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Reddit, dislikedit, deletedit

Stephan Lewandowsky is doing a two-day question and answer session at Reddit. The first day's questions were fired off in the great man's direction today with some eye-opening results.

As Jo Nova reports, Lew having responded to a Richard Tol question about data availability by saying that he was all in favour of it, Barry Woods decided to ask about Lew's own data, quoting the University of Western Australia's response stonewalling of an earlier request.

At which point Reddit decided to delete the comment.

Reddit, dislikedit, deletedit.

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Reader Comments (21)


Apr 14, 2014 at 7:03 PM | Registered Commenterjferguson

Lewandowsky comes across as someone living out the dream of brutality hidden behind banality.
What a creepy shallow deceptive dude.

Apr 14, 2014 at 7:08 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

He wouldn't have had to ask multiple times if the data had been readily provided, as it should have been. Lewandowsky clearly knows it would not stand up to any sort of scrutiny

Apr 14, 2014 at 7:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave Johnson

Troll comments and follow ups deleted

Apr 14, 2014 at 7:51 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Anyone not realizing that we now are a bridge to far into political terroir?

Apr 14, 2014 at 8:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterJon

Rhetorical questions (I'll go look for myself):

Who or what is Reddit?
Who owns them/it?
What claims do they make for accuracy, openness, fairness?
How do they select topics/guests?
Do they have an "ombudsman" or any other formal complaint mechanism?
Who is their audience?
Do they matter?

Apr 14, 2014 at 8:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterPolitical Junkie

Nuccitelli has a second article accusing Frontiers of giving in to bullying by retracting the Lewandowsky paper.
This time he goes further. In comments below the line he accuses Frontiers of lying.
Thought I'd mention it here before the Graun's lawyers get cold feet and pull the article.

Apr 14, 2014 at 8:27 PM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

Reddit is a revolting corner of the internet and anyone who does an AMA there is tainted by it:


Apr 14, 2014 at 8:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterNW

(Comment moved from previous thread.)

Here's what I felt like writing on reading a number of posts:

Taking part in this discussion would feel like being a black person trying to discuss social harmony where others were using 'nigger' to refer to me and those like me.

I probably won't do it this time. If three others were to join me I definitely would.


It's no surprise to learn, having felt this, that decent-minded comments - that assumed some decency in turn in those moderating, which I did not - were deleted. I think we should have this stock response ready for any thread where those in charge clearly delight to call us deniers. Every time such a statement is deleted the people concerned have a chance to examine their consciences (and we can keep score). We cannot afford to let the conversation in the coming years to be contaminated by this oppressive and deceitful label: we only take part when it is removed and repudiated.

Apr 14, 2014 at 8:38 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

[Snip - venting]

Apr 14, 2014 at 9:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller


Apr 14, 2014 at 10:39 PM | Unregistered Commenterptw

hunter (Apr 14, 2014 at 7:08 PM ) you have it in one.
Now why should anyone wish to communicate with such a "creepy shallow deceptive dude."?

Apr 14, 2014 at 11:25 PM | Unregistered Commentertom0mason

Lewandowsky seems to be hiding his decline.

Apr 14, 2014 at 11:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...

he's busy telling he's a scientist in a pure political activism manner

Apr 14, 2014 at 11:48 PM | Unregistered Commenterptw

In fact if you plough through this stuff there are comments on the issue, including links to the relevant CA posting and to the Barry Woods exchange of letters. You have to find comments by "steeplebomb". The discussion trails off in a rather limp discussion of UK libel law.

Apr 15, 2014 at 7:22 AM | Unregistered Commenteralan kennedy


reddit is one of those decentralised things that evolves with the internet, like bit torrent for file sharing, or bitcoin for a deflationary currency with no central bank.

Ayone can make a page on reddit, anyone can post a comment and anyone can up- or down-vote a comment. So its fairly democratic - what you see on there is what the people who hang out on the site like.

Theres definitely no ombudsman - if you don't like something, your down vote cancels out someone else's upvote. so often you can get no useful information from comments on reddit until you scroll to the bottom of the page where the comments which lots of people disliked have been sent. that's where to find a few sensible comments.

Want to know what people think about this site, go to and just don't do it for the guardian website, that's probably a bit depressing.

Apr 15, 2014 at 8:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterRc

Oh yeah so the question will have been deleted by a volunteer moderator who is probably a 14 year old kid, wasting their own time by moderating an interview when they should be watching porn.

Apr 15, 2014 at 8:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterRc

Over at the latest Frontiers statement, posted on Friday 11th, the editor Henry Markram provides further support for the complainants: "publishing the identities of human subjects without consent cannot be justified in a scientific paper", and "Science cannot be abused to specifically label and point out individuals in the public domain."

He has now added a further personal view in the comments:
"My own personal opinion: The authors of the retracted paper and their followers are doing the climate change crisis a tragic disservice by attacking people personally and saying that it is ethically ok to identify them in a scientific study. They made a monumental mistake, refused to fix it and that rightfully disqualified the study. The planet is headed for a cliff and the scientific evidence for climate change is way past a debate, in my opinion. Why even debate this with contrarians? If scientists think there is a debate, then why not debate this scientifically? Why help the ostriches of society (always are) keep their heads in the sand? Why not focus even more on the science of climate change? Why not develop potential scenarios so that society can get prepared? Is that not what scientists do? Does anyone really believe that a public lynching will help advance anything? Who comes off as the biggest nutter? Activism that abuses science as a weapon is just not helpful at a time of crisis."

Apr 15, 2014 at 8:45 AM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

They did the same when Michael Mann was doing 'Ask me anything'.
What they meant is you could ask, 'Which awards have you not yet gotten?'
and 'Who else is a denier?'
There is a thread at WattsUpWithThat with lists of questions that got deleted.
I asked, 'What's the status of your lawsuit with Tim Ball. Has he paid up yet?'

Apr 15, 2014 at 2:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterMikeN

I actually enjoy reddit as light entertainment. But the political correctness is smothering. As Rc said, it is quite democratic. It also skews toward 20-somethings. This means you get to see the results of decades of school and media propaganda. It's rather disheartening, really. It only takes perhaps 10 downvotes for a comment to be semi-hidden, and sorted to the bottom, so you do have to look for the thoughtful comments which defy the convential wisdom. Generally anything related to the environment, feminism, or the welfare state is indisputable, by reddit 'voters'.

Yet I also see some countertrends, discussion forums ('subreddits') where conventional dogma gets logically dissected and shredded. There are actually a good number of smart people there. Too many are wearing blinders put on by their education, but others have thrown that off and started to question vigorously.

Apr 15, 2014 at 10:23 PM | Unregistered Commentertbiggs

If Lewandowsky was seeking importance in the world, he sure found a way to do just that.

I know Stephan wrote in psychological journals, I'm guessing about psychology, but ever since he became a climate scientist his fame and import has skyrocketed.

So if your chosen field of expertise is not progressing anywhere, become a climate scientist. It worked for David Suzuki; it can work for you too.

Apr 16, 2014 at 1:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterGreg Cavanagh

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