Monday 11 December 2023

Cybermobs for online academic bullying - a new censorship option to protect The Science™ ’s status-quo

Written for individuals interested in what academic cybermobbing and the Science™is, plus how both stifle opportunities for challenging research and academic free speech in Higher Education.  

I prepared the presentation below for a talk to PANDATA’s Open Society on December the 6th, 2023. Thank you to Domini Gordon for organising the talk, and Dr Piers Robinson for facilitating the questions.


This talk addresses how how academic cybermobs now serve as a new censorship option for protecting scientific orthodoxy. Such mobs attempts at silencing dissenters are a small part of a much greater concern regarding the censorship of legitimate disagreement and scientific truths at university, and online. This presentation has extensive notes, so should be easy to follow (or you can follow the Open Society Rumble account and view my uploaded talk once it's shared there).

Feedback to the presentation was positive, with the audience agreeing that it is necessary to formalise a critical space within universities where viewpoint diversity and boundary-breaking research can be promoted. For example, universities could consider how to support apolitical funding for adversarial research collaborations. Universities must also motivate for funding from government to address the lack of funding outside medicine for innovative, and potentially controversial, research. Without action to support such academic freedom, funders' biases will continue to constrain all research conflicting with their interests.

There is also an opportunity to highlight institutional entanglements from corporates (for example, AstraZeneca and Oxford University), plus to contribute research on the drivers for censorship across different issue arenas, and the agents involved (stretching across broadcast media, multinational companies, political lobbies, intelligence agencies and government).

The Noakes Foundation, Pandata and other dissident research supporters should also work to connect to groups working for academic free speech, and mutually promote their work. These include:
  1. The recently launched University of Austin
  2. FIRE Foundation for Individual Rights and Free Expression
  3. The Brownstone Institute
  4. Quilette
  5. Heterodox Academy
  6. Free Speech Union
  7. Academic Freedom for All
  8. Do Better Academia
  9. FreeX and LoofWired

Likewise, for anti-bullying groups, such as:
  1. Academic Parity movement
  2. Speak Out Revolution
  3. Whistleblower Anti Bullying Network
P.S. My X (formerly Twitter) list for 'Anti workplace bullying' features these and other groups.

The audience suggested several individuals who have been targets of academic cybermobbing for germane case studies. These included three past speakers to Open Society, Professor Michaela Schippers, Dr Laurens Buijs and Professor Paul Frijters.

I enjoyed learning from the audience, and hope to present to the Open Society in the not-too-distant future with in-depth research examples for academic cybermobbing. These may present interesting contrasts to the Emeritus Professor's case written about in 'Distinguishing online academic bullying'!

If you have any questions about this presentation or concerns, please post a blog comment below.

Tuesday 26 September 2023

Noteworthy disparities with four CAQDAS tools: explorations in organising live Twitter (now known as X) data

Written for researchers interested in extracting live X (formerly Twitter) data via Qualitative Data Analysis Software tools

Social Science Computer Review (SSRC) has just published a paper by yours truly, Dr Pat Harpur and Dr Corrie Uys to As the article's title suggests, we focus on the contrasting the Qualitative Data Analysis Software (QDAS) packages that currently support live Twitter data imports. 

QDAS tools that support live data extraction are a relatively recent innovation. At the time of our fieldwork, four prominent QDAS provided this: only ATLAS.ti™, NVivo™, MAXQDA™ and QDA Miner™ had Twitter data import functionalities. Little has been written concerning the research implications of differences between their functionalities, and how such disparities might contribute to contrasting analytical opportunities. Consequently, early-stage researchers may experience difficulties in choosing an apt QDAS to extract live data for Twitter academic research.
In response to both methodological gaps, we spent almost a year working on a software comparison to address the research question (RQ) 'How do QDAS packages differ in what they offer for live Twitter data research during the organisational stage of qualitative analysis?'. Comparing their possible disparities seems worthwhile since what QDAS cannot, or poorly, support may strongly impact researchers’ microblogging data, its organisation, and scholars’ potential findings. In the preliminary phase of research, we developed a features checklist for each package, based on their online manuals, product descriptions and forum feedback related to live Twitter imports. This checklist confirmed wide-ranging disparities between QDAS, which were not unexpected since they are priced very differently- ranging from $600 for an ATLAS.ti subscription, to $3,650 for a QDAMiner (as part of the Provalis Research’s ProSuite package, which also includes WordStat 10 & Simstat).

To ensure that each week's Twitter data extractions could produce much data for potential evaluation, we focused on extracting and organising communiqués from the national electrical company, the Electricity Supply Commission (Eskom). ‘Load-shedding’ is the Pan South African Language Board’s word of the year for 2022 (PanSALB, 2022), due to it most frequent use in credible print, broadcast and online media. Invented as a euphemism by Eskom’s public-relations team, load-shedding describes electricity blackouts. Since 2007, planned rolling blackouts have been used in a rotating schedule for periods ‘where short supply threatens the integrity of the grid’ (McGregor & Nuttall, 2013). In the weeks up to, and during, the researchers’ fieldwork, Eskom, and the different stages of loadshedding strongly trended on Twitter. These tweets reflected the depth of public disapproval, discontent, anger, frustration, and general concern.

QDAS packages commonly serve as tools that researchers can use for four broad activities in the qualitative analysis process (Gilbert, Jackson, & di Gregorio, 2014). These are (a) organising- coding sets, families and hyperlinking; (b) exploring - models, maps, networks, coding and text searches; (c) reflecting - through memoing, annotating and mapping; and (d) integrating qualitative data through memoing with hyperlinks and merging projects (Davidson & di Gregorio, 2011; Di Gregorio, 2010; Lewins & Silver, 2014).
Notwithstanding the contrasts in the costs for different QDAS packages, it was still surprising how much the QDAS tools varied for the first activity, (a) ‘organising data’ in our qualitative research project: Notably, the quantum of data extracted for the same query differed, largely due to contrasts in the types and amount of data that the four QDAS could extract. Variations in how each supported visual organisation and thematic analysis also shaped researchers’ opportunities for becoming familiar with Twitter users and their tweet content. 
Such disparities suggest that choosing a suitable QDAS for organising live Twitter data must dovetail with a researcher’s focus: ATLAS.ti accommodates scholars focused on wrangling unstructured data for personal meaning-making, while MAXQDA suits the mixed-methods researcher. QDA Miner’s easy-to-learn user interface suits a highly efficient implementation of methods, whilst NVivo supports relatively rapid analysis of tweet content.
We hope that these findings might help guide Twitter social science researchers and others in QDAS tool selection. Our research has suggested recommendations for these tools developers to follow for potentially improving the user experience for Twitter researchers. Future research might explore disparities in other qualitative research phases, or contrast data extraction routes for a variety of microblogging services.  More broadly,  an opportunity for a methodological contribution exists regarding research that can define a strong rationale for the software comparison method.
The authors greatly appreciate the SSRC's editor, Professor Stephen Lyon, advice on improving our final manuscript. We also thank The Noakes Foundation for its grant AFSDV02- our interdisciplinary software comparison would not have been possible without funding to cover subscriptions to the most extensive versions of MAXQDA Analytics Pro and QDA Miner. All authors are affiliated with the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) and appreciate CPUT's provision of licensed versions of ATLAS.ti.

Please comment below if you have any questions or comments regarding our paper?

Monday 21 August 2023

Four categories for Anti-Bullying Apps (ABAs), with examples for each

Written for people interested in learning about the wide range of anti cyber harassment apps that exist.

There are many Anti Bullying Apps (ABAs) seeking to inform and assist recipients of cyber harassment. Some ABAs may even assist cyberbullies with curbing their anti-social behaviours. ABAs vary in their specific functions and features. These can be categorised into three groups [1]: (1) general protection, (2) information, and (3) reporting to authorities. This post suggests a fourth, (4) in-platform interventions (such as Instagram's anti-bullying tools). This accommodates tools that are distinct in being specifically developed to exist inside a particular platforms (such as WhatsApp, versus being a standalone app outside it). Such sub-apps (or tools) may also combine different aspects of the top three categories:

1 General protection

1.1 Bark at is an online protection tools for US parents to limit the amount of time their children spend on various websites, view their children’s browsing history, and for receiving alerts when keywords and phrases that might indicate bullying or harassment in their child’s electronic communications (such as text messages). Mentioned in [1].

1.2 BullStop at aims to help young people's proactive combating of cyberbullying, and monitors social media accounts by regularly reviewing messages as they are received. It uses artificial intelligence for analysing these- flagging offensive content like abuse, bullying, insults, pornography, spam and threats. [1]

2 Information

2.1  ActionPoint aims to help families build stronger communication skills, set healthy boundaries for social media use, define a teen's cyberbullying risk and identify instances of cyberbullying. Ultimately its designers seek to decrease the negative outcomes associated with cyberbullying (view app's research at

2.2 Bully Mysteries (available as an Android package to download and install from is an interactive mystery app that includes the chapter, 'The Case of the Cyberbully'- In it, 'A defenseless victim is being mercilessly harassed by someone. But who could it be and for what purpose? Katie and TC are extra motivated to solve this case and help protect those who can’t protect themselves!'. [6]

2.3 ClearCyberbullying (available as an Android package to download and install from uses Drama Education for creating awareness on cyber-bullying among students and then develop an education video-games exploiting traditional “Puppet characters” or “shadow theatres” coming from the six partners countries. The project at seems to have been discontinued.  [6]

2.4 Cyberbullying by Grey Lab (available as an Android package to download and install from provides information on 'what cyberbullying is, why it works and how to prevent it'. [6]

2.5 Cyberbullying First-Aid was developed in Germany by the klicksafe Youth panel for Android and Apple users. described how the app includes short videos from the coaches Tom and Emilia for recipients of cyberbullying. The app gives 'those affected concrete tips on how to behave, encourage them and accompany in the first steps to take action against cyberbullying. In addition to legal background information and links to anonymous counseling centers, there are tutorials on how to report, block or delete offensive comments on social media platforms such as Instagram, YouTube and TikTok or in the messenger WhatsApp.' The app is available in English, French, German, Luxembourgish, Lithuanian and Slovenian, dependant on the user's device's language setting. [6]

2.6 Cyberbullying Vaccine (available in Korea) aims to provide parents, guardians and other adults with an indirect experience of cyberbullying. [2]

2.7 Klikd at covers many topics, ranging from how to manage tricky people online and cyberbullying, to online reputation to phone addiction. Each module contains multi-faceted components for keeping t/weens engaged throughout their learning journey. The app includes talks by teens, card games and quizzes, and offers plenty of opportunity for reflection. Parents and schools as also supported through updates. [9]

2.8 Know Bullying app at gives US guardians and parents information on how to discuss online risks and cyberbullying with their children. The app was developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to; explain the warning signs of bullying, and to offer advice for parents on talking to their kids about bullying. It includes important strategies for preventing bullying for kids in varied age groups (3-6, 7-12, and older). [3]

2.9 Sit With Us is a US Apple app developed by a 16 year old. Natalie Hampton wanted to help pupils set up inclusive lunches with classmates who typically eat alone. [7]

2.10 SpeakOut! aims to help children and other vulnerable people with accessing the internet safely. The UK app presents storylines that tackle the topics of cyber bullying, grooming, sexting, fake news, body image and racism. The app was developed in response to 'the growing need for support specifically targeting 10-14 year olds as they face increased challenges as preteens and young teenagers growing up in a highly connected environment.' For example, the app tackles cyberbullying by featuring tools and techniques that help users recognise online bullying, and how to respond. [7]

2.11 Stand Up to Bullying shows an interactive educational video featuring Lucky Kat,  The Kat Patrol, The Cheese Posse and Daren the Lion. It teaches children to identify the different types bullying and to know what to do when they see it happening.  The app contains five (5) chapters of informative animation that cover verbal bullying, physical attack and nonverbal bullying. The final chapter instructs them on how to make a plan for when they see any of these situations. Each chapter closes with question and answer sections to support open discussion with kids and students. [7]

2+ Informational games

2.12 Cyberbully Zombies Attack at was developed by NetSmartz® Workshop, a program of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® and Gamelearn. The online game helps kids, tweens and teens learn how to handle cyberbullying [6]. It was funded by Sprint through its 4NetSafety(SM) program.  

2.13 Cybersafe is a game for Android and Apple that Goffs School UK students created to help children  deal with cyberbullying. [6] The app contains 3 fun mini games - each tackling a different issue chosen by the students: 'Detective Charlee: An endless flying game which teaches children to collect cyberbully evidence, by taking screenshots of nasty comments on social networks, to email to a trusted friend or adult. PaS$w0rdBlockr: A challenging puzzle game which encourages children to keep their passwords safe and be wary of people hacking their online accounts. Goof Run: An endless running game with helpful cyberbully advice along the way, set in a colourful chatroom.'

2.14 Professor Garfield Cyberbullying features a Garfield comic strip with examples of cyberbullying and advice on how to deal with it. These are followed by a short interactive quiz that tests what kids have learned. It is available on Apple. [6]

3 Reporting to authorities

3.1 117 Chat at provides school violence-related real-time chatting in consultation with South Korea's National Police Agency. [2]

3.2 BRIM: Bullying Reduction Intervention and Monitoring provides tools and resources to US teachers, principals, counselors, and others in school communities to help tackle bullying.

3.3 Bully Button from complements US schools' anti-bullying programs by providing a multi-platform process for administrative intervention in situations of; abuse, bullying, cyberbullying, and social aggression.

3.4 CyberBully Hotline apk (available as an Android package to download and install from provides 'schools with their own unique local phone number, to which students and parents can send a 100% anonymous text or voice message. School administrators can then send back replies which go directly to the person sending the report, without ever knowing their phone number or identity. This guaranteed anonymity provides a welcoming environment for addressing issues of bullying, violence, fighting, theft, harassment, and safety.' [6]

3.5 Dunk A Bully at aims to educate users about bullying by providing examples and questions and answers to learn from. It also enables users to select a counselor for messaging anonymously [8].

3.6 FamiSafe at is one of five apps described in resource [3] which parents/guardians can install on their child/ward's phone. Available on Android, Chrome, Kindle, iOS, Mac and Windows,  FamiSafe empowers users to 'locate their kid’s phone, monitor app usage, site usage, and screen time'. The app also allows parents/guardians to filter web content and block certain apps.

3.7 Guardian Angel at is available on Android and Apple. It is designed to help children and teenagers 'cope with the horrors of childhood violence such as bullying and family related problems.' It includes: access to a 24hr crisis hotlines; optional, anonymous reporting directly to the child’s counsellor or social worker; playlists for affirmation, meditation and motivation; and journaling options. [6]

3.8 Speak Up! For Someone at enables students to record bullying and to report it anonymously and securely to school officials. It's available for Apple users, and Android ones. [8]

3.9 STOPit Solutions at allows individuals (including parents, peers, and community members) to anonymously report harmful images, messages, and videos to government entities that can provide victims with help. Individuals can also connect with trained crisis counsellors from the Crisis Text Line™ for assistance. [3]

3.10 Toot Toot is an Apple app funded by the UK's Department for Education which gives 'pupils and parents a voice by providing a safe and anonymous way to speak about concerns such as bullying, harassment, mental health and racism.' Its key features are: anonymous reporting from parents and pupils, from anywhere. Staff can log safeguarding and behaviour incidents to create a full picture. Admins and mentors receive notifications when new cases are logged. Users can quickly and simply manage their cases. Admins and mentors get a whole organisation overview to identify key trends in data. [7]

3.11 Upstander is an Android app at develop as a student initiative to make schools bullying-free. It is a mobile platform through which students can report bullying instances at varying degrees of anonymity. [8]

3+ Reporting to self

3.12 ReThink – Stop Cyberbullying at is a non-intrusive service that seeks to detect and stop cyberbullying before it does damage. Its users are flagged to reconsider potentially offensive content before re-sharing it. [5]

4 Platform-specific

4.1 BullyBlock or BullyBlocker for Facebook ( seems to have been superseded by the Action Point app (see 2.1) . BullyBlock resulted from research that 'designed, implemented and evaluated automated cyberbullying identification tools for social networks'.  The mobile app for Facebook included several such tools. [1]

4.2 Instagram's Rethink and Restrict are described in Rethink uses 'artificial intelligence to recognise when text resembles the kind of posts that are most often reported as inappropriate by users'. Rethink prompts users to pause and consider what they are saying before sharing content flagged as potentially being inappropriate. Restrict is 'designed to help teens filter abusive comments without resorting to blocking others - a blunt move that could have repercussions in the real world'.

4.3 Shushmoji® for WhatsApp is an anti-chat harassment resource (for Apple or Android users) that provides end-of-conversation stickers and information on tactics individuals can use against chat harassment. See general FAQs at

4.4 Vodafone’s #BeStrong Emoji Keyboard is available on Android devices. This keyboard developed from the Be Strong Online anti-bullying initiative. A suite of #BeStrong support emojis aimed help young people convey compassion and support to friends who are being bullied online. The idea for a support emoji was first brought to Vodafone by anti-bullying ambassador Monica Lewinsky. The app's emojis were chosen by 'almost 5,000 young people around the world, who identified with them as symbols of compassion and solidarity'. [7]


The examples of apps above are largely from the developed world's Anglo- and Asian spheres, with the full usability of these apps often being restricted to their country of origin (notably, Korea, the UK and US). Kindly let me know of any other interesting resources and/or ABAs in the moderated comments section below? Or you contact me directly. I will update this post on an ongoing basis with suitable recommendations for new apps/resources, plus new ones my research uncovers.

P.S. There are several apps listed in the resources below that are not highly-ranked for Google searches, nor available via the Apple or Android app stores (or may be hidden from searches from South Africa).  These are Back Off Bullies [6], Be Cybersafe Game [6], Cyberbullying by Maple Tree [6], Cyberbully Hotline [6], Delete Cyberbullying [6],  I Am Witness and Put an End to Cyberbullying [6].

N.B. The many discontinued anti-bullying apps suggest the importance of ongoing investment of human and financial capital. Sustaining ABAs availability requires costly resources to address code updates, app promotion and ongoing refinement.


[1] U.S. Parents' Intentions to Use Anti-Bullying Apps: Insights from a Comprehensive Model (2023) by Brittany Wheeler, Katie Baumel, Deborah Hall and Yasin Silva describes new technological avenues for parents and other guardians to reduce their child’s cyberbullying risk. The authors focus on understanding the factors that predict parents' intentions to use ABAs. 

[2] 'The application of anti-bullying smartphone apps for preventing bullying in South Korea' by Insoo Oh in Tackling Cyberbullying and Related Problems - Innovative Usage of Games, Apps and Manga.

[3] 'Most useful bullying apps' at

[4] 5 Anti-Bullying Apps Every Family Should Have

[5] Anti-bullying apps are popular, but do they work?, Wyman, Christina (2022) in Wired magazine features an interesting critique of ABAs' limits, and their potential value,

[6] Topcu-Uzer, C., & Tanrıkulu, İ. (2018). 3 - Technological solutions for cyberbullying. In M. Campbell & S. Bauman (Eds.), Reducing Cyberbullying in Schools (pp. 33-47). Academic Press.

[9] Recommended by this blog's readers.

Thursday 29 June 2023

Twitter Support must do better for helping celebrity and public victims of a global diet phishing scam!

Worldwide, diet scammers are marketing fake “endorsements” from celebrities across social media adverts, search engine ads and online content to phish victims’ financial details. The sheer volume of content the fraudsters produce is very difficult for celebrities and their representatives to tackle alone. One major obstacle to stopping the false marketing of “miracle weightloss products” is the reluctance of social media platforms to take down fake accounts and ads timeously. The fraudsters typically run the ads regionally for a few days in which they are displayed to hundreds of thousands of people. Just a fraction of an ad’s viewers need to share their financial details for the scam to be highly profitable!

This post presents the underwhelming example of reporting diet phishing accounts to Twitter Support as a way to spotlight the difficulties of tackling fraud via social media platforms. Hopefully publicly shaming @TwitterSupport will encourage its leaders to help address the global diet phishing scam properly, whilst also providing decent reporting options for celebrities and their representatives:

South African celebrities hijacked in fake diet adverts

A major factor in the “success" of this global scam (it has been running since 2014!) is the poor response from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media companies to formal requests to close fake accounts and their advertisement campaigns. Their ineffective responses are legally shortsighted: social media companies that repeatedly permit diet phishing ads on their platforms are complicit in a fraud, and possibly in the delict of passing off. For example, in South Africa, the diet phishing scam has undoubtedly harmed the reputation of Prof Tim Noakes and The Noakes Foundation through its fraudulent, direct misrepresentation, of fake products. These have certainly confused the public and @TheNoakesF has lost goodwill from the many victims of the fraud’s misrepresentation! 

Prof Noakes, is just one of many well-known individuals whose identities have been hijacked. The South African version of the scam has seen: Minki van der Westhuizen, Jeannie D (@Jeannieous), Basetsana Kumalo (@basetsanakumalo), Nkhensani Nkosi (@NkhensaniNkosi1), Shashi Naidoo (@SHASHINAIDOO), Tumi Morake (@tumi_morake), Dawn King (@DawnTKing), Ina Parmaan (@inapaarman) and Dr Shabir Madhi (@ShabirMadh) all having their reputations tarnished.

Since Prof Noakes’ identity was first hijacked in 2020, The Noakes Foundation (TNF) and partners (such as Dr Michael Mol and Hello Doctor) have tried many options to stop the scam. For example, TNF developed and publicised content against it via blogposts, such as Keto Extreme Scams Social Media Users Out of Thousands. TNF also produced these videos: Professor Tim Noakes vs. Diet Phishing: Exposing a Global Scam with Fake Celebrity Endorsements, Dr Michael Mol highlighting Diet Scams and Prof Noakes Speaks Out Against The Ongoing Diet Scam. Sadly, The Noakes Foundation’s repeated warnings to the public don’t seem to be making much difference in preventing new victims!

American, Australian, British and Swedish celebs hijacked, too!

In the United States, the diet phishing scam has also stolen the identities of major celebrities. Most are in popular TV franchises: Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah), Dr Mehmet Oz (@DrOz) Dr Phil (@DrPhil), Dolly Parton (@DollyParton), Kelly Clarkson (@kellyclarkson), the Kardashian Family (@kardashianshulu + @KimKardashian), Kelly Osbourne (@KellyOsbourne), Chrissy Teigen (@chrissyteigen), Martha Maccallum (@marthamaccallum), Blake Shelton (@blakeshelton) and #TomSelleck 🥸. It’s a Magnum opus of fraud!

Amazing female celebs in the United Kingdom have also seen their identities stolen. Diet phishing scammers have hijacked the IDs of Holly Willis (@hollywills), Amanda Holden (@AmandaHolden), Anne Hegerty (@anne_hegerty) and Dawn French (@Dawn_French). Even the British (@RoyalFamily) has not been immune, with the targeting of Catherine, the Princess of Wales (@KensingtonRoyal) and the Former Queen Elisabeth II, RIP and God Bless. Sadly, Meghan Duchess of Sussex, has been targeted too...

Down Under, well-known Australian personalities, such as its national treasure Maggie Beer (@maggie_beer) and Farmer Wants A Wife host Sam Armytage (@sam_armytage) have had their identities misused for fake #weightloss endorsements. And also Mr Embarrassing Bodies Down Under himself, Dr Brad McKay (@DrBradMcKay).

In Sweden, Dr Andreas Eenfeldt (@DrEenfeldt from @DietDoctor), another leader in the low carbohydrate movement, has been targeted in promotions of fake #keto products. Sadly, the fake ads seem to generate far more attention and action than his or my father's health advice!

N.B. The examples above are not extensive in terms of all victims. We largely know of celebrities in the Anglosphere whose identities were stolen, then featured in English language reports and related search engine results.

Deceptive "Tim Noakes" Twitter accounts market Keto Gummies

Just as the celebrity names stolen for the fake ads change often, so do the product names. A few examples of these fake names are Capsaicin, FigurWeightLossCapsules, Garcinia, Ketovatru and KetoLifePlus. Be warned that new "products" are added every month! One particularly common term used in the scammers'  product names is "Keto Gummies". A recent Twitter search for "Tim Noakes keto gummies" suggested many fake accounts in Figure 1 (just the top view!), plus diverse "product" names.

Figure 1. Twitter search results for Tim Noakes keto gummies (fake product accounts) (20 June, 2023)

Twitter Support does not think fake accounts are misleading and deceptive?!

These accounts have clearly been setup to fraudulently market "keto gummies" by suggesting an  association with "Tim Noakes". So, the logical response for any representative of The Noakes Foundation would seem to be reporting each fake account for violating Twitter’s misleading and deceptive identities policy, right?

Figure 2. Reporting the fake Tim Noakes Keto Gummies account to Twitter support

This is a very time consuming process- in the first place, the same complaint must be individually submitted for each account. Secondly, the representative reporting these complaints must also upload and/or email related proof of ID, business and legal documentation to Twitter Support before it will consider investigating whether impersonation is taking place.

Fake Twitter accounts, including those below, were reported to Twitter, with support documentation:
@NoakesGumm28693 0327118996     @TimNoakesHoax 0327120384
@TimGummies 0327119602                 @NoakesGumm91126 0327119675
@gummies_tim 0327120030                 @TimNoakes_ZA 0327119741
@tim_gummies 0327118910                 @NoakesSouth 0327118634
@timnoakesketo0 0327119362              @NoakesGumm22663 0327119487

In each case, @TwitterSupport replied that the following accounts are NOT in violation of Twitter’s misleading and deceptive identities policy. This would seem to contradict the obvious evidence that Tim Noakes' name has been hijacked by scammers for misleading victims with a fake product!

The Noakes Foundation has supplied its legal team with Twitter's related correspondence for review. I will update this post as developments progress (or fail to!) with the remarkably unhelpful and potentially criminally negligent @TwitterSupport.

This "Tim Noakes keto gummies" Twitter account is not deceptive?!

Figure 3. Fake @TimNoakesKetoGummies account

Figure 3. Fake @TimNoakesKetoGummies account
Figure 3 shows a typical example of a fake account's style. It uses Tim Noakes' name, plus stock photography in marketing a non-existent product. It only tweeted on May the 24th, and is followed by one person. Any knowledgeable complaint reviewer would surely consider this to be a case of a scammer creating a misleading and deceptive account for gaming Twitter's search engine. However, Twitter Support does not agree, nor explain why in its generic correspondence around each scam account.

From stealing victims' banking details to delivering dubious products

As fitness expert Reggie Wilson (@fitforfreelance) deftly explains in his 30 second video, Keto Gummies cannot work. It is most concerning that The Noakes Foundation has received reports that scammers are now delivering a physical product to South African victims. Not only are fake #KetoGummies products being marketed locally via BUT are also offered internationally via, and possibly other major online retailers!

Just as the scammers link themselves to celebs on Twitter, they also target the popular television franchises they're from. Notably: AmericasNextTopModel, DragonsDen, The Kardashians, The Oprah Show and Shark Tank. On Twitter, national businesses are also being misrepresented as selling these fake products, such as Walmart in the US, Jean Coutu pharmacies in Canada and Dischem in South Africa. Type in keto gummies into these retailers search engines and you will see that many options pop up, some seemingly associated with popular celebrities and TV franchises.

The Noakes Foundation is keen to work with affected celebrities, their representatives and business to raise the pressure on social media companies to make a proper response to the scammers and fake ads they host. Do let us know if you would like to help using the comments below, or by emailing

Thursday 22 June 2023

Recommendations for QDAS developers from 'Noteworthy disparities with four CAQDAS tools- explorations in organising live Twitter data', forthcoming

Dr Corrie Uys, Dr Pat Harpur and I are working on a manuscript that explores the research implications of differences in Qualitative data analysis software (QDAS) packages’ support for live Twitter data imports. This paper's software comparison contrasts the four prominent QDAS tools that support such imports, namely ATLAS.ti™, NVivo™, MAXQDA™ and QDA Miner™. We discuss key discrepancies in their use during the organisational phase of qualitative research and address related methodological issues.

Outside the paper's scope, our software comparison also uncovered several suggestions that developers of these QDAS tools might follow to improve the user experience for Twitter researchers:

1 Make tweets easier to sort & link them to their original context 

QDAS typically present a myriad of isolated tweets in one spreadsheet document that seems to divorce tweets from their conversational context. Researchers would benefit from being able to order and sort tweets as data. QDAS should also provide the option to quickly link to the original tweet in Twitter. Only NVivo made it relatively efficient to see the original context of a tweet in a Twitter discussion.

2 Provide more extensive support for modes and Twitter affordances

Linking to the original context with Twitter is particularly important where audio, emoji, font, image, and video modes and Twitter affordances for hashtagging and @mentions disappear. These may not be imported into QDAS spreadsheets as QDAS tools differ widely in the data they extract for Twitter affordances and modes. 

3 Support conversational analysis

Research into Twitter conversations was poorly supported by all four QDAS tools. Each presented a myriad of isolated tweets, with no way to display the original conversational thread. QDAS and Twitter should work together for providing qualitative researchers with ready access to Twitter exchanges. The added benefits of API2 functionality (such as conversation tracking) seem MIA in QDAS. Such integration would seem a useful step for promoting wider research into healthy conversations that Twitter described in 2018 as an important business priority.

4 Provide examples for live Twitter data analysis

QDAS companies that provide Twitter import functionality should provide resources that address not only how to extract data, but also examples of how their software is used in analysing microblogging data. While Twitter is actively encouraging and training academic researchers to transform raw JSON into CSV files for research purposes, QDAS companies seem to provide scant examples for live Twitter data analysis. The online resources they provide could be improved by adding examples. For example, we look forward to seeing how QDAS are used in analysing Twitter conversation threads.

5 Spotlight the black box of Twitter data organisation

QDAS developers could make the ‘black box’ of Twitter data organisation visible by showing a model of the data undergirding the tweets, and also the spreadsheet's data excludes. Researchers could benefit from such an overview for the great deal of Twitter fields that are missing.

6 Missing in extraction

Another black box concerns the process of data extraction from Twitter. While the functionality of running live imports for select criteria is efficient, more information could be shared regarding the context of the extraction. For example, what are the internal and external limits on the maximum number of tweets a QDAS can import.

Do let us know what you think of these suggestions by submitting a comment below, or contacting me.

Saturday 15 April 2023

Use the Shushmoji app to learn anti chat harassment tactics and end anti-social conversations with WhatsApp chat stickers

Written for people wanting to learn strategies for ending chat harassment in WhatsApp and use chat stickers for this.

Apple users can now feed their trolls with Shushmoji chat stickers in WhatsApp using the free Shushmoji app at The app works on Mac, iPhone, iPad and iPods with an M1 chip (or later) and running Mac OS.11 (or later).

The Shushmoji app's sticker packs cover garden-variety trolls, academic bullies, silly asses, pesky sinners and torturous types. Check out two examples of their use below {or there's five here, thirty examples here or via Pinterest !} Download the app to use its free set with 30 stickers; premium sets are available for in-app purchase.

Create With Cape Town's Shushmoji app is also available for Android users at It's compatible with Android phones and tablets.

Stop silly troll! chat sticker example Stop sinner! chat sticker example

The Shushmoji app also offers twenty anti-chat harassment tactics cards. These fall under four strategies for stopping trolls: ignore, report, respond and prevent. Install the app to scroll through all twenty cards on your phone or tablet.

Ignore strategy index cardIgnore tactic card
Shushmoji app ignore strategy index card

Shushmoji app ignore tactic card

Why develop a Shushmoji app?

In the first place, there are few end-of-conversation chat sticker designs. Secondly, there also seemed a need for an anti-chat harassment cyber toolkit that targets of cyberbullying could quickly access for tactics. Hopefully knowledge of these can helps expand cyberbullying recipients' understanding of what else is possible than simply being silent and enduring harassment!

Being silent echoes the conventional advice, Do Not Feed the Trolls (DNFTT). It reflects how there are many downsides to communicating with harassers, since they are likely to be mentally unstable (Barnes, 2018). Online trolls score low in the Big Five Personality scores of agreeability and conscientiousness, but score high in Dark Tetrad traits of- narcissism, Machiavellianism, sub-clinical psychopathy and/or everyday sadism. Attempting rational engagement with perpetrators of cyber harassment is likely to provoke retaliatory attacks in excess of the original abuse. This may be further escalated via circling cyber vultures and mobs. Such amplification is common to unmoderated platforms where destructive, hostile and bigoted behaviour is rewarded with likes and re-shares.

While the responsibility for harassment should lie with its perpetrators, society often blames the victims for “putting themselves out there” (Citron, 2014). This reflects a slow-changing social reality in which support for targets of cyber harassment grows at a glacial pace; whether in institutional and organisational culture and policies, or in law and its enforcement. Individuals who fight back against cyber harassment must take a risky gamble in weighing up this battle's pros and cons. For many, the potential benefits of nudging discussion towards norms of respect, whilst repairing any reputational damage, seem unlikely to outweigh the severe downsides of escalating cyber-harassment.

Create With Cape Town's end-of-conversation stickers were designed to support targets' ability to disengage from cyberbullies. Unlike the DNFTT tactic, it does not mute their voice and right-of-reply.
These chat stickers can help end chats-gone-bad, whilst showing trolls and their audiences what one thinks of their behaviour.

Support using the Shushmoji app

Helpful FAQs on using the Shushmoji app are available at These cover general users at, Android users at and Apple users at

Shushmoji app credits

Two intern teams from Younglings Africa coded the Shushmoji app in 2020 and 2021: Led by Russel Magaya, 2020’s Android development team comprised Diego Mizero, Shane Abrahams, Ethan Jansen and Johan van der Merwe.

In 2021 the development team focused on Apple and Android versions. It was led by Joshua Schell with Lindani Masinga and consisted of Zaakirah Abrams, Arthur Butler, Rayaan Karlie and Zainab Hartley. 

Younglings Developer Solutions' Michael Pretorius completed the Android development in 2022 and the Apple roll-out in early 2023.

Shushmoji feedback

We trust you enjoy using the Shushmoji app. Any comments, concerns or suggestions on the #Shushmoji app, can be shared with me via Create with Cape Town’s email form at Do be patient for a reply- it may take one full working week for non-urgent correspondence.

Alternately, hashtag #Shushmoji and #CreateWithCapeTown and give a shout-out to our Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter accounts. Cheers!

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