Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Something was off about the memorial service for the anonymous anthropology professor who’d died of COVID-19. For one, only four people showed up. The facilitator of the service, BethAnn McLaughlin, co-founder of the support network MeTooSTEM, had recently been accused of harassment herself. When Michael Eisen, a genetics professor at UC Berkeley, tried to search for information about the anthropologist online, he couldn’t find any. Her distinguishing characteristic on Twitter was that she really, really seemed to love McLaughlin.

That made sense, in retrospect, because McLaughlin had fabricated her whole cloth. According to a report in The New York Times, since 2016, she’d been posting about sexual harassment in the science community…

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