Statement on Smear Campaigns by Climate Deniers

We recently became aware that the Oceanic Research Institute and its Directors have become the targets of a smear campaign, conducted by a US citizen. This individual is known to Police in five countries and is wanted for questioning in Australia regarding Cyberstalking and making a death threat.

In these times of increasingly vitriolic climate denial, we are aware that the Oceanic Research Institute is not the only climate and ocean research organisation or scientist under attack. We are doing what we can to alert social media platforms to the activities of those breaching their guidelines and user agreements.

This individual is known to use multiple fake identities. In addition to publishing fake news and false claims online, he is also known to make direct contact with our scientists, sponsors, and supporters to cause needless distress and anxiety. We are investigating legal remedies. 

We have encouraged staff, supporters, colleagues and sponsors to report incidents using social media platform protocols. We have also been engaging with social media entities in an effort to remove defamatory material, and to improve the identification and speed of the removal of offensive content. Negotiations with those entities remain ongoing. New Australian cyber-laws should assist this process. 

If you encounter any direct or online attempt to smear the ORI, you may report it to the following agencies:

Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN) https://report.acorn.gov.au/

Scamwatch – phone 1300 795 995 or visit https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/

If you have any further questions, you may email us at: ghq@ori.net.au