Having heard rumblings about the hate campaigns adopted by OIL free SEAS_Kangaroo Island (OFSKI – and their previous incarnations) to suppress balanced debate on oil/gas exploration in the Great Australian Bight, I was dismayed but not surprised, to find that they had deleted comments I had made under my screen name* on their Facebook page.

The following is just a small example of what they are doing to suppress open and transparent discussion of this topic. On the afternoon of 27 January 2015, I placed a number of comments after several inaccurate articles on OFSKI’s Facebook page. In the next hour or two I received 9 notifications from Facebook advising that my comments had been responded to. These comments were challenging and I responded to them politely. However, it appears my comments were an inconvenient truth to OFSKI’s campaign and they subsequently not only deleted my comments but blocked me from making further comments. The following figure, generated from a screen shot of one section of their Facebook page, provides evidence of the way they manipulate conversation threads to avoid the facts being presented to the community

OFKSI Facebook deletions1 annotated
Fig 1. Shows discussion thread after OFSKI removed Robert John’s comments, subsequently annotated with locations of missing comments.


As any reader can see, OFSKI has made the mistake of referring to me in one of their comments – proving that they have deleted that comment!  Unfortunately, I do not have access to the comments deleted by OFSKI so I cannot repeat them word for word.  However, they were along the following lines:

1. “Obviously OFKSI do not believe in the TRUTH – otherwise they would post scientific articles by Evans et al 2005  or Bradshaw et al 2006 as opposed to media articles”.  Note the comment “More specifically, the stranding-prone regions of the world such as southern Australia cannot be used to support the noise-pollution hypothesis because military and other sources of sonar noise pollution are relatively uncommon there“. I also added the link to an article on strandings we’d published on the TNR website.

2. ” The papers I cited in the article were published in the mid-2000’s plus an IWC report dated 2013 – how can you say these are 20 years old? This hypothesis is based on observational data.”

3. “The Norwood Group is totally independent from Bight Petroleum but was formed as a result of the massive misinformation campaign promulgated by groups on KI and ‘Lock the Gate’ to achieve a balanced debate, based on factual, scientific and verifiable information as a benefit to the community”.

I will leave the readers to make up their minds regarding the ethics and morality of the tactics used by OKSKI.


* Media outlets recommend that online users limit their disclosure of personal information and hence screen names are commonly used in discussion threads.