A skeptics group that I’m a member of has recently been the victim of a sneaky digital coup, and a summary of the events can be found in the link below at Violetta Crisis:

Violetta Crisis: They didn’t build this – The “new” Manchester Skeptics group

I have some thoughts on the motivations of the wrong-doers (and there is absolutely no doubt that claiming another group’s identity and hard work as your own, and then changing the ethos of that group to fit your own aims, is wrong), and on the reactions of those affected, but that is definitely something that I won’t be blogging about until long after all this has blown over.

And it will, because:

1. is only one of the tools used by the group to engage with members. This individual hasn’t destroyed the group, just gained access to some of the group’s contacts, and is (rather annoyingly) passing off past successful events as their own.

2. Since we started talking about what had happened (privately, publicly and online), interest in our group picked up and the “other” group started haemorrhaging members, who flowed straight back to our new and improved Meetup group. Mwahahahahahahaaaaaa.

3. This is a tech issue. It’s highlighted a flaw in the way manages the ownership of groups, and it should also serve as a warning to group organisers that if you don’t keep an eye on your subscription status, you could face a similar problem.

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