Here is what Wikipedia defines the Streisand effect as:
The Streisand effect is a primarily online phenomenon in which an attempt to hide or remove a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely. It is named after American entertainer Barbra Streisand, whose attempt in 2003 to suppress photographs of her residence inadvertently generated further publicity.
Anyways, remember the issue of Rene aka @EpiRen, popular epidemiologist and public health blogger who was asked to stop engaging in the social media as a by product of cyberbullying? Just like the other #HCSMgate scandals, this just refuses to die as well. And here I am, stoking the embers and fanning the flame once again. Following his altercation with Rene, Daniels took down his blog, twitter, youtube accounts and basically went undercover. The Anarchic Teapot (every time I write this name, I picture my aunt’s teapot chasing me with a stick, riding its cozy, weird, huh?) has requested us to not dredge up more stuff from Daniels’ blog in order to ensure that no more trouble comes the way of @EpiRen, and I concede to the demand because I see the risks in it. Initially I did not agree but indeed Daniels is dangerous and could make more problems for Rene and that is the last thing any of us would want for him. So that is not the point of this post, and I am not here to out more stuff from both Daniels’ and EpiRen’s now deceased blogs. In this post, I just want to curate the posts from the various academic blogs that I read. I agree this might be a tad unbalanced because I do not read nut jobber blogs. Biased? Hell yeah! I am all biased against bullying, stupidity and narcissistic egomaniacs laboring under a delusion of grandeur+reference+persecution!
So what set the ball rolling was @lizditz’s post on her blog about Rene’s ordeal. I suggest you also read on in the comments section and see how Rhett Daniels shows his litigious, cyberbullying side there!
Soon afterwards, I threw my name in the hat. I was so enraged that it was a bit of a knee jerk post from me, and usually when I sleep on these posts, I tend to be a little critical of the stuff, but not this time. One of my favorite bloggers is thrown out, and I believe my rage is justified.
The ever vitriolic Orac has been candid about his opinion of Daniels on his blog Respectful Insolence. Given that he has the healthy habit of ruffling a few feathers around, one would have expected that he would have been targeted by the antivax/woo community. He describes his brush with others like Daniels and goes on to describe how his employer had been on his side in these encounters. If only Rene’s employers were like that!
Skeptical Lawyer got the stimulus he needed to start a blog from this fiasco and weighed in with a well thought out post discussing whether or not public employees have right to free speech. While the laws in this field are complicated and vary from nation to nation, a stimulating discussion is fielded on his comments section too. Worth a go through.
I would be failing in my duty of making this round up if I did not mention the next-in-line Anarchic Teapot. Acerbic wit, a vitriolic title and an attitude to go with all of it. Read this post – no wonder Daniels is crying bloody murder! If I were on a Nazioid mission to clear up the interwebs of references in my name that seemed derogatory to me, well, I would be after the Teapot with a 20 pound hammer and a box of dynamite!
PZ Myers has it succinctly summarized in his blog title. As always, PZ’s legions of admirers (me included) have started a heated discussion on the comments section. Take a read. Worth the time.
On Sandwalk, which is a peaceful blog compared to PZ and Orac, even Larry Moran does not hold back his feelings for Daniels. A short but to the point post on the whole fiasco.
In his wonderfully named blog, Dr. Nescio talks about litigious bullies in general with an ample smattering of examples from his own experience. Since science journalism is one of his pet peeves, I was totally expecting a great post from him and he more than lived up to expectations!
One of the few good things that #EpiGate has brought about is that I have been introduced to a few great blogs. Dr. Judy Stone’s blog is one of them. In a post which is uncharacteristically calm, Dr. Stone talks about his Epi Night School series, which was indeed one of the best “short courses” on blogs. She seems saddened by the whole debacle, and justifiably so.
PalMD is not one to mince his words, and does not even try to do that in a virulently titled post. Oh, I am not complaining though! He states something that has been playing on all our minds but we have not quite come up to talk about it:
If someone chooses to harass you for something you say and your employer decides to take them seriously, you’re out of luck unless you have legal recourse, but even if you do, your job, while still technically in existence, may be made impossible to perform. …
Speech, while free, is not without consequences, and sometimes it’s the good guys that get burned. But we must also consider our own status as being either professionally or socially privileged in such a way that we may behave unethically in our discussions.
Tara Smith of Aetiology has posted her own version of the issue of Epigate and tied into it the decision by ScienceBlogs to not allow pseudonymous blogs. She says, and I agree, that in the light of Epigate, the blogging overlords could not have chosen a better time to ban pseudonymous blogging.
So those are all the posts I could find on the blogosphere pertaining to this matter. I may have missed some, if you locate one please feel free to add the links on the comments section, I will try to add them up on this round up or if there are many, I will make another round up!