In March 2012, the Skeptical Science (SkS)was “hacked” by persons unknown. John Cook provided context in a post shortly after the hack:
Sometime over the last few days, the Skeptical Science website has been hacked. The hacker has taken much or all of the Skeptical Science database, zipped various excerpts into a single file, uploaded the file onto a Russian website then linked to the zip file from various blogs. While we are still attempting to verify the authenticity of the file, initial scans seem to indicate the hacker has included the entire database of Skeptical Science users. Access to the full database (which includes private details) is restricted only to myself and I am the only one with access to all of the raw data – this fact alone indicates that this breach of privacy came in the form of an external hack rather than from within Skeptical Science itself.
While the content was made available on the Internet, Anthony Watts was notable in his refusal to exploit this content stating he respected the privacy of the individual:
Rest assured, we are working hard to upgrade Skeptical Science’s security in order to more robustly protect users’ private details. We are also in the process of soliciting legal advice on these matters and contacting the appropriate authorities. We would like to thank those who have come to us with information about this potential hack and those who have decided against spreading the aforementioned files (e.g. Anthony Watts). We all believe that protecting the privacy of individuals is of the utmost importance and we would hope that all illegally obtained documents and files are removed from uploaded servers and disposed of.
However it would now appear the “gloves are off” for Anthony, as he is now frequently reposting snippets of the SkS forum, disregarding the once principled stand he took back in March:
Skeptical Science gets Romm-Bombed
Posted on September 25, 2012by Anthony Watts
Reposted from Popular Technology with permission
Skeptical Science: Too Inaccurate for Joe Romm
In March of 2012, the climate alarmist website Skeptical Science had their forums “hacked” and the contents posted online. In these it was revealed that Skeptical Science was found to be even too inaccurate for fellow alarmist Joe Romm of Climate Progress…
And so on.
Perhaps it was the Lewandowsky paper which demonstrated a clear link between conspiracy ideation and climate scepticism that literally enraged sceptic bloggers around the world. Perhaps it was his astonishment at the fact that nearly 20,000 people signed a petition in opposition to his appearance on PBS News Hour.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are clearly seeing Anthony Watts switching strategies: having failed to undermine the science of climate change he is switching to celebrity gossip.
Tales of “warmist” bloggers and climate scientists behaving badly will soon dominate the headlines of WUWT: perhaps we’ll get some grainy shots of topless “warmists” at the beach? Or fussy iPhone pictures of scientists stumbling drunkenly out of night clubs?
Watch out TMZ, there’s a new kid on town.
As a pro-tip Anthony, I’d create a signature tagline – something like “A Watts XOXO”