This weekend I talked about how Dr. Danielle N. Lee was called a whore by a marketeer from Biology-Online, and how Scientific American temporarily deleted her blog post about it. 1 I used it as an opportunity to discuss bad crisis management (on the part of Scientific American) and the entitled marketeer mindset (on the part of Biology-Online).
Since then, Scientific American has practiced damage control, belatedly restoring Dr. Lee's post and offering an apology and explanation that is competently executed, if too late and ultimately rather unconvincing. Biology-Online has offered an apology to Dr. Lee, acknowledging that the conduct of "Ofek" was unacceptable and announcing his termination. Biology-Online did not identify "Ofek."
I offer one illuminating coda. In its apology Biology-Online says that "Ofek was hired to grow biology-online's relationships relationships with bloggers and scientists." In other words, as I said, a marketeer. How should we react to rude marketeers? Well, rather than Biology-Online's apology to Dr. Lee, consider what Biology-Online forum moderator "JackBean" said in a forum thread there about the situation
Please, stop acting like crazy, people. Yeah, he did what he definitely shouldn't. However, we couldn't act earlier since we didn't know about it and DNLee decided to rather write a blog about that instead of handling it with someone above Ofek. I understand that since she didn't have any other contact than him, but it's her decicion.
In other words, upon being called a whore by a marketeer, rather than writing about the experience of a marketeer calling her a whore because she refused to provide free content to improve Biology-Online's traffic and advertising revenue, Dr. Lee should have sought to speak to the marketeer's supervisor. Surely the supervisor of someone who spams scientists asking them to provide free content to Biology-Online to make money for Biology-Online will be reasonable! Why must you make such a big deal out of this?
Pressed on this, Biology-Online moderator JackBean elaborates:
I never blamed her for being called a whore, I blamed her for the delay in our team's response. That's a difference. And I blamed the anonymous users here, who registered just two days ago from being out of their mind. If they could, they would lynch Ofek. How are they different from him?
BTW Ms. Lee called our team in one of her tweets "asses", very professional from her.
Yeah! Will nobody think of the feelings of the marketeers?
Remember: marketeers are entitled assholes. If you encourage to marketeers, if you give them content, if you give them links or accept their links, if you write guest posts for them or accept their guest posts, you help them make the world a worse place.
Why would any scientist write content for Biology-Online, or even use its forum? If you know such a scientist, maybe you should ask them.
- I referred to Dr. Lee as Ms. Lee because Dr. Lee did not make her doctorate prominent and refer to herself conspicuously as Dr. Lee, and I failed to notice she has a PhD. I rather like Dr. Lee. ▲
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