Microbioma Microbioma continues their disinformation campaign in retaliation for exposing them. And it's being propped up by what looks like a mix of astroturfing and people uncritically upvoting random accusations they read. It may have severe consequences. Is it time to go to the police? (2023)

Microbioma.org

Michael Harrop

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Summary for people unaware of what's been going on: https://forum.humanmicrobiome.info/threads/microbioma-org-full-history-and-review.96/

Their post (and the subreddit they made) is a copycat of the posts in /r/Microbioma.

They are incentivizing & paying people to make these attacks:


To /r/Microbiome:​

It happens on a regular basis. Please employ more skepticism and critical thinking. Has the person presented any proof of their claims? Look at the history of the accounts making the accusations, and of the people being accused. Do a few seconds of research. Ask a few questions. Or don't; but please stop upvoting random accusations without doing so.

The most recent occurrence was this post by a scammer that is retaliating for sharing information showing they were lying about their stool donor's medical conditions and many people were/are being harmed and contracting new conditions from their donor. A large portion of accounts in the comments are theirs. And it's very obvious if you would have simply taken a few seconds to look. This is a group of people that is dedicated to trolling & harassing me in retaliation.

They are incentivizing & paying people to join in: https://forum.humanmicrobiome.info/threads/i-decided-to-remove-my-old-post-because-the-owner-ivan-is-lying-to-peo.122/

And they are doing everything in their power to cover it all up. They behave exactly like Russia – all they do is accuse their detractors of doing what they themselves are doing, as well as parrot back every descriptor that has been levied against them. IE: if you call them a scammer they just call you a scammer. They seem to have a lot of experience with this and know it's an effective strategy to create FUD.

There was someone on a facebook group who popped onto the scene mimicking my history and struggles. I attempted to help this person, and as soon as this group was exposed that person started acting like Mbioma's spokesperson, making vicious, false attacks against me. I described their behavior as psychopathic and now all this group's accounts parrot it back against me.



They continued with another thread. They're promoting the sub mentioned there as an alternative they control because they've been unsuccessful at taking down all the reports in /r/FMTClinics of people being harmed from their product.

The group they represent is banned from being mentioned in this sub. There's a subreddit about them in my profile if you want to learn more. I'll cross-post this there. It includes posts where someone who made a similar attack-post admitted later on that the group is offering free FMT and money for people to do that. These guys are likely making over a million dollars per year, and have plenty of money to hire astroturfers.

This is akin to Monsanto/Nestle trying to take down local organic farmers. They've had over a dozen accounts suspended, and continue to make new accounts to spread disinformation all over reddit and elsewhere. They've used legal threats (and seemingly bought others out) to get other groups to censor themselves in their favor. They've continued to double and triple down on their behavior. They will not stop, and they act like they have a right to scam people and silence everyone who gets harmed from their product.

The first post above is a copy of this one where I addressed the person in the comments.



From what I can deduce, they're upset because they thought this was some perfect business opportunity because:
  • FMT was not widely available at the time.
  • Sources like Taymount Clinic were more expensive and wouldn't ship stool.
  • They seem to have been admiring the fact that Taymount could be completely non-transparent with their donor quality & results, and shrug off bad results in a wide variety of ways, and people would keep using them because of lack of information and/or no other options. So there's basically zero need to even have safe and effective donors. In their mind all they had to do was get any random person and start selling their stool worldwide because there were little to no other options for their potential customers.
Perhaps this confidence in the fact that there weren't other good options is why they thought they could be so flagrantly fraudulent. And now that they discovered there are consequences to that behavior they've been panicking and going to every unethical extent to keep their scheme afloat.

It seems that the facebook groups they've been astroturfing have dried up so now they're focusing on reddit.



I'm just one disabled person who has been trying to find a high-quality FMT donor for the past decade. You can learn more about my efforts and history here:
There are a number of groups that are upset at me for criticizing or exposing them, and you guys regularly upvote their complete falsehoods:
Misinformation is harmful. I've been harmed numerous times from the widespread misinformation on health topics all over the internet, so I don't take kindly to people doing that. I created /r/HumanMicrobiome and humanmicrobiome.info to quash misinformation. I generally avoid this sub because it's rampant with it. And now it's becoming the go-to hub for spreading **dis**information as well.

I should not be under attack because I shared citations correcting misinformation that people were spreading. And I should not be under attack for doing my moral duty of sharing evidence that someone was lying about a potentially-deadly medical product they were selling.

I think the lack of support I get from the microbiome and other illness-support communities is absurd. I think my efforts over the past decade should have earned me heavy and wide support in these communities.

I'm currently putting my body on the line to test various donor-quality hypotheses.

It would have saved me a ton of time and headache to do nothing and allow this group to continue to lie to people and harm them. But I did the right thing, and the community should be supporting me for it instead of standing by doing nothing, or worse, continuing to help prop these crooks up.



The continued harassment by this group is an example of why it's such a big deal that people ignored their behavior and continued to prop them up after they were first exposed. Everyone who purchased from them and/or did nothing after they were exposed are all responsible for this. This is exactly why harsh criticism was warranted towards people doing nothing or propping them up. It's extremely harmful to allow unethical groups like this to flourish.

And since nearly everyone else in the community stayed silent, all of their retaliation was directed towards me.

What is the end game here? Scammer wins and destroys the most promising effort to finally get us safe and effective donors?

This is too much for me. I don't have the time or capacity to deal with this. I'm already incredibly overwhelmed with trying to work through hundreds of thousands of stool-donor applicants, and testing new donors to try to find someone highly effective; and this kind of thing makes me feel like giving up. I can't do this while constantly under attack. And this constant stream of false attacks is definitely harmful.

Is the solution to go to the Spanish police? These people will not stop until they're shut down and forced to spend their time on something else. They've been continually harassing me, trying to silence anyone who gets harmed from their product, and try to destroy anyone that stands in their way. Every person that wants to see this field advanced, or who desires a highly effective stool donor, has an interest in putting an end to this.



Some people have suggested that I should be going line by line debunking all their claims.

1. I'm already extremely busy.
2. They've already wasted an extraordinary amount of my time.
3. That will just help them learn and adapt. They've already been leeching off of me for years, and mimicking every criticism levied against them.
4. I want nothing to do with these people. I'm more likely to shut down Human Microbes than have to continually deal with these crooks.
5. Nearly all of it is quite simple: did they share evidence for their claim? No, because none exists.

It is similar to how Russian websites and news media have been completely banned on reddit, youtube, and so on. There's no other feasible way to deal with a continual onslaught of disinformation.

If people would rather have stool from this group, that's fine with me. I said before I was done trying to protect people from hurting themselves. I'm done losing sleep over people jumping off cliffs all of their own accord. What I will not do is remove evidence for the people intelligent enough to do some basic research before ordering a highly experimental and unregulated medical product.



Original 22 May 2023 (no comments /r/Microbioma), (13 comments /r/Microbiome).
 
FMT Clinics
  1. I included all required info
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