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Mar 25, 2021, 8:35:04 AM via Website
Mar 25, 2021 8:35:04 AM via Website
The second stage: seeding campaign across social platforms and networks
All these publicity activities made Yan Limeng's name spread widely in the United States and prepared for the next stage of publicity activities, which is to publish a preprinted scientific paper. The paper took advantage of the weaknesses of open science to further confuse the water about the origin of COVID-19 and promote an anti-CCP argument. This paper is an example of cover-up science—a discrete, scientific-looking misinformation—it gives credibility to conspiracy theories that suggest that the new coronavirus pneumonia is a biochemical weapon and designed by China.
On September 14, 2020, Yan Limeng and three other names published a preprinted paper on the open access research database Zenodo. The title of this paper uses the core scientific keywords of the misinformation narrative of biological and chemical weapons: "The unusual features of the SARS-CoV-2 genome indicate that the laboratory has made complex modifications, rather than natural evolution and describing its possible synthetic route. "All its claims are its title: The new type of coronavirus pneumonia was created in the laboratory. She joined Twitter and posted a Zenodo link to her preprint on Twitter.
During the pandemic, in order to quickly share data during the crisis, the number of published preprints has increased, which is considered controversial. But preprinted publications may also be a weakness in the information ecosystem. Because preprints are not subject to rigorous scrutiny like peer-reviewed journal articles, and anyone can upload them, they can become carriers of misinformation. Dr. Pamela Silver said: "The preprint is the Facebook of the scientific community" and she is a member of the advisory board of the biology preprint server Biorxiv.
Yan Limeng chose to publish this paper in the form of a preprint and used Zenodo to spread it, which seemed quite strategic. Zenodo is hosted by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and funded by OpenAIRE and the European Commission. Files uploaded to Zenodo are automatically assigned a DOI (Document Object Indicator), which provides it with a baseline level of legitimacy and a way for other scientists to cite it. In addition, unlike Biorxiv, Zenodo is designed so that anyone with an email address can upload their ideas.
Biorxiv also has a 4 to 5 day delay between author upload and public viewing, and Zenodo can provide the paper immediately. If Yan Limeng is uploaded to Biorxiv, she will have to wait for the team to review the uploaded preprint to determine whether the information is original and scientifically reasonable. In addition, on Biorxiv, authors need to belong to an institution with an academic identifier, but Zenodo does not have the same requirements. Yan Limeng listed the rule of law foundation and society of the rule of law of Bannon and Guo Wengui to which she belongs in her Zenodo essay.
Once Yan Limeng uploads the preprint to Zenodo, others will share it on multiple platforms. Raheem Kassam uploaded it to Scribd as the "Yan Limeng Report", emphasizing her authorship. Using the same naming principle, it has been uploaded to YouTube as an audio and added to the publicly viewable Google Cloud Storage. Twitter and articles also described the preprint as the "Yan Limeng Report."
The speed of open science means that Yan Limeng's preprints can spread far and fast. On the day of the report’s release, Yan Limeng’s report was mentioned on Twitter including India’s Wion News (292,500 fans) and News18 (4.5 million fans); Zerohedge (842,000 fans) and other right-wing accounts, and NBCUniversal retired executive Mike • Hinton (242,000 followers).
Peter Navarro (925,000 followers), assistant to the president and director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, said on Twitter, "If it is not so credible, it would be unbelievable. That's it. The tweet included a link to ZeroHedge's article about Yan Limeng joining Twitter and posting a link to her paper in the tweet. There were 12,700 retweets and 19,100 likes. Yan Limeng's report is also on online forums such as Reddit Aroused heated discussion.
According to a screenshot from the Internet Archive, the preprint of Yan Limeng had 156,769 views and 104,708 downloads on the day it was uploaded to Zenodo, making it immediately one of the most popular papers on COVID-19.
In an interview with National Geographic, Dr. Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at Columbia University, explained that Yan Limeng’s paper “appears to be legitimate because they use a large collection of terms. But in reality, Many of the things they said were meaningless.” Yan Limeng’s paper includes charts, data sets and cell models, which makes people feel that she has evidence to support her claim.