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#闫丽梦#班农Scientists from Johns Hopkins, Columbia and other leading
American universities moved with rare speed when a Chinese virologist, Li-
Meng Yan, published an explosive paper in September claiming that China had created the deadly coronavirus in a research lab.

The paper, the American scientists concluded, was deeply flawed. And a new
online journal from MIT Press — created specifically to vet claims related to SARS-CoV-2 — reported Yan’s claims were “at times baseless and are not supported by the data” 10 days after she posted them.

But in an age when anyone can publish anything online with a few clicks,
this response was not fast enough to keep Yan’s disputed allegations from
going viral, reaching an audience in the millions on social media and Fox
News. It was a development, according to experts on misinformation, that
underscored how systems built to advance scientific understanding can be
used to spread politically charged claims dramatically at odds with
scientific consensus.

Yan’s work, which was posted to the scientific research repository Zenodo
without any review on Sept. 14, exploded on Twitter, YouTube and far-right
websites with the help of such conservative influencers as Republican
strategist Stephen K. Bannon, who repeatedly pushed it on his online show “War Room: Pandemic,” according to a report published Friday by Harvard
researchers studying media manipulation. Yan expanded her claims, on Oct. 8, to blame the Chinese government explicitly for developing the coronavirus
as a “bioweapon.”

Online research repositories have become key forums for revelation and
debate about the pandemic. Built to advance science more nimbly, they have
been at the forefront of reporting discoveries about masks, vaccines, new
coronavirus variants and more. But the sites lack protections inherent to
the traditional — and much slower — world of peer-reviewed scientific
journals, where articles are published only after they have been critiqued
by other scientists. Research shows papers posted to online sites also can
be hijacked to fuel conspiracy theories.

Yan’s paper on Zenodo — despite several blistering scientific critiques
and widespread news coverage of its alleged flaws — now has been viewed
more than 1 million times, probably making it the most widely read research on the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Harvard
misinformation researchers. They concluded that online scientific sites are vulnerable to what they called “cloaked science,” efforts to give dubious work “the veneer of scientific legitimacy.”

“They’re many years behind in realizing the capacity of this platform to
be abused,” said Joan Donovan, research director at the Harvard Kennedy
School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, which
produced the report. “At this point, everything open will be exploited.”

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Yan, who previously was a postdoctoral fellow at Hong Kong University but
fled to the United States in April, agreed in an interview with The
Washington Post that online scientific sites are vulnerable to abuse, but
she rejected the argument that her story is a case study in this problem.

Rather, Yan said, she is a dissident trying to warn the world about what she says is China’s role in creating the coronavirus. She used Zenodo, with
its ability to instantly publish information without restrictions, because
she feared the Chinese government would obstruct publication of her work.
Her academic critics, she argued, will be proven wrong.

“None of them can rebut from real, solid, scientific evidence,” Yan said. “They can only attack me.”

Zenodo acknowledged that the furor has prompted reforms, including the
posting of a label Thursday above Yan’s paper saying, “Caution:
Potentially Misleading Contents” after The Washington Post asked whether
Zenodo would remove it. The site also prominently features links to
critiques from a Georgetown University virologist and the MIT Press.

“We take misinformation really seriously, so it is something that we want
to address,” said Anais Rassat, a spokeswoman for the European Organization for Nuclear Research, which operates Zenodo as a general purpose scientific site. “We don’t think taking down the report is the best solution. We
want it to stay and indicate why experts think it’s wrong.”

But mainstream researchers who watched Yan’s claims race across the
Internet far more quickly than they could counter them have been left
troubled by the experience — newly convinced that the capacity for
spreading misinformation goes far beyond the big-name social media sites.
Any online platform without robust and potentially expensive safeguards is
equally vulnerable.

“This is similar to the debate we’re having with Facebook and Twitter. To what degree are we creating an instrument that speeds disinformation, and to what extent are you contributing to that?” said Stefano M. Bertozzi,
editor in chief of the MIT Press online journal “Rapid Reviews: COVID-19,” which challenged Yan’s claims.

Bertozzi added, “Most scientists have no interest in getting in a pissing
match in cyberspace.”

Catch up on the most important developments in the pandemic with our
coronavirus newsletter. All stories in it are free to access.

Coronavirus fuels prominence of online science sites
Online scientific sites have been growing for more than a decade, becoming a vital part of the ecosystem for making and vetting claims across numerous
academic fields, but their growth has been supercharged by the urgency of
disseminating new discoveries about a deadly pandemic.

Some of the best-known of these sites, such as medRxiv and bioRxiv, have
systems for rapid evaluation intended to avoid publishing work that doesn’t pass an initial sniff test of scientific credibility. They also reject
papers that only review the work of others or that make such major claims
that they shouldn’t be publicized before peer review can be conducted, said Richard Sever, co-founder of medRxiv and bioRxiv.
“We want to create a hurdle that’s high enough that people have to do some research,” Sever said. “What we don’t want to be is a place where there
’s a whole bunch of conspiracy theories.”

Online publishing sites generally are called “preprint servers” because
many researchers use them as a first step toward traditional peer review,
giving the authors a way to make their work public — and available for
possible news coverage — before more thorough analysis begins. Advocates of preprint servers tout their ability to create early visibility for
important discoveries and also spark useful debate. They note that
traditional peer-reviewed journals have their own history of occasionally
publishing hoaxes and bad science.

“It’s very funny that everyone is worrying about preprints given that,
collectively, journals are not doing a great job of keeping misinformation
out,” Sever said.

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He and other proponents, however, acknowledge risks.
While scientists debate — and sometimes refute — flawed claims by one
another, nonscientists also scan preprint servers for data that might appear to bolster their pet conspiracy theories.

A research team led by computer scientist Jeremy Blackburn has tracked the
appearance of links to preprints from social media sites, such as 4chan,
popular with conspiracy theorists. Blackburn and a graduate student, Satrio Yudhoatmojo, found more than 4,000 references on 4chan to papers on major
preprint servers between 2016 and 2020, with the leading subjects being
biology, infectious diseases and epidemiology. He said the uneven review
process has “lent an air of credibility” to preprints that experts might
quickly spot as flawed but ordinary people wouldn’t.

“That’s where the risk is,” said Blackburn, an assistant professor at
Binghamton University. “Papers from the preprint servers show up in a
variety of conspiracy theories … and are misinterpreted wildly because
these people aren’t scientists.”
Jessica Polka, executive director of ASAPbio, a nonprofit group that pushes for more transparency and wider use of preprint servers, said they rely on
something akin to crowdsourcing, in which comments from outside researchers quickly can identify flaws in work, but she acknowledged vulnerabilities
based on the extent of review by server staff and advisers. A recent survey by ASAPbio found more than 50 preprint servers operating — and nearly as
many review policies.

And the survey didn’t include Zenodo, which, Polka said, should not be
considered a preprint server given its broader mission. Rather, she said, it’s an online repository that happens to host some preprints, as well as
conference slides, raw data and other “scientific objects” that anyone
with an email address can simply upload. Zenodo has none of the vetting
common to major preprint servers and isn’t organized to easily surface
critiques or conflicting research, she said.

“Without that kind of context, a preprint server is even more vulnerable to the spread of disinformation,” Polka said. But she added, in general, “
Preprint servers do not have the resources to be arbiters of whether
something is true or not.”

Yan defends her work
Yan said in her interview with The Post that Zenodo’s openness is what
drove her decision to use the site. She had initially submitted her paper to bioRxiv because as a researcher whose work has appeared in Nature, the
Lancet Infectious Diseases and other traditional publications, she knew that this preprint server would appear more legitimate to other scientists.

Trump pardons Steve Bannon after ugly falling out early in his presidency

Yan has a medical degree from Xiangya Medical College of Central South
University and a PhD in ophthalmology from Southern Medical University —
both in China — and was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Hong
Kong, she said. That university announced she was no longer affiliated with it in July, following an initial appearance on Fox News, saying in a
statement that her claim about the origin of the coronavirus “has no
scientific basis but resembles hearsay.”
After she fled Hong Kong, she harbored deep suspicions about that government’s potential to block publication of her work, she said. When she checked
bioRxiv 48 hours after making her submission, the site appeared to have gone offline, Yan said. Fearing the worst, she withdrew the paper and uploaded
it to Zenodo.

Sever, the bioRxiv co-founder, said he could not comment on an individual
submission but said that, despite occasional glitches, he was aware of no “prolonged outage” on the site during mid-September and no sign that the
Chinese, or anyone else, had hacked it.

For Yan’s paper on Zenodo, she did not list an academic affiliation, as is customary for research. Instead, she listed the Rule of Law Society and Rule of Law Foundation, which are New York-based nonprofit groups founded by
exiled Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui, a close associate of Bannon, who in
2018 was announced as chairman of the Rule of Law Society. When Bannon was
arrested on fraud charges in August, he was aboard Guo’s 150-foot yacht,
off the coast of Connecticut. (President Donald Trump last month pardoned
Bannon, his former campaign chairman and White House chief strategist).

Chinese dissidents say they’re being harassed by a businessman with links
to Steve Bannon

Yan said she listed the Rule of Law entities out of respect for what she
said was their work helping dissidents in China, and that they paid for her flight from Hong Kong and provided a resettlement stipend while she largely lives off her savings. She said her work is independent, and she rejected
notions that Bannon was helping her spread political claims.

“I didn’t know he was so controversial when I was in Hong Kong,” Yan told The Post.

On Sept. 15, the day after Yan’s paper appeared on Zenodo, she was a guest on Fox’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” an appearance watched by 4.8 million
broadcast viewers and 2.8 million on YouTube, and that also generated
extensive engagement on Facebook and Twitter, according to the Harvard
researchers. Bannon appeared on Carlson’s show that same week and discussed Yan’s claims. He also interviewed her on “War Room: Pandemic” 22 times
last year, both before and after the Zenodo publication.



注意我说的是华人,包括内地的五毛,港台海外的川粉,法轮功患者,郭文贵走狗。。。以及剩下那些这个粉那个粉,以及信仰股票比特币狂嫖滥赌的。总之,cult society,gamble state,就是他们的全部信仰。这是全部文化。