Philipp Markolin Profile picture
Science blogger. Not a fan of myth, manipulation and magical thinking. Please leave X! /
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Nov 17 17 tweets 7 min read

#Disparage, #disorient, #dispute - the manipulation playbook after anti-science actors, part 3

"In the #battlespace of information, we are civilians in harm’s way."

Please read, share, and take it to heart:…
Image The full range of tactics and why the work is summarized here. 🔽

➡️ Free-access medium version of the article here:

A thread with more details follows below

Aug 2 4 tweets 2 min read
This is what scientists like @PeterHotez have been screaming from the top of their lungs to anybody willing to listen to facts and reason.

Anti-science activism in public health, no matter if smoking, alternative medicine, or vaccination, comes with a gruesome body count. It is not a victimless crime to mislead the public about evidence-based interventions and treatments, or selling citizens medical distrust and fake miracle cures.

It is however a lucrative business for media manipulators.

Where are the regulations and accountability? Image
Jul 15 6 tweets 3 min read
The idea that it is up to scientists to solve #conspiracy myths around their topic of expertise, otherwise they deserve what is coming to them, is in fact anti-science and quite harmful.

Yet often #influencers point the finger directly at those injustly maligned scientists.
Image There are so many #asymmetries in our information age that #disfavor science of popular myths; but the idea that it false solely on scientists to correct the record, educate, debunk and explain themselves over and over again is unequivocally injust.

Society needs to realize ... Image
Jun 23 4 tweets 1 min read
Predictable, despicable, intolerable.

The recent smear attacks & character assassinations on a celebrated vaccine scientist all come from the same #conspiracy myth-addled info sphere that profits from creating conflict, spectacle & exploiting the fears of vulnerable communities. Conspiracy theories can be #weaponized into a tool of power, wielded by demagogues and media manipulators alike to further their own strategic, ideological, financial or political goals.

Science & reason are the one defense society has against their greedy #assault.
Jun 16 18 tweets 14 min read
#Information cascade alert!

The US #intelligence agencies are supposed to reveal all information they have with respect to the #OriginOfCovid

I wanted to use the opportunity to explain exactly what you will see happening in the media, no matter the content of those reports
🧵 Image First, let's talk about expectations.

From the get-go, it is absolutely clear that there is no #smoking gun or similar to be expected.

The intelligence services all had access to the same information and most assessments are low confidence, with 4 agencies favoring #zoonosis. Image
Jun 14 8 tweets 6 min read
Surprise, the climate change denying, Twitter-files propagandists find themselves coming down on the #bioweapon myth too.

@shellenberger @mtaibbi are such bottom-feeding losers it would almost break my heart if they weren't as malicious & intentional in their quest for attention Image The alleged sick workers are neither a new nor true part of the #bioweapon mythology; it is made up BS from David Asher and the State Department under Pompeo, going back to 2020 and laundered through some unnamed intelligence sources that got wide media coverage in 2021. ImageImage
Jun 11 4 tweets 3 min read
At some point, every #lableak advocate can't help but go full radical. "Crime of the century", "avoidable pandemic" dogwhistle and calling for a "tribunal" based on nothing but vibes.

These people have no place in any normal society and their #lies deserve to haunt them forever. Image Oh look, the lackeys of actual criminals like billion-dollar-fraudster Miles Guo have no shame to lie about ordinary scientists.

@DiLiMengYAN1 everybody knows you are a liar, fraudster and exchanged you modest credentials for a media stunt by con artists.
Was it worth it? Image
May 15 12 tweets 17 min read

#Distort, #discredit, #dismiss - 6 additional tactics of media manipulators and why they work to sabotage public discourse


Details follow:
1/ 6 types of media manipulators Anti-science activism never went away, it got a new ugly face in the #information age:

Quacks, gurus, contrarian doctors, fake experts, influencers, political commentators and similar media manipulators.

Previously we looked at "merchants of #doubt"

May 2 10 tweets 7 min read
Frustrating but important perspective by @PeterHotez:

"The phenomenon of red Covid was not a random occurrence but instead an expected outcome of predation linked to extremist politics"

Read in full:

A few thoughts follow 🔽… In this perspective, Dr. Hotez offers some insights on the topics I have been writing & talking about, namely the #weaponization of conspiracy #myths by political actors to attack unwelcome scientific authority in public discourse.

He first outlines the damage: Needless deaths Image
Apr 4 7 tweets 9 min read
My talk at @fiocruz about the #lableak theory and the rise of #information pathogens is now freely available.

Thanks @cmmorel and @KropfSimone for this wonderful event.

Here is the youtube link to the full video with time stamps for easy accessibility:
@fiocruz @cmmorel @KropfSimone Here are some more highlights from the talk:

First: How do scientists deal with uncertainty and how can this help us inform ourselves about the most likely
#originofcovid ?

It comes down to asking P(Evidence|Hypothesis):
Apr 2 5 tweets 2 min read
Fascinated by the dispute around #theoriginofcovid ?

I was invited to give a talk at Fiocruz. The event takes place in Rio de Janeiro, starting at 12:30 EDT / 5:30 pm CEST and, and will be broadcast via Zoom.

Access link can be found here tomorrow:… Image Still working on the presentation (also, my luggage did not make it... thanks airfrance), but this will be the approximate outline of the talk: Image
Mar 21 11 tweets 10 min read
There are new pathogens in our midst.

My latest article about media #manipulators, velocity #hacking, and the latest Covid origin #controversy.

Maybe some #mainstream journalists & influencers take a good look in the mirror.

Read:… Image How much should we think about the role of information in society?

In this article, I use the recent media coverage surrounding #lableak versus #zoonosis to point toward a new threat we have not yet wrapped our heads around:

Information pathogens with high #velocity. Image
Mar 16 8 tweets 4 min read
🚨🚨🚨 NEW EVIDENCE #zoonosis
Chinese researchers (who have had troubles getting data out) finally managed to sneak upload full #sequencing data from environmental swaps at Huanan market.

Show: Co-occurance of #animal sequences with SARS-CoV-2 RNA

Added to the evidence map 🔽 @KatherineJWu 's atlantic article first reported on this new development.

(independent reseachers have been waiting on these data to come out for over a year)

I will give some context in the next few tweets:…
Mar 16 4 tweets 3 min read
🚨🚨🚨 @KatherineJWu first to get this scoop down.

The Chinese CDC finally uploaded market sampling data, and as expected, environmental swaps positive for SARS-CoV-2 point to raccoon dogs.

Yet another strong piece of evidence for #zoonotic origin & against any #lableak myth @KatherineJWu Just to add a bit of context:

Environmental swaps were taken from the Huanan market, and that many of them tested positive was already confirmed a year ago in a pre-print from researchers at the Chinese CDC.

However, they did not make their sequencing data available and...
Mar 14 8 tweets 2 min read
The incompetence US media machine is scary.
There is nothing in this article but speculation, started again by some republican stuffer document drop, no evidence of wrongdoing, but careful phrasing to obfuscate. "Somebody said they maybe found evidence of potential doublebilling" Image When exactly became it okay to just run with made up stories? Just because two completely different projects sometimes require spending on similar lab gear, materials or training does not mean anything was double billed. That's just ignorance about scientific work, everything...
Mar 1 12 tweets 15 min read

#Denounce, #deny, #deceive - 6 common tactics of media manipulators and why they work to sabotage public discourse

Read:… It is time to stop being naive about online discourse.

“The discourse holds so many traps for the unwary. It’s a bit like financial scams and gambling that are a tax on the financially naïve. A similar tax is being levied on the intellectually naïve.” —  @ArthurCDent

Feb 2 6 tweets 3 min read

Some real talk:

It can be difficult to tell with certainty whether a random virus is engineered or not based purely on the sequence, but when we talk about a specific virus, e.g. SC2, we were 'lucky' that we can tell with high certainty it is a natural virus.

1/ We were lucky in the sense that coronaviruses evolve through recombination (not only random mutations & selection).

That means their genomes consist of a patchwork of puzzle pieces assembled by crossings paths with other CoVs.

In SC2's case, we talking like 27 recombination pc
Dec 25, 2022 15 tweets 8 min read
The Brownstone institute is a fracking-billionaire funded anti-science #disinformation outlet

I just highlight some passages to show that the #lableak conspiracy myth would always have happened, no matter where COVID first broke out

If not the WIV, then 🔽

A master thread:
1/ Many amplifiers, including some science journalists, believe that a legitimate scientific uncertainty & geographic coincidence underneath the #originofcovid controversy is the root cause and driver for the conspiracy myth.

This is false
Yes, the inital uncertainties were real
Dec 25, 2022 5 tweets 1 min read
Alina Chan is not a friend of a GOP witch hunt into US virologists. She knows it will not yield any evidence. Albeit related to her endless mudslinging, she fears it will eventually backfire & vindicate her targets... quite cynically, she'd rather prefer to abuse uncertainty. For her strategic goals, it is much better to manipulate the public with endless speculative tantrums and artificial uncertainty than see virologists being not found guilty in congressional hearings.
The simple fact is that she made a big bet being a vocal contrarian and now...
Dec 23, 2022 6 tweets 2 min read
Special Christmas episode everybody.

We sat down with Professor Edward Holmes to put him to task about his evolutionary research, his role in finding the #origins investigations, proximal origins, collaborations with China, and much, much more.


Prof. Holmes is involved in many scientific papers related to origins research; studying how RNA viruses (including HIV, Ebola, SARS, Hantavirus etc) jump species boundaries for many years, and working with Chinese scientists since 2012, he was perfectly...

Dec 11, 2022 4 tweets 2 min read
Inventing conflicts of interest for scientists is a tactic from vested interest to discredit domain experts

Dr. Chan, a non expert, is profiting directly from book sales (& knock on gains from profile boosts) by #discrediting scientific experts

Tell us again how does CoI work? There is no need to write a sensationalist & false book with a lifelong anti-science attack dog, climate change contrarian and AIDS conspiracists to smear scientists that reach conclusions one might disagree with, one can just publish papers to advance another point of view.