ScienceSkepticism

Pop Sci to Pop Sigh: I Fucking Love Science Ex-Admins Speak Out

by Kavin Senapathy and Yvette d’Entremont

EDIT 8/17/15 12:22pm ET by Rebecca Watson: Please see a response from Elise Andrew immediately following this article.

 

Screencap from IFLS facebook page 2 days after founding

I Fucking Love Science founder congratulates fellow admins two days after starting the Facebook page. She’s claimed to have done it on her own.

 “Thanks To Reduced Solar Activity, We Could Be Heading For A Mini Ice Age In 2030”

“There Probably Won’t Be A “Mini Ice Age” In 15 Years”

“No, We Aren’t Heading Into A ‘Mini Ice Age’”

“The ‘Mini Ice Age’ Hoopla Is A Giant Failure Of Science Communication”

With mixed messages like these leaving most readers with the impression that science is without consensus, it would be prudent to pin these headlines as the work of four disparate publications. However, in the landscape of rush to publish journalism, the once fun yet reliable source of science news, I Fucking Love Science published all four of these headlines within days of each other.

So what became of an organization that once strove to popularize science? How did they become the less-than-reliable tabloid of science journalism? And with sensationalized headlines that hardly resemble the scientific work from which they preen clickbait, how can readers separate science fact from science fiction?

 

The I Fucking Love Science Big Bang

Known as the brainchild of Elise Andrew, I Fucking Love Science (IFLS) began in 2012 as a fledgling Facebook page that amassed an impressive 50,000 followers within a month of launching. Today over twenty-one million followers tune in for the IFLS brand of “the lighter side of science.” In other words, Andrew is a veritable media mogul running one of the biggest sci comm kingdoms of all time. In her early twenties when she launched the page, she had already tried her hand at other science-popularizing Facebook pages. “The Universe” and “Evolution” were earlier works but neither had the je ne sais quoi of IFLS. That explosion remains hugely valuable to science communication, exposing millions every day to the joy and excitement of science. Andrew has been a trailblazer; journalists cutting their teeth today are learning an environment that the powerful IFLS river carved into the media landscape.

Elise Andrew at an IFLS event. Image credit Wikimedia Commons

Elise Andrew at an IFLS event. Image credit Wikimedia Commons

From that tiny Facebook page, IFLS has managed to become a bastion of information, reaching more people on social media than Popular Science, Scientific American, New York Times, and US Weekly combined. The empire that started as a Facebook page and now boasts a product line, website, and an online video series, was the first to truly leverage the power of the “like” button. With easily accessible memes and soundbites, IFLS played the social media game and played it well.

With so many followers on IFLS, it stands to reason that a majority of them aren’t intimately versed in the scientific method. It’s a grueling, often boring process that every now and then leads to exciting discoveries and awesome headlines to accompany them. A love of the interesting, beneficial, and just plain cool results of science can help inspire the masses to appreciate the hard work of scientists. And if a handful of these masses are young and impressionable, IFLS may just inspire them to pursue education and careers in STEM fields.

So where’s the problem?

 

Pop Sci’s Bubble Popped

The awesome headlines IFLS promotes have become increasingly misleading. Rather than doing her part to mitigate the problem, Elise Andrew has gone from a modern pop sci champion to contributing to the very media misinformation that scientists work hard to combat.

“Teens Invent Condoms That Change Color When They Detect STDs”, a recent IFLS headline declared. Unbelievable! As in you shouldn’t believe it, because it’s not true. These color-changing wonders don’t exist and won’t exist for a long time if ever. For an organization of self-proclaimed science lovers which reaches millions of readers, one would hope for a bit more fact-checking.  And besides, isn’t the best time to find out someone has chlamydia long before tearing open a condom?

On July 28th, another overreaching IFLS headline declared a “Link Found Between Gut Bacteria And Depression.” “Link” is one of those weasel words that in science communication means “we’ve got nothing.” The headline and the article are two entirely different things. The study itself, published in open access journal Nature Communications, tested behavior of mouse models with and without normal microbiomes when exposed to stress. When asked about gut bacteria in people influencing depression, the lead author Premysl Bercik stated, “So far, the data is missing.” IFLS needed a clickbait headline, and they pounced on a study with no data.

And in a stunning display of recklessness, on June 9th they ran the headline “Are Hospitals The Safest Place For Healthy Women To Have Babies? An Obstetrician Thinks Twice.” In America, where over 46% of IFLScience.com readers reside, hospital births are the safest by far. With studies showing the infant mortality rates in home deliveries to be 3-9 times higher than that of a hospital births, moms and babies are in danger if unexpected complications arise last minute. Often, mother and medical staff only find out there are problems as the delivery is happening, with devastating results.

“There is a good chance that your grandparents were born at home. I am going to go ahead and assume they turned out fine,” the article opened. The author leaves out that your grandparents had up to a 30% chance of dying within the first year of life. And there are parts of the world where medical care is so scant that childbirth is an affront to your health.

If you’re an expectant mother looking at a page that represents itself as a science site, you deserve better. You deserve to be told about the safest technology that science has to offer, including… hospitals.

 

Love Science, or Love Clickbait?

IFLS’ science-challenged and arguably ethics-challenged snafus don’t stop there. Remember the four Ice Age headlines mentioned earlier? In their first headline in the series, “Thanks to Reduced Solar Activity, We Could Be Heading for a Mini Ice Age in 2030″, the site jumped on a media hype bandwagon, grossly misinterpreting University of Northumbria research on reduction in sunspot activity over the next few decades. While this decline in solar activity is based on solid science, there was no conclusive research on the potential impact to Earth’s climate. Though multiple outlets jumped on the story, IFLS was undoubtedly the biggest media source featuring the story with an alarmist headline and a picture of streets frozen over to match.

When that failed, they moved on to scapegoating. After speaking with head researcher Valentina Zharkova, the site wrote a follow up, “There Probably Won’t Be A “Mini Ice Age” In 15 Years.” The very next day, IFLS re-published a story from news site The Conversation called “No, We Aren’t Heading Into a ‘Mini Ice Age’” from Space Physics professor Jim Wild with the opening line, “Wouldn’t it be great if scientists could make their minds up?” It’s important to make the distinction that scientists never told us to stock up on down jackets, it was IFLS’ staff in search of a their daily headline.

In their most recent article in the Ice Age debacle, “The ‘Mini Ice Age’ Hoopla Is A Giant Failure Of Science Communication,” the blame is on the media for not fact checking, and on Zharkova for presumably not critically evaluating literature content.

So the media source that published four disparate headlines on one subject is blaming the media. And they’re also blaming the researcher when it was IFLS that passed on due diligence before hitting the “publish” button.

One small step for science, one giant clickbait leap for I Fucking Love Science.

 

Credit Where Credit Is Due

I Fucking Love Science’s questionable version of the truth doesn’t only apply to headlines. One of the most critical ongoing allegations against IFLS and its founder and head honcho is lack of credit where credit is due. “I created the page and uploaded all the content I’d been posting to my personal profile, and then I went to bed,” Andrew told Mashable in 2013 about starting IFLS. “I woke up, and I had over 1,000 followers.  Of her dedication, Andrew stated “it’s still just me on the page and it probably always will be. It’s hard to find people who are as obsessed as I am, but still happy to do things my way.” She still asserts that she had little help in establishing and popularizing IFLS. Though the story of a meteoric one-woman rise is a compelling one, according to ex-admins on the IFLS Facebook page, it’s also science fiction.

The original administrators at IFLS- Shawn Bailes, Javier Eduardo Estrada, and Neal David Mackie- were happy to speak with us about what happened on the other side of the computer screen. Mackie, who today is an admin of a new page, explained that “Elise created the page, but we were all on-board before a single post was made. For finding and creating of content, Shawn and I exceeded everyone, including Elise, by a huge amount. When we were admin, we all dug in with the legwork and posting. Elise was full time studying at the time.”

Andrew and Bailes working together behind the scenes in 2012

Andrew and Bailes working together behind the scenes in 2012

 

The original team working together with Elise truly did, and still do love science. “Our combined love of science, tenacity in researching, appreciation of comedy, and admin from all over the globe ensured constant, successful postings that went viral often,” Mackie reminisced. He enjoyed the work, but never expected to earn a single penny.

Estrada explained, “When we started the page, we were moved for a passion to educate, to inform, to share what we loved, and engage people.”  Bailes echoed the sentiment about not expecting compensation. “Didn’t expect money at all. We talked about keeping it non-profit.”

Facebook screencap from IFLS in 2012

Neal Mackie signs off on an IFLS thread comment with an “N”. Andrew requested all admins at the time to sign off with an initial.

Andrew unceremoniously and unexpectedly dumped the original group of admins who helped build IFLS from the ground up. Shortly thereafter, it became clear that IFLS was becoming a very profitable empire; one that Andrew had no intention of sharing.

A 2014 Columbia Journalism Review story, which was criticized as not exactly hard-hitting, touted Elise Andrew as “journalism’s first self-made brand.” Self-made? Hardly. The proof is in the IFLS admin team pudding. And when ex-admins began chatting on social media about their early involvement, and though they never expected nor made a dime from IFLS, Andrew threatened to sue the group for speaking out.

When asked why she would threaten them, Bailes explained, “I think she knew that I was involved in trying to get information together to show she was lying about being the only person running the page.”

And Andrew wasn’t beyond bullying. Says an admin of “The Universe” Facebook page, one of Andrew’s early projects, “That was her go-to back then. When she felt slighted in any way she’d send IFLS fans to report the page until Facebook removed the page.”

Andrew resorts to threatening ex-admins for speaking out.

Andrew resorts to threatening ex-admins with libel suit for speaking out.

She also didn’t keep the page true to original form. After reading a recent IFLS headline, “Scientists Reveal What The Perfect Penis Looks Like,” Javier Estrada lamented, “it is sad to see how something we worked hard to achieve get insulted this way.”

When asked to elaborate, Estrada explained, “when we started the page, most of our work was based around hard science. At least the few articles I wrote were not about recent discoveries, but about explaining things. In comparison, that IFLS article is, in my opinion, click bait.”

Along with accusations of click bait, Andrew has consistently re-shared others’ work with no credit given. Between several allegations of plagiarism and accounts indicating over 6000 reports of copyright infringement in 2013 alone, we reached out to Andrew via email. When asked for comment about IFLS’ growth, recent accusations of plagiarism, and content that some have asserted is less than scientifically sound, her response was:

“We’ve never been accused of plagiarism, so I’d start by getting that right. We were accused of incorrectly citing images on our Facebook page, but that was more than two years ago and was addressed long ago.”

When pressed further Andrew replied, “I’m sorry, but I no longer give interviews except under exceptional circumstances. If you send the article to me after it has been written, I will fact-check it.”

We rejected Andrew’s offer to fact-check, considering her history of pulling fast ones.  For example, back in 2012 Andrew didn’t bother to check whether the edgy “I Fucking Love Science” name was up for grabs. Established on Facebook in 2011, the original “I Fucking Love Science” page was the creation of Axl Dyer. After seeing the page of the same name, Dyer asked her to change it. Andrew refused, and the rest is history.

 

IFLS’ Place in the Science Communication Future

If you ask a non-scientist what science is, you’re likely to hear a collection of subjects from astronomy to zoology. When asking someone steeped in the riches of science, the answer is more nuanced.

Science is a systematic and dynamic practice that gleans and organizes information from the universe around us. It encompasses the vast body of knowledge from the natural, formal and social branches. It is a never-ending process; a system for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. For the scientific community to deem anything “science,” it must be based on hard evidence subject to testing and confirmation.

Though we may not realize it, we already loved science. Our very way of life depends on it. Science has given us everything from space shuttles to smart phones, precision medicine to internet porn. It helps us learn about the origins of life on earth and the possibility of life on other planets.

It’s more complex than a pretty picture of some stars with a quote from Neil deGrasse Tyson on it.

But is there room for eye-catching memes in this landscape of internet information sharing?

Yes. In a day and age where the average person may not set foot in a college level science classroom or peruse a peer-reviewed scientific paper, I Fucking Love Science serves its place with daily, funny, punchy reminders that life is enhanced by science. That little nudge that science is in our pores is important.

People need that reminder, and we love that Andrew is giving it to them.

“If I had the opportunity, I think I would do about 10 different degrees, five different master’s degrees, probably as many Ph.D.s, and you can’t do that,” Andrew explained to Mashable in 2013. Whether or not that level of academic achievement is realistic, the fervor is inspiring, and has translated to the science media empire she runs today.

But Andrew fails to grasp what both credentialed scientists and science enthusiasts alike know:  Fervor doesn’t necessarily make good science communication. Conveying scientific findings accurately does. While passion is great, it’s just icing on the cake. Let the recent criticism help IFLS reclaim the real science that once fueled its content and commitment. Andrew has done great things with IFLS, but she could be teaching her vast audience about the power of the scientific method, of accuracy, and of science’s most raw purpose:  to perpetually seek the objective truth.

***Special thanks to ex-IFLS admins Shawn Bailes, Javier Eduardo Estrada, and Neal David Mackie for speaking to us about their experiences. In addition, we appreciate Ahmed Al-Rayyis, Hashem Al-Ghaili and another anonymous source for recounting their interactions with IFLS and Elise Andrew during their work with sister sites.***

Note: Former IFLS writers reached out to share their experiences for this story. Though we chose not to include them due to anonymity, we appreciate these writers reaching out.

Yvette d’Entremont holds bachelor’s degrees in theatre and chemistry along with a master’s degree in forensic science. With a background working as an analytical chemist, she currently runs Science Babe full time. Her site has become a reliable mix of debunking pseudoscience with humor and science. She lives in southern California with her dog, Buddy. Follow her at fb.com/sciencebabe and scibabe.com.

EDIT 8/17/15 12:22pm ET
by Rebecca Watson

Upon being made aware of this article, I reached out to Elise Andrew for a response. (In full disclosure, I consider Elise to be a friend). Here is her point-by-point rebuttal to several facets of this piece:

In her early twenties when she launched the page, she had already tried her hand at other science-popularizing Facebook pages. “The Universe” and “Evolution” were earlier works but neither had the je ne sais quoi of IFLS.

The Universe, Evolution and The Earth Story were all created after IFLS. Easily checked just by looking at the “started” date on the pages themselves.

So the media source that published four disparate headlines on one subject is blaming the media.

Well yeah. The media. Including ourselves. That was sort of the idea, you know? We screwed up, and so we criticized ourselves.

The original administrators at IFLS- Shawn Bailes, Javier Eduardo Estrada, and Neal David Mackie- were happy to speak with us about what happened on the other side of the computer screen. Mackie, who today is an admin of a new page, explained that “Elise created the page, but we were all on-board before a single post was made. For finding and creating of content, Shawn and I exceeded everyone, including Elise, by a huge amount. When we were admin, we all dug in with the legwork and posting. Elise was full time studying at the time.

They weren’t on board before a post was made, they came on board shortly after I created it. They were existing friends of mine, and offered to help me out. They certainly didn’t exceed me in content and that’s directly at odds with what Mackie has stated in the past – that the conflict occurred because I was a control freak, made them feel like they were working “for” me, and insisted on approving everything that went up. Honestly, that’s probably more accurate. I’m a total control freak.

They were involved for around three or four weeks. I honestly don’t remember the specifics. They were definitely not involved by the time I finished university, which was in May. That’s a full 18 months before I created a website, sold T shirts, or anything else that generated revenue.

Bailes echoed the sentiment about not expecting compensation. “Didn’t expect money at all. We talked about keeping it non-profit.”

No, we didn’t. Or at least, no one ever discussed that with me. It was a Facebook page. It was a fun hobby. Honestly, the idea of it generating revenue didn’t cross my mind for years.

Andrew unceremoniously and unexpectedly dumped the original group of admins who helped build IFLS from the ground up. Shortly thereafter, it became clear that IFLS was becoming a very profitable empire; one that Andrew had no intention of sharing.

I had serious medical issues, ones that are still ongoing. I was hospitalized, and when I returned, I logged back into Facebook to read some incredibly nasty messages about me that they thought I couldn’t read. I was devastated beyond all belief, as I believed these people were my friends. I shut down the page entirely, and never planned to open it again. A mutual friend got in touch, and talked me into continuing.

I then didn’t hear from these people for more than a year. They never got in touch, apologized, or explained. They never asked to continue their involvement in the page. The next time I heard from them was years later, when I started receiving press. To this day, they’ve never contacted me directly. This was an incredibly, incredibly painful time for me.
As I mentioned above, this was a full 18 months before there was a website or merchandising line. The page was a fun hobby, and it honestly never crossed my mind it would ever be anything else.

At the time they left, the page had under 100k followers. Really not quite a “profitable empire”. To claim that I ditched them when it started to become popular is just dishonest. It was the infancy of the page.

Andrew threatened to sue the group for speaking out

Actually, I asked them to sue me. I even offered to pay their legal bills. At the time, they were claiming THEY had created the Facebook page and telling people I “stole” it from them. I’m glad to see they’ve stopped claiming that. My point was that if they truly believe what they are saying, then they should pursue me legally and give me the chance to defend myself legally.

accounts indicating over 6000 reports of copyright infringement in 2013 alone

Hashem Al-Ghali talking nonsense again? I honestly don’t even know this guy. He reached out to me once, wanting to work with me. I got shitty with him because he was claiming to ALREADY work with me, putting my logo on his info graphics. I guess he didn’t like my tone, because ever since then he’s made up all sorts of bizarre stories.

He claims to have been informed by a person at “Facebook” that I received 6,000 copyright complaints in January 2013 alone.

Well first, Facebook doesn’t release that info. At all. Second, on average we receive around 1 copyright complaint every few months. It’s usually a misunderstanding, and every single one has been cleared up quickly.

For those who don’t understand the copyright complaint process on Facebook, it’s very simple. You submit a DMCA form, the image in question is removed around 24 hours later. There’s a chance to appeal, but only after the image has been removed. I honestly don’t even remember the last time I had an image removed for a copyright complaint.

Let’s do the basic math here – at the time, I posted around 10-15 images a day. Meaning in January 2013, being generous, I posted around 465 images. So he’s claiming 465 images received 6,000 copyright reports, but none were removed. Even though Facebook auto removes ANYTHING reported for copyright infringement.

Maybe he meant ever? Let’s be generous. Let’s say that 465 number holds up since the beginning of the page. It doesn’t, because I posted once or twice a day at the beginning, but whatever. Began in March, he was claiming this figure in January of the year after. So 11 months of 465 images a month is 5,115. So 5,115 images received a total of 6,000 copyright infringement reports. Hmm. And not one was ever actually removed. Hmmm.

Hashem Al-Ghali has been claiming this for years, with zero evidence. He claims he was “told” this, but has never told anyone WHO told him this or given any evidence of what he’s saying. And it doesn’t make any sense.

Established on Facebook in 2011, the original “I Fucking Love Science” page was the creation of Axl Dyer. After seeing the page of the same name, Dyer asked her to change it. Andrew refused, and the rest is history.

I had no idea his Facebook page even existed until months after I made mine. It had around 200 followers, and he’d posted about 3 items since he created it. He never asked me to change it, and to my recollection has never communicated with me directly. It’s also impossible to change the name of a Facebook page after a certain point (used to be 200 followers, no idea what it is now) so even if he had asked, and I had wanted to oblige, I wouldn’t have been able to.

In addition, we appreciate Ahmed Al-Rayyis, Hashem Al-Ghaili and another anonymous source for recounting their interactions with IFLS and Elise Andrew during their work with sister sites.

I’ve never worked with Hashem Al-Ghaili. I have literally no idea who Ahmed Al-Rayyis is. Maybe you should have taken me up on my offer to fact-check this article …

Kavin Senapathy

Kavin Senapathy

Kavin Senapathy is a mom of two, co-Executive Director of March Against Myths, public speaker, Forbes contributor and author in Madison, WI. She is also co-author of "The Fear Babe: Shattering Vani Hari's Glass House". Follow her on Facebook and twitter @ksenapathy

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62 Comments

  1. August 17, 2015 at 11:21 am —

    Really interesting article. I used to really like IFLS then, especially this year, have found myself commenting more and more frequently about the bad journalism, bad writing and bad science. It’s such a shame. Wonder what they’ll think of your article. Though they might be too busy writing about Chopra and the hoaxed moon landings to notice.

  2. August 17, 2015 at 12:47 pm —

    Gaaaah, Elise! What we *really* want you to respond to is the overall issue that many scientific-literate Facebook users have been trying to address–are you interested in fixing the issues of quality and accuracy in your posts? We *want* you to succeed! Do you acknowledge that there have been some issues and are you dedicated to taking the criticism and fixing them? I hope the answer is yes! :)

    • August 18, 2015 at 1:05 am —

      Yeah, it’s a really combative reply… there are some really valid, and general, critiques that are just ignored while she attacks the specifics.

    • August 20, 2015 at 11:47 pm —

      Agreed. Also, while I’m sure most if not all of her reply is factual, I’d be curious to see a follow-up to it.

      As for the article itself, It kind of seems like there’s some post hoc ergo propter hoc being used in the initial allegation, in terms of drawing conclusions (or at least making inferences) about Elise’s motives based on the timing of some events, and I think the initial article presents some things as calculated that may have simply been coincidences.

      Regardless, it sucks to get rung through the ringer, and to find out that people are human, and that in a world fueled primarily by capitalism one must sometimes cut corners and make decisions that are, shall we say, less than scrupulous, all in the name of growth and survival. There’s really nothing happy about this story at all, other than the reminder to stay gracious and humble and to try and see things from others’ points of view before jumping to conclusions or making big decisions. Hope things get better soon :)

  3. August 17, 2015 at 1:00 pm —

    What I find really interesting about Elise’s rebuttal is that she doesn’t mention for a single second the elephant in the room.

    Dear, gossip and irony aside, why don’t you fact-check before you post?

  4. August 17, 2015 at 1:22 pm —

    Moreover when show to be wrong, why is there so much “banning” going on? Wikipedia is not a source for reliable information no matter how much it agrees with your perception of an issue.

    • August 17, 2015 at 1:31 pm —

      Why not?

      It’s not a scientific journal, but wikipedia is pretty top tier for internet-based sources.

      • August 17, 2015 at 1:37 pm —

        I’ve never seen someone say that before. I’ve actually read the exact opposite based on the fact that wikipedia can be edited so freely. Though it is a good place to start to find reliable sources.

        • August 17, 2015 at 3:32 pm —

          The problem is this: if something is a popular myth and it gets onto Wikipedia, then it’s hellishly difficult to challenge it. It’s more accurate that many sources (unless they are academic journals) and it’s useful starting point – BUT – it cannot be relied upon as single source; particularly when myths from the Internet feed right back into it.

          Kavin is aware of one issue I’ve tried at length to highlight and been shouted down as everything from a sexist to a (insert slur here). No one wants to listen to evidence if it disagrees with widely held perceptions.

          What is it? You’ll have to read our book to discover that; and the supporting evidence to prove our case.

        • August 17, 2015 at 4:01 pm —

          Well, naturally that problem exists, but compared to the wider set of internet based sources, my experience is that wikipedia tends towards more reliable sources, particularly for more contentious claims.

          They have a general policy against hold pseudoscience publications as equal to scientific, a specific policy of letting the reliability of sources resolve disputes, and a huge knowledge base.

          It’s far from perfect, but compared to most sources on the internet, I’d say it does better.

          • August 17, 2015 at 5:17 pm

            Agreed but my own issue with IFLS was specifically linked to Wikipedia as “evidence” that I was wrong; and Wikipedia was wrong too. It’s taken years and only now the corrections are being made.

            You’re assuming this was a specific science issue – it wasn’t – it was an assignation wrongly made to a celebrity. A science related subject, sure, but parroting a source without checking is poor show and banning someone for challenging your evidence is even poorer.

        • August 17, 2015 at 5:03 pm —

          Theres a reason why no accredited institution allows wiki as a legitimate source. But like others have stated it may prove to be a useful starting point.

          • August 20, 2015 at 11:38 am

            No, but not because it’s not reliable. because it’s a a secondary source. It is, however, a great place to go and get a summary for what the primary sources are saying, which is what most of us want since we’re not writing theses. But if you are, it’s a good place to go to a list of initial primary sources to start your own research.

  5. August 17, 2015 at 1:36 pm —

    “They were involved for around three or four weeks. I honestly don’t remember the specifics. They were definitely not involved by the time I finished university, which was in May. That’s a full 18 months before I created a website, sold T shirts, or anything else that generated revenue.”

    “Honestly, the idea of it generating revenue didn’t cross my mind for years.”

    “I then didn’t hear from these people for more than a year. They never got in touch, apologized, or explained. They never asked to continue their involvement in the page. The next time I heard from them was years later, when I started receiving press. ”

    IFLS is only 3 years old. It irritates me, her making it sound like it’s been decades or something.

    “At the time they left, the page had under 100k followers. Really not quite a “profitable empire”. To claim that I ditched them when it started to become popular is just dishonest. It was the infancy of the page.”

    When you start something for fun and you have over 1k people following, I imagine that would feel like it’s popular. How did you know it was the infancy of the page? To them maybe it was starting to become popular.

  6. August 17, 2015 at 1:57 pm —

    “The media. Including ourselves. That was sort of the idea, you know? We screwed up, and so we criticized ourselves.”

    This is such a load of crock. They never once mentioned IFLS screwed up.

    To make an analogy, this would be like me, who works in IT, fucking up a network configuration or something and then telling my boss, “This was a failure of Information Technology.” No. That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works.

    • August 17, 2015 at 3:39 pm —

      1) IFLS is always right.
      2) When IFLS is wrong see (1) – after banning use for having the temerity to point out mistake.

      • August 17, 2015 at 3:53 pm —

        It’s really disappointing that IFLS has resorted to banning/deleting comments that point out errors lately. I used to point out their errors in the comment sections all the time, even with significant # of likes, and never got my comment removed (though, I also never got a response from anybody related to IFLS about it either). But I’ve been hearing some respectful skeptics reporting their comments being removed from there. It’s saddening.

  7. August 17, 2015 at 2:56 pm —

    All we want is for IFLS to return to accurate, non-clickbaity science communication. We want you to succeed in the long term, and the only way that can happen is with trustworthy reporting.

  8. August 17, 2015 at 3:06 pm —

    I don’t know about the internal drama, but I had un-liked the page due to a number of articles (including specifically one about home birth) that seemed really misleading. I appreciate the need to address the personal allegations, but I’d love a bit more addressing the quality of the articles.

  9. August 17, 2015 at 3:48 pm —

    My wife and I were having a conversation about this site in the car at lunch. I used to enjoy the more “actual” science pieces. Recently, it has become somewhat of a FB feedhog, spamming pretty meaningless, and inaccurate stories. After seeing this, I went to the FB site, to change how often I see stuff from the site…because I still do Fucking Love Science. BUT. Right on the front page, in the comments…links to porn. Seriously, I don’t know what the real admins are doing, but they are clearly not doing their “jobs”, or whatever it is over there that they call work. Click bait sites are a plague on the internet, and IFLS turned into pure clickbait paradise.

  10. August 17, 2015 at 4:49 pm —

    I can do without the they said/they said personal drama from behind the scenes, but I find it troubling that Andrew gave essentially a “Yeah, sowhat?” response to Mini Ice Age incident and thereby avoided addressing the charge of clickbaiting and not properly fact-checking out the stories that get posted, especially her desire to have people fact-check stories like this with her.

    And other than dispute Al-Ghaili’s claims she ignored the lack of credit issue, though with the number of times she’s been called on it and keeps getting called on it, I wouldn’t be surprised that’s she’s sick of it by now. Thing is, that’s all the more reason for her to address the issue instead of continuing to avoid it.

    Those two things are I why I had to eventually unfollow and unlike IFLS.

    • August 17, 2015 at 8:34 pm —

      The only way to address the copyright issue is for her to fess up to stealing and not crediting content (and this example comes from about a year into the founding of the page): https://www.reddit.com/r/funny/comments/1lr4uk/poor_pluto/

      https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=573201416034207&set=a.456449604376056.98921.367116489976035&type=1

      Can you imaging what kind of exposure Quark Tees could have gotten, had the page just included a link back to her? Literally could have made her. So sad.

      • August 18, 2015 at 12:58 pm —

        I don’t mean this as a criticism of that artist because it is a really cute design, but I want to say that in addition to the stealing/not crediting, that image is yet another thing that IFLS had no business sharing in the first place. It is explicitly anti-science because it serves to perpetuate the widely-held view that Pluto was somehow wrongfully demoted and that now instead of 9 planets there are 8 planets and Pluto. It is exactly the sort of thing an admin would share if they didn’t know jack squat about science. Why isn’t Pluto now hanging out with Ceres and Eris and Makemake? And there’s also some conflation going on because the categorization of Pluto has nothing to do with being in the outer edge of the solar system, since Ceres is between Mars and Jupiter.

  11. August 17, 2015 at 5:36 pm —

    This is me, Hashem Al-Ghaili. I am here to respond to Elise.

    First of all, I never worked with you and no one on this article claimed that. As usual, you like dancing around the questions with irrelevant responses. You’re right, I reached out for you wanting to work with you, but you completely ignored the whole story behind it. So, I am going to share it here myself.

    I created a couple of infographics and posted them on my profile back in 2012. Some of them were shared on your page without permission or credit. You think I am laying? Well, here is just one example for your pleasure: http://i.imgur.com/WspCEMC.png

    I reached out for you and asked you to kindly add the credit or take them down. You refused to do either of these. So, I threatened to report your page and have the whole page taken down instead. This was your response back then: http://i.imgur.com/WvmDLSN.jpg

    Then I decide to go rather for a diplomatic solution where I create infographics for your page provided that you keep the credit. You probably thought that I was going to share the page with you, but hell no, I just wanted to keep the credit of my hard-work on my infographics. In order to demonstrate how good they could be, I created a sample with your logo on it and sent it over to you. I don’t see how could that be considered as claiming to have worked with you? Saying that I have claimed working with you is utter nonsense. Anyways, you refused my offer and went on to share some other content from my profile without any credit or mention.

    I decided to go ahead and let everyone know the story. I also reported your page to Facebook. My infographics were taken down from your page upon my request and, of course, due to your act of copyright infringement. I challenge you to show the infographic above on your page and prove that it is still there.

    When you file a copyright infringement complaint, Facebook goes through the process of validation in order to confirm that the content really belongs to you. During this process, they can even send you an email and contact you directly for further details. And that’s what happened with me.

    I was contacted by someone from Facebook whom I refuse to give their name, and I provided the evidence that some of my original content was posted on your page without credit. And that’s when I was informed about a whole stack of copyright infringement reports against you submitted by many artists. Unfortunately, I recycled my emails back then and lost that message along with others. But I am going to try harder to recover that email and show you the goddamn evidence as soon as I find it.

    So, when you come here and tell nonsense about your dark history, remember that many artists and I have suffered long enough to know well how crappy and arrogant your responses were to our complaints. You built your empire by the efforts of other people and, shamelessly, you keep taking all the credit for it.

    No, I don’t envy you, I don’t feel inferior to your success, and frankly, I don’t care about how far you have come! I just care about the fact that you keep exploiting this story for you own benefits and without telling the truth.

    “Maybe you should have taken me up on my offer to fact-check this article”, said Elise.

    Can you first fact-check the articles on your website? We didn’t get to enjoy your ‘priceless’ and ‘up to the point’ response about the clickbaits and the misleading titles. Your website and your page are a black spot in the history of science communication and I feel ashamed to even mention that I saw something on IFLS.

  12. August 17, 2015 at 6:05 pm —

    This Andrew woman’s pants must be burnt away by now LOL
    Seriously, how can you claim that “I will sue you for libel” is not a threat to sue. Piss funny really

    • August 17, 2015 at 10:27 pm —

      I know! I had to go back and make sure I didn’t read that wrong. You’d think people would learn to not lie about things that they have written on the internet.

  13. August 17, 2015 at 6:53 pm —

    I do hope Ms. Andrew is on appropriate medication for her selective amnesia.

  14. August 17, 2015 at 7:01 pm —

    I find this article to be really long, for such a small amount of meaningful content.

    I read Ifls a couple of times a week, if something looks interesting and I’ll scroll a few stories. Now, if you actually read the articles you will see that many of the titles actually relate to the content of the article! Not only that, but the articles generally go over the pros and cons of said headline. The thing with science is that there are lots of different viewpoints. Ifls, generally potrays both sides of various arguments.

    This means that some things might seem contracting, but actually it’s a neutral standpoint. Some people say an ice age is coming, others says no it’s not. Do you really need to have it explained, or are you just being sensational?

    And honestly, the people who perform the scientific studies are the ones who need to fact check. Not the person who writes about a study or published finding.

    • August 17, 2015 at 7:35 pm —

      Amy, peer-reviewed articles are fact-checked. (That’s not to say that they can’t have problems, but that’s not really the topic here). Science journalists often misrepresent scientific studies – the original content may have been accurate, but the findings and their significance can get lost in translation through lazy reporting. To use your example: one study was misinterpreted by many media sources, including IFLS, as a prediction of the impending ice age. But that wasn’t what the study actually said. The implication here is that whoever wrote the IFLS story didn’t read the study fully, but possibly piggybacked on other media outlets that had written similar studies.

      I’m actually a science journalist (and a scientist) myself, so I’ve seen both sides of this problem.

    • August 17, 2015 at 8:13 pm —

      “And honestly, the people who perform the scientific studies are the ones who need to fact check. Not the person who writes about a study or published finding.”

      People writing articles shouldn’t fact check? Seriously? So if I’m writing an article about the economy, I have to take everything the politician says as true, because the burden’s on them to fact check?

    • August 17, 2015 at 8:34 pm —

      “This means that some things might seem contracting, but actually it’s a neutral standpoint. Some people say an ice age is coming, others says no it’s not. Do you really need to have it explained, or are you just being sensational?”

      Nowhere in the scientific method does it state that all points of view are to be judged equal and that where contradictions occur, well it’s just neutral anyway, make your own mind up. If contradictions occur, then the hypothesis with the best supporting evidence is the truth as we can best know it. In your example, the claim “there will be an ice age in fifteen years” is not a neutral opinion on an open ended question, it’s a sensationalist claim based on no evidence. The very fact that you didn’t know this demonstrates precisely IFLS’s failure to adequately report on science.

    • August 17, 2015 at 8:46 pm —

      “And honestly, the people who perform the scientific studies are the ones who need to fact check. Not the person who writes about a study or published finding.”

      That says to me that you don’t really know what this incident is about, because it’s not about bad science.

      IFLS repeated the bad reporting of other outlets which misunderstood the paper they were reporting on, or more likely didn’t even read it. That paper, were you to go an read it, said nothing about an impending mini-ice age, but the original article which many other media outlets copied nearly word-for-word, had that in. IFLS did that copypasta, too, which is what makes people think that whomever at IFLS that was responsible for the posting the article there didn’t actually go and read the paper itself. This is why people level charges of clickbaiting at IFLS, because this is not the first time this has happened.

  15. August 17, 2015 at 7:28 pm —

    Elise Andrew did not respond to any of the central allegations in her “rebuttal”. But what really struck me is that she casually admits that in the beginning of IFLS there WERE other people involved besides herself. Interesting.

  16. August 17, 2015 at 7:35 pm —

    Wow, what a sloppy fallacy: “There is a good chance that your grandparents were born at home. I am going to go ahead and assume they turned out fine.”

    Well duh: if I’m alive to read this, then it’s a pretty fair bet that my parents survived their first year of life. I have rarely seen such a stupid piece of writing anywhere on the Internet. But then, I get my science news from Nature.

  17. August 17, 2015 at 7:40 pm —

    A while back, close to when IFLS started, I stated an OPINION based on my education and readings, that religion and science does not necessarily need to be at odds and that calling down a religion is just as bad as a religion calling down science.
    Apparently someone there disagreed with me because, without comment, I was blocked from the page.
    I have heard similar things from others. If ever you did not agree with the page’s post there would be no discussion on the topic, they/she would simply delete your comment and remove you from the page. I guess her brand of science leaves no room for an open mind. How do they think science advances without challenging our preconceptions?

    • August 17, 2015 at 9:05 pm —

      I will start out by saying that being blocked from the page is obviously wrong and demonstrative of an overriding trend of censorship over proper discussion in social media.

      I’ll give you the reply your point deserves rather than the truly pathetic and counterproductive censorship you got. Science is actually pretty clear cut. Science operates on a clear right/wrong basis which is maintained until such a point as enough evidence (proper empirical data meticulously gathered and analysed by the appropriate experts – hence not the overconfident ramblings of Bill from Facebook who once read some Deepak Chopra) can conclusively prove otherwise. The Internet’s proliferation of airy-fairy relativistic post-modernism has a tendency to make people believe that *everything* is a matter of opinions which are ripe for challenge so long as you’ve a righteous enough cause or a hopeful enough vision. Your OPINION that religion and science can go hand in hand is such a fallacy in a nutshell.

      • August 17, 2015 at 10:42 pm —

        Science operates on a clear right/wrong basis which is maintained until such a point as enough evidence … can conclusively prove otherwise.

        But that’s not really how science works. Scientific claims are probabilistic claims, which often are not “clearly” right or wrong and certainly never reach 100 percent certainty (though some claims can come close after enough research).

        The Internet’s proliferation of airy-fairy relativistic post-modernism

        *eyeroll*

        Your OPINION that religion and science can go hand in hand is such a fallacy in a nutshell.

        And yet they go hand-in-hand in people’s lives every day. The reality of the situation is that science and religion are not incompatible to many people because they don’t always try to answer the same kinds of questions.

        • August 18, 2015 at 3:13 pm —

          “But that’s not really how science works. Scientific claims are probabilistic claims, which often are not “clearly” right or wrong and certainly never reach 100 percent certainty (though some claims can come close after enough research).”

          Well you’ve pretty much completely misrepresented what I was saying here. I never said scientific claims had to have 100 percent certainty. What I was saying was that in order to overturn a given scientific consensus, there must be 100% certainty that the competing idea is more right based on the available data. There is a “clear” divide therefore between what is scientifically right ie. hypotheses (both those that are successful in backing up their claim based on data and those which fail and therefore reinforce the veracity of the consensus being challenged) and what is scientifically wrong ie. opinions which are not bound by any duty to be backed up by data or even to ever seek backing by data. The only thing necessary to have on opinion is basic communications skills. You can understand why it’s therefore important to keep them out of scientific discussion.

          “And yet they go hand-in-hand in people’s lives every day. The reality of the situation is that science and religion are not incompatible to many people because they don’t always try to answer the same kinds of questions.”

          I think you’ll find that this is EXACTLY the airy-fairy relativistic post-modernism I was speaking of – the assertion that universal truths (such as scientific truths) should be ignored in the face of individual experience, that somebody who experiences a failure of their faculties of reason and is fooled into thinking they’re governed by supernatural beings has as much of a claim to truth as a centuries old program of continual evidence, reason and experiment based research.

  18. August 17, 2015 at 8:28 pm —

    I just want it to be absolutely clear – there is no debate regarding whether Elise built IFLS of stolen content. Please just see this link: https://www.reddit.com/r/funny/comments/1lr4uk/poor_pluto/

    Or this one: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=573201416034207&set=a.456449604376056.98921.367116489976035&type=1

    Or this one: http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/compound-eye/facebooks-i-fcking-love-science-does-not-fcking-love-artists/

    And the fact that Elise commented on this piece and acted like she did not do this, where there is a plethora of proof, is literally sickening. Here’s a though, Elise, how about you give some of that money to the people linked here? Because you sure had no right to use it to build your empire.

    No idea how you sleep at night. Disgusting. Everything that is wrong with capitalism seen in one person.

    • August 18, 2015 at 7:35 am —

      It’s also grossly unprofessional editing to attach the rebuttal to the article. Even Watson’s admission of personal bias doesn’t make it ok. Why wasn’t it a separate piece?

  19. August 18, 2015 at 12:58 am —

    It’s odd to see a rebuttal added to the article as opposed to a stand-alone post, but it’s inclusion is oddly supportive of the tone set by the story… one of a combative person with a defensive stance against criticism.

  20. August 18, 2015 at 3:53 am —

    The condom article you have a problem with actually says the condoms weren’t ready or even invented.
    You didn’t need to make your own page saying the exact same thing.
    But the kids did receive a scientific award at Buckingham Palace. So there is that.

  21. August 18, 2015 at 8:32 am —

    Pop science has a peculiar group of followers….

    they mainly comprise of those who have never set foot inside a university but like to read/consume “fast food” science so they can regurgitate the word “quantum” at parties in order to sound smart. Read the RationalWiki article on “quantum woo” for more info on that little phenomenon.

    The same people jump on people when they invoke a Wikipedia article as a reference on the internet. The same people demand “academic reference” when confronted with casual debate, as if all there was to science was barking demands of a Harvard style citation at the end of every sentence.

    Of course, the irony is that many of these pop science hipsters who follow IFLS also follow Yvette on her Science Babe social media accounts.

    Just take 5 minutes to scroll through the comments on her page and you will see a bunch of sad people, desperate to outdo each other with demands for “references” or “evidence”.

    Of course, these people tend to have “university of life” as their place of work, and have never done anything of value for humanity (or industry in general)…

    Should we deprive them ALL of science communication? No way. But we should shame the he’ll out of them occasionally.

    Science and reason are not weapons to bully people with online. And reading a Dawkins book doesn’t make you a scientist or a reasoned person.

    And just by means of an anecdote, I also work in science communication and had my facebook profile blocked for pointing out a couple of large errors on a couple of IFLS “articles” Apparently Elise did not like this. So I can totally believe the horror stories listed above.

    And also, when I worked for an observatory press department, we issued a story under embargo and “The Universe” broke the embargo.

    The moral of the story? Pop science is full of bitchiness and people trying to outdo each other. Neil DeGrasse Tyson is a smug prick, so are many of his followers. They also demand “evidence!!!” for every little thing at crap on anyone who uses a wiki article to back up a casual chat.

    There is one commenter in this comments section who has displayed this very same snobbery.

    Get over yourselves. You’re online. You’re not at my PhD confirmation.

    • August 18, 2015 at 8:34 am —

      *hell.

      my autocorrect is a little zealous with comments on the afterlife.

      • August 18, 2015 at 11:49 am —

        Your points are obscured by your pretence. “Catch more flies with honey.” Or so they say.

        • August 19, 2015 at 4:26 pm —

          “Don’t be a tone troll.” is what all the kids are saying these days, or so I hear.

          • August 24, 2015 at 12:18 am

            This is a test.

          • August 24, 2015 at 12:20 am

            I had a snappy response but I can’t post it… Sad.

  22. August 18, 2015 at 3:17 pm —

    As I’m sure Elise will be reading these comments I’ll just come straight out.

    1. You stole the name from another page, at the time those of us involved (I was doing the Evolution page) were a bit uncomfortable, but as you said at the time, the page was not very active.

    2. You’re a liar and I’ve got a shit load of personal message history to prove it. I’m not claiming I helped start IFLS (although Kyle oddly is, you may want to know, but that’s Kyle for you), but Neal et al didn’t “come on board”, they were there from the start and you know it. They were there from Day 1, Hour 1, Second 1.

    3. None of your original co-founders threatened to sue you. It was some of the other admins/contributors you brought on board then booted. Neal, Shawn, Javier, and You Know Who (get it?) never ever thought of legal action against your theft of your collaborative effort.

    4. You’ve got a history of taking over groups. Again, I’ve got years of private messages which back this up.

    5. Even after you screwed over the original co-founders, I was one of your most vociferous defenders. Mental health issues are a bitch. I stuck up for you. Even after your gobsmacking takeover of IFLS. I was delighted when you resurfaced, got yourself help, and also got your degree after all. You repaid me with bile and rage.

    6. Part of the success of IFLS is due to a Facebook group you are well aware of and for a long time were welcome to come back to, albeit without admin rights after you booted Neil for having the gall to disagree with you publicly. This group went on the viral rampage, as WE had set the challenge of 10,000(?) supporters in 24 hours. The conversation remains for all in the group to see I’m told. YOU did not drum up the masses of support for IFLS. Fact.

    7. I could go on. I stand by everything above and would even do so under oath.

    Just stop lying please and give credit where it’s due.

    Warmest regards,

    Paul

    • August 18, 2015 at 3:32 pm —

      “I then didn’t hear from these people for more than a year. They never got in touch, apologized, or explained.”

      “These people” does not include Neal, Javier, Shawn, You-Know-Who, or even myself. The people who founded IFLS with you did not turn their backs on you. Like myself, they have years of private messages to prove this. In fact if I recall, you did come back in to The Group That Shall Not Be Named* for a short while but got pissy when you didn’t get admin rights back.

      It’s getting to the point now that I’m going to just screenshot all of our conversations and post them up, and happily give a trustworthy intermediary access to my account to verify this. And this is just me. If your co-founders did the same, imagine…

      * For those baffled by some of this, there is a group on Facebook comprised of serious scientists and engineers etc, plus people like me who are experienced in explaining such things clearly, and just generally funny smart people. The purpose of the group was to coordinate against “I bet we can find 1,000,000 Creationists by 2012” (it didn’t). This group then became the focal point for people pissed off with others distorting and lying about the world, some of them making money from doing so. Thus was born IFLS.

    • August 19, 2015 at 8:14 am —

      Then by all means, make the screenshots public. #iflsgate #ohsnap

  23. August 18, 2015 at 3:54 pm —

    You went to a lot of trouble in being long winded. Then laced it all with fluff and sideways cushioning. All just to say, “I’m sorry I’m not sorry that I don’t like things that disagree with me.” This is the kind of article you’re preaching against! Physician, heal thyself.

  24. August 18, 2015 at 6:48 pm —

    I always hated this page because my kneejerk reaction to anything that gets massively shared on the internet is skepticism and negativity. I Fucking Love Science was never about the topic of science- at its “best,” it was only posting science factoids, not the actual method behind them. And yet somehow it got even worse than that. Ms. Andrews is making a lot of money from this but she has no shame.

    • August 19, 2015 at 8:28 am —

      I know I’ll seem pedantic here but “factoid” actually means “something that looks like a fact, could be a fact, but in fact is not a fact” :)

  25. August 19, 2015 at 9:23 am —

    Full disclosure: I’m not a scientist, the furthest academically I’ve gone in the field is a basic biology a lower tier community college class that even I (with my big bad GED) thought was second rate to the high school biology class I dropped out of in 10th grade. I am an avid science enthusiast at best, but despite my lack of credentials, I have a decent grasp of the scientific method and concepts that most of the scipop public find too dull to care enough about. I didn’t jump on the science nerd bandwagon a la Big Bang theory TV show, I don’t consider science to be anything related to Star Wars nor other comic scifi genre, nor romantic sounding quotes and exhalations of NDGT or Bill Nye. From a young age (elementary school) I loved science, particularly astronomy. I *attempted* to consume hawking-Krauss-Dawkins et al years before I immersed myself into social media, however I never pursued it beyond “interest.” At best I am intrigued by it and do not claim to have capabilities beyond rudimentary understanding. I *never* comment on SciBabe’s content, nor on any of the other pages I follow. I’m just a person who enjoys actual science, beyond headlines and insinuations. /endautobiography

    That said, one of the many *sciencey* pages I followed nearly from its inception was IFLS, along w the universe, the earth, etc. All along, I found it to be a bit sensatiinalistic but thought, given the growing mass science paranoia (anti-vaccine groups, anti-GMO/pro-organic groups, anti-abortion religious groups, anti-climate change groups) steering legislation, it was not a bad thing to bait public interest. I hoped it would change minds- as mine had been changed about GMOs and vaccines (I was never anti-vac but I was afraid) years before due to science and reason.

    But then I started seeing posts that gradually became more than sensationalist and downright tabloidesque and even outright CRAP. I grew more and more disappointed, and then the irgasm post happened. Granted, my perception here is perhaps skewed by personal bias, however, it was an outright misrepresentation of *inconclusive* data. The headline read, “Sorry ladies- it’s just pee.” The data on the other hand did not conclude that “it” was “just pee.” There were other elements found in the fluid, and there was no definite determination that all we women were doing was pissing ourselves.

    Now, you may think this is a silly hang up. But this is a perfect example of how IFLS not only does a disservice to science but also does a roundabout kick to other concerned parties. Women have long been a trivial element in the act of sex. Our orgasms have seldom been studied, and while plenty is known about the male orgasm and sexual function and thusly plenty done about make sexual dysfunction, the opposite can be said about the female end of the spectrum. To outright dismiss the female orgasm as a myth and insinuate that it is probably more placebo than a physiological response to stimulus based on a half assed inconclusive study was surely a blow. Several men responded “so you’ve just been pissing on me? Ah well I don’t care.”

    So now, as is typical, women are left being a mere attractive orifice in which to plunge oneself for pleasure. Am I being petty? Perhaps, but this was a glaring example of how IFLS does not love science but loves misinterpreting data to generate clicks. I held out for quite a while despite irritating posts and dumb comments indicating that the followers were getting stupider rather than more interested in actual science. I unliked and unfollowed after more than a year of being annoyed.

    And furthermore, I genuinely wanted to give Andrew the benefit of the doubt, but what she has done here in her “rebuttal” is perish what lingering credibility she had. I see that mental illness has been indicated, so I won’t be too harsh, however, there are enough holes in her response that she looks downright foolish. She only considered the fiscal benefits after “years?” Um…IFLS is only 3 years old and has been a profit machine for long enough that that sounds worse than misleading.

    It’s really said that the potential here was wasted pathetically.

  26. October 16, 2015 at 3:23 am —

    My main thought upon completion of this article including rebuttal and comments is that I doubt I could ever understand the personal drama and I wonder why it was ever even made public and why I should care. All I want to know about an education site is how much I can trust it in terms of accuracy. While I may hold some grudge against some people who have plagurized me or taken over and corrupted my work or whatever, I cant really see any reason why I would make that public, not that people shouldnt if that is what they want, I just dont really see why we should even attempt to judge. I mean, if I HAD to choose I would probably say I think there is probably some dishonesty/mistakes coming from everyone involved to some degree. Unless we are talking Cosby-type evil, this is one of those situations where I really dont feel like these personal interactions should effect my choices much if at all. The real question is whether the site presents accurate science education. I think right now the answer is …. kinda, sometimes? ….. which should be improved upon.

    • December 27, 2015 at 5:25 am —

      How would the plagiarism stop if no one talked about it? Unlike you, most of us actually care both about accuracy, and, you know, not plagiarizing. You are part of the problem.

  27. November 27, 2015 at 5:09 am —

    Here’s the scoop on iflscience.org:

    The domain is being squatted on by a group of trolls who are filling the site with bullshit articles they make up.

    Three of the primary trolls are:
    Dru Seefried (facebook.com/ratatoskmalice)
    Kristen Auclair of Southbridge, MS (she writes under the name of Tina Schneider, possibly more pen names) (facebook.com/kristen.auclair)
    Kent Dahlgren of Portland, OR (facebook.com/rkdahlgren)

    I know this because a person involved in this scam told me. So there you go. The articles are bullshit and intended to mislead people. These writers think they are HILARIOUS. I hope they get busted.

    • November 27, 2015 at 2:02 pm —

      Pretty sure buying a similar domain to create a parody website isn’t as bad of a crime as doxxing people based on information from a friend of a friend. You are a dangerous person and need to stop.

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