The Data Science Central “Incident”

I’m writing this post to respond both to what many of you saw Vincent Granville said about me on Facebook a couple days ago, which was brought to my attention yesterday:
vincent_granville_data_science_renee_comment_single(in context)

and to his apology this evening:

I didn’t want to write a second post about Data Science Central, but after the huge response on twitter today, I want to document everything in one place so anyone looking back at this has all of the info to evaluate what has been said.

I have thought a lot about Vincent Granville’s apology this evening, and honestly when I heard he had apologized, I hoped (but doubted) it would be sincere. I would have loved to be able to accept his apology and move on from all this. However, I can’t bring myself to accept the apology because it’s not really an apology, it’s an accusation. After writing a truly vile post about me, his “apology” accuses me of harassing *him*. He says that I have “attacked” him for 14 months, and is casting himself as a victim. He’s basically saying “I acted a fool in a heated moment because she’s been attacking me non-stop for over a year” (the heated moment apparently being a Facebook post about Ellen Pao that reminded him of me, and the “attacking” being me pointing out his questionable practices in a blog post and on twitter, I guess).

Because of that, and because there are a lot of people who are *actually* harassed online who I think would be offended by his characterization, I want to document everything I’ve said about him, and challenge his definition of harassment. What I have done is document what I saw as some very questionable (if not unethical) behaviors, and occasionally initiated or participated in conversation on twitter about that. I have never “attacked” him in any way, but I want to leave it up to you readers to decide.

Here is the history of my comments about Data Science Central and Vincent Granville:

April 21-22, 2014: Initial twitter conversation with @tesherista about Data Science Central’s contest to find fake accounts created to attract women and minorities to Data Science Central, where Vincent Granville deleted Cory’s comments questioning the practice. (screenshots by @AltonDataSci)

July 1, 2014: Original blog post ““Something has been bothering me about Data Science Central” here on Becoming a Data Scientist, where I wrote about the above experience, as well as exposing one of the fake Data Science Central profiles “Amy Cordan” as having a fake LinkedIN profile (still there as “Amy Sangrene”) with a fake Stanford Computer Science PhD, violating LinkedIN terms & conditions. (He mentioned me questioning his advanced degrees in his “apology”, and this is the only academic credential I have brought under scrutiny, that of “Amy”.)
In response to this post, I received the following comments from readers (among others, you can see them at the end of the post linked above):

  • Alton discussing his negative experience with the Data Science Central contest
  • Ellie talking about losing trust in DSC when she tried to contact “Amy” and realized she wasn’t real
  • Hubart and David questioning his academic background (maybe this is why he thought I did? because commenters on my post did?)
  • “System Administrator” recalling another use of the name Amy Cordan by Vincent Granville online in the past
  • Eric mentioning he found that Vincent Granville was accused of paying people to write positive Amazon reviews of his Developing Analytic Talent book
  • A comment by someone who claims to be the “real” Amy Cordan (Henriques) and used to be close friends with Vincent Granville’s wife

July 1-5, 2014: Twitter conversation with @altondatasci following the blog post above, as well as an explanation for why I wrote the post:

October 26, 2014: Tweet to @kissmetrics (and conversation following) alerting them that Amy was a fake profile.

June 8-10, 2015: Tweets after the real Amy Cordan commented on my blog, conversation between @ellieaskswhy, @metabrown312, and @tesherista on Twitter about fake Amy and deleted comments. Follow-up tweets warning people again about what we had found, and talking about the suspended accounts.

June 24, 2015: Tweets about finding out my Data Science Central account was suspended.

Throughout all of this, I never emailed or otherwise directly contacted Vincent Granville. He also never responded to any of these comments or my blog post, and the only reason I might think he might be aware of my posts was that my Data Science Central account was suspended. Today, he also blocked me, and several other people that shared my post, from following @DataScienceCtrl on Twitter. Suspending women’s accounts on Data Science Central and then calling someone who questions his practices a “harasser” and “attacker” is not a great way to encourage women to participate on his sites.

I’m not rehashing all of this to keep it going, but to show what a man that called me (and my followers/readers) names unprovoked is calling “harassment” and “attacks”. Reading the details of his apology/accusation, it also appears he is lumping the comments of everyone that has questioned/called out Data Science Central on twitter or this blog into a persona he thinks is all me, when in fact I wrote few of those comments myself, but instead provided a space for others to share their experiences.

If Vincent Granville wants to actually apologize for his statement and actions, without blaming and accusing me inappropriately in the process, I will accept it.


  1. Renee
    Jul 8, 2015

    By the way, if Vincent Granville had stopped using the fake Amy account after our complaints (instead of changing her name to “Data Science Girl” and promoting her as a top blogger on Data Science Central)
    or if I didn’t keep hearing reports of people’s comments on his sites or LinkedIn groups being deleted, I would not have had to keep “warning” people about his sites.

  2. Tangentgirl
    Jul 11, 2015

    Hi Renee,

    Sorry you had to go through this! Something about DSC and Vincent always rubbed me the wrong way. Then they re-tweeted a post regarding vaccines that made my jaw drop (I have a recently acquired M.S. in Biostatistics and am a Public Health fan girl). I went back to show the post to a friend and the post, and all signs of “Data Science Girl” were gone. Screen shots at

  3. Tangentgirl
    Jul 11, 2015

    Yeah, I’m done with DSC/Analytic Bridge. I’ve been overwhelmed with the number of websites/courses regarding Data Science anyway. Good riddance.

    There was this gem from the same post…a comment from “Data Science Girl.” The screen shot was of poor quality so I just grabbed the text:

    “Just to clarify – I do not condone eugenics. If this is what you think, then I guess I did not express myself clearly. My point was about debunking the myth that anti-vaxers are the only ones being egoist (by being careless about spreading deadly diseases), offering a different perspective and showing that indeed, pro-vaxers are just as egoist because of the consequences discussed in my article.

    Also, I guess it applies mainly to US, where the handicapped lobby is very powerful and non-handicapped kids in schools are discriminated against handicapped ones (in terms of tax dollars allocated per kid). Severely handicapped are entitled by federal law to much more expensive educational services and funding in public schools. Why spend all this money on kids who will never talk or read or write, rather than on African American kids who are disproportionally found in under-funded school districts? The issue is compounded by the incredibly high cost of healthcare in US. While it is now politically correct to say that you don’t want to pay high insurance premiums because of smokers, it is not politically correct to say that you don’t want to pay high insurance premiums because of people who generate huge health expenditures over many years. Yet that’s how it works with car insurance: you cause many accidents, you pay more.

    I don’t mind if my neighbor’s 8-year old kid is in a wheelchair and will never walk or talk and requires lots of medical care and special education (it’s my neighbor’s problem, not mine, I never mentioned such kids should not be allowed to live), but I do mind if I have to pay for this, via taxes (special education) or increased health insurance premiums (though I did not have health insurance till now, but now it’s mandatory and everyone pays the same except smokers, woman and older people, for whom discrimination is still allowed). That’s the flip side of the coin that few people see.”

    Utterly bizarre. And as a mother to girl on the Autism Spectrum, “her” swipe at Special Ed funding fully engaged my rage station.

    Thanks again for shining a light…and thanks for giving those screen shots a permanent home. I’m following you on Twitter and just subscribed to your Women in Stats/Data Science list. Best of luck to you and thanks for creating a sane space…haters gonna hate!

    • Renee
      Jul 11, 2015

      …wow!! I guess nothing should surprise me anymore on this site.

      “I don’t mind if my neighbor’s 8-year old kid is in a wheelchair and will never walk or talk and requires lots of medical care and special education (it’s my neighbor’s problem, not mine, I never mentioned such kids should not be allowed to live)” – what if he had a child that was wheelchair-bound himself, would he see him or her as a “problem”??

      Yeah totally terrible that he posted that under a fake woman’s account. I notice the comment about discrimination still being “allowed” for women. No wonder he used “feminist” as an insult in his rant against me.

      I’m glad to create a sane space! The thing that upset me the most about Data Science Central is that prominent people in the community were/are sharing their posts, and therefore the site is ranked highly in search results and seen as a “centralized resource” for newcomers to data science, and newbies (like I was) will subscribe to the site (like I did) and be turned off by it after slowly realizing it’s not valuable content to a new data science learner, and often downright “bizarre” as you said. The last thing I want to happen is women that want to join this profession get turned off by seeing “leaders” in the industry talk like he does! (or actually think a female data science blogger, seen as respected with so many connections on DSC, would write a thing like that!)

      Anyway, thanks for the info! And welcome :)

  4. Tangentgirl
    Jul 11, 2015

    Wow, that’s crazy regarding the LinkedIn account. And I love it when someone’s response to criticism is to block/insult/cry harassment.

    Thanks again.

  5. Matt
    Sep 21, 2015

    I stumbled across his company AnalyticsBridge on Crunchbase and emailed them about his fraud and overall bad behavior.

    Them emailed back today… they deleted him! Both the personal and company profile.

    • Renee
      Sep 21, 2015

      Wow! Thanks for reporting the incident!

  6. SC4649
    Nov 30, 2015

    Wow…thanks for this post…I was really annoyed and rather upset by _Amy_’s post on how data science was misused to justify vaccination. Had no idea “she” was fake…I stumbled upon your blog while searching for “her” article on DSC, and couldn’t find it but found yours instead…
    I’m not in data science anymore but I hope word spreads about DSC so that less people are affected fooled by it…
    Thanks again!

    • Renee
      Nov 30, 2015

      I’m pretty sure that problematic vaccination article is still up under Vincent Granville’s name (which is good since he actually wrote it).

      Thanks for the positive feedback!

  7. Ryan Rosario
    Jul 9, 2016

    I’ve seen some of his responses to people that question some of the things he posts. He is very nasty to people. I’ve seen it with my own eyes on LinkedIn. It’s really… weird.

  8. Ryan Rosario
    Jul 9, 2016

    By the way, I knew DSC was fishy when they proudly wrote an article saying the AVERAGE Data Scientist makes $400,000 a year…

  9. Bill Kimlet
    Jul 19, 2016

    I can’t believe I’m just seeing this for the first time today. You’d think this type of lunacy would be reserved for politics, with science rising above the fray. But sadly, we know this not to be the case.

    Kudos on your diligent expose and factual tone throughout. It makes the facts impossible to ignore.

  10. Marianne Pelletier
    May 31, 2017

    Ugh. There is never any excuse to describe a person with that kind of immature tantrum, regardless of his victim status. Thanks for alerting me, Renee.


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