To understand how this weapon works it is necessary to have the 30 second understanding of news sharing sites.
News sharing sites are places that you can submit a link to a site with a short description and it is then visible to many other users as being “of interest.”
Depending on the site it may be possible to vote an item “up” or “down” which will determine how long the item remains on display, and in how many places.
Such sites can be an important tool for getting the word out as success on a site can lead to many hundreds, even thousands of extra visitors to your web site, which in turn will drive up your rank on search engines and other sites.
To prevent spamming many such sites quite reasonably prevent any given URL from being submitted more than once. A given URL get’s one opportunity and that is it.
Which is why Deniers will sometimes post good climate science sites to news sites, but with such a terrible title and description that it is certain to attract no interest. Poisoned in this way the post will die a quiet and obscure death having attracted no attention.
Of course when a legitimate poster then attempts to post the URL to the news site they find they cannot because that URL has already been submitted.
So this morning I discovered this post at digg.com:
Global Warming Mythbusters: Think you know everything about climate change? Here are 10 myths that continue to be misreported. The site is part of the MSN green network and looks like it was prepared by the Environmental Defense Fund.
A welcome addition to the fight for science and facts. Problem is, this post was titled “Global Warming Mythbusters…Not so Great!” and described as:
“I know I am supposed to say why this is a great article. However, I think it is terrible. I thought it would be more unbiased. You can definitely tell which side of the fence the writer of this article stands on. It is so hard to find good information on this subject that provides JUST the facts. Uh, so frustrating!“
Odd. Why post the site at all if you didn’t like it?
In fact, based on the time of their profile editing, they joined 11 min before making the posting.
And did nothing else. Joined, posted this one site which they didn’t like, and left.
OK, hardly proof that this is definitely a “poisoned post”, but highly suggestive that it is.
Regardless, I have seen the “poisoned post” more than a few times and it is a testament to the commitment of the Deniers to truth seeking, ie none. As has been documented and will continue to be, the Deniers not only consistently lie and distort, they also do all they can to prevent people from getting the facts.
Hardly surprising of course, since a fair presentation of the facts alongside the Denier fables makes it quite clear just how lame their fables are.
Be that as it may, I think one way to fight the “poisoned post” is when you do discover one, give it disproportionate attention, just as I am doing here. Do what you can to see that the sites they try to bury get even more attention than they otherwise would.
At the time of this writing there is still lot’s of time to “digg up” the EDF/MSN posting on digg, so if you have a digg account do pop by to the post and digg/shout it (and the comments as well, that helps too).
Do what you can to make this tactic blow up in their faces.
Take away lessons:
- When you see a post about a climate site on a news sharing site, have a quick look at the site regardless of the accompanying description. Bad sites are generally obvious within 20 to 30 seconds, so it’s a minimal effort to protect against the “poisoned post.”
- If it is a poisoned post, do what you can to draw attention to it and promote – make poison posting a suicide tactic.
Commenter Magnus draws our attention to “Cited Swedish Researchers in Inhofe 650 are upset,” Uppsalainitiativet, December 18, 2008.
“The Swedish researchers Svante Björk, Dan Hammarlund and Karl Ljung who’s names and research is used in the report don’t want anything to do with the list and think that their findings are being misused (page 208). Further they state that they have no complains about the main conclusions in the IPCC reports. (Personal communication)“
Added to the Inhofe 400 Club.
We give our consent every moment that we do not resist.
Denier “Challenge” aka Deathwatch Update: Day 67 … still no evidence.