea into active zealotry, WUWT is a “Slayer Free Zone”."

Sou said...

It's a pity that Anthony only enforces his policy selectively. He frequently publishes articles by one of the "SkyDragon/slayer" authors, greenhouse effect denier and uber- conspiracy theorist Tim Ball.

Victor Venema said...

Interesting, Watts used the same intimidation tactics on me. The university, unfortunately for him, could not care less. Germany has freedom of research in its constitution, specially to avoid intimidation by political extremists.