One of our colleagues at Freethoughtblogs, Avicenna, has been on the receiving end of an astonishing flood of hate and patently baseless accusations. An online group of trolls, ironically many of the same people who are quick to accuse us of “witch hunts” and “lynch mobs”, have been baying for his blood for months, questioning his profession, his training, even his ancestry — all nonsense and known to us as completely bogus, pure dishonest attempts to harass him. Almost all of the accusations were lies.
Unfortunately, I had to say “almost”. Buried in the spurious accusations were, as it turned out, some accurate accusations of plagiarism. Avi has been taking shortcuts, cutting and pasting blocks of text without attribution.
This is a network of writers. Plagiarism is not a forgivable sin here. After reviewing the incidents, and getting Avi’s explanation, we’ve had to conclude that these were not a few one-off accidents, but part of a long term pattern of slipshod writing.
For that reason, we have had to regretfully remove Avicenna from our network. Ed Brayton has more.
I must add, however, that the vast majority of the bullshit flowing out of the slymepit about Avi has not been credible, and you should not consider this a validation of the bulk of the phony accusations made against him. It is only on this one narrow, but very serious, issue that they have made a palpable hit. Unfortunately, it is an issue serious enough that we cannot excuse it.