Outline For Cross Examination Of Doctor Anil Potti

Irksome

In case it ever comes up.

1) Are you now, or have you ever been, a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford?

2) Have you ever applied for a Rhodes Scholarship?

3) If so, were you accepted as a Rhodes Scholar?

4) Have you ever studied, as a student or fellow, at the University of Oxford?

5) Have you ever been a member of the faculty at the University of Oxford?

6) At any time, have you ever claimed to be a Rhodes Scholar or former Rhodes Scholar?

7) At any time, have you ever claimed that you were accepted by the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar?

8) At any time, have you ever claimed that you were a student, fellow, or faculty member at the University of Oxford?

9) [If the answers to questions 1-5 are in the negative, and answers to questions 6-8 are affirmative] Then why do you expect this jury to believe a single word you say?

10) Doctor, I'd like to discuss a phenomenon known as the "Streisand Effect." Are you familiar with that term?

To be supplemented as needed.

Last 5 posts by Patrick Non-White

10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Steve Florman  •  Feb 6, 2013 @8:41 am

    How do you cross-examine someone named "Potti" without laughing? He sounds like the main character in a toddler's toilet-training video.

  2. John Beaty  •  Feb 6, 2013 @8:58 am

    I don't know. How do you take someone seriously who makes fun of a name which doesn't sound like he thinks it does?

  3. Patrick  •  Feb 6, 2013 @9:01 am

    Bathroom humor is serious business.

  4. Tarrou  •  Feb 6, 2013 @9:30 am

    I demand more poop-flinging!

  5. shg  •  Feb 6, 2013 @10:12 am

    I've often wondered about the efficacy of online reputation managment businesses, thinking that they are probably not capable of doing what they claim to do.

    But what happened here with the takedown is brilliant. Nefarious, offensive and outrageous, but quite good. Hopefully, it will fail once it's been straightened out, but still, far more effective than I would have imagined.

  6. tsrblke  •  Feb 6, 2013 @10:30 am

    "Have you ever hired a reputation management firm?"
    "If you're a upstanding researcher, why would you hire such a firm?"

  7. En Passant  •  Feb 6, 2013 @11:36 am

    Patrick wrote:

    10) Doctor, I'd like to discuss a phenomenon known as the "Streisand Effect." Are you familiar with that term?

    If he ain't, he soon will be.

    It's all over Slashdot now

  8. darius404  •  Feb 6, 2013 @11:53 am

    I've often wondered about the efficacy of online reputation managment businesses, thinking that they are probably not capable of doing what they claim to do.

    The original article documenting the hiring of the reputation firm (http://www.dukechronicle.com/article/potti-hires-online-reputation-manager) did have this to say:

    No longer do the majority of top search results for the former Duke cancer researcher detail allegations that he falsified his resume and produced faulty research that has been retracted from renowned medical journals and led to the termination of three clinical trials. Instead, more than a dozen websites and social media accounts created in the months following Dr. Pottiā€™s November resignation contain solely positive information about his research and medical experience.

    That was, however, 2 years ago. To substantiate your doubt about the efficacy of online reputation firms, just Google the man's name. Most of the top entries today are not complimentary. The only entry on the first page that isn't negative leads to a completely blank web page.

  9. Joe Pullen  •  Feb 6, 2013 @1:57 pm

    Craig Brittain also claimed to be a Rhodes Scholar.

  10. Thad  •  Feb 7, 2013 @12:58 am

    But what happened here with the takedown is brilliant.

    No, it isn't. It really, really isn't.

    Their goal was to REDUCE the number of front-page Google results associating their client's name with fraud. Can you think of a worse way of doing that than, you know, engaging in fraud and leaving his name all over it?

    I mean, I guess if they hadn't been so damn stupid as to ONLY go after articles about their client — if they'd, say, mirrored and then issued takedown notices on every article on the site — then they might not have left a giant arrow pointing to Anil Potti.

    But this was never going to actually WORK for more than a couple of days. DMCA takedowns can be challenged. Those posts are going to be back up any day now as if they'd never gone away. Even if this scam had been perpetrated by people smart enough to cover their tracks a little better, it still requires that they either (1) did not know DMCA takedowns can be reversed in a matter of days or (2) did not expect the copyright owners to challenge the takedowns.

    This was not a brilliant scheme. This was an incredibly stupid and half-baked plan by people who did not spend five minutes considering its efficacy or its potential repercussions.

    (All of which, of course, assumes that the takedown was issued by a reputation management agency acting on Potti's behalf and not Potti himself. But I think that's a safe bet — he's got years of experience as a fraudster and these are the mistakes of a rookie.)