14 Jul 2015

Removing 'Dr.' Manahel Thabet's Wikipedia Page and Giving Her Some Nice Google Search Results

Phonies. The human species is full of them. I’m deeply disturbed when they entered the public domain and exploited the Internet to spread their bullshit.

A couple of weeks ago I stumbled upon the Wikipedia entry of Dr. Manahel Thabet (now deleted view records of it in the Internet Archive).

Goolging her name showed that she has really great PRs. She even has a verified twitter account with 50k followers. Oh, and an appearance on the front cover of Arabian Business!

Image taken from an article by a Dubai blogger later this month

But her achievements often sounded far-fetched. She had allegedly successfully predicted the 2008 financial crisis using a formula as reported by Forbes Middle East (the article has been taken down as of 2016, view records of it in the Internet Archive) and developed a formula to “measure distances in space in the absence of light” which had supposedly taken the world by storm as reported by Gulfnews (the article has too been taken down as of 2016, view records of it in the Internet Archive).

All claims made in the Wikipedia entry were supported by either news articles from presumably paid-to-write sources such as arabianbusiness.com, or crappy websites like World Genius Directory, iqsociety.org and kauzala.com.

I was highly skeptical about the whole thing. She felt more like a con artist. I had to consult the Internet about it, I thought. So I posted a question on Skeptics StackExchange Did Manahel Thabet develop a groundbreaking formula to measure distance in space without the use of light?.

It managed to gain quite some interest and more people got into the investigation which eventually led to the deletion of her Wikipedia page. Great work vigilantes on Skeptics Stack Exchange! I then submitted the post to the following subreddits: /internetbullshit , /skeptic, /quityourbullshit, and also cross-posted it in the subreddit /IsItBullshit.

A few weeks later, the subreddit [/IsItBullshit] and Skeptics SE posts both made their way to the first page of the Google search results, in the shadow of the Wikiepdia entry which had been labeled “blatant hoax” and erased from existence.

Many people dived in deeper.

Internet is a wonderful place. Kudos to everyone who participated!

Fun fact: I just tweeted this article and mentioned her (@manahelthabet) in the tweet. I think she is going to block me like what happened to the guy who asked her about the supposedly ground-breaking paper on Twitter.

Update: Yup, I’m blocked.

Simply tweet this article and mention @manahelthabet if you would like to be blocked too :D


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