More S & C

This being, then, the promised brief update to the situation reported on in Spam and Censorship the other day.

To recap, Christian Shorey – a geologist from the Colorado School of Mines, who appears to indeed be a Christian but not a young-Earth creationist like the powers that be on the Science Essentials site – has been posting comments pointing out some of the places where the site’s author, Rhonda Forlow, has got it wrong. He was being quite polite and reasonable, but nevertheless one of his postings went missing. Where we left off last time he had just complained about this fact, suspecting censorship.

And then there’s the spam. The comment sections of the Science Essentials site are riddled with unsubtle spam. Indeed, what it surprisingly lacks is genuinely subtle spam, where the spammers make up a name rather than call themselves “download music to my phone.” I documented an example of Dr Forlow responding to one such spam comment as if it’s flattering comments were the real thing, and it wasn’t the only one of its kind either…


First, Shorey:

To his first complaint – “Um, why was my comment taken down? I thought we were seeking truth [in] an open community here?” – Lawrence Ford, editor of the ICR’s Acts & Facts magazine, has responded like so:

Ford's comment

Christian, please read the commenting policy of this blog.

“Science Essentials is a place primarily designed for Christian teachers who teach on the K-12 level, both in Christian schools and in Homeschool. Our goal is to focus attention on getting you resources that will help you in this important task you have. Those who are not Christian teachers are welcome to join in the conversation, understanding that the Science Essentials blog is not a place for debate. (Comments intended to harass and disrupt the conversation will be deleted so that the rest of us can focus on constructive conversation that encourages the teaching of creation-based science.) Science Essentials will present materials from the young earth perspective of Genesis, the Bible, and science. Your sincere feedback and conversation is always welcome.”

That still doesn’t explain why the comment was removed. In no way can it be claimed that the removed comment, which you can see in my previous post, “intended to harass and disrupt the conversation,” and it sounded more like “sincere feedback and conversation” to me than an attempt to “debate,” something that they seem to be quite afraid of. If you’re wondering, the link that Ford’s name links to is merely “www.icr.org”.

Next, we have Dr Forlow responding to Shorey’s second comment of complaint:

Forlow's response

Dr. Shorey, Science Essentials is a place primarily designed for Christian teachers who teach on the K-12 level, both in Christian schools and in Homeschool. Our goal is to focus attention on getting resources that will help the teacher in this important task . Those who are not Christian teachers are welcome to join in the conversation, understanding that the Science Essentials blog is not a place for debate. (Comments intended to harass and disrupt the conversation will be deleted so that the rest of us can focus on constructive conversation that encourages the teaching of creation-based science.) Science Essentials will present materials from the young earth perspective of Genesis, the Bible, and science. You may view the commenting policy on the front page of the blog. Sincerely, Dr. Forlow

As you can see, that’s remarkably similar to what Ford copied and attributed to the page. Forlow, however, signs it “Sincerely, Dr Forlow.” Note also that she leaves out the final sentence – “Your sincere feedback and conversation is always welcome.” What that it is unsurprising that we have never heard from Dr Shorey since, at least as far as I am aware.


Next, the spam:

Following on from my post the PseudoAstronomer, Dr Stuart Robbins, commented on the subject of those spam comments under a pseudonym:

Stuart's comment

Um, Dr. Forlow, do you realize that the last several comments here are spam? And you’ve responded to them as if they were real people and not bots posting spam to your site? It does not speak well for the quality of your postings …

He has a bit of a point here. This is a Google Reader screenshot (from some days ago, if you’re wondering about the time thing) because by the time I got to it the comment had been taken down. So had the three offending comments seen in the previous post that were above this, which is a good sign, at least.

However, the comments above that are just Forlow doing pretty much exactly the same thing, and since then another spam comment has joined them:

Some more spam

Additionally, Stuart reports that he tried to comment again, but was unable to. He reckons that his IP has been blocked from commenting. Considering that it seems not unlikely that the same has happened to Dr Shorey, and I’m debating whether or not to contact him in an attempt to determine if that is the case, and perhaps ask him a few more questions about why he decided to comment in the first place etc. We’ll see if I get around to it.


There does seem to be less commenting on the blog right now (at least, less that makes it into the public view) which includes less spam. On Stuart’s blog post some commentors have suggested that Forlow may be allowing the spam to appear to make it look like more people read her blog and like it, which may explain the lack of spam of the type that complains about poor (in my case, non-existent) SEO. Whatever the reasoning, there does seem to be less of them.

I’ll keep you posted, especially if I do contact Dr Shorey.

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “More S & C

  1. Hi There,
    Thanks for putting this together. This is Dr. Christian Shorey. I’m not really a Christian. I’m an epistemologically agnostic secular humanist. I just thought I’d try the nicest hand with the ICR on my opening volley with them to see how well they would behave. Not too well apparently. I am indeed banned from commenting on the Science Essentials site (just tried another non-confrontational post and it didn’t go through).

    I’m not surprised that they can’t allow any form of truth to enter the conversation. I’ve been reading their material for two years now and have had about enough of their juvenile pretentions of science. Dr. Forlow doesn’t understand a thing about evolution and writes perversions of the science, then sticks her fingers in her ears and sings hymns.

    I have found that the ICR is unable to censor me when the post their videos on vimeopro:
    http://vimeopro.com/icr/thats-a-fact

    My reason for all the “we” and “God” talk in my posts to Science Essentials was because I have read enough of ICR’s literature to know they counsel not to talk to any “evolutionists” or “humanists”. I thought they might hear truth better if it came sugar coated, and with an admontion not to break the 9th commandment. Instead they cencored me as quickly as possible. No true believer would talk the way I do, and they know it. They still send me my daily e-mail and monthly magazine though. Thanks again for capturing all the removed posts. I didn’t have time to do so myself. I plan on correcting the ICR’s shameful behavior in the public arena as much as I can.
    Take care,
    Dr. Christian Shorey

    • Interesting… Personally, I’m surprised you got as far as you did. Do you know to what extent you are blocked from commenting? Is it your IP, your email adress or your name that is prevented?
      You certainly could have fooled me. 😀 I should be more aware in future of the possibility of concern trolling and related activities on that site. I wish you luck (metaphorically speaking) in your efforts.
      As for the deleted comments, I have uploaded a series of 26 screenshots beginning with tav1.png here and continuing to tav26.png here. That includes a good portion of the comments, although a number of the longer ones have “see more”s etc. I also have saved the page as an htm file, along with related images and stuff. From what I can tell, it will show most (not all, unfortunetly) of the comments, and will allow you to expand those with the “see more” thing. Worpress wont let me upload it, but if you (or anyone else for that matter) want the file as a .zip or a .tar I can send it to you.

  2. I stand corrected. All comments have been removed from the vimeopro videos. I have record through facebook that someone responded to my post on the video I linked above. That was two hours ago. Now all comments are gone. Did anyone catch the comments from any of those videos. They currently have three and the comments have, in the past two hours, all been deleted and all commenting shut down.

    • Thanks for telling me – I’m currently screenshotting some of the ones from the last one. I’ll reply to your other comment when I finish (there’s hundreds of them…)

  3. Pingback: Computers « Eye on the ICR

Thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s