It seems the MSM finds fights at the far corners of Twitter to be interesting enough fodder for semi-researched articles, so I feel the need to clarify my positions and expand the analysis of the shitshow surrounding the ongoing @JbJabroni10 saga.
All trolling isn’t equal. Trolling is bad and fascist. But trolling peers or people with higher status doesn’t have the same gravity as trolling lower-status people either as a high-status person yourself or on behalf of one. Given that, I want to reiterate that JB was NOT a troll — at least not a mere troll, acknowledging he surely had fun at the expense of some public figures.
One man was suspiciously absent from Tor tyrant Andrea Shepard’s list of “victims”: JB’s main and most doggedly pursued target was Glenn Greenwald. In the smear game, the truth doesn’t matter if you can get the lie out first and amplified. This is what happened when Vice and the Guardian picked up, and mangled, the story. They published JB’s full name without even asking him for so much as a quote. Vice also cherry-picks my quotes to make it seem I’m uniformly supportive of his tactics when I am NOT and had called him on that, too.
Journalist Alexa O’Brien, who seems incapable of thinking like a smear-artist, bothered to point out to them that the main and heaviest targets of JB’s activities were men: Greenwald, Edward Snowden, Tor and WikiLeaks’ Jacob Appelbaum, their whistleblower ally Thomas Drake (who has since turned mild GG critic), and woman-hating Nazi scum Andrew Auernheimer aka weev. O’Brien refused to blow JB out of proportion and repeatedly attempted to bring the discussion back to earth. For it, this intrepid chronicler of the Chelsea Manning trial was treated to an addled sliming by a particularly stupid Tor troll.
This, about the woman who basically gave us everything we know about the Chelsea Manning trial as it was happening so that hero could be better represented in public opinion.
In the days since JB was doxxed, it’s been admitted that the worst charge against him — that he issued rape threats — is completely false. He also has been shown to have mostly targeted men, and so despite his occasional use of the word “bitch” (against both genders), it’s yet another fabrication that he had any anti-woman motivations for his activism.
It was also claimed that he used anti-Semitic slurs and the word “c*nt.” His alleged anti-Semitism was nearly instantly revealed untrue, as the evidence given was a manual RT, which can obviously be manipulated very easily and in fact was shown to have been. Nobody seems to have produced evidence in any form of his having used the c-word, which is odd since they’re so ready to produce screenshots of his other transgressions.
Of course, the Guardian and Vice wouldn’t actually find this bullshit interesting until someone high-status brought it to their attention. The existence of these pieces shows the power wielded by these fiends, and that the differentials involved matter. JB spitting a few taunts about someone’s hair color is being characterized as far worse than libeling a man and potentially ruining his life by leading privacy luminaries like the ACLU’s Christopher Soghoian. In case you need to know who’s in charge here, the last line of the Guardian turd re-ups on JB’s dox as an advertisement. “Becker would have most likely kept his identity secret if he’d used Tor.”
The cast of characters in this loose network is fascinating and a little horrifying. Remember the evil traitor to Anonymous, Sabu? He’s viewed harshly by the activist group and well known as a snitch but he was originally turned a Fed after himself being snitched on to the FBI by other anons worried about his “unpatriotic” alleged recklessness in choosing targets. One of those who apparently ratted him out by furnishing the FBI with relevant chat logs is Laurelai Bailey. Here she is tweeting at JB’s employer in an attempt to get him fired.
Here’s her justifications, to the protestations of allies who think alerting JB first to leave Shepard alone would have been best.
Interesting because she’s also accused by many women of literally raping them. The story of this predator within the trans community is filled in and verified here, by a former friend and current libel victim of hers. Note Bailey even viciously misgenders this victim across social media using her given name — a particularly nasty form of doxxing. One of Bailey’s actual alleged rape victims also notes at the time that Bailey’s whole crew was fascinated by a young white supremacist named… weev. But does it get better?
Fun fact: Bailey is a veteran of the US army. Can you believe it. She’s also chummy on Twitter with DoD contractor Shepard.
Salon.com columnist Charles Davis seems to have invented his own rationale for doxxing. He accepts that doxxing should only be done to expose power. Since JB engaged in a form of “snitchjacketing” — making it seem as if his targets were actually government agents or provocateurs of some sort, which is something actual agents do to people all the time to “turn” them — he was himself under suspicion of being a Fed. The only way to verify that he is not was, “unfortunately,” to out all the details of his life and snitch to his boss. That he did in fact turn out to be merely a hyperactive pharmacist in New Jersey is something we could have only known about after his parents’ names were published in the Guardian newspaper. But that’s what he gets for saying CodePink sucks.
The above is actually about Tarzie’s alleged snitchjacketing, but I’m including it to paint a fuller picture of this authoritarian attitude. The rest concern Becker:
The witch drowned after all, may God rest her soul.
It turns out this wasn’t even the first time someone called for doxxing JB. Back in July, the account @WikileaksTruck wanted him exposed for the capital crime of questioning Daniel Ellsberg. Oh yeah. Another friend of weev’s!
Some others have their own, even less rigorous (I know!) moral theories. The Tor crew now thinks anyone who thinks the attempt to destroy JB’s livelihood to have been a severe overstep in a Twitter troll war is themselves a justified target of doxxing.
After I wrote my last piece, Shepard hit back with a dox on me. I wrote some Bell-Curve-y racist stuff when I was 19 after falling in with a right-wing libertarian crowd online, which I will regret forever and had scrubbed from the internet many years ago because I think it’s harmful. You’d think someone concerned about “triggering” wouldn’t unearth this useless but potentially upsetting 15-year-old material after it was buried, but hypocrisy is this crew’s strong suit. The material, of course, had jack shit to do with my criticism of JB’s doxxing but it’s just a punishment, not an argument.
@lastwheel was threatened with doxxing for merely questioning the justice and use of “spending Thanksgiving doxing a network with a 0 valency.” As a British cycling activist, his information is probably pretty accessible. One of Shepard’s British tech buds, a Facebook employee, started asking around for his info.
For his own defense of JB, Shepard issued a fatwa against Tarzie. First, she is angry that he called her homophobic, and for this alone he is to be doxxed. But probably in an attempt to bolster this perverse pretext, she declared him to be behind the JB-homage account @ShrillBrigade via an interesting investigatory process. This formidable sleuth is hanging her hat on the fact that one of Tarzie’s admitted sockpuppets, whose paternity he never denied, uses the word “ghost” in its handle, and so does @ShrillBrigade. She’d be laughed out of any court outside of 1490s Córdoba, but since we’re just talking about some anonymous homosexual, Shepard probably isn’t too worried about her claims being legally admissible.
The thing is, there is good evidence for at least saying Shepard has a problem with homosexual men. Not only is she the rare tech nerd who isn’t a fan of Greenwald, a gay man, she uses all kinds of language about gay sex and relationships as slurs. She’s spent months calling PandoDaily’s reporter Yasha Levine the “bitch-boy” of editor Mark Ames, who is Levine’s “top” and whose dick Levine chokes on.
Pay close attention and realize she consistently uses words considered feminizing to describe the relationship of Levine to Ames. Because, of course, women are naturally subservient to men. Very Randian.
Her Tor colleague and JB target Jacob Appelbaum twisted himself into a disingenuous pretzel trying to explain away Shepard’s shocking disdain for gay men. I seriously do not care at all what this creep thinks, but in light of her feigned horror at JB’s antics — the very reason Tarzie even brought it up — it’s pretty eyebrow-raising.
I’ve seen much much worse stuff in my mentions anyhow. viz:
I can only suspect this is a crude attempt to hint at my HIV status. I’m rather out of the closet. The misogynistic bit has got to be self-parody considering what follows below. But stop. This isn’t about me!
Let’s also further clarify the “Op Porn Pixie” angle. I was not saying that Shepard was selling anything with sex, and I tend not to focus so much on this sort of critique since it borders on sex-shaming. But where appearance is leveraged to sell/shill, it’s appropriate to note it can itself be a tactic of either salesmanship itself or to immunize someone from criticism. And I don’t think it’s necessarily even something that’s calculated, but it can be noted as an effect. All that aside, this isn’t about making fun of someone’s hair. This is a crew who did this:
and this, from Shepard’s newest performative-feminist defender
and this, from another of Shepard’s lovely dork-Twitter friends
“Tankie” @RedKahina is attacked constantly, on her looks and often in a sexualized way. She takes this revolting abuse against her incredibly thick skin and returns fire with her denunciations. I personally think she is disproportionately focused on Molly Crabapple, despite the artist’s ever-presence in nearly every one of these spats (she has her own argument in favor of doxxing JB, naturally). But Kahina’s focus is on Crabapple’s work and her appearance in service to it is just one aspect. The intent is not slut-shaming. To illustrate that further, Kahina often offers as a counterweight to the imperial narrative-serving Crabapple the very sex-positive Staceyann Chin, a fire-breathing lesbian who rails against empire and patriarchy. Of course nobody who attacks Kahina is ever called a misogynist, unlike everyone who defends her including women. Davis even called @m_anyfesto, for her own critique of using sex to sell imperialism, a men’s rights activist.
The best part about all this talk of snitchjacketing is that Greenwald himself decided to release a very revealing piece of the Snowden trove just at the moment when a particularly sticky parody account began making waves on Twitter. That piece was almost entirely about how the NSA and its UK counterpart GCHQ run sockpuppet accounts to troll their enemies and confuse the discourse. Nobody was named, but Greenwald had been having some surely flustering interactions with these parodies in the days before, and the First Look technical staff had several of the parodies nixed from Twitter in succession. Anyone who has tried to get rid of malicious parody accounts on Twitter will know how difficult that typically is for those of us without access to tech billionaires. The timing was a fantastic illustration of the stark, base, juvenile pettiness and utter fraudulence of the entire Snowden Spectacle. But most importantly for this story, yet again, a powerful person can paint whole swathes of the internet as fake to at one fell swoop discredit literally every single critic as a federal agent’s sockpuppet, but if as an anonymous nobody you make “feddy” names riffing off people’s handles you are a dangerous menace to civilized society and are ripe for termination by doxxing.
Greenwald must have found that particular Snowden slide a gift from heaven. It’s the perfect silver bullet against foes who refuse to reveal their identities. Witness the public disciplining of journalist Jonathan Cook, in which the latter was brought to his knees by Greenwald’s special “respectful” tone that he reserves for higher-status erstwhile allies who must be brought back into the fold. It was a particularly gag-inducing act of discipline by Greenwald and shocking cowardice on the part of Cook, a man who daily reports on racist “Israel” from inside the beast’s belly but won’t stand his ground against a newly gilded media polemicist. The best part was the Intercept story was published just days after a Greenwald parody account poked fun at the Cook train wreck.
That’s fun but I really do digress. Anyway.
This insanity is proof that this vindictive doxxing regime isn’t about trolling or misogyny, but criticism. All of this behavior displays a disgusting provisional fealty to the rhetoric of social justice used not to defend the downtrodden but to silence critics. ANY critics. It debases the real triggering that victims of sexual violence, homophobia, and misogyny experience for the benefit of cheap one-ups. The worst part is these tactics are always used to protect some faction of power or those who aspire to power from the criticism of the powerless. It’s literally fascism: trolling and doxxing are twin brownshirt tools meant to silence and defame targets, use kangaroo courts as in the case of JB and Tarzie, and pass judgment without appeal. This was the test case for the normalization of this tactic. And as we’ve seen, it’s not at all just about Tor itself — or Pando, for Christ’s sake — but about agitating against the public investigation of the complete scam enveloping Snowden’s conservatoid dissent in leftish clothing.
In no way am I suggesting this is a tightly interconnected and coordinated network. I’m just pointing at a particularly ugly pile of status-seeking, smearmongering, terror-sowing, rent-seeking assholes in a loose alliance of convenience. I doubt, for example, that Davis and Bailey are even aware of each other’s existence. But I’ve enjoyed pointing out that they serve the same master.
Whatever the drawbacks of the people I interact with on Twitter, I can tell you I certainly have no ties to rapist snitches, white supremacist GamerGaters, or the motherfucking Pentagon. Wonder what the excuse of the bizarre network I’ve outlined could be.
I hope this is the last I will write about this snake pit, but I promise I’ll update if they send my dick pics to my mom.
Special thanks to @ShrillBrigade for screencapping a lot of great stuff. I highly recommend this Storify with all kinds of extra hypocrisy goodies to savor. A LOT of people helped on this piece directly and indirectly which is why the screencaps are of various sizes and styles.
Anyway, I’ll leave the final word on what I’ve done here to the ACLU, which I guess is your go-to org for the most effective retweets for black revolution: