Debate and discussion of any biological questions not pertaining to a particular topic.
Jack, I'm presuming and hoping you are simply stating why it took a little bit of time to get the apology up and online. Vicki apparently heard about it first, from these threads or maybe the site contact forms. She didn't hire Ofek, or have any authority to deal directly with the issue; so she had to email the owners, who don't monitor things here 24/7. All things considered, you've (collectively) responded to this as quickly as anyone could reasonably expect give the nature of the organization.
I didn't read your comment as an attempt to blame Dr Lee or put her at fault in some way; you've noted explicitly that '"I understand that since she didn't have any other contact than him". But not everyone is going to be trying to find the most charitable reading of your post. Your post has already been picked out and marked as an example of victim blaming.
So a friendly reminder: lots of people are reading this thread right now, as people all over the world have been looking to see what your response was going to be. It's being reported widely on twitter and many blogs that are -- rightly -- concerned with the events Ofek set in train; and for which Ofek is responsible. Biology-online should and has accept organizational responsibility; and they've done that by firing Ofek and giving an unqualified apology. Well done.
IMO it is worthwhile for team leaders here to take considerable care in managing this. You really really don't want to come across as blaming Dr Lee for the situation.
Aside from the career-ending outburst of "Ofeck", the specific offer made was so completely fraudulent, it cries out for comment.
The offer made was utterly fraudulent, as it promised the prospective guest blogger something of value that could not be delivered:
“...By writing [for us] and linking to us, you not only receive traffic from us…”
No, Bioloy-Online receives traffic from the guest blogger's link to the post, and not the other way around.
If Bioloy-Online might link back to the guest blogger's blog, then perhaps this might be possible, but no such offer is made, nor do any of the “guest blog" entries on Bioloy-Online have such links back to the guest blogger’s blog.
"Ofek" goes on to claim that “it can have a direct effect on the traffic and rank of your blog, and that in turn has a direct effect on advertising revenue”. This is also untrue, as it would only be possible if there was some sort of easy way for those claimed 1.6 million visitors to easily FIND your blog, such as a link to it.
But http://alexa.com/siteinfo/biology-online.org seems to indicate that this is a site of little or no consequence, stumbled upon nearly half the time via Google search for some specific term. No 1.6 million anything here.
So, in an addition to an apology, a POLICY CHANGE would be a good way to respond, one that would involve providing links back to guest blogger's blogs, and thereby honestly providing the (dubious-seeming) advantages offered to the guest blogger.
As a senior scientist and lab manager, my advice is to get the 11-foot pole from one's quartermaster before touching "Biology-Online" in any way. Mere gloves, goggles, and fume hood seems insufficient protection from so much toxicity.
I have to agree with ChrisHoStuart. This could definitely be construed as blaming DNLee for this situation, which would be completely unfair and add another thing to the list of things people are angry at Biology Online employees for.
Interesting to see that people are prepared to go through the registration process to post on this blog entry. It is never OK to call anyone a whore - let alone someone who politely rejected a request to post on your website. This is the only thread, discussion that I will ever be part of on this website.
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.
Cis or trans? That's what matters.
Wow... ok; my presumption was incorrect. I take it back.
PS. For my own part: I registered recently, in good faith, using my own real name as handle. I'm not anonymous. I've tried to be fair to you guys, and stick up for you as working well to manage a bad situation. Both here and elsewhere, on twitter and in blog comment streams. I've been particularly impressed with Vicki's handling of the matter; and the way she hasn't tried to deflect responsibility.
I had also (on twitter) publicly tried to give my initially overly charitable reading of Jack's post to observers who had held it up to public shame. I've since had to retract that... disappointed.
All of us have our own share of views on what transpired.. and just goes to show how we love science! And as lovers of science and life we certainly want to be a part of it... improving it.. nurturing it.. Much more if we are recognized by our good intentions and efforts
We know that Biology Online is lacking in many aspects compared to its online contemporaries... Like a speck in the vast desert land.. We are aware that at present we are a small team with a simple aim of giving the best that we can offer. We made mistakes. We learn. We improve. And some of us here are working voluntarily, out of love for science, and the mirth it brings when speaking to others who have the same enthusiasm.
I know that not all would be impressed by what we do and presently offer.. but we intend to continue to strive even if it takes a little harder than similar websites do.
Biology Online has been Biology Online.. loved or somehow enjoyed by a few.. We will take our steps to move forward with these "few" as inspiration..
Again, thank you. Lessons have been learned... And to answer this thread, No! It is not okay to call anybody, scientists or not, a whore. And the website does not endorse discrimination. Apologies have been sent and released out of good intention. With or without this incident, we are planning ahead with all our best to improving Biology Online for the sake of and love for science, life...
This thread will now be locked.
"Why you care about small things? World very simple place...
World only have two things: Things you can eat and things you no can eat."
- Quina Quen (ffix)
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