Are they intolerant of the Truth now? Popular queer Native American Twitter account turns out to be unpopular straight white woman.
BethAnn McLaughlin thought that she could fool all of the people all of the time.
@sciencing_bi was a well-read Science Twitter account, a queer Native American professor with a unique perspective on science and university life. They reportedly caught coronavirus and and died of Covid, drawing tributes from online admirers, some of them prominent academics. But it was only the final straw in a haybale of suspicion for people who knew BethAnn McLaughlin, a white woman that @sciencing_bi often spoke of. It turns out, with grim predictability, that it was her all along, catfishing the academic pond.
It might have been a great story, as a novel, but she presented it as fact. Oh, and Ms. McLaughlin was trying to get tenure at Vanderbilt, and said it was denied because she was an activist/founder of MeTooSTEM.
But the whole fake Twitter account/fake anthropologist at Arizona State University fell apart when McLaughlin said her friend, @sciencing_bi had died of COVID-19. Catfish: COVID-19 Even though ASU is a huge institution, which is probably why she thought she could hide someone in the shear numbers, ASU could find no such person. And some of the tweets contained factual errors, talking about classroom teaching in April, when ASU went virtual in March. And photos in the Twitter timeline can be shown to be stock photos from online.
Some critics also said that Sciencing_Bi, who was tweeting since at least 2016, only began to discuss her Hopi identity after McLaughlin was accused of silencing women of color within the MeTooSTEM organization, in 2019.
So why create the fake Twitter profile? Just to offer yourself support?
Hat tip to The Other McCain, who notes…
Twitter suspended McLaughlin as a consequence of her sockpuppetry. More importantly, what this tawdry episode of online deceit appears to reveal is that McLaughlin is fundamentally dishonest and therefore is undeserving of holding any position of trust.