See updates, bottom of this post
The Facebook flounce is beloved of some Facebook pages and persons. It works like this:
- Publish something inflammatory or inaccurate, or better yet, both:
- Experience correction
- Flounce, step 1: ban the person who criticized you
- Flounce, step 2: delete the comments where your errors were pointed out
- Flounce, step 3: de-publish your entire page
- Flounce, step 4: ban your criticizer from your personal page as well
- Flounce, step 5: de-publish your personal page as well
Backstory: The person who runs the Facebook page, " Informed Parents of Vaccinated Children" (IPoVC) claims to be pro-vaccination.
Personally, I hold pro-vaxxers to very high standards of accuracy. It is an important point: pro-vaxxers have to provide reliable information. IPoVC has provided inaccurate information in the past, and has been chided for it. She has reacted in a similar manner in the past, as well.
Here's the point: effective science communication (and IPoVC claims to be engaged in science communication, specifically the safety and efficacy of vaccines) demands that errors be pointed out publicly, and acknowledged and corrected by the communicator. Read Retraction Watch's first post for a strong statement on this issue.
Not sure what "flounce" means, in the context of the internet? Here's a great introduction. Here's a post from a community manager on how best to deal with flouncers.
Edited to addAt the Facebook page Anti-Vaccination Hall of Shame, I added a clarification of my motives.
Here is the text of that statement:
Re the recent postings of screenshots of the Facebook page Informed Parents of Vaccinated Children (IPoVC), which I initiated:
IPoVC claims to be providing factual information for "parents and others interested in the benefits of immunization."
IPoVC made an error in fact, which I corrected. IPoVC reacted in a dramatically negative way, including blocking me from IPoVC and later taking down the IPoVC page.
My values as a lay communicator of science demand accuracy, and transparency in correcting errors. IPoVC violated those values, and I documented the violations.I am indifferent to the personal values of IPoVC's administrator relative to alternative medicine or parenting. Those are none of my business.
It is a pity that the IPoVC administrator chose to interpret the documentation of discourse on the IPoVC page as a personal attack. I acknowledge that her hurt feelings are real.
I would also urge the IPoVC adminstrator to develop an understanding of the normal nature of discourse in scientific settings, if she plans to continue to discuss scientific topics.
At some time during the morning, the IPoVC administrator posted the following (click to embiggen)
I categorically deny the allegations that the IPoVC administrator made relative to me. I do not see her as "the enemy". I don't "make up multiple fake IDs". While I corrected IPoVC in public, I did not treat the IPoVC as a child. I treated her just as I would have any other peer who made a serious and careless mistake. I do not, and did not mock, the IPoVC administrator. I do not perceive the IPoVC page or its administrator as a threat. I do not despise the IPoVC administrator. How could I? In the words of my father, I don't know her from Adam's off ox. As far as the screenshot issue goes: First, if something is posted publicly, it is legal fair use to take a screenshot. Second, As I am quite visual, this is the most efficient way for me to take notes. And finally, IPoVC's last comment is one of the reasons I take screenshots: to document that words were written and posted, in an environment where comments unpleasant to the page (or blog owner) will be deleted as if never posted.
3:47 pm: the discussion at Informed Parents of Vaccinated Children continues, with specific statements from the IPoVC administrator claiming knowledge of my opinions and emotions, which are false. I acknowledge that her feelings were hurt, but I stand by what I have written above. Her presumption of knowledge about my opinions and feelings are false.
And with that: I am done with this discussion.