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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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BigMomma
BigMomma
7 years ago

also, Black Fedora, a series of misrepresentations, retrospectively edited to cover up the manipulation =/= a typo. it’s an embarrassment, at the very least.

Kittehserf
7 years ago

I are ded of cute

I are puddle of squee

Lola looked SO much like Mr Hadji as a baby!

Look if you dare – Hadji at four weeks.

Kittehserf
7 years ago

Heheh

Except for David commenting about asshat, we’ve taken over the Recent Comments bar with kitty power!

BigMomma
BigMomma
7 years ago

I looked.
I died.

BigMomma
BigMomma
7 years ago

what are you trying to do to me… (tries to haul self back into chair after melting onto floor)

Kittehserf
7 years ago

We’ve done it! The comments bar is ours!

Mwhahahahahaha!

BigMomma
BigMomma
7 years ago
BigMomma
BigMomma
7 years ago

where is everyone?

Kittehserf
7 years ago

Hmm, having dinner? Watching telly? It’s yesterday evening across the pond.

Your fighting back page didn’t come up! 🙁

BigMomma
BigMomma
7 years ago

(sobs into keyboard and tries again)

have at ye

Kittehserf
7 years ago

(ie. all the others are slacking off, unlike us who are Hard At Work here.)

BigMomma
BigMomma
7 years ago

I think the internet doesn’t like me. Well, my eldest is lying in bed reading horrible histories, with Molly, purring and sleeping on her. My youngest is singing to herself and playing with her ponies in her room. It’s a tough gig with the sick kids. I suppose it’s a Sunday night, maybe they are out dong exciting things. It’s Father’s Day there too (Skyped my Dad last night = morning UK time)

Kittehserf
7 years ago

I am immune! Your pictures do not come up! The Furce is with me!

Kittehserf
7 years ago

I’d forgotten about Father’s Day – it never was a thing on my calendar. 😛

Actually I think they all took one look at baby Lola and died of cute.

BigMomma
BigMomma
7 years ago

Batcat to the rescue!

if it doesn’t work, I can only conclude that I have some anti-cuteness firewall.

Kittehserf
7 years ago

OMG – we used to call Hadj the baby bat – it’s all true!

::dies of squee::

Kittehserf
7 years ago

How’s this for a kitty who knows how to stop hoomins doing things:

http://25.media.tumblr.com/78afe53e2055602d430c97b99f29baa2/tumblr_mm7l001D4b1qavwroo1_500.jpg

Myoo
Myoo
7 years ago

@BigMomma
You seem to be adding an extra quotation mark (“) at the end of your links somehow, which is why some of them aren’t working.

BigMomma
BigMomma
7 years ago

@Myoo…that’ll be the cut and paste monster then..(and thank you!)

Kittehserf
7 years ago

::stands by for blast of cute::

BigMomma
BigMomma
7 years ago

attack!

have at ye!

(having double checked punctuation, sits back and hopes the cut and paste monster has been satiated)

BigMomma
BigMomma
7 years ago

OK, I needed to offer one more picture obviously.

Kittehserf
7 years ago

First attack kitteh succeeds!

Second hides behind 404 Error!

Kittehserf
7 years ago

(This is why cats don’t form armies. Unreliable.)

BigMomma
BigMomma
7 years ago

oooh, tom martin thread…maybe tommy boy will put in a show (heads over to check it out)

Malitia
Malitia
7 years ago

http://images4.fanpop.com/image/photos/16000000/Cute-Kitten-Wallpaper-kittens-16094695-1280-800.jpg

The one behind the 404 error. The rogue ” strikes again. 🙂

kaitlyn
kaitlyn
7 years ago

you forgot to add the paragraph about AVFM refusing to remove a document containing literal calls for terrorism! 😉

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

kaitlyn — he said earlier that it’s returning a file not found error, so he left it out in case they’re actually removing it, not just having an error.

Nepenthe
Nepenthe
7 years ago

Wait, if this was just a typo, what’s Dean Esmay talking about in that long bit about how the “typo” is totally real and true.

marinerachel
marinerachel
7 years ago

“[T]o preserve the credibility of AVfM” – LOL!

Howard Bannister
7 years ago

If anyone wants to see an example an MRA in full denial mode, scroll back a page to see the comment from Black Fedora I just let through.

HEAD ASPLODES

Wow, TBF. Just wow. Your commitment to not letting reality touch you just shines through the Internet. Shine on, you proud warrior, you!

Also, the idea that AvFM might take down the Ball manifesto… I’m thinking their readers would go absolutely wild on them. Quick, somebody point out it’s borked and insinuate that they’re trying to *sneak* it off the site to appease feminists!

Oh, I just did. Well, carry on.

freemage
freemage
7 years ago

TBF… Dude. Work it harder. At least TRY to come up with something, would you?

Lion's Roar
Lion's Roar
7 years ago

It’s possible Esmay received the screenshot from a shadier character. It should have been checked.

Falconer
7 years ago

For almost an hour there last night, the World belonged to Aussies

Noooooo don’t let them take over I don’t have any corks

Marie
Marie
7 years ago

@bigmomma

Yay for the cuteness pics 😀 I just about squee’d.

Look if you dare – Hadji at four weeks.</blockquote.

And kittehs, d'aaawww.

I left for a while and when I come back there are loads of kitty pics <3

@bigmomma

where is everyone?

~backdated answer time~ I was eating dinner, and since I left my computer at my dad’s and I was at my mom’s I couldn’t manboobz for a whole half+ a day. Tbh, I’m amazed I wasn’t whining about my computer-lack.

Marie
Marie
7 years ago

I clearly haven’t made enough sacrifices to the blockquote monster as of late.

Kittehserf
7 years ago

Marie – don’t worry, it’s been feasting on my stuff while you’ve been away!

Falconer – ::falls off chair laughing::

hrovitnir
hrovitnir
7 years ago

Oo, oo, a kitten thread?? You have beautiful babies, BigMomma. And Hadji looks so much like my babies did! Imagine four of those and a Lola all staring at you with big eyes and that’s what I had 6-odd years ago (photo isn’t online, strangely).

I do have some babies rats to share though (these are my current crew): http://picturetrail.com/sfx/album/viewimageframe/23549932/397939123

Sadly, not only is the big boy gone, Rexley my lovely tolerant man, but wee Roy too. 🙁
http://picturetrail.com/sfx/album/viewimageframe/21953396/388172016

And here are most of my animals, sadly none of these ratses are still with me
http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL1378/5616492/23549932/406982478.jpg

Marie
Marie
7 years ago

@hrovitnir

Sorry about your rats 🙁 They’re so cute, especially the pic with all the babies. I love rats.

Gingin
Gingin
7 years ago

I do find it somewhat irksome that ‘violence against’ finds so many results that are violence against women, why not more aritcles on race hate or child abuse, or indeed, violence against men?

talacaris
talacaris
7 years ago

“I do find it somewhat irksome that ‘violence against’ finds so many results that are violence against women, why not more aritcles on race hate or child abuse, or indeed, violence against men?”

I guess because child abuse is typically called that and violence based on the victim’s race or sexuality is typically called called hate crime.

Kittehserf
7 years ago

Hrovitnier, so. many. gorgoeous. babies. I’m sorry so many of your ratties have left. 🙁

Your white kitty with the marmalade patches reminds me of Louis’s girl Rochelle, who joined us over There a coupla years back (no idea where she came from, she just turned up at the house). That’s her in front of Louis’s foot.

MaudeLL
7 years ago

Whoa, kitteh. You’re on 5 threads at a time.

Respect.

Kittehserf
7 years ago

LOL! Got to keep up with all the other Daves.

You should have seen it the other day, when BigMomma and I took over the entire comment thread. Aussies Rool!

Small Note
Small Note
7 years ago

This is bad.

One small note though is you seem to be misinterpreting what Dean Esmay was saying. Esmay is actually saying the exact opposite of what you are claiming. He is actually quieting down the conspiracy theorists going with the “Google changed the search results to discredit this article” conspiracy theory. His point is that search algorithms at Google change all the time (just normally in response to nothing in particular). As such he is pointing out that if the results were true before (they weren’t but that is a different story which you have addressed) they may have changed because relying on Google search results remaining constant over time is like leaving a small floating object at the shores edge and expecting it still to be exactly where you left it later.

Dean Esmay is right in these regards, but he is still be wrong in that it does look like he is obfuscating by claiming the results might once have been true even though that that can’t be proved (and I would argue were probably never true). So he is wrong for that, but you are wrong in interpreting his claim for the exact opposite of what it is. Judging by what you have posted though it seems likely that Dean might be addressing someone further up the comment thread who is making the claim you are attributing to him as Dean’s post seems targeted at dispelling such a theory not advocating it.