Steak-umm’s company Twitter account took to the social media platform on Monday to disagree with astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson over his comments that science is based in truth.
The company’s feud with deGrasse Tyson began after the scientist tweeted a day earlier: “The good thing about Science is that it’s true, whether or not you believe in it.”
In response, Steak-umm tweeted “log off bro,” and used multiple Twitter threads to combat deGrasse Tyson’s statement.
“the irony of neil’s tweet is that by framing science itself as ‘true’ he’s influencing people to be more skeptical of it in a time of unprecedented misinformation. science is an ever refining process to find truth, not a dogma. no matter his intent, this message isn’t helpful,” Steak-umm wrote.
The company’s tweet sparked a wave of comments online, prompting it to go even further. After one Twitter user wrote “you must have changed social media personnel,” Steak-umm added more fuel to the fire.
“nope. science itself isn’t ‘true’ it’s a constantly refining process used to uncover truths based in material reality and that process is still full of misteaks. neil just posts ridiculous sound bites like this for clout and he has no respect for epistemology,” Steak-umm added.
Others asked the frozen steak company what the “beef” was between Steak-umm and deGrasse Tyson. The company then shot back with “just sick of neil’s games.”
Steak-umm also added on Monday an “obligatory thread to remind people that we’re a brand selling products,” and stated that everything it tweeted is based in “self-interest” to promote the company’s product.
Steak-umm then acknowledged that voicing political or controversial opinions is not new to it. It has been participating in self-described “tweetstorm rants” on topics including “scientific literacy, critical thinking, memes, cognitive biases, woke brands, polarization, conspiracy theories, and more,” for years.
Steak-umm gained widespread recognition last year on social media after it posted a lengthy Twitter thread about coronavirus misinformation. In a series of tweets in early April 2020, Steak-umm took to social media to offer advice regarding misinformation “in times of uncertainty.”
Those threads brought the company thousands of new followers, and even prompted researchers at North Carolina State University and Arizona State University to study the phenomenon.
“Steak-umm grew its audience, built community around its social media presence, had overwhelmingly positive public reactions, and even raised money for a nonprofit organization aimed at addressing hunger in the United States,” Ekaterina Bogomoletc, a Ph.D. student in N.C. State’s Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media program, wrote in October.
“Steak-umm was successful, in part, because it had adopted a ‘human’ approach to its social media presence before the pandemic, so it didn’t have to shift gears too much,” Bogomoletc added. “But its success also hinged on the fact that it communicated its values consistently and declared a commitment to public good. People responded to that.”
According to a statement from Steak-umm’s social media manager, Nathan Allebach, the company’s presence online is ultimately to “generate community, make memes, and sell frozen beef sheets.”
Steak-umm’s latest rant against deGrasse Tyson has so far been liked and re-tweeted thousands of times.
The astrophysicist has not directly responded to the frozen steak company, but on Monday he tweeted, “if you have the urge to argue with my previous Tweet, before you do, please spend 4-mins reading this post.”
The tweet was accompanied with a link to a 2016 article by deGrasse Tyson titled “What Science Is, and How and Why It Works,” in which he further explains his thoughts on scientific truths.
Newsweek contacted deGrasse Tyson for additional comment but did not hear back in time for publication.