HIV Deniers silence YouTube critic

YouTuber MylesPowers1985 has got an in-depth analysis of  the HIV Denier movie, 'House Of Numbers', going. Of the episodes I saw, it is really good. Its not the usual boring 'person talking to a camera' video-- it is serious investigative journalism.

I say 'of the episodes I saw' because MylesPowers1985s videos are being taken down by DMCA claims:

But you know, the easiest way to eliminate any kind of criticism on the internet is to BAWWWW DMCA.


My coverage of 'House of Numbers' has been minimal because its more fun writing about actual science. But my few interactions with them have not been positive-- some jackass spamming my blog, and the same/other jackasses going after a grad student who made the mistake of engaging with them as if they were sentient, intelligent adults.

And now this.

HIV Deniers pull these moronic stunts as if this is all a MMORPG game. Cast a spam spell, find the sword of eternal DMCA.

You know what happens to HIV+ HIV Deniers?

Theyre dead. Dead. Dead. Dead.

And their HIV+ kids are dead.

This isnt a fucking game.


I hope MylesPowers1985 gets all the videos back up so you all can watch them and learn something-- about HIV, and the lengths HIV Deniers go to to pretend it doesnt exist.


H/T to c0nc0rdance and justicar

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The penalty under US law for filing a false DMCA is $250 000

By Craig Payne (not verified) on 10 Feb 2014 #permalink

Thanks for posting this! I've just got one bit to add. Myles is not worried about the DMCA as much as he is worried what would happen if he fights it. To file a counter notice he would have to give over his details (or risk perjury) and he has been informed that the group involved are fishing for details. They would then presumably use these to sue for liable or some other charge. There is big money behind this people and it is terrifying that even though Myles is well within his rights (Fair use etc) he might be hounded away due to vexatious legal issues.

ALL of Myles's videos are awesome.

The DMCA has been used this way for YEARS. Astrologer James Young and moon-haxer Bart Sibrel got my criticism of them (temporarily!) taken down this way. Creationists have also used it again several people debunking their nonsense.

The thing about it is, this is NOT a corruption of the DMCA; this is the DMCA working PRECISELY AS IT WAS INTENDED. That's what people need to realize. And nothing less than an all-out protest against Congress will get them to change it.

By Shane Killian (not verified) on 10 Feb 2014 #permalink

Thanks for posting about this, Abbie. This has already blown up in their faces. The Streisand Effect has taken over on this issue and brought AIDS Denialism to a new audience and shown just how ruthless and underhanded they are. I am going thru a similar issue by being sued in Texas Federal Court by AIDS Denialist Clark Baker for my criticism of his HIV Innocence Group.

By J Todd DeShong (not verified) on 10 Feb 2014 #permalink

Since the use of the F-word is apparently OK in this blog, I have to ask: Where do these people even get their fucking crazy nonsense from? And how is it that they go on the rampage against their critics? Are we going to see the same tactics from anti-vaccinationists? What next, anti-sanitation and anti-potable-water? (The latter has possibilities as a funny video, heh heh.)

Challenge: put all the HIV denialists, anti-vaxxers, and climate denialists on an island together. Let them infect each other with their "natural" germs, and burn coal for heat until their household belongings are coated with soot.

About filing counter-notices to DCMA: Hire a lawyer and have the lawyer do it in his/her firm's name. If an attempt is made to get at the "person" who retained the law firm, the attorney should cite attorney/client privilege and equal protection of the law against credible threats of violence.

I see potentially excellent grounds for a challenge to DCMA on the basis that requiring counter-notices to include personal identifying information, rather than being filed by attorneys, does indeed violate equal protection in at least two ways. One, with regard to people who have credible fear of violent retaliation, and two, with regard to individual persons as distinct from incorporated entities.

I'll bring this up next time I talk with a friend who works at EFF.

"Since the use of the F-word is apparently OK in this blog..."


ERV is an open forum. You are allowed to state your case however you see fit, but no threats, nothing illegal.

I was actually happy to let the comment from 'House of Numbers' stand, however spamming multiple threads with the exact same comment/link to their webpage (aka spam) is what got them in trouble.

My blog is an open forum, not free advertising.

DMCA seems to have been written in such a way as to make such abuses easy. But, isn't there some clause for news, comment and criticism? If XYZ news wanted to do a segment about House of Wrong Numbers, would that not be usable in the news like thousands of similar things?

Unfortunately, there's no interested party with lots of money at stake to push for changes to DMCA. The Hollywood squad on the other hand has deep pockets, a reactive rather than innovative strategy on dealing with new ways of distributing their product and a great deal to lose from piracy. A free press is not in any way among their concerns.

We do need to stick up for Myles1985, whoever that is. Perhaps everyone on this blog with a medical/scientific background can draft a letter and send copies to Google, the relevant House committee and their Congress/Senate bots. That's 2 seconds per signature and maybe a 15 seconds to type each envelope (paper letters work better for this sort of thing).
Even better, professors and institutional admins can do this on letterhead. Scientific freedom is under attack from several directions; I think countering the attack from loony fringe is a good place to start. It needs to be clear that AIDS denialists, vaccine cranks and the like are the same thing (Swamp Thing?), just different pieces of it.

Showing science to be on the side of the sane vs people with a dull axe to grind should also help non-scientists choose whom to believe in the AGW discussion.

By Spectator (not verified) on 10 Feb 2014 #permalink


Are we going to see the same tactics from anti-vaccinationists?

We already have. Members of the Facebook Group "Stop the Australian (anti-) Vaccination Network" have had false DMCA claims made against them. A pro-vaxxer quotes an anti-vaxxer to criticise their bullshit, then gets hit with a DMCA over the quote.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 10 Feb 2014 #permalink

@Julian (#9): it wasn't the DMCA being used (in)appropriately that was used against "Stop the AVN", it was Facebook's auto-policy of removing comments flagged as "personal abuse". In "Stop the AVN"'s case, the personal abuse amounted to mentioning someone's name, and little else.

Man, I had forgotten about that thing with Silvia (which is crazy, because she comes to my house every week).



But at least it seems those Facebook pages are gone now (my hotlinks are dead-ends).

But maybe they just hid the group so only members can follow the links.

The situation really sucks but Myles has a lot of friends and we're doing everything we can to help him. His channel has been given notice that without action it will be terminated in 7 days. I uploaded copies of his House of Numbers series and all 5 are currently available to view on daily motion. I've embedded all of them onto this page for anyone who wishes to see them or share them.

I also agree that the takedown was a bad tactic, because it made much more sense to criticize Myles' videos for their distortions. Two solitudes never move closer together, although on this issue, dogmatists (the establishment) are either all right or all wrong. And rethinkers (denialists) are either all wrong or all right. There's no middle ground. David Crowe, Rethinking AIDS.

By David Crowe (not verified) on 11 Feb 2014 #permalink

For example, first lie in Myles Power's video … "the only thing they had in common was that they were gay". What did the original paper actually say?

"In the period October 1980-May 1981, 5 young men, all active homosexuals, were treated for biopsy-confirmed Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia at 3 different hospitals in Los Angeles, California. 2 of the patients died...2 of the 5 reported having frequent homosexual contact with various partners. All five reported using inhalant drugs [probably nitrites], and one reported parenteral [injected] drug abuse."
Gottlieb MS et al. Pneumocystis pneumonia - Los Angeles. MMWR. 1981 Jun 5; 30(21): 250–2.

By David Crowe (not verified) on 11 Feb 2014 #permalink

David, I happened to be listening to the start of Myles' video as I read your comment. Did you notice that the words he used before the portion that you decided to mine were

"In the early part of the eighties it had been reported that a small number of men from California and New York had been diagnosed with rare forms of cancer and pneumonia. Medics were baffled about what was happening to these people and the only thing they had in common was that they were gay"

Just because the first 5 patients in California also had a second common factor does not mean that this automatically translated across to patients in New York or elsewhere later. You are applying Myles' statement to a much smaller subset than the one he was actually describing. Quote mining does not impress.

Lol at David Crowe. It's those kind of tactics (quote mining) that makes us hard to take you guys seriously.

By Philip Johnson (not verified) on 11 Feb 2014 #permalink

Nice platitudes, David Crowe, but what have you done specifically to stop this abomination?

You have direct access to Martin Penny and "Knowledge Matters" (I just threw up in my mouth a little). Have you made a direct plea to stop this or talk some sense into him/them? I doubt it. Please, prove me wrong.

There is no way to cherry pick or straw man your way out of this direct plea.

By J Todd DeShong (not verified) on 11 Feb 2014 #permalink

David Crowe worries that this contemptible assault on free speech has been "a bad tactic" for his HIV/AIDS denialist movement. He is absolutely right there.

As a scientific proposition, HIV/AIDS denialism has been dead and buried for more than two decades. It survived longer in social media partly due to the activism of HIV positive denialists like Christine Maggiore, Charles "Gos" Rich, Maria Papagiannidou and Karri Stokely, but these so-called "living icons" have all died of AIDS now.

The only reason for tolerating HIV/AIDS denialism in public discourse has been a good faith commitment to allowing free speech, no matter how dishonest, stupid or manifestly harmful that speech might be. That obligation no longer applies.

So kindly fuck off, David, back to your solitude.

By Mika Thane (not verified) on 11 Feb 2014 #permalink

If Google does not fix this, than Google is the enemy as well.