Community Notes on X/Twitter

last updated 23 October 2023

1. Scientific Basis
2. Peer-reviewed Research
3. Fact-checks
4. Aliens/Angels
5. Conclusion

Since the major earthquakes in Turkey on 6 February 2023, a seismic potential that was emphasized by our CEO Frank Hoogerbeets in a tweet three days earlier, our accounts on X/Twitter have been a continuous target of community notes claiming that "there is no scientific basis for these earthquake forecasts." These notes are rated as citing "high quality sources." On X/Twitter we have repeatedly stated that these notes are actually of low quality citing sources exclusively from the United States, a country that is known for being very conservative in the field of seismology. In Asian countries there has been much more progress, especially in the field of ionosphere-lithosphere coupling (atmosphere-crust connection), a relationship largely rejected by United States seismologists. Thus, the community notes should be seen in light of the conservative attitude primarily coming from the United States. Here we examine the four sections of the repeatedly copy-pasted community note attached to our posts on X/Twitter.

Article continues below the image.

community note
X/Twitter community note targeting SSGEOS

1. "There is no scientific basis for these earthquake forecasts"

In this section the first source links to a text on the USGS website. The first line of that text states that: "No. Neither the USGS nor any other scientists have ever predicted a major earthquake." This is incorrect. In October 1989 USGS geologist Jim Berkland predicted an earthquake in California based on specific signs in the region. Four days later the Loma Prieta earthquake occurred. After his correct prediction Berkland was suspended because he was not allowed to make earthquake predictions in his capacity as a USGS scientist.

In the text the USGS goes on to explain that in order for a prediction to be valid, three key elements must be included, which are time, location and magnitude. It is important to realize that it is the USGS that sets these requirements. Not even weather forecasts are required to have this level of precision. As with the weather forecast, we believe that it is acceptable to forecast a greater potential, say 60% or 70%, for a major earthquake in the next 2-3 days, if the forecast is based on established models, as we have developed at the SSGEOS in recent years.

So the first source in the community note should be regarded as opinion, as it neither provides fact nor evidence. The second source links to a text from Caltech explaining more about earthquake probabilities and forecasts from their point of view.

It is important to understand that neither of the first two sources addresses models that include positions of the Sun, the planets and the Moon at the time of larger earthquakes. This is crucial, because in recent decades no scientific research has been done in this field and there is almost no literature about this subject. In fact, the whole issue of planetary geometry is suspiciously absent in the scientific community. A quick look at our about page that explains why and how our research started, will tell anyone with common sense the significance of such modeling and how erroneous scientists are in automatically rejecting it, simply because they regard the research approach itself as unscientific.

2. "Peer-reviewed research finds evidence does not support this method"

This section of the community note supposedly provides evidence against our methods. One source, a paper by Susan E. Hough addresses the question if large earthquakes occur on "preferred days of the calendar year or lunar cycle." First of all, lunar cycles have nothing to do with any human invented calendar. We have already demonstrated that not every Full/New Moon is the same and that a thorough analysis that includes the positions of all planets is essential. Limited, superficial research has little meaning. Apart from the fact that lunar cycles are unrelated to preferred days of the calendar year, we emphasize that analysis of specific days on calendars is not part of our forecast models. This issue is therefore irrelevant and there are better papers addressing effects of lunar cycles, including on seismic activity.

The other source, a paper by Pierre Romanet addresses the question if planet/sun conjunctions can be used to predict large (moment magnitude ≥ 7) earthquakes. Again we emphasize that limited, superficial research has little meaning. This also applies to this paper. Here we list five key points to consider regarding this paper:

  1. The author is not an expert in planetary geometry and unsurprisingly does not distinguish between critical and non-critical geometry; he incorrectly assumes that any conjunction should be a major earthquake trigger. Given the fact that this paper has been peer-reviewed, those who reviewed it are obviously no experts in this field either.
  2. Planetary geometry is matched against magnitude 7+ earthquakes only. Magnitude 6 earthquakes (clusters in particular) are ignored.
  3. Convergence of planetary conjunctions, as well as clustering of stronger earthquakes, both of which are very significant, are not addressed.
  4. A huge conjunction tolerance of 3 degrees is used. Apparently, the author did not make any effort to refine this tolerance (our #SSGI models use a tolerance of 0.17 degrees). To illustrate how bad this rough approximation of 3 degrees is, we apply it to a Mars-Sun-Saturn conjunction (which is by no means critical, but it is included in the paper results), which would add a whopping 18 conjunction days to the total that serves as evidence in the paper. If this conjunction were critical (which it is not) we would mark at most about 4 days following the conjunction as critical.
  5. Our SSGI models are not addressed, even though they consistantly show a relationship between (clustering of) stronger seismic activity and critical planetary geometry.

It is important to realize that Romanet did not inquire as to our forecast models, specifically the geometry between the planets, the Sun and the Moon that we emphasize. He simply made several assumptions on which he then based his paper, which is the result of just three weeks of research in March 2023. By contrast, the models that we use today are based on nine years of research and software development. If you think about it, it is amazing how quickly and easily Romanet's paper was accepted and peer-reviewed.

Here we touch on a major issue in science regarding the influence of the planets, a debate that has been going on for decades if not centuries. Claims that planets have no influence are usually backed by assumptions and reasoning based on the theory of classical mechanics, rather than actual observation and research. Superficial, limited research as done by Romenet is already rare. In-depth, long-time research as we do at the SSGEOS, is virtually non-existent.

3. "Fact-checks of user's pseudoscience claims"

This section provides the so-called "fact-checks" of our "pseudoscience". The cited sources are carefully selected mainstream media articles, which are not fact-checks at all. At best they present expert opinion. No evidence is presented against our forecast methods (which are not pseudoscience, as they are based on careful observation, measurement and research). We could easily select mainstream media articles that actually confirm our forecasts. It is generally called cherry-picking. Mainstream media do not have authority, nor are they in any position to "fact-check" science.

To illustrate how manipulative mainstream media can be, we take the 18 May 2015 article from Slate, that states: "No, a Planetary Alignment on May 28 Won’t Cause an Earthquake." It addresses our second ever forecast from 29 April 2015, in which we expressed our concern about the final days of May 2015 due to a convergence on 27 May of critical planetary conjunctions, which we had learned to recognize in our initial 2014-2015 research. Media outlets were quick to dismiss our forecast as pseudoscience. But when a magnitude 6.8 earthquake occurred in Alaska on 29 May, followed by a magnitude 7.8 earthquake (initially estimated 8.5) on 30 May south of Japan, the media were silent and did not refer back to our forecast. Our first ever forecast covered the magnitude 7.8 earthquake in Nepal on 25 April 2015. Anyone can read about the why and how of our research!

4. "User's last prediction site claimed to get info from aliens/angels"

This is the final section of the community note. First, we never had a "prediction" site. Based on our models, we do forecasts, not predictions and there is an important difference between the two. Second, our models are not in whole or in part based on "info from aliens/angels", nor have we ever made that claim. This part of the community note is totally unrelated and does not address nor provide evidence against our earthquake forecast models, which from day one are 100% based on geometry between the Sun, the Moon and the planets and later also atmospheric charge. It makes this community note all the more ridiculous.

Speaking of which, atmospheric charge is not addressed by the community note at all, yet the same note is attached to our X/Twitter posts presenting atmospheric fluctuations. Obviously, those who rate this note as helpful do not care much about its relevance and seem more concerned about a growing public becoming interested in the SSGEOS earthquake forecasts.


In conclusion, this community note — which appears to come from a single author by the alias "Jazzy Sandalwood Penguin" since the Turkiye earthquakes in February 2023 — does not appear to be of high quality. All cited sources are from the United States and do not provide a balanced view of an international scientific community. Much more progress is made by scientists from other countries. Scientists from all over the world, including, seismologists, geologists and meteorologists, follow our research with growing interest. Some sources in the community note are simply irrelevant or unrelated. Other sources express opinion. Neither the peer-reviewed papers nor the mainstream media "fact-checks" provide actual evidence against our forecast methods. In fact, our models, in particular SSGI, which are based on years of observation and research, are not addressed at all! They are simply disregarded as "pseudoscience".

Obviously, the community note's claim that "there is no scientific basis for these earthquake forecasts" is false. Unfortunately, X/Twitter does not actively check or control their community notes. Anyone with a specific viewpoint that is supported by a sufficient number of people can target posts with community notes, even if they contain irrelevant, unrelated, biased or incorrect information, as long as the content does not violate X/Twitter's terms of service. For this reason we stopped using X/Twitter for the time being. We follow the example of GeoCosmo's president Ronald Karel, who left Twitter in December 2022 for similar reasons. Progress does not come easy!

Update: On 22 October X/Twitter community note author "Jazzy Sandalwood Penguin" revealed herself as Celeste Labedz (Postdoc UCalgary PhD Caltech) on Bluesky. In her posts she explained her motivation as "my hobby of annoying awful people" and "it is super fun". We released this information in a thread on X/Twitter where we explain how Dr. Labedz has been ignoring our statistics and data since March 2023. Since our publication she has locked her Twitter account and removed the posts from her Bluesky timeline. Because of this latest development, we have reconsidered our initial decision to stop using X/Twitter.

Celeste Labedz bragging on Bluesky
Dr. Celeste Labedz on Bluesky explaining her community notes targeting SSGEOS

This website is using cookies. Terms and conditions, Privacy Policy