I've long been a supporter of vaping devices because they are an effective smoking cessation and harm reduction tool for cigarette smokers. Juul is a successful company in that space, they came from virtually nowhere and had 75 percent of the market by 2018.

That's a free market success story, but then there were concerns about their marketing, specifically toward "nicotine naïve" - never smoked cigarettes - young people. I never bought into claims they were marketing to kids as strategy, though in a world of individuals some people employed there obviously said and did some dumb things.

But as their market share has plummeted due to controversy, nearly cut in half this year, they have perhaps demonstrated that their marketing efforts were corrupt all along.

Today on the Facebook page of Scienceblogs, I found out their marketing team or independent contactor SEO experts had filed 283 "copyright infringement" complaints about our posting a science article on chemicals in vaping - from 2 years ago.

283! All on same article, on the same day, all at once. What an amazing coincidence that 283 users of Facebook reported an April 2019 article on November 23rd of 2021. Unless they weren't real users at all.

They probably did this by creating 283 bots to trigger their automatic algorithm - knowing there is no Facebook appeals process. Which none of us knew until today, because we are not in the dirty tricks business. But if Juul knows, and gamed it for their own ends, that tells you something about their company.

We're an independent non-profit science media outlet that supports smoking cessation tools and Juul has targeted us because in 2019 we linked to an article about a science study in Chemical Research in Toxicology by scientists from Portland State University? None of whom write for us. That is where the company and it's billions in investment from a cigarette manufacturer have gone now?

Will they get us banned from Google next? No idea, perhaps they already have. Unlike Facebook, Google won't tell you if they have removed you from search results because a company successfully gamed their system. 

Given the dirty tricks the company has shown here, I predict Juul will survive just fine. The meek may inherit the earth but it is easy for the corrupt to own it right now.