The story really starts on July 2nd when I quote tweeted one of Eugene's garbage tweets about how there are mass casualties at the hands of unsupervised interns on July 1. His tweet was lambasted by the rest of #medtwitter who quickly pointed out several academic studies concluding exactly the opposite, and I made sure to do my part by talking about Thanos at grand rounds. I didn't think much of it at the time. After all, he has over 200k followers and is probably a fan of Thanos anyway, so why would it bother him?
About a week later, I'm minding my own business trying to figure out why we, as an advanced technological society, do not have X-ray vision and how we can rectify that situation, when I get an interesting reply...
I was initially dumbfounded. Surely this person who apparently wraps green grapes in easter egg chocolate tin foil is joking. I'm no stranger to weird replies. Satire writing and comedy seems to invite it, kind of like heckling in twitter form. I thought it was strange that an "ENT resident" would mistake an ophthalmoscope for blackface. Come on, the otoscope (also black) is RIGHT NEXT TO THE OPHTHALMOSCOPE. Whatever. I shrugged this one off and trudged on, wondering what the poor soul monitoring @NIH must be thinking at this point.
5 minutes later, the mystery grape prankster replies to another tweet in which I attempt to establish superiority over my critical care colleagues. At this point I realize something is up. I've had a few trolls and people angry about my tweets, but I've never blocked anybody. I try to have fun with them. I go deeper with them into the absurdist narrative I often create in my tweets until they realize how ridiculous it is that they got upset in the first place. Or at least that's what I think is happening. However, this troll felt different. I wasn't sure how to deal with it. I certainly didn't want this person talking about blackface on every one of my tweets. While I was considering my next move, I get another notification...
Now I'm getting mad. I can appreciate a good trolling when it's witty and done well, but this isn't even good trolling. It's not funny and it makes no sense and now she's bringing #medtwitter into it. To top it all off, this person was besmirching an ophthalmoscope, which will not stand. I have to do something.
When responding to an aggressive troll, I think it's best to let their idiocy work for you. Don't go at them with the same intensity and vulgarity. Everybody will see them for what they are. I kept the joke light hearted, pointing out the crux of the stupidity, which was that we were talking about an ophthalmoscope, a non-living thing. It's still hard to believe even now, as I'm writing this. Then about an hour later, I go out on blast.
Eugene quote tweets my Hispanic o-scope tweet to his 200k followers with a comment that represents whatever the opposite of critical thinking is. As soon as I saw his tweet pop up in my notifications, my first thought was "well that's just fucking great." My second thought was "how the hell did he see my tweet?" He doesn't follow me. My tweet hadn't gained a lot of traction when he got a hold of it.
Knowing what we know now, I think he was pissed off by my Thanos tweet and like any normal person with 20 times more followers than some random ophthalmologist, he used a burner account to attack me and my beloved ophthalmoscope with outrageous claims. At that point, I was done. I wasn't going to sit there and look at a bunch of tweets from Gu supporters condemning me.
So I got the hell out of there. I was never planning to be gone long. Just long enough for this to blow over. 24 hours later, I peaked at my feed and saw people using my avatar and I was like, FUCK YES. And I was back.
The rest is history. The burner account. The investigation. The Meowski thread. Zdogg. Glaucomafire. The Gomerblog article and finally, Eugene's embarrassing thread. He's done. Let's make some infographics.