The story of Dutchsinse (also called Fakesinse in scientific circles)

Guest post written by Jens Skapski, last year's student geophysics, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany
Jens is also the main person and creator behind the Earthquake Impact Database, the world's most detailed logbook of damaging earthquakes and Juskis Erdbebennews.de, a daily earthquake blog in German.


Have you ever wondered how some YouTube channels, Instagram accounts or weblogs were able to generate thousands of followers? If you ask Google how to become a famous onliner, it will recommend two options:
1. High quality content (more common case)
2. Become a Reality TV star (which may even open you doors for larger offices…)

But there is a third way to generate a followership that has been done by many in the past years: Give your followers exactly what they want to see.
One may say that people like you and me want to have high quality content, interesting topics, realistic videos and mixed up with as many kitty pictures as possible. But let’s be honest: People just want to see sensation, scandals and sex, the unholy internet trinity, mixed up with as many hate as possible. For people who contradict: You are Fake News!

This is the story of Dutchsinse. A guy from the U.S. who has a very popular YouTube-Channel. Hurraaaay.
A YouTube-Channel which has 270.000 followers. 
Wohoooo.

What makes his channel so special? Is it the high quality content? The kitty pictures? The barely clothed women?
None of them. He, Dutchsinse, is just one of the biggest Fakers in the world! Be proud, Donald!
Let me explain my claim: Dutchsinse makes videos about earthquakes, otherwise I wouldn’t care about him. His videos became popular due to his earthquake forecasts, where he tells his followers once a week (with corrections, updates now and then) where they have to expect the next earthquakes. Sounds odd as we (hopefully) all know that there is no way (yet?) to achieve this holy grail of seismology. No proper way to give long-term, precise warnings for people in earthquake zones.
Dutchsinse, however, believes that he can. And that he saves lives with it. He and many of his fanboys claim a success rate of 95%.
May sound amazing. Unbelievable.

That is because it is.
Before I give the prove for this, let me dig a bit deeper and tell you what methods Dutchy uses to sell his forecast and forge his “success”.

If you are a seismologist, an earthquake scientist of any kind, you are a liar! Paid by the government. Paid to censor data. Paid to spread wrong “science” about plate tectonics. Paid to deny any “revolutional” findings against the existing system. And too damned stupid that Overlord Dutchy III has much more skill than you will ever have.

Feeling offended? You may just do.

Dutchy writes his own science books. His own strange theories how earthquakes originate, how they are triggered and how they spread across the globe. He calls it a revolution against science. Proof for his theories: Not existing, because earthquakes are censored by the USGS (or so).
One of these strange theories is that deep earthquakes trigger shallower, much stronger earthquakes in their vicinity (+/- 2000 miles, sic!) which releases a wave of stress that moves through the Earth’s crust on specific paths and triggers similar-sized earthquakes again and again on its way. One of these paths is said to lead the earthquakes from the South-East Asia, through Himalayas to the middle east, south-eastern Europe and eventually to the Azores or Iceland, where the wave of stress sinks into the mantle and reappears on the other side of the globe.

Every geoscientist who reads this will probably either laugh, cry or hit his head against a brick wall. LET THEM LAUGH! THEY ARE ALL STUPID! FAKED! PAID! KING DUTCHY XVI. RULES!

However, these crazy & preposterous theories are the origin of his earthquake forecasting! Hurray.

 

Now, as we know how “scientific” his methods are, let’s have a look at his forecasts. Luckily Jamie (a Geoscience student from the U.K) has analyzed the forecast for the past week, issued on July 22.
Results: From 37 (!) issued forecasts, only four were a hit. Five, if we give him a large geographical tolerance. 5/37, this is far away from 95%, guys…

But Dutchy wouldn’t be the Fake King if he wouldn’t try to make it up a bit. So he goes back to one of his most used method: Claiming that forecasted quakes had really happened but were censored by USGS and all other seismological agencies. (He has other, “effective” methods like just claiming a quake was much larger than reported and therefore censored. But this is a different story.)
Can be seen in his video “7/29/2018 -- Global Earthquake Forecast”. He had forecasted a Magnitude 6 earthquake in Northern Iran. Nothing happened there. In the video he says a quake happened there but it was hidden, as it was the common case in Central Asia. Proof: None.
YOU ARE ALL FAKE!!!!

To be honest: How will one ever be able to censor a large earthquake? Okay, even if there is a global conspiracy present that controls all seismological stations in the world, you may be able to stop earthquake recordings and this earthquakes may not appear in official earthquake list. A very theoretical and unrealistic (so extremely unrealistic scenario  that i can’t find a word for it), but, however, possible.
BUT: An earthquake, Magnitude 6, in Northern Iran, would be devastating. Likely resulting in destroyed villages, towns and fatalities. Even if the world conspiracy would be so huge that all the news reporting about this event could be censored: The shocks would have been felt in Tehran, likely also in Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, etc. Websites like earthquake-report.com are using website traffic to detect earthquakes. Works this way: People feel an earthquake and google for earthquake information. Some of them may look at our website, which gives us a pageview. Our systems count these pageviews and if we see an unusual high traffic from one region, in this case Iran, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, we know that an earthquake has occurred. Impossible to miss a quake with this method. Plus: You would have hundreds of Social Media entries describing this quake. How do you want to censor people’s voices?

Just one of his methods to make up his … “science” though.

So, what’s missing to show that Dutchy really deserves the Fake King title?
Let’s have a look at his new predictions for the next week. Because there is another trick Dutchy loves to use: Statistics.

You will agree that there are regions in the world where moderate quakes (M4 to M5) are rather common. Happening once a week maybe. And Dutchy, smart as he is, builds at least 50% of his forecasts from these quakes, which should statistically occur once a week or so. Usually a guarantee for a relatively high success rate, just by statistical coincidence, although of course not all of these quakes will occur every single week. That he nevertheless failed totally last week makes it even more… amusing.
The rest of his forecasts regards regions, where his followers are interested in. So we can see it as some kind of clickbait, although statistically occurrence is unlikely in most cases.
So, have look at the list for the coming week. I have added a little comment regarding the statistical relevance to each of these quakes.

M5.9-6.0 New Caledonia
Rather strong, but happens multiple times per year. Not a bad chance to hit, especially as it was pretty active in the past weeks.

M5.3 Makira (Solomon Islands)
Very specified location. Statistically thus not very likely to hit. Though the Solomons, if he counts the whole region have M5s more than once a month.

M5.3-5.4 N. Coast New Guinea/Bismarck Sea
Large region with high earthquake activity. Quakes of this size are not unusual.

M7.0 South/Central Sumatra
Interesting forecast but large region. Quakes of this size occur there less than once a year.

M6.0 Irian Jaya
Not an everyday quake, but also not unusual. Statistical hit thus unlikely.

M6.5 Luzon
Second interesting forecast of a rather rare earthquake.

M6.2-6.3 Off East Coast of Honshu
A region with often strong quakes. However, occurrence would be not very unlikely due to latest slow slip activity and rather long time since the last quake.

3.0-4.0 Australia
M3 quakes in Australia (big country!) are common. Hit almost guaranteed!

M5.5 Xinjiang
Happens a few times per year.

M5.7-5.9 Southern Myanmar
Not a likely hit, though earthquake prone region.

M5.4 India-Nepal
Not a likely hit, though earthquake prone region.

M5.6 Central Iran
Iran suffered multiple strong earthquakes in the past weeks. A continuation of this sequence, which may occur, would fulfill this forecast.

M5.0 Italy/Croatia
Unlikely, less than once a year.

M4.0 Romania/Albania/Italy (3 quakes)
One single quake would not be unlikely. However, these quakes happen more than once a month.

M4.5-5.0 Iceland
Swarms on Iceland, which happens a few times per year, often lead to quakes of this size.

M4.5-5.0 Azores
Not unlikely due to nearby Mid Atlantic ridge.

M5.0 North Island
M4.7 Cook Strait
One quake could fulfill both forecasts. They happen there now and then. A hit would not be surprising.

M5.1-5.2 Colombia
Not unlikely.

M4.7-5.0 Barbados/Antilles
Not unlikely.

M4.0 Dominican Republic
Hit almost guaranteed.

M5.1-5.2 Chile
Hit almost guaranteed.

M5.2 South Sandwich Islands
Hit almost guaranteed.

M5.5 Oaxaca/Guerrero
Quakes of this size are not unusual there.

M5.4 Nicaragua
Not rare but nothing that can be expected every month.

M6.8 Chuginadak Island (Aleutians)
Interesting, very precise forecast. A hit would be a surprise.

M4.7-5.0 San Francisco
Common prediction by Dutchy, which almost never hits. Quakes of this size not that often in SF Bay area.

M4.3-4.5 Santa Barbara
Common prediction by Dutchy, which almost never hits. Quakes of this size not that often in Los Angeles.

Some size Southern California
Seriously? Any size? M3s are happening daily. Congrats for the hit!

M4.7 Oklahoma/Kansas
Unlikely quake.

M4.0-5.0 Deep Fiji
Already hit: M4.7, 30/07/18; M4.5, 31/07/18 (400 of these quakes since January!)

M4.0-5.0 Deep Afghanistan
Hit almost guaranteed.

M4.0-5.0 Deep Banda Sea
Hit almost guaranteed.

M4.0-5.0 Deep Celebes Sea
Hit very likely.

M4.0-5.0 Deep Bonin Islands
Hit almost guaranteed.

M4.0-5.0 Deep Sea of Okhotsk
Hit very likely.

So just by statistics 15 to 20 hits can be considered “realistic”. Adding some coincidental hits a real success rate of more than 50% would not surprising. By claiming censorship, downgrading and being very gentle regarding the geographical borders for his forecast areas he “improves” it even more. Yet not close to the fanboy-95% but high enough to brainwash people with less earthquake knowledge and make them donate money to him.

The story of Fakesinse’s success is written by a smart combination of lies, conspiracy theories and the extremely clever use of people’s wish for revolution and sensation. Furthermore, he speaks for the people who are frustrated by government and scientists by violently offending USGS and others. He combines with by a well-considered use of statistic and probability.
He is not only the Fake King, but also the Master of Manipulation.