Update: iWitness Fraud


03 01, 2013 by LMOGA

In a five-page response to a post we filed back on Feb. 12, the Louisiana Bucket Brigade (LABB) laid out something of a defense of its January iWitness Map Monthly Report, which, as we pointed out, suffered from some pretty basic errors in the way the data was collected and presented by the group.

Unfortunately, rather than offering up a substantive reply (or better yet, correction) to the issues we identified, LABB’s response suggests they’re pretty comfortable with being inaccurate.

Take, for example, the fifth bulleted point on why LABB counts a total of 94 citizen reports filed, while at the top of its document, it indicates that the actual number is 90. In its response, LABB explains:

“Each photo is not its own separate report. The 4 photos are submitted in 2 reports which are already accounted for in the 95 citizen reports for January 2013.”

Buried deep in its response to us, LABB shows some more of its cards:

  • “Double submission of a report is possible.”
  • “LABB reviewed its monthly analysis for January 2013 and found 2 NRC reports were over-reported for suspected ExxonMobil in Baton Rouge.”
  • “[R]eports can be tagged with multiple keywords.”

Unable to engage on substantive terrain with respect to the accuracy of their numbers, LABB instead attempts to argue in its reply post that LMOGA should have “included concern about the people who have reported health harms.”

Of course, what LABB forgets is that our members live, work and raise their families in these communities as well. Yes, we care. And because we do, we insist on using the best and most accurate data available when it comes to characterizing the quality of our air, water and surrounding environment.

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