29 June – No Lies! And PZ Blocks Us on Twitter

We wanted this post to be short. When PZ doesn’t either post or lie on Pharyngula, we shouldn’t have much to say. And we don’t, actually, have much to say but we do want to reiterate one thing about the rules we’ve set for ourself.

We had a stray thought earlier today and decided to look PZ up on Twitter. Our account is less than a month old and we only use it to post blog updates or respond to questions or comments. When we established the account, we decided not to follow PZ, for a couple reasons. A) We don’t much care what he has to say on Twitter, our focus is his blog. B) He has a quite expansive definition of “harassment.”

Recall yesterday’s post about the College Republican paper PZ encouraged people to destroy. The cheeky students who ran the paper would often hand deliver it to him or slide it under his door. In response, PZ put a note outside his door that said, in part:

“Continuing to push copies of [your newspaper] on me will be considered harassment, and further, I will be charging you $5 for each copy you pile up under, her, or somewhere in the vicinity of my office door.”


PZ himself put that up on Twitter, by the way, so its authenticity is not in question.

Anyway, this is the incident we thought about when deciding not to follow him on Twitter. Even though it means nothing in terms of what content the platform delivers him, we didn’t want to give him any reason to charge us with harassment. And to reiterate our policy – we will never contact PZ in any way to alert him to our presence, ask for comment, or request that he correct a lie.

In other words, it’s not possible for us to harass him.

So we were a bit surprised to find, when we looked him up on Twitter, that PZ Myers has blocked us.

There may be an innocent explanation for this. PZ is known to use auto-blocking tools to filter out people he finds objectionable. We don’t know much about those tools but it’s conceivable that one of the filters would be who an account follows. The only two accounts we made a conscious choice to follow are the Minnesota Twins and Vikings. For the others, we essentially chose at random people from the science/skeptic community.

And Elon Musk, because why not.

It could be that PZ’s software blocks us automatically because we follow someone he doesn’t like. We’d like to think PZ did a Twitter vanity search and saw our account pop up, then blocked us, but we’ll likely never know.

It’s just one more illustration of his mindset. Like Sandra Bullock in Bird Box, PZ has to shut out that part of the world that doesn’t conform with his narrow ideology.

It’s sad, but also fascinating. For us, at least.

Final Tally:

Today: 1 science-related post, 0 posts on other stuff

Since 30 May 19: 37 science-related posts, 85 non-science posts.

30% of the posts on a “science blog” are about science. 

Today: 0 PZ Myers Lies

Since 30 May 19: 33 PZ Myers Lies

Over to you, PZ. Until tomorrow.

Leave a Reply