Friday, 9 August 2013

GP Forum on Doctors Net was site of cyberbullying, misogyny and flaming in 2011


Chronological account of Police Crime Reference 1234207/11

Events of October 2- November 29, 2011

Doctors.net.uk (1) is the UK’s largest professional network of 189,000 NHS doctors. It is accessed by over 40,000 doctors at any one time.

On 2/10/2011, RCGP Chair Clare Gerada posted on this site  that I had been interviewed by Dispatches and at 22:34, NHS GP Dr David Shore under alias of klaus01 posted on the Doctors net GP forum thread Re: Dispatches tomorrow, ‘They talked to Una? We’re all doomed.’ (2a, 2b, 3)

I responded on 3/10/2011 on doctors net forum at 14:47 under my real name unacoales and posted ‘Klaus01 may I remind you Good Medical Practice: Respect for colleagues

46. You must treat your colleagues fairly and with respect. You must not bully or harass them, or unfairly discriminate against them by allowing your personal views* to affect adversely your professional relationship with them. You should challenge colleagues if their behaviour does not comply with the guidance.

47. You must not make malicious and unfounded criticisms of colleagues that may undermine patients’ trust in the care of treatment they receive, or in the judgement of those treating them.

And yes I was interviewed for an hour also as Clare has shared, but it doesn’t mean they will use everyone’s footage. Dr Holt spoke up on whistleblowers and I spoke up that revalidation will not spot a Shipman and spoke against over regulation of the medical profession. How does that doom GPs?’ (4a, 4b)

On 3/10/2011 at 19:00, GP Dr David Shore (as klaus01) posted a reply ‘There IS no history Una because you chose to delete (or have locked/moderated) all the threads in which we had previous discussions. Over the years, history teaches us that many dictators have tried to change the future by eradicating the past.’ To which 30 of his doctor colleagues voted his comments as a quality posting. (5) One GP trainee angusmb posted at 03/10/2011, 19:17 ‘Going to be a fun night on here IMO.’ (9a)

The fact that he admitted in this post that he had previous thread postings deleted by the moderators indicates that the forum moderators ruled they had been offensive or personally derogatory.

His doctor friend flyingspaghettimonster (whose handle only identified the doctor as a hospital registrar in Geriatrics and General Medicine although colleagues say it is a friend of Dr David Shore, by the name of Dr Bill Gibson, a medical registrar, joined in by posting on 3/10/2011 at 20:30 ‘If you are struck off Klaus, have you considered trying to marry a millionaire. I believe there is an excellent book available on the subject. You may need to buy fake tits, though.’ This derogatory posting alluded to one of 17 books I have authored, entitled ‘How to find a husband,’ a tongue-in-cheek guide which did not mention buying fake tits (6a, 6b).

As Dr David Shore (klaus01) showed no insight into changing his behaviour, I followed GMC guidance for doctors and spoke to his acting senior GP partner Dr Keith Edgar FRCGP and upon Dr Keith Edgar’s request, emailed the screenshot website evidence to him (7). Dr Edgar emailed me (8) that he met with Dr Shore:

Dear Dr. Coales,

I raised your concerns with Dr. Shore and he will reflect on the issues raised.

I am clearly in no position to judge the issues of dispute, but it would seem logical to raise them with doctors.net.

My sense is that this is an issue that requires mediation as opposed to confrontation.

Regards

Dr. Keith Edgar FRCGP

Meanwhile back on the doctors net forum, I marked Dr Shore’s (klaus01) postings for attention of the forum moderators to remove for breach of T&C for personally derogatory remarks. Then a new thread was started up by GP Dr Doug Salmon (9a, 9b, 9c) on 03/10/2011 at 21:25 with seemingly the sole purpose of inviting doctors to post offensive remarks about me.  

This poster lifted public comments I had entered into the comment box of Daily Mail online and reprinted them on doctors net for comment with an offensive and misquoted title ‘GPs without MRCGP are crap doctors’. I had not made any such comment to the Daily Mail. Rwatkins then posted ‘Nurse! My popcorn’ on 03/10/2011, 21:27, followed by flyingspaghettimonster (Dr Bill Gibson) at 3/10/2011, 21:27 ‘Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt. Abraham Lincoln’ to which 23 doctor colleagues voted this as a quality posting (10). On 3/10/2011, at 21:50 diazepine (doctor’s identity hidden) posted ‘Una should be ashamed of being associated with that comment. Perhaps she could justify it.’ I never made that comment! It was malicious and posted by Dr Doug Salmon to incite hatred against me (12). This was followed by a post by technetium99m (a NHS consultant in anaesthesia) on 3/10/2011 at approx. 21:00 ‘I wonder what Dr Coales’ views are on...revalidation for authors with a hyperlink to my book how to find a husband posted for ridicule (12b). The relentless taunting continued...

I was so distraught that I could not sleep all night and wept. I could not believe this was happening to me again on this site. The last abusive bullying attack falsely accusing me of using drugs and not being a real doctor, had also left me in tears. How could professional doctors whom I had never met, most of whom hid behind made up names, behave in this unprofessional manner on a site accessed by 40,000 UK doctors at any one time with over 189,000 UK doctors as members? Not only was I personally attacked but this affected my professional reputation as a NHS GP.

I had immediately clicked the report post functions on both of klaus01’s postings for the Doctors net forum moderators attention and emailed asking for the suspension of klaus01 from the forum site. I was shocked to receive an email reply on 06/10/2011 which stated that my forum access had been suspended! (11) ‘Dear Dr Coales, Your forum access is suspended pending discussion with the DNUK office team. We have reason to believe you have posted DNUK material outside of DNUK, and also you have threatened to report a colleague to the GMC for his posts on DNUK. Both of these actions would normally lead to a long ban, if not a permanent one. Regards, The Forum Moderators, Doctors.net.uk.’

As a victim of bullying and harassment, I found myself in a distressing situation of being banned for removing the evidence and for reminding doctors of the GMC code of working with colleagues. There was no warning from the forum moderators.  I then discovered that Dr M, one of the doctors net forum moderators  http://www.bmj.com/content/342/bmj.d752?page=3&tab=responses was also a friend of Dr David Shore and Dr Bill Gibson so the forum moderators were condoning bullying and protecting their doctor friends. Here in this BMJ link in which doctors from the doctors net forum are still attacking Professor Gillian Needham even in Feb 2011 for taking disciplinary action against ‘Dr Scot Junior’ for posting obscenities.

On 06/10/2011, at 08:21 I read a twitter from GP Dr Bill Gibson using his real name, sent to my twitter @drunacoales saying ‘why are you abusing klaus01?’ Klaus01 was my bully! I was shocked to see the harassment follow me into twitter which has public access. I immediately banned Bill Gibson and deleted his tweet.

On 6/10/2011, Dr Tim Ringrose (one of the managing directors of Doctors net) rang me at home, and I asked to be reinstated. I discussed the cyber bullying and the need to remove the evidence from the site even though this breaches the site’s T&C, as I needed to keep the evidence of bullying. On 6/10/2011 at 15:36 Tim Ringrose emailed back that ‘I did not say that you would be given access to the forum. I am considering this and am discussing this with my colleagues.  In the meantime I am arranging for the posts you have identified to be removed.’ (14) So I asked Doctors net to remove my membership as I felt that banning me from the forum for reporting abuse, reminding doctors of the GMC code of good medical practice and saving evidence was unacceptable of this ‘professional commercial website.’

Three GPs revealed that they too had been victims of cyber bullying on doctors.net.

A NHS GP stated that he had been ‘flamed’ and wears it as a ‘badge of honour’. I asked him why he called it this and he replied ‘it’s a method to fool oneself that we’re not really hurt by such venom.’

A Scottish NHS GP sent me a written account of his experience of abuse by the same people who were attacking me. ‘I have also been at the receiving end of their abuse ...any time that anything is posted that they do not agree with, they just verbally attack...On one occasion, I also quoted the GMC guidelines in regard to respect for colleagues, as their abusive language was atrocious. Several threads...were pulled by the moderators because of the downright nasty comments that were being made. So you are right in that these doctors need to realise that they are accountable for their actions online as well as offline, and whether they post under an ‘anonymous’ name, or whether they use their own name.’

A female GP also wrote of her abuse on doctors net  Una, I just wanted to drop you a line to let you know that I am definitely friendly forces. Like you I have felt that DNUK (doctors.net.uk) has for years become a clique of people who have used the site for their own ends. I once mistakenly posted on the men's forum and ended up getting a lot of disgusting posts in reply. I asked them to stop but they did not so I got the moderators to pull the thread. I was very very upset and posted on DNUK how I expected doctors to behave in a more grown up and responsible manner and not continue to abuse a colleague after they had specifically asked them to stop. They abused me on the new thread. After that I only accessed DNUK for months for my email. This was about 7 years ago. Over the last 12 months I have become increasingly frustrated with them again and their lack of respect.

Increasingly I am frustrated with DNUK and have hardly accessed it for ages, other than for my email. So I have missed the incidents involving you. I also recall how we were both effectively told off by Dr X for being concerned about our personal data being sold to M3. That annoyed me intensely as he dismissed us as stupid women.'

On 7/10/2011 at 23:00 a new thread was started on Doctors Net GP forum about me, entitled ‘I’ve been unfriended.’ Doctors posted comments like ‘looking at her tweets, she is still able to read
tonight.’ ‘Isn’t it her beddie-time?’

A British Medical Association Council Rep who also subscribed to the website, on October 9, 2011, kindly shared this information with me by phone, as I was banned from the site so could not access further ongoing evidence of cyber bullying. He was concerned as he relayed that 40 comments had appeared immediately on this thread and that my public tweets were being lifted and ridiculed on doctors.net and that I should not discuss exams for revalidation or the word GMC as it was a red flag to a bull for doctors who posted on doctors net. He advised me to close my tweets immediately to try to contain this and try to get some sleep. So on the night of 9/10/2011, I closed access to my tweets.

He also told me that the Forum Moderators had posted an announcement that I had requested to be removed from the site! Dr XX who also belonged to the website, sent me a message (16) saying that he had heard that I had asked for my DNUK account to be deleted and that I would be missed. I was shocked to see how the forum moderators were handling a case of cyber bullying. They are misleading doctors that I chose to be removed, when I was suspended by the moderators for removing evidence and reminding doctors of the GMC code and challenging a doctor for breaching the GMC code? The moderators (Dr Sarah Annetts, Dr M and Dr Andrew Skinner) were seemingly colluding with the doctors by not addressing the problem in a professional and consistent manner and instead covering up known cases of cyber bullying by suggesting I requested to be removed rather than the truth, which is the forum moderators suspended my access and denied my reinstatement so I resigned.

On 9/10/2011, I found bullying.co.uk online and read their advice on cyber bullying. It was clear that this was indeed the case for me, i.e. defined as starting up a webpage and inviting people to make offensive remarks about me. I rang the charity bullying.co.uk on the morning of 10/10/2011 on 0808 800 2222 and the kind elderly gentleman who answered did not know how to advise as these were doctors, except that I should report this to the police. I then rang the Met police and reported the incident over the phone and received crime reference number CAD1719.

The Met Police sent 2 policemen to my home to look at the evidence on my computer and screenshots of the postings on doctors.net.uk. They took away the photo evidence. One remarked that it read like a Jeremy Kyle show and was shocked that NHS doctors posted in this manner.
 
On 14/10/2011 Dr XX emailed me, ‘I’m afraid I missed the furore on DNUK, but X tells me that that Klaus character got rather nasty...Have to say I’m not surprised as he is a nasty piece of work and a bully.

On October 21, 2011, DC Dibbs rang me to explain that she had spoken to Tim Ringrose, one of the M.D.s  of Doctors Net who said that the postings were GPs being ‘boisterous’ and not 'offensive'. This contradicts doctors net policy of forum moderators deleting offensive and personally derogatory postings which they had done in the cases of Dr David Shore (klaus01), Dr Bill Gibson (flyingspaghettimonster) and Dr Doug Salmon (doug.salmon) and would therefore imply Tim had not been truthful to the police. So I asked for a meeting with her superior, DS Phil Jones.

Cyberbullying not only breaches the GMC code of conduct for doctors, but is also an offence and breaches the Misuse of Telecommunications Act 1984: ’43. Improper use of public telecommunication system – (1) A person who – (a) sends, by means of a public telecommunication system, a message or other matter that is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character; or (b) sends by those means, for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety to another, a message that he knows to be false or persistently makes use for that purpose of a public telecommunication system, shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to (imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale or both’ which is why I have arranged to meet with Detective Sergeant Phil Jones and DC Dibbs at 2 pm on October 24, 2011 at Brixton Police Station.

I explained to DS Phil Jones that I was fearful of reporting the doctors to the General Medical Council, the regulatory body for doctors, as the cyber bullying continued publicly for Dame Carol Black, Professor Gilliam Needham and Professor Lis Paice on XXX. Dr Lis Paice (Dean of London Deanery) had also reported Dr David Shore’s friend Dr Ian Mackay (‘alias Dr Scott Junior’ to his Highlands deanery) for posting on doctors net that ‘Dame Carol Black was a f***ing Sh*t.’

Two of the doctor authors of xxx are also doctors net friends of GP Dr David Klaus Shore. There was a facebook page entitled ‘Dame Carol Black is a shit’ by Devil’s Kitchen when alias Dr Scott Junior (doctors net Dr Ian MacKay) was reported to the GMC and suspended for his offensive postings on doctors.net http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/2008/11/30/surgeon-dragged-out-of-operating-theatre-after-foul-mouthed-rant-78057-20934837/ . XXX site had a photo of grandmother Professor Elisabeth Paice with cartoon drawings on her face and the title Professor Elisabeth Paice being a c**t, a picture of Professor Gilliam Needham dressed in a witch’s costume for public mockery. This is what awaits me by these NHS doctors, if I dare report them to the GMC.

On 24 October 2011, I rang my medical defence union, Medical Protection Society. I was asked to email the evidence which I did. On 25 October 2011, they responded saying that ‘I note you have contacted Niall Dickson of the GMC and the police which is entirely reasonable.’

On 28 October 2011, Tim Ringrose one of the managing directors of www.doctors.net.uk forwarded me this apology from flyingspaghettimonster

‘Dear Dr Coales

"Flying Spaghetti Monster" has asked me to forward this apology to you.


>
>
>
>-------------------------------------
>
>Dr Una Coales: An apology.
>
>As forum regulars will be aware, over the last few weeks I have been
>involved in on-line discussions with and concerning Dr Coales. During
>these conversations things became heated, and I said things which could
>be hurtful and offensive to her. I regret that I said these things, and
>apologise unreservedly for any offence or upset caused. No matter how
>much I may disagree with her views or manner, making personal comments
>which may have been seen as insulting was innapropriate.
>
>I am aware that, as doctors, we should hold ourselves in a higher
>position and to higher standards than the general public, and I am also
>aware of the GMC's guidelines on conduct and relationships with
>colleagues.
>
>I have decided to take a break from the forum for a while.
>
>Best wishes.

This message and any attachments are confidential, and may be protected by legal privilege. If this has been sent to you in error please contact the sender as soon as possible and delete the message. Liability cannot be accepted for statements made which are clearly the senders own and not made on behalf of the organisation. Neither the organisation nor the sender accepts any responsibility for viruses and recipients should undertake their own virus checking.

Doctors.net.uk Limited, a company registered in England & Wales under number 03527430. The registered office address is 90 Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon, OX14 4RY.’

Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail.

Yet Dr Bill Gibson is telling friends the police never spoke to him?! And he is still posting on doctors net.

I had also written to the Chief Executive Aki Tomaru of M3 USA who now own doctors net (M3 USA American online healthcare company bought doctors net for £13.4 million according to Bloomberg in August 2011 http://www.pharmatimes.com/article/11-08-24/doctors_net_uk_bought_by_m3.aspx and had publicly voiced concerns 2 months prior regarding the sale of Doctors Net 'Big Pharma want access to 180,000 NHS doctors to perhaps influence prescribing habits' http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/concern-as-doctors-community-is-sold-to-american-marketing-company/12607444.article)  and to Niall Dickson, CEO of the GMC to look at doctors net as it seems to be a site that condones doctors breaching the GMC code of professional conduct, bullying, intimidation and harassment, yet accessed by 189,000 GMC licensed NHS UK doctors nationwide. On 7 November, the GMC Ref SR1-448353643 responded that the standards and ethics committee will respond. The response from the officer was that I could contribute to their draft consultation on regulation of social networks.
DS Phil Jones of Brixton Police Station said that he would do a formal investigation and question the doctors but then DS Clare Kelland took over the case and called me on November 16, 2011 to say she would be giving these doctors a verbal warning in writing and send me a copy and that if they continue to harass they will be charged. DC Dibbs then rang Doctors Net managing director Tim Ringrose again who denied bullying and harassment on his doctors site and she changed her mind and told the police press office that no crime had been committed and the GPs did not get verbal warnings. So my husband and I complained to the Inspector of Brixton Station who said DC Dibbs was off the case and that he would have DS Kelland ring me back and that 2 of the 3 did indeed receive police ‘advice’ and the 3rd will once they are able to contact him.
Meanwhile the taunting continues on my public twitter @drunacoales with doctors net NHS doctors @nickbootnick tweeting ‘I just see a website for doctors effectively held for ransome by your posturing and threats. Who is the bully here?’, another dnuk NHS doctor @lageraemia tweeting to me ‘This is really good use of POLICE time and money! Choose to be a sycophant or a bully – no middle ground’ and so forth.

I then received an anonymous comment to my blog www.drunacoales.blogspot.com on 17 November 2011 saying ‘are you crazy?’ so I removed the comment function on my blog.

On November 21, 2011, medical doctor blogger ‘Doctor Zorro’ a anonymous NHS consultant, infringed copyright and posted a photo image of me on his blog with the heading ‘Another woman with her head up her arse’ and posted mocking comments. I emailed him to kindly remove. I reported this infringement of copyright which breaches the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to the Google legal support, DMCA complaints. He refused to remove for 48 hours.

On November 21, 2011, NHS doctor hiding behind an anonymous name of Dr No posted malicious and unfounded criticisms of me on his medical blog ‘Bad Medicine’ mocking me on ‘The Curious Case of the Coales that Burnt in the Night’ http://www.badmed.net/bad-medicine-blog/2011/11/curious-case-coales-burnt-night.html which contained false gossip that I had ‘shopped the identity of a person or persons unknown as the real Dr Rant, late of the blogosphere, to the police – or perhaps the GMC, or even both.’ He posted that he would keep all updated and incited hatred of me by false gossip.





I emailed him to remove this or edit as it had false statements that I was running for President of the GMC and that the comment name calling me a Korean missile was racist and offensive. He replied that it was not and that he would not.
This then led to a flurry of hate postings on Witch Doctor blog, Ferret Fancier’s blog and others in the ‘medical blogosphere.’ Dr rant’s blog tried to be nice telling NHS medical doctor bloggers to ‘Pack it in you lot’ and that doctor bloggers were ‘lynching me’. http://www.drrant.net/
I came across all the hate public blog postings on November 22 and was so distraught. How can I stop cyber-bullying by NHS doctors who hide behind nom-de-plumes? Under Dr Rant’s comments it states that doctors on the doctors.net.uk website are now calling me ‘She who must not be named 2 (SWCNBN2) after the original female NHS doctor they bullied on doctors net, asian Dr Rita Pal, until she successfully sued doctors net for libel.
November 23, Dr Rant tries his best to calm the ‘mob-mentality’ against me.
On 26 November an anonymous abusive comment was added to drrant.net. ‘Anal Sourced is an anagram of Dr Una Coales. Isn't that odd?’
A member of the public posted ‘Would you like your family doctor to be coming out with that? I wouldn’t. If you can’t put your name to it, don’t say it.’
On 26 November 2011 Dr Shane McKee, a NHS N Ireland consultant in genetics medicine and doctors net friend of Dr Bill Gibson (flyingspaghettimonster) infringed my copyrighted image twice and put on his blog www.answersingenes.blogspot.com/2011/11/vision-for-vision-for-president-of-rcgp.html and despite repeated requests to him to remove my copyrighted images, he refused and continued to taunt me in his public twitter @shanemuk.
Dr Shane McKee’s tweets on the right in his blog page to his doctor mates also shows his persistence in using my personal image to mock me on his public blog.
I tweeted him from @drunacoales, ‘please remove my image which breaches DMCA.' His tweet response '???Photo credited JHU - you'll need to take it up with them. Sorry. Or perhaps you can send a link to a non copyright image?' Now why would he keep asking for images when I have already expressed I do not want my image on his blog! His reply 'Hi Una, my blog does not host the photo. Right click for the URL. Happy to replace with another if you supply. Ta.' Again taunting me and asking for another image from me when I said to remove. Followed by Dr Shane McKee tweeting 'are you serious? I thought you were taking the piss:-)' Here he knows I am very upset now and emotional but still he will not remove my copyrighted photo and now posts to his mate @davidallengreen. 'Copyright question - if I link to a web image on a blog post and credit the source, am I breaching copyright?' He tweeted a GP @TheNiceLadyDoc (another dnuk dr) 'you'd think she was Mohammed.' Still not removing my image. And then tweets @clarercgp (RCGP Chair Dr Clare Gerada) @welsh_gas_doc (dnuk dr) @sbnimmo (dnuk dr), 'I have found another image that does not breach copyright' So much taunting and refusal to remove my private image. And this second image he took from my website www.drunacoales.com without my permission or that of the BBC. I had taken the image from my commissioned BBC interview. I filed an online Google Inc DMCA complaint for copyright breach. Clearly to all intents his dismissive attitude to my evident dismay at copyright breach of use of my personal image is also very apparent. Dr Shane McKee is sarcastic and dismissive of any offense he is causing me.

Dr Shane McKee then got his lay friend Wayne Bagguley to mock me on his public blog http://www.bagguley.blogspot.com/.
A NHS GP wrote me that Dr McKee had already been reported to doctors net for abuse.
    • Hi Una,

      Also, it is very interesting indeed to see that you have across Shane McKee - I have however came across him on DNUK and many of his posts have been thoroughly unprofessional, abusive, full of foul language, insulting, sarcastic, and downright nasty. I reported him to the DNUK office several years ago. Apparently they told him to tone down his posts a little - which of course didn't work.

      He has a disgusting attitude, and I think I actually mentioned to DNUK that he was in breach of GMC regulations. Nothing ever happened though.'
On 27 November, 2011, Dr Rae Webster (a Scottish NHS consultant anaesthetist) @tcbtttc tweeted publicly of how she too had reported abuse to the doctors net office and they took no action against offending doctors.
On 29 November, I found that my Amazon books were being subjected to public libel and further harassment by doctors net NHS doctors and reduced to a 1 star rating between October and November 2011. ‘self-glorifying rubbish..poorly written, low quality rubbish, Does this woman have nothing better to do with her time than sit at a computer blasting out low-quality, poorly-written rubbish, a young doctor hoping to pass exams would do well to avoid these books and buy something more reputable and reliable, this is a shockingly badly written book, I can’t believe this was written by a doctor!’ None of these doctors had read my books! 2 of my books were commended by the British Medical Association in the medical book awards competition. Clear libel.
I am hoping the police or GMC can stop this cohort of angry male NHS cyber-bullying doctors from attacking and harassing female NHS doctors and if not, then the public need to know who exactly is hiding behind these anonymous masks/handles and nom-de-plumes and terrorising other doctors online as they are also entrusted with patients' lives on the NHS. The last whistleblower on online abuse by doctors was Professor Lis Paice (Dean Director of Postgraduate Medical and Dental Education for London Deanery) who informed Professor Gillian Needham (Postgraduate Medical Dean of North of Scotland Deanery) that her male NHS hospital trainee in Highlands Deanery had posted obscene foul language about Dame Carol Black on doctors net. Both Lis Paice and Gillian Needham were subjected to horrific abuse online for taking action as I am now. I have been subjected to 2 months of harassment and it is not stopping. This is about ensuring professionalism and patient safety. Please call these doctors to account for stalking and harassment.'
 

GMC Guidance on Doctors use of Social Media comes into effect April 22, 2013

http://www.gmc-uk.org/guidance/ethical_guidance/21186.asp

I was able to show and hand over all the screenshot evidence to Niall Dickson of the GMC and to DI Smith who took over the case and offered to speak with Niall Dickson. I met and helped the GMC shape their guidance on the use of Social Media by Doctors, and the GMC published a Social Media Guidance for Doctors with specific advice to identify yourself as a doctor in publicly acccessible social media.
 

Anonymity

17. If you identify yourself as a doctor in publicly accessible social media, you should also identify yourself by name. Any material written by authors who represent themselves as doctors is likely to be taken on trust and may reasonably be taken to represent the views of the profession more widely.§

18. You should also be aware that content uploaded anonymously can, in many cases, be traced back to its point of origin.


The General Medical Council Guidance for Good Medical Practice includes the obligation (at Para 36) to treat colleagues fairly and with respect and the obligation (at Para 68) to be honest and trustworthy in all your communications. The GMC Guidelines concerning Doctors’ use of social media which came into effect 22 April this year confirms that using social media creates risks and that the obligation to treat colleagues with respect covers all situations and all forms of interaction and communication. In particular you should not “make gratuitous, unsubstantiated or unsustainable comments about individuals online” (at Para 15).


Post Script July 2013:




NHS GP Dr Jonathon Tomlinson who ran for the RCGP Council elections this year and failed to seat against me as @mellojohnny tweeted on July 31 an unsubstantiated and gratuitous comment that I had referred him to the police and RCGP which is untrue. The police report makes no mention of him and nor was he mentioned at the meeting with the RCGP Hon Secretary Amanda Howe to discuss cyberbullying by NHS and RCGP doctors.

Post Script August 2013:





Sadly on August 9, 2013, Dr Bill Gibson @drbillgibson has taken to public twitter to pass personal derogatory gratutitous remarks, breaching the new GMC Guidance on Doctors Use of Social Media.
 


Being attacked by a gang of predominantly white male NHS doctors is appalling and needs to be put in the public domain to clean up cyberbullying by cohorts of NHS doctors against female NHS doctors!



End women-hating misogynistic cyberbullying! Why do some NHS doctors, predominantly male, feel it is okay to target me, Professor Lis Paice and Professor Gillian Needham for addressing cyberbullying against women in our society and medical profession!