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Worse than Wrong: A Voice for Men resorts to phony screenshot and outright lying to avoid admitting embarrassing error [CORRECTED]

liar

CORRECTION: New evidence suggests that the screenshot discussed in this post and elsewhere was not a forgery but the result of a glitch. I offer a correction, and an apology, and a discussion of the implications, here. I have left the text of this piece as is.

When reputable publications, online or off, make a mistake, the editors grit their teeth, swallow their embarrassment, and run a correction. [EDIT: I’ve even got a little one at the end of this post!]

Men’s Rights hate hub A Voice for Men has somewhat more lax standards than reputable publications, or even not-so-reputable publications, and generally prefers to deal with its errors by pretending they never happened. But sometimes the errors are so obvious, even to their own somewhat credulous readers, that they have to acknowledge them in some form.

In the case of one egregious recent error AVFM has tried something a bit more audacious: resorting to a phony screenshot and outright lies in an attempt to prove that they were right all along.

Sorry, dudes, but you’re not going to get away with it. You guys are so grossly incompetent you can’t even lie convincingly.

You may recall the post I ran the other day about A Voice for Men’s bizarre claim that search engines were somehow hiding articles and resources related to violence against men from intrepid web searchers? Indeed, the post in question on AVFM asked readers to

try typing into a search engine the phrase “violence against men.” You will get scores of pages linking to articles and information regarding violence against women.

As I pointed out, and as everyone else who tried this experiment noticed as well, this is not actually true: typing in the phrase “violence against men” into Google or Bing gets you lots of links related to …. violence against men. A few intrepid Googlers even pointed this out in the comments on AVFM.

So what has AVFM done? Well, here’s how Dean Esmay, AVFM’s so-called “managing editor” Dean Esmay responded in the comments to one reader suggesting that a correction might be in order.

deanesmay

Did you follow any of that? I had to read it several times, but Esmay seems to be suggesting that someone at Google read the post on AVFM and adjusted Google’s search algorothim so that searches for information on “violence against men” would in fact return information on “violence against men.”

In other words, AVFM didn’t make a mistake. It made the world a better place!

You should also note that Esmay’s confession that he had no screenshots to back up his claims.

By the time he got around to writing a little “Editorial Update,” however, he was a bit less tentative about tooting AVFM’s horn — and he also managed to somehow conjure up a screenshot that conveniently seemed to prove his point.

deanesmay2

There’s just one problem. The screenshot is an obvious fake. Here’s the link to it on AVFM’s server.

But I’m pasting it here as well.

Violence-Against-Men-Medium

Now, at first glance, this seems to prove his point. The searcher here seems to have searched for “violence against men” and gotten results dealing with “violence against women.”

But look again at the additional results listed at the bottom of the screenshot: “News for violence against,” and “Searches related to violence against.”

That was the actual search term used. “Violence against,” not “Violence against men.”

Had he really searched for “violence against men” the additional results at the bottom would be listed under the headings “News for violence against men,” and “Searches related to violence against men.” Test this for yourself if you want.

In other words, someone involved with AVFM — Esmay himself? — did a Google search for “violence against,” got the results, and then typed in the word “men” in the search box before taking a screenshot to make it look like the original search was for “violence against men.”

I just did my own search for “violence against” (without the word men, and without quotes) and these are the top results. Look familiar?

violence against - Google SearchCropped

Yeah, so familiar THAT EVEN THE TOP TWO NEWS STORIES THAT COME UP ARE THE SAME.

Here’s the top news story linked to in AVFM’s faked screenshot — and in the one I just made.

You’ll notice that it was posted on June 13th. That is, the day AFTER the AVFM story went up, not “before press,” as Esmay claims.

In other words, Dean Esmay (or whoever concocted this forgery and gave it to Esmay) didn’t make this screenshot before the AVFM story went up.

The AVFM forger did a search yesterday, using the search term “violence against,” then typed in the word “men” after getting the search results but before taking the screenshot, to make it look like he was searching for the term “violence against men.”

All so AVFM wouldn’t have to admit it had made a mistake, and acknowledge that Esmay, as “managing editor,” had fucked up royally by letting a story be published without doing even the most rudimentary bit of fact-checking of the story’s central premise.

Put a fork in it, A Voice for Men. Your credibility is done. Burned to a crisp.

Oh, in case you’re wondering, you can use the AVFM Google forgery technique here to make it look like searching for, say, “violence against marmosets who enjoy soup” returns a bunch of results about violence against women — just so long as you don’t pay attention to the highlighted words in the search results.

violencemaremosets

I mean, once you start blatantly forging evidence, you can pretty much “prove” anything your audience is gullible enough to believe.

Too bad for A Voice for Men that the rest of us aren’t quite so gullible.

EDITED TO ADD: This story just gets stranger and stranger. I’ve just checked the blog where the AVFM post originally ran. The author of that post — who calls himself funkymunkyluvn, and who has been identified on AVFM as both Jason Gregory and Jason Thompson —  has now completely rewritten his original post and changed his central claim to this one:

try typing into a search engine the phrase “violence against.” You will get scores of pages linking to articles and information regarding violence against women.

This claim, unlike his original one, is true. And this time he provides screenshots to prove it. Here’s one of them — click for a larger version. Look at the top ten results on the left. Do they look familiar to you?

violence-against-1-medium

Yep, right on down to that Guardian article.

Unfortunately, while correcting his original article — and happily not resorting to AVFM style screenshot fraud — Mr. MunkyLuvn/Gregory/Thompson/? has not acknowledged his original error. He’s essentially pretending that he never made his original mistake. Which isn’t going to work any better than AVFM’s forgery, as his original article is still available on AVFM, and (at least for now) in Google cache.

You’ve gotta fess up, dude. That’s how it’s done.

But at least I now have a reasonably convincing — to me — theory as to how the original mistake got made, and here it is: Mr. MunkyLuvn/Gregory/Thompson/? did a search for “violence against” and got results similar to what he got in the screenshot above. But perhaps he didn’t get around to writing his blog post right away, and by the time he wrote it, he unthinkingly and incorrectly added the word “men” when describing what he’d searched for. He never bothered to recheck, and no one at AVFM did either.

Now he’s trying to pretend he never made this mistake. That’s deceptive — but not as deceptive as actually forging evidence in an attempt to pretend you were never wrong.

EDIT AGAIN: Ok, this is just getting weirder. I assumed that AVFM was no longer referring to the author of the original post as Jason Gregory and was now referring to him as Jason Thompson. But that’s not true. They actually seem to be different people.  Jason Gregory’s profile links to his blog, and to AVFM’s Jason Gregory’s page, but it DOESN’T link to his “violence against men” post. Jason Thompson’s profile doesn’t link to that blog, but to this non-existent page instead, but the Jason Thompson author page DOES link to Jason Gregory’s “violence against men” post, now bylined “Jason Thompson.”

I actually think this is some sort of glitch and not anything devious, but jeez, guys, get your act together.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article, and its headline, referred to AVFM’s phony “screenshots,” plural. There was just the one.

See, corrections aren’t so hard!

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James
James
7 years ago

secretly blubber into their own neckbeard

Pretty sure this is not particularly helpful. If his picture is anything to go by, Paul Elam is actually a pretty clean-cut guy. Does it make a difference?

Robert
Robert
7 years ago

Jason (last name variable) – but everyone knew him as Nancy.

(either a Beatles or Firesign Theatre reference, depending on how you’ve lived your life)

Athywren
Athywren
7 years ago

Could I possibly be more shocked than this? I don’t think it’s at all possib-WAIT! The sun! The sun is sinking!! It’s sinking behind the horizon!!! AUGH!!!!
*dies of shock*

Graham
Graham
7 years ago

I’ve got as far as “to preserve the credibility of AVfM”. Choking.

chibell1
chibell1
7 years ago

Hey guys, long time lurker here. Not sure where to put this so I decided the latest post was probably the best place. I’m thankful there is a community that calls out the misogynist bs I see on the internet, especially reddit.

I originally started exploring the manosphere for my brother’s sake. He had just gone through and awful separation and his ex was threatening to take full physical and legal custody of his kids and not let them see him. I knew the legal system favored moms, so I was trying to find advice, legal help, or any way my brother was able to stay in his kids lives. Some sites were helpful, and in fact aided in my brother in getting joint custody of my wonderful niece and nephew. The problem is the majority of the mens rights sites and subreddits I visited did not focus on fathers and mens rights, but anti feminist and anti women ideology. IMO This blog highlights and humorizes the bs these sites and individuals spew without marginalizing the real problems men and fathers do actually face in today’s society.

ps. I admit I’m not a cat person ( blasphemy I know) So I had to choose a cute puppy face in my profile picture. I think it makes this site so much cuter!!!

Marie
Marie
7 years ago

@chibell1

HI and welcome 😀 And that is a cute puppy.

Amanda Marcotte (@AmandaMarcotte)

Once again, the rhetorical strategies of MRAs are directly out of the handbook of what domestic abusers do to their victims. What they’re attempting to do here is gaslighting, a common technique where the abuser denies and distorts reality, hoping that they can throw the victim off her guard and gain control that way. Telling the victim she misremembered something she does accurately remember—and then using that to tell her she is “crazy” and therefore needs to defer to the abuser’s authority—is a common strategy, and they are trying to do something similar here.

I have no doubt men who are deeply interested in deflecting attention and minimizing the realities of abusive relationships are well-practiced at the strategies abusers use to control their victims, but gaslighting is a technique that works way better as an interpersonal abuse technique than as a rhetorical technique to a crowd that has access to Google and, unlike your wife or girlfriend, can walk away instead of allow the MRA to try to bully them into accepting a false version of reality.

ignotussomnium
ignotussomnium
7 years ago

I think the fact that the first related search is “domestic violence against men” says everything. The search engine is doing exactly what it should: presenting the results that are most likely to be what the user was searching for and then providing close alternatives. But these guys just have to make it something to whine about.

inurashii
inurashii
7 years ago

chibell,
Not to worry; you’re not the only dog person present 😉

Aaliyah
7 years ago

The problem is the majority of the mens rights sites and subreddits I visited did not focus on fathers and mens rights, but anti feminist and anti women ideology.

That’s shocking.

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

My spidey sense is tingling, do I sense someone in need of a Welcome Package?

Stuffed Fantod
7 years ago

I’m the spouse of a Googler who works in one of the Search groups. Without telling me anything specific (because that’s a firing offense, and I wouldn’t understand that level of coding anyway) he says that “AVfM is utterly full of shit. It doesn’t work that way.”

chibell1
chibell1
7 years ago

Hi and thank you all for the warm welcome.

Scented fuckin candles!! LOL loved that.

That welcome package was awesome and terrifying at the same time. The absurdity of it all, my god. Do we really live on the same planet as these people????

Christo
Christo
7 years ago

It could be that the firebombing manifesto is temporarily gone because of the reconstruction they’re doing to the site. I’m betting it will be back soon. Speaking of the work they’re doing on their site, they must be rolling in the money these days to be able to pay salaries to Paul Elam and John Hembling and also pay professionals to fix their website.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

The original blogger has changed his post to talk about doing searches for “violence against” and has put up screenshots showing that. No admission of error or acknowledgement that he has changed his post though.

My new theory about MRAs is that this is part of why the media enrages them so much. Sometimes our media indicates that a man did something wrong! Sometimes it even openly says “X made a mistake” or “X lied”. Which is totally unacceptable if X is a man, because men are never wrong!

Unless they’re feminist men, of course.

Citizen Justin
7 years ago

Meanwhile, a Google search for ‘violence against marmosets who enjoy soup’ has as the top result… this very webpage. Plainly, Google’s top brass are in cahoots with David over this.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

The fact that they want their readers to think that Google cares about them is funny, though. I wonder if, when they lie, they eventually start to believe their own lies too?

Kristine
Kristine
7 years ago

This just solidifies my belief that the MRA’s have no concept of how to interact with the public. I mean, the original mistake wasn’t that bad. The whole thing would have not just blown over, but actually improved their reputation if they had had the decency to admit to it. But apparently they have the same strategy as a five year old when it comes to lying: lie some more instead of owning up and apologizing, that totally won’t make it worse.

hellkell
hellkell
7 years ago

This is hilariously awful. Every time I think they can’t be bigger assholes, they do shit like this.

It’s a wonder Dean Esmay doesn’t forget to breathe, he’s so fucking dumb.

auggie
7 years ago

chibell1:
I’m not a cat person either, not that I don’t like cats. Ditto with dogs. I’m more of a bird person, or primate, but I just keep birds since primates can be very unpredictable pets.

Christo
Christo
7 years ago

I think Jason Thompson and Jason Gregory are the same person. Jason Gregory replied to commenters saying he wrote the post.

auggziliary
auggziliary
7 years ago

kristine: I don’t think most MRAs have social skills. I don’t mean just an awkwardness, but being narcissistic and not caring if they’re making someone else really really uncomfortable.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

They seem to think that other people being uncomfortable around them is a form of persecution, actually. Obviously it’s the other people’s fault that they’re uncomfortable and they should stop making you feel bad by reacting to you like that.

auggziliary
auggziliary
7 years ago

It seems like a lot of libertarian groups are like that too… Like when I was an objectivist, the forums for Atlas Shrugged were filled with people like that. Like one thread was about women as presidents, which was something Ayn Rand said women couldn’t do(since ladies all love submission, so any woman who didn’t wasn’t a real woman, and therefore was too messed up in the head to be a decent president). Basically everyone seemed totally OK with believing this, and threw jokes around about Hilary Clinton being manish.
Those people were fucking callous as hell. That’s what turned me away from objectivism actually. Like I thought Obama’s healthcare bill was a good thing, but I just thought it was unconstitutional, so I opposed it. But pretty much every other objectivist felt that the bill would cause the USA to fucking collapse.

(I also turned away after hearing from a gay objectivist. Rand believed homosexuality was disgusting. Basically the gay dude said that he’s “OK” with being gay, but that if we had a pill to change our sexuality permanently, he thought that every gay person should take it since “why wouldn’t you?”)

Falconer
7 years ago

Jason (last name variable) – but everyone knew him as Nancy.

(either a Beatles or Firesign Theatre reference, depending on how you’ve lived your life)

Both! Forgive me, father, for I have sinned.

Kittehserf
7 years ago

Can’t add to what’s already been said in this thread, except …

Marmosets?

They’re just distracting attention from the real victims – MARMOTS!

La Strega
7 years ago

It’s the end of the quarter for me, and as usual, I have one person who blatantly plagiarized his final essay. So I’m feeling veerrry intolerant of intellectual dishonesty at the moment. But that’s what this kinda reminds me of, a kind of “cheating” by falsifying data, which I find so disgusting and contemptible, not only because it represents laziness and an indifference to truth, but because it is so cynical.

AK
AK
7 years ago

Auggziliary (wait, are you also auggie? I see both names with the same Gravatar) said:

(I also turned away after hearing from a gay objectivist. Rand believed homosexuality was disgusting. Basically the gay dude said that he’s “OK” with being gay, but that if we had a pill to change our sexuality permanently, he thought that every gay person should take it since “why wouldn’t you?”)

Yikes, can we say “internalized homophobia?” I wouldn’t take it because, you know, there’s nothing wrong with being queer. Not to say life wouldn’t be easier if I was straight…but that’s a culture problem, not a personal one. Life would be easier if I was a Fox News talking head, too…doesn’t mean I’m willing to become one. Yeesh.

@chibell1:
I’m a dog person too, in spite of my earlier link. 3 cats live in my house, but they belong to my husband. My life pretty much revolves around my dogs, including the little monster pictured in my avatar. 🙂

I also want to point out, though I am on my phone and can’t figure out how to provide you links right now, that overall divorce courts actually don’t favor women. When general stats are looked at, women do wind up with custody more often than men. However, when you just look at cases when men contested custody, they’re awarded at least joint custody about 70% of the time. I’m in a hotel on work right now and don’t have my computer, but if you’ll give me a day or so I’m happy to come up with links to back that up (or someone else is welcome to beat me to it). 😉 Women are also far more likely to wind up impoverished after divorce than men are, statistically speaking.

I hope that doesn’t come across as angry or unwelcoming, because it wasn’t meant that way. I’m happy it worked out for your brother, and I think that our world would be a much better place if both parents were culturally encouraged to take equal roles in child rearing and were considered equally important, regardless of gender.

wooster87
7 years ago

Reblogged this on woosterlang87.

grumpycatisagirl
7 years ago

I do hope a MRA troll will come here and try to defend this (I mean beyond that lame “David Futrelle-is-accusing-somebody-else-of-lying-the-comedy writes itself driveby).

Excellent work, Dave. You get an A+++.

amandajane5
amandajane5
7 years ago

It won’t be real if they don’t “slip” a reference in to his supposed Fatness. Because Fatrelle is both hilarious and original.

melody
7 years ago

They seem to think that other people being uncomfortable around them is a form of persecution, actually. Obviously it’s the other people’s fault that they’re uncomfortable and they should stop making you feel bad by reacting to you like that.

So, much of this. I’ve had men who were acting aggressive and yelling at me get their feelings hurt because I was scared of them. They apparently thought it was obvious that they weren’t going to hit me.

I mostly just posted because I’ve been lurking for awhile……..And just felt like I should comment every so often. 😛

Kittehserf
7 years ago

It’s always good to see you posting, melody. 🙂

cloudiah
7 years ago

Yes, de-lurk, everybody, de-lurk! Even if you’re dog lovers! I only have cats in my home, but I lurv me some cute doggies. 😉

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

Speaking of cute dogs, I met a giant harlequin Great Dane the other day while I was sitting outside eating lunch. He was adorable! Doesn’t seem to like other dogs much though.

Aaliyah
7 years ago

I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels giddy when cool people de-lurk. =P

Radical Parrot
7 years ago

So, fail at spelling, fail at academic principles, fail at biology, fail at social sciences, fail at journalism. What next, misogynist douchedrains? Fail at eating ice cream? Fail at dressing yourself? Fail at breathing?

To quote the Riddler: “I’m not expecting great things.”

Aaliyah
7 years ago

“Fail at eating ice cream?”

Brain-freezes are misandry. MORE AT 11

proudfootz
7 years ago

I like both dogs and cats, but am suspicious of marmosets (cute as they are in photographs).

As for the fellow who can’t admit he made a mistake – the cover up only makes it worse.

ashley
ashley
7 years ago

OT: i don’t know if you guys have seen this yet yet, but one of the MRAs featured on manboobz, Tom Martin, is making a documentary about why women are less funny. he’s filming it in august and he has an ad up on gumtree looking for a film crew.

http://www.gumtree.com/p/jobs/funnier-women-revolutionary-documentary-film-project-launch-and-crew-call/1021439774

oh, and the hypothesis he is seeking to prove about why women are less funny is that it’s because we are gold-diggers, of course.

Radical Parrot
7 years ago

We should probably start listing all the things that aren’t misandry. Seems it would make a shorter list. Although I doubt I’d have the stomach for it.

Welcome to de-lurkers! Personally, I love cats and dogs and hedgehogs and hamsters and marmosets and parrots and goldfish etc. Furrinati forever!

thekidwiththereplaceablehead

OT: but this was so awful that I need to vent a bit about it.
TW: severe, hate-filled abelism directed against people with mental illness.

This is an old AVfM article (dec, 2011) that I stumbled on.
Basically, PaulE and a bunch of AVfM people, many of whom identify as mental health professionals, just have a huge hate party shitting on people with borderline personality disorder. It turns out they’re not really sick, BPD sufferers are really just evil monster-people who should be locked away forever because they’ll never get better. They also assfax armchair diagnose pretty much every woman they don’t like with it. For bonus evil points, recently there was a young man in the comments saying “I have BPD and I’m not like that, and treatment can work” and the commentariat’s response was “Yes you are, fuck you, die in a hole.”
How can these people call themselves mental health professionals? Don’t go to shrink4men.com with the “wrong” problem, I guess. And these are the people who are supposed to be all about preventing male suicide?

katz
7 years ago

Meanwhile, a Google search for ‘violence against marmosets who enjoy soup’ has as the top result… this very webpage. Plainly, Google’s top brass are in cahoots with David over this.

It’s the only possible explanation.

katz
7 years ago

Also, for auggie, here are some cute birdies.

Aaliyah
7 years ago

@thekidwiththereplaceablehead

Just goes to further prove that bigots are often bigoted in more ways than one.

cloudiah
7 years ago

I can’t go to sleep. I have a cat snoring on my leg.

AVfM is populated with terrible people. Liars. Bigots. AynRandians.

katz
7 years ago