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#MeTooSTEM founder admits to creating Twitter persona who ?died? of COVID-19

BethAnn McLaughlin
The New York Times
American Enterprise Institute
The Washington Post
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
The Verge
the Washington Examiner
the University of North Carolina
Arizona State University
did.)In April
University of California, Berkeley
the University of Iowa
BuzzFeed News
MIT Media Lab's
the Journal of Neuroscience
the Ars Orbital Transmission
CNMN Collection WIRED Media Group
Condé Nast

Jennifer Ouellette
Aug 4
John R. Lott Jr
Mary Rosh
Jenna Abrams
Eugene Gu
Colin Kaepernick
Greg Gbur
Michael Eisen
Melissa Bates
Katie Paquet
Sherry Marts
Tarana Burke
Amber Barnard
Ed Cara
Rachel Leingang
Marina Picciotto
Bethany Brookshire

Marc Feldman


Middle East

Yosemite National Park

Arizona Republic


Positivity     36.00%   
   Negativity   64.00%
The New York Times
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Rather, it was a sock puppet account that we now know was created and maintained by BethAnn McLaughlin, a neuroscientist and founder of the #MeTooSTEM advocacy group whose Twitter handle is @McLNeuro."I take full responsibility for my involvement in creating the @Sciencing_Bi Twitter account," McLaughlin said in a statement provided to The New York Times through her lawyer. And just last month, The Daily Beast exposed a network of fake op-ed writers who had been placing editorials on Middle East policy with conservative outlets, such as Newsmax and the Washington Examiner.But the particular case of @Sciencing_Bi is unique because of its unusually long duration—the Twitter account was created in October 2016—and the absence of any obvious financial motive that is a common feature of catfishing scams."I've been acquainted with that account for years, and nothing seemed unusual about it," Greg Gbur told Ars. He's a physicist at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and he interacted occasionally with @Sciencing_Bi on Twitter. And if this person was part of the community, where was the community?" Bates' suspicions were aroused in earnest when McLaughlin told her that Sciencing_Bi had mentioned her in her will. By Sunday, Eisen and many others publicly acknowledged that they'd been had: the person they had known as @Sciencing_Bi had never existed.Attention next turned to identifying the person behind the fake account. McLaughlin did admit, however, that she had access to the @Sciencing_Bi account, though she went on to state that it was not her who made the account private.Her response to BuzzFeed was more succinct: "I'm not going to dox anyone. Thank you for your interest." Now, of course, she has doxxed herself with her admission of guilt to The New York Times.Both McLaughlin's and Sciencing_Bi's accounts were suspended late Sunday night by Twitter for violating the platform's terms of use, and the Twitter account for MeTooSTEM has been slapped with a "suspicious activity" label. In McLaughlin's case, it seems she sought to counter criticism for her alleged harassment of people of color by creating an indigenous sock puppet—a cool bisexual Hopi scientist—to defend her."'I have POC friends' is a line used across the racist spectrum, but inventing your POC friend is next level," a researcher and organizer who frequently deals with misinformation, but asked not to be identified, told Ars.McLaughlin also may have derived satisfaction from manufacturing a series of personal crises for @Sciencing_Bi in order to provoke an outpouring of sympathy without having to reveal her true self. Twitter drama may be most effective when it's relevant to the current sociopolitical discourse, but too much relevance risks real scrutiny—and the @Sciencing_Bi persona wasn't created to withstand such scrutiny.You must login or create an account to comment.Join the Ars Orbital Transmission mailing list to get weekly updates delivered to your inbox.

As said here by Jennifer Ouellette