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In furious post, SocialAutopsy’s Candace Owens attacks a WashPo story that isn’t there

Candace Owens: Taking aim at something that isn't there
There’s no there there

The already very strange Candace Owens story just keeps getting stranger.

In the week and half since her ill-conceived “anti-bullying” startup SocialAutopsy was kicked off Kickstarter- after being bluntly criticized by anti-harassment activists/GamerGate nemeses Zoe Quinn and Randi Harper, Owens has launched a veritable crusade against the two women, and against those she sees as their allies and/or co-conspirators.

She’s posted three weird and angry tirades on her degree180.com website (the first of which I wrote about here). On Twitter, meanwhile, she’s spewed forth literally hundreds of surreal tweets (some of which I’ve written about here) painting herself as the pure-hearted victim of some nebulous conspiracy.

Her latest post, which went up late last night, is her strangest and angriest yet — an overwrought attack on Washington Post writer Caitlin Dewey and her editor David Malitz for the imaginary crime of attempting to libel her in an article that the Post never published and that Dewey likely never even wrote. 

https://twitter.com/socialcoroner/status/724436591914176512

Later in Owens’ post there are surprise cameo appearances by Jeff Bezos and two white supremacists who longtime readers of this blog know well. We’ll get to them in a bit.

In the meantime, let’s take a look at Owens’ bizarre “attempted libel” charge, which turns out to be based on such slender evidence and tortured logic that it’s hard to even explain.

Owens relates a phone “interview” she gave to Dewey, in which she pointedly refused to answer questions or “specify which anti-bullying organizations we had dealt with.”

The SocialAutopsy founder’s reluctance to name even a single anti-bullying group seems a tad weird, since Social Autopsy’s now-defunct but still standing Kickstarter page openly proclaims that “we are proud partners and friends of the Tyler Clementi Foundation and their Day1 campaign.”

But Owens says she told Dewey she couldn’t mention any names because “anyone who had been even remotely associated with us had received some form of unwarranted contact.”

Doing some further reporting the story that, again, never actually ran, Dewey apparently called someone at the Tyler Clementi Foundation, or at some other organization that’s been publicly linked to Social Autopsy, in an attempt to confirm that they had indeed been harassed — that they, as Dewey apparently put it, had gotten some “hate mail.”

Here’s how Owens, cranking up the melodrama, reports what happened next:

At 7:23pm that evening Caitlin’s nasty plan was revealed

I was driving, and I received a phone call from an anti-bullying company. The phone call came from an individual very high up in command, and the tone of the discussion was unexpected.

He was angry, that I saw it fit to relay to the Washington Post that his company was acting as “consultants” to us on our app. He was also angry that as a result, I made a statement on their behalf, that their company had been receiving tons of “hate mail”.

It was a blatant lie. A flat out, disgusting, made up from thin air lie, and it was something that was incredibly opposite from what I had actually said.

Well, no, even by Owens’ own account, that’s not “incredibly opposite” from what she told Dewey. It’s more like “incredibly the same.”

Owens, you recall, told Dewey that she didn’t want to name names because “anyone who had been even remotely associated with us had received some form of unwarranted contact.” 

Dewey called one of those someones to ask if that was true. That’s not libel. That’s not even “attempted libel.” That’s reporting.

Owens cranks the melodrama up to 11 as she continues her tale of woe.

What happened next is something that I am loathe to admit, and so uncharacter [sic] of me in general: I cried.

Yes I pulled over my car to the side of the road and I cried to this unknown individual on the phone.

Unknown? Owens just told us he was “an individual very high up in command” at an “anti-bullying company.” We don’t know his name but she did.

Was it out of frustration? maybe. Was it out of genuine heartache and a final goodbye to everything that I had previously held true about journalism? perhaps. Was it a transition from naive Candace to angry Candace? Definitely. These people were willing to ruin my entire professional career and reputation, to protect the slimey images of Randi Lee Harper and Zoey [sic] Quinn.

And so Owens decided she “had to stop the lie before it was published.”

First, she “called Caitlin about 5 times,” then emailed her. No response.

Owens, apparently under the delusion that she’s narrating an action movie, informs us that “[t]his was at 7:35pm.”

Not 7:34. Not 7:36. 7:35.

At this point, unwilling to wait for Dewey to respond, Owens decided to get her thousand-plus Twitter followers to, well, harass the reporter. “I asked them to retweet my plea to Caitlin to have her please contact me, before publishing misinformation,” Owens writes. “There was no way she could ignore me.”

Dewey was apparently out with her aunt to a birthday dinner. When she sent an annoyed note to Owens three hours later, the furious Owens decided that Dewey was a “smug bitch” and that her email was “a pompous, arrogant, little bitch of a statement to make.”

Elsewhere in the post, Owens refers to Dewey as a “corrupt reporter,” a “smug individual,” a “terrible actress,” and “Caity-doll.”

You can read the rest of Owens’ outraged account of her interactions with Dewey if you’d like; the very thought of trying to summarize all this ado about nothing makes me weary.

Unsatisfied with Dewey’s responses, Owens also pestered her boss, WashPo Deputy Features Editor David Malitz. When he called her the next morning,

I told him that what I was accusing her of (journalistic fraud), was something that she had already been accused of in an article by Matt Forney.

You didn’t see that coming did you?

Yes. that’s right. Owens has apparently decided that MATT FORNEY — the schlumpy, white supremacist, woman hating MATT FORNEY — is going to be her guide to media ethics.

MATT FORNEY, who once wrote that “women should be terrorized by their men; it’s the only thing that makes them behave better than chimps.”

MATT FORNEY, who wrote (in that same post) that

Slapping a girl across the face isn’t just about hurting her, it’s a kind of neg. It says, “I can crush you like an insect, but you aren’t worth the effort.” It’s a tacit acknowledgment that she’s weaker than you, beneath you, and if she crosses you again, you’ll put her in the hospital.

MATT FORNEY, who responded to the San Bernardino shootings by Tweeting that we don’t need gun control but rather ““immigrant control, black control and Muslim control.”

That guy.

Forney’s accusations of “journalistic fraud” against Dewey are based on his tendentious interpretations of her writing — and his blatant and unconvincing attempts to whitewash his own.

At one point, Forney indignantly complains that

Dewey compares Roosh and me to deceased attention-seeking pastor Fred Phelps, Stormfront founder Don Black, Holocaust-denying preacher Michael Crook, among others.

In fact, those comparisons are actually pretty apt.

Both Roosh and Forney are raging homophobes. Last year, on Roosh’s Return of Kings, Forney tried to pin the blame for an Amtrak crash on what he called the “homosexuality and exhibitionism” of the train operator; the deck for the post suggested that “unchecked homosexuality is bad for society.”

Last Fall, Forney and Roosh attended an “identitarian” –that is, white supremacist — conference in Washingtnon DC together, with Forney declaring that the

speakers [were] fantastic, the atmosphere [was] convivial, and the experience of being in a room with close to 200 guys (and gals) who are on the same ideological wavelength like you is an experience you can’t pass up.

Oh, and both Roosh and Forney are good friends with Davis Aurini, who thinks that the the number of deaths in the Holocaust has been exaggerated, and that the Jews were sort of, kind of asking for it. Indeed, Aurini’s comments on the Holocaust inspired the editor of neo-Nazi internet tabloid The Daily Stormer to declare Aurini “a pretty cool guy” in an article titled — wait for it — “Davis Aurini is a Pretty Cool Guy.”

Forney continues, complaining that Dewey made these mean comparisons

despite the fact that neither Roosh nor I engage in illegal activity, encourage others to break the law, or write about anything other than masculine self-improvement.

Masculine self-improvement? Oh, so THAT’S what Forney is writing about in posts with titles like  “The Necessity of Domestic Violence.” “How to Crush a Girl’s Self-Esteem” and “Why Fat Girls Don’t Deserve to be Loved.”

I’m not seeing a lot of “journalistic fraud” going on here — except on Forney’s part.

Speaking of Davis Aurini, guess what? Owens also relies on a blog post by him in making her “case” against Dewey.

Most of Aurini’s unctuous — yet somehow also threatening — “open letter” is a deeply unconvincing defense of Forney and Roosh. His basic complaint about her coverage of Roosh’s Return of Kings isn’t that she misrepresented the site’s backwards gender politics, but that she didn’t recognize that women really

are far less feminine, far less loving, and far less chaste than they were fifty years ago….

You say that “the website ReturnofKings.com… advocates for gender roles even ’50s housewives would balk at,” but in light of our social deterioration, is this truly such a bad thing?

He’s also a bit offended that she didn’t notice his own “recent article on self-development and Leadership,” which I’m sure was quite the masterpiece of rational thought and good sense.

Aurini also complains that Dewey was unfair to poor Mr. Forney:

You criticize his article The Case Against Female Self-Esteem, but did you bother to read it? It’s been widely noted that there’s a huge problem with over-inflated self-esteem, driven by the “Everybody gets a trophy!” culture.

In the article in question, which I’ve read several times, Forney declares, among other terrible things, that

The idea that women should have self-esteem or need it, beyond a low baseline to ensure they don’t commit suicide or become psycho stalkers, is one of the most disastrous social engineering experiments of the modern era. A woman with excessive confidence is like a man with a vagina. It’s an attribute that is at best superfluous and at worst prevents women from fulfilling their natural biological and social functions.

This is the guy that Owens thinks is some sort of expert on ethics.

It’s not clear to me that Owens actually read these two posts. I will assume, charitably, that she did.

But it doesn’t appear that she made much of an attempt to find out anything at all about Dewey’s accusers. Indeed, she bases part of her assessment of the credibility of Forney’s and Aurini’s posts on the not-actually-true idea that they don’t know each other and wrote their posts independently of one another.

“I think it is safe to say,” she declares, “that if three individuals who are unknown to one another agree that she is abusing her position and telling lies, then somebody should look into it.”

Yeah no. Forney amd Aurini have known each other for years. They do podcasts together.

Forney is the bald douchebag wearing sunglasses at night. Aurini is the other bald douchebag wearing sunglasses at night.
Forney is the bald, pasty douchebag wearing sunglasses. Aurini is the other bald, pasty douchebag wearing sunglassest.

They go on hikes together.

Uh, yeah, the title. Aurini kind of revels in his racism.
Uh, yeah, the title. Aurini kind of revels in his racism.

Hell, in his post defending Forney and Roosh, Aurini referred to them as “colleagues.”

Ultimately, the WashPo’s Malitz decided to wash his hands of the whole thing, sending Owens this brief note:

sosorryThe declaration that SocialAutopsy wasn’t important enough to merit a story in the Post seems to have infuriated Owens even more than Dewey’s alleged “lies.”

Aside from attempting to ruin my life and career, the Washington Post was now telling me that I wasn’t even important enough, and that if they wanted to— they would indeed use Caitlin’s lie in the future. Yup. They had somehow purchased future rights to a lie.

And this is where Owens’ post starts to get really weird.

Later that day, Owens informs us,

The day was winding down and my head was spinning. I couldn’t process that I had just caught the Washington Post red-handed in a lie, and perhaps worse, thatnobody had felt it necessary to apologize.

So Owens decided that all of the villains in her little tale remind her of the bratty rich kids she’d encountered as a child growing up poor.

I began thinking about the sheer brattiness of everything that had happened to date, with Quinn, Harper, Singal, Dewey, and now, oddly enough David Malitz.

Who was their Daddy?

SPOILER ALERT: It’s Jeff Bezos. Yeah, that Jeff Bezos, the Amazon.com dude. He’s their collective Daddy.

Well, sort of. Owens, who still insists that she’s no conspiracy theorist, explains that Jeff Bezos is their Daddy in the conspiracy theory that she might come up with if she were given to conspiracy theorizing.

Never mind that in her Twitter feed and in all three of her big blog posts she walks like a conspiracy theorist and quacks like a conspiracy theorist, she insists she’s definitely not one

But the totally hypothetical, totally not real, guys,  conspiracy theory that she comes up with is a doozy.

[I]f I were a conspiracy theorist, I would stop focusing on Randi Lee Harper altogether. I would give up any energy spent discussing Zoe Quinn, David Malitz, or [New York Magazine’s] Jesse Singal, [the subject of her last post], and instead devote myself fully to trying to discover who their figurative daddy was.

My sheer street-smarts would clue me in to the fact that none of these journalists are facing any repercussion from their jobs, despite having been accused of the same fraudulent offenses multiple times.

If I were a conspiracy theorist, I would focus on the fact Harper and Quinn have a long list of victims who have accused them, repeatedly, of harassment, and that these victims, like I, do not know one another.

She, personally, doesn’t “know one another?”

I would wonder how a figurative rich kid

A figurative rich kid?

could do all of that and still somehow manage to:

  1. Have the coveted Washington Post manufacturing lies for them.
  2. Work with Twitter to eliminate the very thing they’ve been accused multiple times (corporations usually will not involve themselves with controversial individuals)
  3. Have ties to Google, (in an effort to prevent online abuse, again ironic)
  4. Have a book coming out published by Simon & Schuster

WE’RE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS HERE, PEOPLE!

AGAIN.

I know, I used this in my past post, but seriously, there is nothing in the universe more apt than it. Or at least nothing on YouTube.

So how do the reverse vampires of Simon & Schuster connect to the saucer people at the Washington Post?

DADDY BEZOS.

“If I were a crazy conspiracy theorist,” Owens writes,

I would be intrigued by the fact that Amazon’s founder and owner, Jeff Bezos had, in an unprecedented move, outright purchased the Washington Post and all of it’s subsidiaries in 2014.

I would probably then recall an article I had read years before then which informed me that Jeff Bezos put up the initial investment in Google back in 2008, and so of course, owns a significant piece of that as well.

Which might only be interesting to a crazy conspiracy theorist if they had already considered the fact that he made an early, significant investment into Twitter back in 2008

Plus Amazon closed a multi-year deal with Simon & Schuster. 

THE PUBLISHER OF ZOE QUINN’S UPCOMING BOOK!

I’ve left out some of the details of this totally not real conspiracy theory here, but obviously I’m running out of really dramatic 4-second-long videos.

Yeah if I was a conspiracy theorist, I would be devoting a lot of time to taking a closer look at Jeff Bezos, a billionaire who could potentially produce such arrogant children.

Because who would apologize for almost ruining someone’s like with a lie if they had Daddy Bezos in their back pocket? Who wouldn’t feel confident enough to talk shit after committing fraud on twitter, with Daddy Bezos to go home to? And why in God’s name wouldn’t two women laugh and take credit for torpedoing a pathetic little Kickstarter campaign, if Daddy Bezos was who they had to fess’ up to?

With that many billions to count…who would ever feel the need to say sorry to the nobody Candace Owens?

Owens then tries another tack, suggesting — this time for realz — that

I do actually believe that Mr. Bezos needs to take a closer look at his acquisition. Seeing the Washington Post lose all credibility at the hands of a few bad reporters, would be a terribly ironic end, to it’s historical reign.

Owens’ post then takes on yet another radically different tone.

Noting that she is African-American, Owens compares her alleged poor treatment at the hands of the Washington Post — which, again, has published absolutely nothing about her — to the horrifying abuse her grandfather suffered at the hands of the Ku Klux Klan, when

he was caught selling oranges on the “wrong” corner. As a resulting punishment, the Ku Klux Klan hunted him down, and branded him in the face (you know, like they do to cattle).

In the “postscript” to her long and fragmented post, aimed directly at the Washington Post’s Mintz, she declares that

I too have dreams. And all I’ve ever wanted was the opportunity to go after them. So you’ll have to excuse my general shock when you insinuated to me that you could take them all away one day, through the simple publication of a lie.

Yup. That snotty little e-mail was more than added insult to an injury– it was an idea that I couldn’t bear to wrap my head around; it was the idea that you and your fraudulent staff are somehow in ownership of every single thing that I have worked for my whole life.

Growing angrier by the word, Owens tells Malitz:

You thought you could instill power over me because you work at the Washington Post? The Washington Post, is now absolute shit in my eyes, and your placement there is little more than a confirmation of it’s dying brand.

Because when I close my eyes:, what you and Caitlin have done to me, feels like a branded warning to my face that I have infringed upon your figurative property.

Yes, that’s right. The fact that the Washington Post would NOT be running a story that Owens had decided would contain some terrible lie about her, and the fact that the editor she pestered about the non-existent story had decided not to “investigate” the non-writer or the non-story based on 1) Owens’ assumptions of what that hypothetical story might contain and 2) the completely unconvincing accusations of two literal white supremacists — these things, in Owens’ mind, are somehow comparable to HER GRANDFATHER BEING BRANDED IN THE FACE BY THE KKK?

Owens ends her post by telling Malitz

F**K YOU.

Leave me and what my family has worked for, the hell alone.

She says this at the end of a 4600-word piece viciously attacking the writer and editor of a Washington Post piece that does not exist.

Leaving people alone is apparently not something Owens is very good at.

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Ben
Ben
4 years ago

OoglyBoggles:

I’m beginning to think that she won’t understand why #GamerGate has turned on her when it does. It’ll probably just be fed through her filter and twisted into “Quinn, Harper, the Washington Post, and Bezos finally bought them out, curses!”

Skiriki
Skiriki
4 years ago

I’m just gonna give her that “fluoride stare” for now.

numerobis
numerobis
4 years ago

The bit about the anti-bullying group VIP calling her up and bring angry she’s claiming they’re consulting makes it clear in my mind that she has been delusional for a while. I’m betting that Social Autopsy was never actually related with the charities it claimed to work with.

kale
kale
4 years ago

just wanna reinforce that a pro psychologist/therapist could not diagnose her without meeting her and following specific guidelines, so no one here can diagnose her or should try.

OoglyBoggles
OoglyBoggles
4 years ago

@Ben
Though I feel the word “curses” isn’t what she’d do. Honestly unless this is an elaborate puppet master root I fully expect a complete meltdown than a “gee willikers they don’t like me no more”

Prios
Prios
4 years ago

Yes, well, she already signed (and signs) each and every post she made on the (small and obscure) degree180 website with “Founder and CEO Candace Owens”.

She’s now getting dozens upon dozens of fawning, love-bombing comments from Gator cultists both on degree180 and on Twitter every time she posts.

I don’t think anybody needs to invoke a mental illness to explain the results.

Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
4 years ago

@ Ben and numerobis

I had thoughts similar to yours, though I’m not comfortable with the term “delusional.” I prefer calling her “naive,” or even just “mistaken.” This anti-bullying group may’ve done nothing more than just respond to a query that promised no actual help, but wished her good luck in her endeavors, which she could’ve misinterpreted as an offer of support and partnership.

I agree that it’s only a matter of time before the Gamergators turn on her. Either she’ll say something they disagree with, or they’ll find a faceshield they like better, and then she’ll be out on her ear. I don’t really want her to be hurt, but I do hope she runs into a maturation/educational experience sooner than later. Seeing enemies around every corner sounds like a terrifying way to live, and I can’t bring myself to wish for her to stay that course.

Michael P
Michael P
4 years ago

I’ve seen this before, albeit on a much smaller scale. A decade or so ago, there was this guy J-Bolt who expended a lot of online effort promoting his comic book without ever actually seeming to produce it. He did a lot of talking about how all sorts of comics people had seen it and told him how great it was, and which actors were already attached to the inevitable movie adaptation (which of course he was going to write, direct, and produce). When people checked into his assertions and told him that those comics professionals and actors had never heard of him, he blew them off as “bashers” who were jealous of his talent and trying to keep him down.

He never developed a conspiracy theory on this level, and there was no Gamergate to fuel/direct his lunacy to suit its own ends, but still, the behavior pattern matches. I have no idea what happened to him (neither the comic nor the movie ever materialized), but he never really changed during the time he was on my radar. So that’s probably how this will play out too.

Friendly Neighborhood Dragon Arthur
Friendly Neighborhood Dragon Arthur
4 years ago

I’m just gonna give her that “fluoride stare” for now.

This is going to be how I deal with most people in the manuresphere from this point on for the most part. Because you have to be so delusional and stupid to actually believe that the likes of MRAs actually want to make the world a better place.

dreemr
dreemr
4 years ago

I really do feel almost entirely pity for Candace Owens. I wish someone could pull her away from the internet – as I think @WWTH said, she needs to just stay offline for a few days. Let her blood cool.

The only anger I feel is not so much at her but at the situation, and how it is or will hurt the women who’ve already been hurt so much by gg.

But the question that comes up for me when reading this is – how prolific was Ms. Owens prior to this? I was under the impression she had only written a few blog posts, and then of course started the Kickstarter campaign. What was her Twitter presence prior to this sh*tstorm?

The reason I’m wondering is, I had been operating under the assumption that she didn’t know about gg because she’s not really much of an internet power user – that she’s been mostly on Facebook and maybe Wikipedia, etc. A light kind of internet user. Yet here she is just tweeting like there’s no tomorrow? And now a 4,000+ word blog post, to go with one or two other (extremely long-winded and poorly-written) posts since the whole fit hit the shan?

It makes me really wonder. I don’t doubt she’s a real person. But wow, we are not getting anywhere close to the entire story here. If this is a case of gg just lucking into the one person on the entire internet with a desire to dox, an inclination toward conspiracy theories, sweeping ignorance that prevents her from even knowing about gg and doxxing, who also happens to be a WoC as well as having a 4-chan (adjacent, at least) alt-right boyfriend? I mean we’re starting to get into truly unbelievable territory here with the coincidences…

me and not you
me and not you
4 years ago

@ Victorious Parasol –

O yeah, I would bet a whole pile of cookies that she didn’t actually receive support on the scale she’s talking about. I don’t think it’s delusional per se, at least, it didn’t start that way, but when you start doubling down against any critique you’re moving into that territory. But then there are a lot more thoughts going on there that start to go into personal experience with people who like to do similar things (on a personal scale, obviously)

But back to the empathy – I’m in a totally unrelated field doing something totally different from this, but I’m working with what is essentially new tech. And I have to be really really careful not to accidentally talk it up – you can get swept up in what people who aren’t really familiar with what you’re doing are saying in basically an offhand way (that sounds really awesome, I hope it works out etc) and then end up giving the impression things are better than they are. I suspect that something similar was going on here – no one was really asking the hard questions, or the folks she was talking to weren’t working within the realm of *online* harassment so they didn’t even know the hard questions to ask.

And then its rough when when someone actually has experience in what I’m doing asks a bunch of specific, knowledgeable questions. I feel like rather than dial back (because she’s committed A WHOLE MONTH sorryImbitterPhDistaking9years) and see if she can actually address those questions she’s doubling down which is a totally human reaction, but not the way to produce a good final product.

I think it’s the scale of the thing that makes it all seem off. Like, this is totally something I could see happening in a workplace or a school group project or something. And it would be annoying but at the end of the day you’d just be like “Ugh, Candace again” and there would be fall out but it would all be contained to work or school or hobby group or whatever. Unfortunately the internet makes everything times a billion. And public. And permanent.

me and not you
me and not you
4 years ago

It makes me really wonder. I don’t doubt she’s a real person. But wow, we are not getting anywhere close to the entire story here. If this is a case of gg just lucking into the one person on the entire internet with a desire to dox, an inclination toward conspiracy theories, sweeping ignorance that prevents her from even knowing about gg and doxxing, who also happens to be a WoC as well as having a 4-chan (adjacent, at least) alt-right boyfriend? I mean we’re starting to get into truly unbelievable territory here with the coincidences…

OMG I FORGOT ABOUT THE BOYFRIEND THE HELL IS UP WITH HIM?!
More precisely I can’t believe a woman claiming to be a feminist (even if she’s ‘not one of those girls’ kind of feminists) would put up with a dude saying it’s hard not be sexist against women when 90% of the time its deserved. *seething*

kale
kale
4 years ago

Anyone wants to put in bets on whether she’s 100% being honest or a total GG poe troll or in between? Losers could post brain bleach…

delphi_ote
delphi_ote
4 years ago

Who was their Daddy?

Did she just given away the game here? Is this one of Milo’s interns?

katz
4 years ago

You thought you could instill power over me because you work at the Washington Post?

Um, he can instill the power of whether or not the Washington Post runs a story about her, which as far as I can tell is literally all he’s done.

Quintin
Quintin
4 years ago

@dreemr

It makes me really wonder. I don’t doubt she’s a real person. But wow, we are not getting anywhere close to the entire story here. If this is a case of gg just lucking into the one person on the entire internet with a desire to dox, an inclination toward conspiracy theories, sweeping ignorance that prevents her from even knowing about gg and doxxing, who also happens to be a WoC as well as having a 4-chan (adjacent, at least) alt-right boyfriend? I mean we’re starting to get into truly unbelievable territory here with the coincidences…

IIRC said alt-right boyfriend pointed her to The Ralph Retort, describing it as “balanced” or “fair”. I think even the bulk of Gamergaters would have a hard time agreeing with that. They call Ralph a muckraker and his webshit shit. (While quietly/secretly rooting for him, natch.)

If her boyfriend actually read The Ralph Retort, he’d know exactly what doxing is.

Orion
Orion
4 years ago

This makes her feel a lot more real to me. At the very least, I don’t think a purely cynical operator would pick this fight. It’s too tangential to the core GG audience and the emotions come off as genuine. She really does seem offended by the fact that people can write things about her that she doesn’t control.

I can imagine a hybrid scenario. Maybe she’s both a scammer and a thin-skinned person who set out to make money off an idea she knew was bad, but still hated it when other people told her it was bad. Maybe she sees scams and conspiracies because she herself is a scammer and conspirator, and she secretly regards herself and Harper/Quinn as fellow con artists targeting different marks.

On the other hand, people can believe weird things. Very weird things. A while back I mentioned that a Chinese woman is cyber-stalking me? well, after I hid all my online accounts from he, I didn’t hear from her for a couple months. A week ago she found the Twitter and Deviant Art of a female writer whose last name is my first name. She’s convinced herself that we’re the same person or this author is an alias of mine and that I’m now a trans woman. I told her we’re different people but she didn’t listen. She also found an anonymous tumblr of inspirational quotes and decided for unclear reasons that they’re messages for her from me.

Now she sends me 50-100 emails a day responding to the content of these websites. I just hope she doesn’t go after those people too.

EDIT: I am aware of the mental illnesses consistent with this behavior pattern, so there’s probably no need to brave the comment policy on my account.

RosieLa
RosieLa
4 years ago

Holy shit. Can someone draw me a flowchart here? Because I’m so fucking lost.

guy
guy
4 years ago

The reason I’m wondering is, I had been operating under the assumption that she didn’t know about gg because she’s not really much of an internet power user – that she’s been mostly on Facebook and maybe Wikipedia, etc. A light kind of internet user. Yet here she is just tweeting like there’s no tomorrow? And now a 4,000+ word blog post, to go with one or two other (extremely long-winded and poorly-written) posts since the whole fit hit the shan?

I wouldn’t read too much into that; there’s a lot of internet out there, and I mostly only see GG on this site and video game sites, with a bit of spillover onto other sites with a lot of gamers on them. Someone who mostly frequents finance blogs, for instance, may easily spend quite a lot of time on the internet without encountering GG. Plus, predictive algorithms are splitting things more and more in ways you wouldn’t expect; your google search results are impacted by your prior behavior to move links you’re likely to click on up the list, and there’s similar algorithms on social networking sites to recommend contacts. They’re not so good at figuring out which results you’d like, but they’re quite excellent at finding results that are related to your interests. Particularly since Google and Facebook basically have an all-seeing eye thing going and know practically everything you do on the internet. So it’s quite possible for people to use twitter a lot and run a blog and be completely isolated from GG.

Technical digression: Google and Facebook use tracking cookies. Cookies are used in HTTP because the protocol as a whole is stateless and each query-response pair (which can be dozens even for a single page) is completely separate. The lower-level protocols used for transmitting HTTP messages over the internet may let you track a visitor over multiple messages, but generally not reliably. So to handle things like preferences and login, when a server sends an HTTP response it can include a set cookie line with an associated value, and then the client stores that and adds a cookie line containing that value to future requests to that domain, and the sever knows they’re someone who got sent that cookie and reacts accordingly.

So tracking cookies store a list of information about page visits on the server identified by a specific cookie value. For any page with the same domain name as the source of the cookie. Which for google means any page with google analytics or google ads, and for facebook means any site that lets you login via facebook or has a facebook share button. Which is approximately all of them.

GhostBird
GhostBird
4 years ago

I. I just. How. What. What is this. Someone tell me what this is. Because I’m past the point of knowing.

This whole thing just feels so bizarre and off putting, that it’s hard not to succumb to my own paranoid vibes on the subject. Even though I know full well that this debacle is most likely a product of the usual stupid weirdness generated by the Internet.

It’s just so strange as to beggar belief.

Moocow
4 years ago

This is the part for me when it stopped bring funny

If I were a conspiracy theorist, I would focus on the fact Harper and Quinn have a long list of victims who have accused them, repeatedly, of harassment, and that these victims, like I, do not know one another.

So Zoe Quinn is an ‘abuser’ with a long list of ‘victims’

What the fuck did Zoe do to victimize these people? Comitting the terrible crime of making a fucking video game?

What the fuck did she do that could ever be construed as harassment?

And does Candice approve of the so-called ‘victims’ sending endless harassment to Zoe Quinn?

tricyclist
tricyclist
4 years ago

@katz – instill is the wrong word. You can’t instill power over someone. Instill means to gradually put something *into* something.

Eg gradually instill an idea into a mind, or instill a liquid drop by drop.

dreemr
dreemr
4 years ago

@Quintin:

If it were just one or two of the list – say, having a bf who’s aware of gg and/or 4chan, AND having a propensity to see conspiracies everywhere, or launching a doxxing anti-bullying site AND being completely unaware of the scope of online bullying, or being a WoC AND coincidentally holding views similar to many alt-right/white supremacists – if it were just one or two things, I could believe that she’s just the wrong person doing the wrong thing in the wrong place at the wrong time.

But there’s so much more than just a few things off the list. And her personality seems to be such that she cannot accept any type of criticism or even the hint of criticism.

I mean it’s just a perfect storm of successively more unbelievable coincidences.

Saphira
Saphira
4 years ago

I’ve seen a lot of temper tantrums in my time on the internet, but it’s been a while since I’ve witnessed a meltdown this bizarre. Owens really does seem to have it in her head that she’s destined for greatness and nobody has the right to question her ideas.

Cyberwulf
Cyberwulf
4 years ago

Let me set aside my desire to give someone a good slap and ask, is it possible that the Candace Owens who is shrieking her head off and seeing conspiracies everywhere is not the same Candace Owens who was bullied by five kids including the mayor’s son and ended up suing her bullies? Is it possible that some troll assumed her identity? It just all seems too perfect. Here’s Gamergate slowly fading into obscurity, and along comes a black woman who’s also a bullying victim with plans for a doxxing site who claims to know nothing at all about Gamergate going in, but eagerly laps up every trickle of warm diarrhea that spews forth about it?

I really hope that’s the case because if not I’m right back to wanting to slap someone.

PS I left a comment over there this morning about how she’s so clearly anti-bullying, siccing an internet mob on people, and lo and behold it’s been flagged as spam. FREEZE PEACH GAMERGATE LOVES FREEZE PEACH

PPS aaaaaaaaand I’m blocked.

Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
4 years ago

@ Saphira

I’ve met a few like that, most notably a person who apparently felt that they were entitled to bully people on behalf of … well, some of the so-called victims either didn’t feel victimized because the inciting incident wasn’t that big a deal, and others were annoyed that this person had decided to go on the offensive-defense without bothering to ask if they needed help.

The experience taught me that some people have an overwhelming need to be a champion. It’s such a powerful need that they don’t stop to ask their designated damsel about what help said damsel might need. Sadly, some would-be champions get offended if the damsel says, “Thank you, but I don’t need your help. I’ve got this.” Doesn’t the damsel know that the champion is trying to HELP? Ungrateful damsel. Well, the champion knows better and will help the damsel ANYWAY.

I need a chocolate break after writing those last 3 sentences.

cretaceouskitteh78
cretaceouskitteh78
4 years ago

Are you positive this is an actual person and not an elaborate sockpuppet designed to try to get “SJWs” to agree to doxxing their adversaries? The Social Autopsy twitter has no posts older than Apr. 12, same day a community user named Charlotte Davis posted about the DOA company on Buzzfeed.

Could be wrong but I think this might be an attempt to stir up drama and try to make those meanie SJWs do some of the things that gamergate and the manosphere do on the regular so they can then justify continuing to dox and harass people because, in the infamous words of the Trump “I didn’t start it!!” is a totally valid reason to be a shitwaffle.

littleknown
littleknown
4 years ago

So a woman who was a victim of racist bullying, and whose grandfather was branded on his face by the KKK, has chosen to ally herself with Neo-Nazis, because anonymous people on the internet: didn’t like that she was making an anti-bullying organization dedicated to doxxing people, harassed her about it, and used the word “dox” in attacking her — thus, they must be sockpuppets of Zoe Quinn and Randi Harper? Wonderful.

I’m feeling very little sympathy for her. Being bullied does not excuse being a bully yourself. Nor does your significant other being an asshole excuse you for buying into their bullshit rather than rejecting it. The “fog of love” should not be used as cover for someone who chooses to believe, and proudly proclaim, disgusting ideas about the nature of women, and about the nature of specific anti-harassment advocates.

She has agency. She wrote plenty of misogynist crap before this. No one forced her to believe it, or forced her to write it and publish it. No one forced her to be so arrogant that she refused to listen when an expert called to talk to her about why her idea of a user-submitted doxxing repository was a bad way to fight online harassment. No one forced her to ally herself with white supremacists and the alt-right.

She is an asshole. She is choosing to be an asshole. She chose her boyfriend, and she seems to agree with the things he has to say about the nature of women. We don’t have any evidence that she is a victim of DV, or is in any way suffering from something like Stockholm Syndrome.

I have known too many people (some of them very closely) who have been through much worse, and who chose to live lives of kindness and compassion rather than repeat the abuse that was heaped upon them, to have sympathy for someone who is doing … this. Using what happened to her as a shield for the abuse she is dishing out — yeah, screw that.

There’s no need for a GG conspiracy when you’re dealing with someone with this level of arrogance. Yes, her boyfriend is GG-adjacent, if not an active Gator himself, but she is responsible for her beliefs. (Also, people are fully capable of believing weird and incongruous things. I once worked with a guy who was an environmentalist, had dreadlocks, sold pot…and thought Alex Jones was the go-to source for all truth and that liberals were destroying the country.)

dreemr
dreemr
4 years ago

No tweets prior to April 12, and now in 2 weeks’ time she’s a Twitter powerhouse?

Skeptical about just how ignorant she is. She may have started out mostly or completely ignorant, but by now she really doesn’t have any excuse other than her personal revulsion to backing down.

Orion
Orion
4 years ago

@dreemr,

While you’ve listed a bunch of individually-unlikely things, are they really coincidences? Surely each one of them makes the other mores likely. Being an abuse survivor probably makes one more likely to be paranoid or date shitty people. I’d think you’d almost have to be a conspiracy theorist to be a black white supremacist. Or extraordinarily incapable of minimal research.

dreemr
dreemr
4 years ago

@Orion – that could certainly be true. Maybe gg really did luck into one of the most perfect dupes it could ever hope to find.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
4 years ago

This bullshit needs brain bleach. So, have some cats.

Freemage
Freemage
4 years ago

Alan: Her identity really has been confirmed by an actual news outlet (the Connecticut News, I think it was); likewise, her history of having been at the center of a bullying story several years ago is a known fact.

So it’s clear that her roots are legit. What’s a bit hard to follow is the road from there to here.

Your analysis of the conspiracy theorist’s mindset is pretty spot on.

*********

That said, I’ve seen at least two references in the comments here, AGAIN, to mental illness. Not. Helping.

There’s a comment policy. Some folks really need to read it for comprehension.

Imaginary Petal
Imaginary Petal
4 years ago

I fully agree with what littleknown said.

katz
4 years ago

@katz – instill is the wrong word. You can’t instill power over someone. Instill means to gradually put something *into* something.

I was just repeating the phrasing she used. You don’t need to explain the English language to me.

Pen
Pen
4 years ago

Freemage: ‘Her identity really has been confirmed by an actual news outlet (the Connecticut News, I think it was…’

Is that really a newspaper? I’m not American, maybe this is normal stuff over there, but it looks like a kind of marketing company, Hearst Media Services. It looks like it pretends to be a newspaper to deliver its content for ‘superior audience targeting’. That doesn’t necessarily mean the stuff it printed about Owens is not legit, but… it might increase the likelihood that they work from something resembling a press release, and that they were solicited to write in the first place? Also, the photos with article are weird, they’re sort of like a fashion model photoshoot and you can buy them. I never saw such a thing, rather like Candace Owens with the Internet. As I said, maybe it’s just me not knowing what goes down. Selling photos does seem to be typical of this media company’s MO.

pitshade
pitshade
4 years ago

Hearst is one of the biggest names in US newspaper history, even if there are a lot of black marks against it.

Delphi_ote
Delphi_ote
4 years ago

If you need a flowchart, I think this is as good as anything else.

https://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2001/11/30

Freemage
Freemage
4 years ago

Pen: I had the name slightly wrong: http://www.ctpost.com/ Note that it’s tied to an actual newspaper: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Connecticut_Post

Hearst Corporation is just a conglomerate that buys up smaller papers; there’s a number of them in the U.S., including Gannet and Tribune Publishing. (BTW, “Hearst” refers to William Randolph Hearst and his heirs–the man the movie “Citizen Kane” was based on.)

I do notice a fair amount of clickbait in their articles, yes. But that IS standard these days, I’m afraid–and yes, a lot of news orgs that still take their own photos will offer to sell them, these days. Anything to increase the ‘monetization of content’. And not all the stories are clickbait. On the front page I linked above, the column all the way on the left (News Now) has legit stories, as does the News tab at the top.

And one of the editors there not only has talked about this story, but also about how he remembers the media’s handling of the original harassment case she was involved in. (Names were named, in an unusual move for a story about minors, because one of those tangentially involved was the mayor’s son, and when the rumors started, the mayor issued a statement declaring his son was cooperating with the authorities.)

At this point, the notion that she’s some sort of fake person/sockpuppet is, frankly, almost as big a stretch as some of her own conspiracy theories. In this case, I’d say take her at mostly face value, beyond her obvious case of Dunning-Kruger.

Prios
Prios
4 years ago

@Victorious Parasol

This is pretty much where the term “SJW” (and probably “White Knight” for that matter) originally came from: “social justice warrior” was originally used by social-justice-minded types themselves to describe people who were less interested in actual justice than in self-aggrandizement.

Shitbirds picked it up and perverted its meaning into “people making me buttmad by saying things contrary to my dearly-held garbage assumptions.”

(I would google the term to find out exactly who among social-justicey types came up with “SJW” in the first place, but I don’t think my stomach could take the results I’d get.)

darkstatistic
darkstatistic
4 years ago

Meanwhile, the Twitter trashfire continues unabated…

She sure doesn’t seem to sleep much.

Jo
Jo
4 years ago

I don’t really understand the amount of references to her boyfriend I’m seeing. She’s barely mentioned him; he pointed out one sympathetic report to her and all her other bizarre claims were, according to her, ideas she came up with herself.

The degree to which he’s being painted into the story as a major figure feels to me like removing agency from Owens. She’s a grown woman and, barring genuine serious mental health issues, is entirely responsible for her words and actions.

Pity is fine, but I get really uncomfortable when women’s positive or negative accomplishments are framed in terms of male influence.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
4 years ago

No tweets prior to April 12, and now in 2 weeks’ time she’s a Twitter powerhouse?

Twitter is not exactly hard to use, and tweeting incessantly could just as easily be a symptom of being new enough to the platform that she isn’t bored with it yet.

I find it perfectly plausible that all of your coincidences could occur in a single person. “The odds are low” is not the same as “the odds are nil” and there are a lot of people in this world. That we would eventually find the one person out of the 900 million people who speak English worldwide in whom this perfect storm comes together is not something I find hard to believe.

darkstatistic
darkstatistic
4 years ago

Kale:

Anyone wants to put in bets on whether she’s 100% being honest or a total GG poe troll or in between? Losers could post brain bleach…

We should start a pool: Which ridiculous alt-right personality will she bring in next? I see Roosh and Milo are being actively tagged in by gators, so it’s only a matter of time before she starts referencing or quoting them. Perhaps Milo will get her to seek justice for his checkmark. Or, you know, there are a lot of FeMRAs out there who might be willing to call her a “real” feminist (one of her recent tweets was something about how this is what an empowered woman looks like).

It’s wide open, really. The conspiracy train can take you anywhere at all! And no matter where you go, there’s a shitty internet celeb ready to explain how actually, it’s not a conspiracy theory at all!

dreemr
dreemr
4 years ago

“The degree to which he’s being painted into the story as a major figure”

@Jo:

I’ve seen this mentioned in the comments to David’s first post about this, too. I honestly haven’t seen anything in that post or in this one that indicates anyone thinks her bf is some kind of mastermind pulling her puppet strings.

Myself and others have almost exclusively pointed out that, as someone who apparently was familiar with the Ralph Retort, he most likely is aware of the practice of “doxing” at the very least. The fact that he never seems to have mentioned this to his gf, who was launching a business pretty much devoted to the practice, sounds suspicious to a lot of us.

I really haven’t seen anyone try to say he’s controlling her online behavior in any way. If I’ve missed it, please point it out.

The bf is just one strange element among a whole host of strange elements floating around this story.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
4 years ago

I don’t really understand the amount of references to her boyfriend I’m seeing.

Well, I think he’s worth noting because he proves that all this faux-naive nonsense about “I’d never heard of doxxing or #GamerGate before!” is a bold-faced lie.

But otherwise, I agree with you on any attempts to paint her as some sort of puppet. That’s neither cool nor relevant.

EDIT: NINJA’D!

me and not you
me and not you
4 years ago

Is anyone painting her as a puppet? I mean, beyond possibly being manipulated by GG types?

Now I’m wondering how long it is before she notices these posts and starts pulling David into the mix.

Sascha Vykos
Sascha Vykos
4 years ago

I wonder how many degrees of seperation there are between Dave Futrelle and Jeff Bezos?

Can we get some George Soros up in here too?

dreemr
dreemr
4 years ago

@SFHC – you actually said it much more succintly.

I’ve never ninja’d before!

dreemr
dreemr
4 years ago

@PoM: I pretty much agree. We’ll probably find this really is a case of just the wrong person in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong skillset and the wrong audience.

But I don’t think it’s beyond the realm of possibility that there is some disingenuousness at play here, either, of one shade or another.