Tweets from @FightRacism2 / Errol Denton - racism accusations
The account @FightRacism2 (and to a lesser extent @ErrolDenton) is falsely accusing me (@JoBrodie) and @_JosephineJones of racism, and spamming a number of other people on Twitter with a link to a petition against us. Errol Denton's racist accusations mostly occur on his blog (see below).
- Edit 15 January: now almost 9,000 views
Edit 20 January: nearly 11,000 views
Josephine and I have both reported health-related claims made on Errol Denton's websites (which we believed to be misleading) to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The ASA has upheld four adjudications against these claims (there may have been complaints made by other people that we don't know about) and he is now listed on their non-compliant online advertisers (see below) for failing to amend his pages when asked. Mr Denton is a Live Blood Analyst (nutritional microscopist) based in Harley Street and UAE and claims to be able to prevent and treat a variety of conditions - there is no evidence however that LBA is a valid technique, and plenty to suggest that it is not.
I complained in 2010, blogged about it, Josephine (in the process of investigating LBA herself) found my blog and contacted me and that's how we know about each other. She blogged about his claims too. You can search both of our blogs via their own search boxes, or via Josephine's posts tagged with Errol Denton or my similarly tagged posts (or use Google to search our blogs, eg plug either site:brodiesnotes.blogspot.com keyword or site:josephinejones.wordpress.com keyword into Google) for our other blog posts on this topic.
The four adjudications are linked below, the fifth is the non-compliant advertiser link:
• First ASA adjudication against Errol Denton's Live Blood Test (leaflet)
• Second ASA adjudication against Errol Denton's website at See My Cells (seemycells.co.uk)
• Third ASA adjudication, this time against Groupon who were promoting a reduced price session of live blood testing at Errol Denton's premises. Independently of the misleading health claims I understand there was also a massive refund because Groupon sold far too many vouchers (not particularly fair on Mr Denton it seems).
• Fourth ASA adjudication against Errol Denton's claims, trading as Fitalifestyle Ltd, on the Live Blood test website I think.
• Separate ruling from ASA against Errol Denton as Fitalifestyle, as non-compliant online advertiser
More recently the @ErrolDenton account posted a tweet implying a cure for cancer. Several people, including me suggested that this was not a good idea and, when this was ignored, I (and apparently a few others) reported this tweet to Trading Standards (as a breach of the Cancer Act of 1939).
It appears that Mr Denton (or someone else using his name) then set up a petition (updated link 19 Feb) denouncing Josephine and me as racist (and implying that we have sustained a two year racially motivated campaign against him), demanding justice (it's not clear from whom) and inviting many people to sign it. Many people have signed it but this is largely because someone (perhaps Mr Denton, perhaps someone else) was using Amazon's Mechanical Turk to pay people $0.05 to sign his petition - this accounted for about 930 of the 1023 (at time of counting) signatures. He (or someone else) has since moved the crowdsourcing operation to ShortTask. He also posted my Twitter avatar photo on his Facebook page 72 times with a link to the petition and created a special Facebook group. It looked as if it had 1,400 members but in reality had around 70 as the account holder had just 'spamvited' large numbers of people. The group was taken down and the photos were eventually removed (screenshot).
Our complaint had nothing to do with race (there is no racist content on our blog and we've both complained about claims made by all sorts of people of different ethnicities without singling out people from any particular race). Tweets have been repeatedly sent, with the link to the petition, from what I assume is Mr Denton's Twitter account (@ErrolDenton) but a separate account, @FightRacism2, (which may or may not be Mr Denton's, though the account holder implies that it is - speaking in the first person etc) has also been created which tweets the link at greater frequency.
It is difficult to see these blog posts and tweets as anything other than an attempt to intimidate us, although I also see them as a colossal and shameful waste of time and effort by someone who claims to be fighting racism but is actually doing everything but. Annoying as it is to be called racist, and to have my friends called racist paedophile faeces (enjoy the scrolling through these tweets) the saddest thing is that all this petition-pimping actually does *nothing* to help anyone who is experiencing or has experienced racism.
It would be nice if something positive could come out of all this...
What can you / we do?
1. Please share this Storify. If you tweet at people who've RTed the petition please be polite - it's an emotive topic and I can understand why people might RT without checking first. They may also be angry that they've been taken in.
2. Suggest some real anti-racism sites that I can link to here
3. Blog about the lack of evidence for live blood analysis aka nutritional microscopy - there are lots of people in the UK who are offering this unevidenced diagnostic tool / treatment. The internet abounds with the lack of evidence but see also the UK Dept of Health on unproven tests and someone from the UCLA Dept of Medicine who comments on it being an unproven diagnostic tool.
Here are some of Mr Denton's blog posts about us - all of these were initially hosted on WordPress until his account was closed. Fortunately someone must have told him how to export his blog to another site and so these posts are still available, for now (17 November 2012), (18 November 2012), (29 November 2012 - note the last paragraph)
- Before we get to the FightRacism2 racist tweets I thought I'd post @ErrolDenton's racist accusation tweets.
- Tweets below sent, and added 24 January 2013
- Tweets below sent on or before 16 January 2013