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On Harassment: Don’t Do It

UPDATE: I have no reason to believe that the harassment alleged by Kyle Lovett — which I  discuss below — involved anyone even tangentially connected to this site, or indeed that it ever happened. The “evidence” he provided only showed that he got traffic from a link on this site. He never provided any evidence that the alleged harassment occurred or that, if if did, it was perpetrated by anyone who found his site through my site. The rest of my piece still stands.

The other day, a commenter here linked to the blog published by one of the moderators of the Men’s Rights subreddit. Kyle Lovett, the mod in question, says that not long afterwards, someone contacted his workplace saying that he was a member of a “hate group.” Claiming to be concerned about his safety, he temporarily hid his blog. And stepped down as mod.

Lovett says he suspects that this person who he says contacted his work is a Man Boobz reader, and has now provided evidence that seems to back up this suspicion. If Kyle is indeed telling the truth about the harassment, it was a Man Boobz reader who contacted his workplace. (There is no evidence it was one of the regulars here, merely someone who was reading the comments in that one thread. Nor am I completely convinced that the alleged harassment happened; Lovett has lied about things in the past.)

But if the harassment happened let me be blunt: That’s not cool. I don’t like that sort of harassment when it’s directed at feminists, and I don’t like it when it’s directed at MRAs. As Rebecca Watson once said, in a different context, “guys, don’t do that.” Seriously, DON’T DO THAT.

All this said, Lovett and other MRAs are acting as if the link to his blog  here was in some way equivalent to “doxing” – that is, tracking down the personal information of someone posting anonymously, and posting it online, for purposes of harassment..

It isn’t. Kyle publishes his blog under his own name, and he regularly posted links to it on Reddit. It was no secret that he posted on Reddit as Qanan, just as my real name Is no secret.

I’m not sure why it’s necessary to point this out, but I will anyway: If you publish things on the internet under your own name, people will indeed connect your name to these things. There is absolutely nothing wrong with posting a link to someone’s blog. No one here advocated harassment in any way.

Needless to say, the indignation on the Men’s Rights about this is hypocritical, to say the least. MRAs harass feminists all the time.

A Voice for Men, the worst offender in this regard, has published the personal information of feminists, and once put out a thousand dollar bounty in an attempt to find out the identity of one feminist who had been posting anonymously online. AVFM head Paul Elam talks about “stalking” feminists and on his radio show gleefully discussed the prospect of not only revealing the names and addresses of women he considers evil, but also their routes home from work. He orchestrated a harassment campaign against one commenter here, which led to people contacting her workplace in an attempt to get her fired. There are many more examples.

Meanwhile, today on the Men’s Rights subreddit, one commenter’s call to harass a woman got two dozen upvotes from the regulars:

Guys, don’t do that.

EDIT: I have added a few comments in the post above to highlight my concerns that the alleged harassment may be a fabrication; I will remove these comments of Lovett provides proof, publicly or privately, that the harassment occurred.

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Cotton Pony Wrangler
Cotton Pony Wrangler
9 years ago

That fucking sucks. And “they do it too/they do it worse” is neither here nor there.

As the “Cotton Tail Pony” in question, I feel like shit about this. I have no indication that he’s anything other than a nice-guy MRA who thinks he’s doing the right thing. I vehemently disagree with him, given the fact that he helps provide a safe space for people to spew bitter, cruel vitriol, but that neither excuses nor justifies going after him personally in my judgment.

The fact that this was such a FAIL-y effort at vigilante justice or whatever just adds injury to insult. Damn.

LilBusted
LilBusted
9 years ago

I actually sent the “$500 pair of shoes” woman a message suggesting she make her profile private because of those assholes.

blitzgal
9 years ago

I missed that thread. What what his “silly harmless comment” (his quote) that caused someone to jump into his real life?! Yikes, I want to reiterate David on this one: “Don’t do that.”

Anyone who’s seen the disturbing level of intrusion Sandra Fluke is currently suffering simply because she had the nerve to testify about women’s health should know that this stuff is beyond the pale, and gross, and wrong. (The right wing has been following her incessantly since her testimony, keeping track of her travel plans, how much her clothes seem to be worth, who she’s going out with, etc)

Crumbelievable
Crumbelievable
9 years ago

Of course his bosses laughed at it. Haha, that’s ok Kyle, we hate women too! That’s why we pay them less than we pay you.

Crumbelievable
Crumbelievable
9 years ago

The SPLC article wrote that these websites are hotbeds of misogyny– hatred of women. So while they didn’t write, “The MRM is a hate movement “, saying, “The MRM has a lot of sites that display an intense hatred of women, and the r/mensights subreddit is one of them” isn’t much better.

magdelyn c. prossii (@magdelyn)

Well, in this heated environment, it was bound to happen. Manboobz is very popular, with topics getting sometimes 500 comments, not to mention hits. Noone can blame this website for something some jackass did. I didn’t like it when they stalked those Swedish kids for putting on a silly S.C.U.M. video, either. I posted my disgust on /r/mensrights at that time.

But, that is the way of the internets.

Ithiliana
9 years ago

I’m sorry that happened to him, and I am glad there were no repercussions at work.

However, he has just learned what many many many women live with every day–but I hope anybody speaking out against what happened to him ALSO condemn the MRM sites that purposely post information and encourage harassment of women, and what is happening to Sandra Fluke.

I ain’t holding my breath waiting.

Kendra, the bionic mommy
Kendra, the bionic mommy
9 years ago

That was awesome of you to speak up about that to the mensrights reddit, magdelyn. I respect that.

At AVfM’s $1000 reward for real identity of vliet tiptree

Kyle Lovett said

So, ummm, I found out who this woman is and there is a big reason that she has made her 4 blogger blogs private. Yep, 4 blogs.

Not sure if I should share it in public, but if someone else wants to, send me an email(you can find it on my about page on my blog) and I’ll give whoever the info to post it if they wish too. Let’s just say her publishers I don’t think would be very happy to know this info.

It’s not right for anyone to be doxxing other people. It’s important that feminists take the high ground, though, and never harass people in the real world, regardless of what MRA’s do to feminists. It’s also wrong for people to contact other peoples’ employers to tell them about their online activities. It’s up to workplaces to set their own Internet policies for their employees. The only exception I’d make is if someone posts a credible, specific threat to other people, then that information should be passed on to the authorities.

I think it would also be nice for the MRA’s to admit that the doxxing crap is wrong, and stop putting bounties out on women they don’t like. Like Ithiliana, though, I’m not holding my breath.

Kendra, the bionic mommy
Kendra, the bionic mommy
9 years ago

Dang it, another blockquote fail!

Simone Lovelace
Simone Lovelace
9 years ago

I’m from Ann Arbor so I just wanted to say that it wasn’t me!

Also maybe it’s the cold medicine but I’m having a hard time seeing how this could have any long-term implications for Kyle Lovett. If his site is relatively innocuous, his employers won’t care; and it’s not as though a “secret identity” was outed, since his reddit account was already linked to his real name.

Am I missing something?

KathleenB
KathleenB
9 years ago

Kendra said everything I wanted to say, and more eloquently. This shit is wrong no matter who’s doing it.

cloudiah
cloudiah
9 years ago

Also maybe it’s the cold medicine but I’m having a hard time seeing how this could have any long-term implications for Kyle Lovett. If his site is relatively innocuous, his employers won’t care; and it’s not as though a “secret identity” was outed, since his reddit account was already linked to his real name.

Even people who may not be that careful to be completely anonymous could be freaked out at suddenly seeing their real name appear on the Web associated with their pseudonym. Even if nothing bad actually happens, it’s a wake up call that something bad could happen. I still remember a time when someone anonymously outed me to my boss as a union activist. Luckily, my boss wasn’t interested in firing me, but I sort of dodged a bullet and had to learn to be both more careful and (sadly) less trusting of my coworkers.

Anyway, since Qanan wasn’t here harassing or threatening anyone, I think it was a shitty thing to do.

Cotton Pony Wrangler
Cotton Pony Wrangler
9 years ago

So once again Kyle is whining about the terrible, terrible things feminist bloggers do, while doing the same exact things himself.

She’s been online posting since at least 2004, using another handle. In that time, she has made many comments that give pretty specific information about her life. The trick is linking the two together with data that matches exactly. Try searching a phrase that Denis posted using the quotes to see if you can find her second handle.

Fuck this guy.

cloudiah
cloudiah
9 years ago

Stupid question: Is the difference between this and “doxxing” (I learn new words every day at manboobz!) that the information that was shared about Qanan here was publicly/easily available information, as opposed to someone going full-on detective-style and posting information that was private/not easily available?

Cotton Pony Wrangler
Cotton Pony Wrangler
9 years ago

Wow, thanks, Kendra.

Kyle posted a fucking how-to on doxxing people, so his outrage at this falls a bit flat, one thinks.

Kyle Lovett in reply to old joe:

Most of the answers are already right here in this thread, you just need to try different combinations of searches, and start collecting data points. Hell, you posted a good chunk of the data needed to do a search that will link the information, if you combine that with what Denis posted up a bit.

Look for things like:
Places
Events
Professions

in combination with key words, handle names and known sites and blogs. Remember using ” ” between phrases when searching is pretty powerful.

She’s been online posting since at least 2004, using another handle. In that time, she has made many comments that give pretty specific information about her life. The trick is linking the two together with data that matches exactly. Try searching a phrase that Denis posted using the quotes to see if you can find her second handle.

I want to be 100% clear: doxxing people is wrong and acting on the info, in any way, is worse.

But fuck this guy.

Simone Lovelace
Simone Lovelace
9 years ago

Cloudiah, I agree that it was shitty. Just probably not dangerous, I would hope?

Crumbelievable
Crumbelievable
9 years ago

I hope anybody speaking out against what happened to him ALSO condemn the MRM sites that purposely post information and encourage harassment of women, and what is happening to Sandra Fluke.

But see, Kyle Lovett is a brave warrior fighting for men’s rights who’s had to put up with horrible shaming tactics, whereas Fluke is an evil feminazi bitch who deserves to be exposed.

Or something.

Ithiliana
9 years ago

@Kendra: Wow, that’s a nasty thread–and there they are a whole bunch of guys demanding to be able to out the women in the video (and actually posting the personal information of a man involved with the production, JohnnyK something), and planning to seek out any academic or radical feminist who has written approvingly about Solanis, and harassng her–and yet they are incensed at what happened to Quanan?

The hypocrisy and double standards here are even more mind-boggling than usual.

Ithiliana
9 years ago

@Crumbelievable: It’s hard to see how their heads do not explode with the size and scope of the contradictions they believe!

ozymandias42
ozymandias42
9 years ago

It is seriously not okay to call people’s employers. :/

cloudiah
cloudiah
9 years ago

@David Okay, thanks.
@Simone Not dangerous in this case, but the person who did it wouldn’t have known that Qanan wouldn’t be fired. p.s. Sorry about the cold!

Ithiliana
9 years ago

@Cloudiah, and Simone: I’d guess that the person doing it hoped he would get fired; that it didn’t work is good, but why else would somebody do that?

Holly Pervocracy
9 years ago

It’s worth pointing out that nothing on Manboobz gave any indication where e works. All we did was link his blog to his Reddit, which he’s done himself.

Doxxing is wrong, but for someone to come in here and say about me, “Hey, she has a blog called The Pervocracy” is hardly doxxing.

Cheryl
Cheryl
9 years ago

But if the harassment happened let me be blunt: That’s not cool. I don’t like that sort of harassment when it’s directed at feminists, and I don’t like it when it’s directed at MRAs. As Rebecca Watson once said, in a different context, “guys, don’t do that.” Seriously, DON’T DO THAT.

If I find out that somebody is the high priest of the KKK and that he works in a position of authority over black people, should I inform his boss?

Sometimes silence is more wrong than speaking out. As the owner of that company, I would definitely appreciate the opportunity to nip problems in the bud. Keep a closer watch on the guy, etc etc. We’re not talking mere opinions here, we’re talking somebody with a proven hateful agenda which is most likely violating the civil rights of somebody else (or will be soon). And I’m legally responsible for any violations which occur.

Besides that. I’m fed up. Twits like these have hacked and destroyed feminist web archives, increased paranoia while decreasing camaraderie and group project efficiency by infiltrating online private forums, as well as intimidating, harassing and stalking feminists in real life. I have zero problem with returning a similar favor, especially when someone’s civil rights could be at stake.

Ithiliana
9 years ago

@Cheryl: That’s one of the more extreme situations — but my jaded response (after nearly 20 years in Texas) is what makes you think his boss doesn’t know it already, and isn’t also a member himself.

The extent to which the KKK historically and currently is woven into the power structure of many towns in the midwest and the south (and most people don’t know the extent to which the klan was and is active in the midwest) means that it’s rarely a big secret.

For example, in the small town where I work in rural Texas, the owner of the local mom’n’pop feedstore is part of a major movement bringing in Mexican laborers illegally: everybody knows it (when I’m asked why I don’t buy our stuff from his store, cheaper than the vet, I say, because he does this, and everybody says, yeah, so what?). The cops who routinely harass and shakedown the Mexican workers know it; the cop station is less than two blocks from his store where he has them living in shacks, and where they wait for day labor (some of them are moved on into other areas).

Simone Lovelace
Simone Lovelace
9 years ago

Holly I don’t think there would have been anything wrong with making the (already public) info a bit *more* public on the internet…but I agree that actively seeking out the guy’s employer crosses a line.

Unless he’s one of those twits who straight-up advocates rape and murder, in which case I honesty don’t have a problem with it.

Cheryl
Cheryl
9 years ago

It just sounds like what an mra would say: “laydees, don’t protect yourself from misogynists because you’ll only be stooping to their level”. See what I mean? What you said sounds sorta like that. When rabid feminazis get on the SPLC’s hate list, let me know. Because wanting equality and being fed up with inequality is just like invading Poland.

(Although I also realize your caution is partly in response to protecting the reputation of your own website, which is understandable.)

Holly Pervocracy
9 years ago

Someone who advocates rape and murder isn’t someone I want to give an incentive to track one of US down. Doxxing these guys would escalate things, and it would be the most vulnerable feminists, not the ones who did it, who paid the price.

xardoz
9 years ago

I would also love some proof that this actually happened to qanan. He was trying to retire as mod just a few days before this happened, he was desperately looking for an excuse to quit. Nice how this allows him to play the victim as well.

Back when Elam was doxxing everyone right and left, I said this behavior is going to come back to haunt MRAs. By making doxxing an acceptable tactic you’ve given up the right to cry when it happens to you. Up to now they’ve been lucky to pick fights with ethical mainstream feminists, but they might be starting to piss off people who play dirty. I’d like proof though.

Simone Lovelace
Simone Lovelace
9 years ago

Holly, fair enough. It’s a dangerous game. But if Anonymous or some other entity of their ilk were to hack In Mala Fide, for example, I personally would cheer them on.

xardoz
9 years ago

Well, they pick on fringe radfems too, but the radfems don’t do organized dox campaingns like MRAs from what I’ve witnessed.

Songthe
Songthe
9 years ago

Nobody called his job, nobody revealed anything about him, nobody finds him credible. Nice try, Kyle.

Holly Pervocracy
9 years ago

Right now the MRAs have SOME inhibition, a lot of them oppose doxxing and Elam (if only through inability, but let’s give him benefit of the doubt) has only threatened to release people’s addresses and hasn’t actually done so. If we start coming after their offline lives, that scrap of inhibition is going to EVAPORATE. I don’t want you guys to put ME at risk by escalating this goofy little war.

Falconer
Falconer
9 years ago

Nobody called his job, nobody revealed anything about him, nobody finds him credible. Nice try, Kyle.

I missed the part where we found out that he was lying for sure.

Being who I am, what I am thinking of is Ambassador Joe Wilson and his wife, Valerie Plame. Ms. Plame (as you’ll recall) was outed as a CIA agent in the pages of the New York Times. This outing destroyed all of her hard work and networking that she’d put in on the Middle East.

I remember that plenty of conservatives were protesting that Ms. Plame’s relationship to Mr. Wilson was public knowledge — it had been reported in a D.C. yearbook. These folks were missing the point, probably deliberately.

So I’m not surprised when the MRAs react to “hey, aren’t you this guy who has this public persona on the Internet and said these things” with “OMG OUTED that’s so rude!” Disappointed, but not surprised.

And now let me tell you about what happened recently that reminded me of the Teapot Dome Scandal …

Shadow
Shadow
9 years ago

Anonymity is basic internet etiquette. Yes MRAs post hateful shit safe in that knowledge, but so do a lot of legitimate civil rights advocates, along with closeted LGBT and kinksters, to name a few. The anonymity of the Internet is a GOOD thing, and we shouldn’t be happy to see that get violated. Unless a crime’s being committed, anonymity needs to be respected AFAIC

cloudiah
cloudiah
9 years ago

Anonymity is basic internet etiquette. Yes MRAs post hateful shit safe in that knowledge, but so do a lot of legitimate civil rights advocates, along with closeted LGBT and kinksters, to name a few. The anonymity of the Internet is a GOOD thing, and we shouldn’t be happy to see that get violated. Unless a crime’s being committed, anonymity needs to be respected AFAIC

Well put. I think this should be the default position. The Qanan case is a little more complicated in that he wasn’t exactly anonymous, so whoever it was (too lazy to check) who originally identified him by his real name didn’t do anything wrong, in my opinion. But yeah, MRAs are on pretty thin ice complaining about this, unless they’ve also called out the much worse offenses committed by AVfM, et al. Any evidence that Qanan ever did this?

Holly Pervocracy
9 years ago

I see this as kind of like the death penalty debate:

Once you agree to the proposition “it’s okay to kill/dox someone if they’re evil enough,” you open yourself up to everyone else’s ideas of just what is evil enough.

nwoslave
9 years ago

Look at it this way ladies, you got Big Daddy on your side. State violence is at your disposal and your hands will remain blood free, just as tender and soft as ever. Now get that bad man fired. What’s he gonna say? That women said stuff as bad or worse? Women don’t get in any trouble for that shit. On the contrary, they get praised for it. You know it, I know it, everybody knows it.

Hillary does it all the time, as does nancy, the media, it’s one big happy family. Didn’t some female governor of california say something along the lines of men don’t even have the capacity for sympathy. Sonya Sotomeyer rattled off something about women being so much more moral and altruistic as well. Did they get fired? Give an apology? No way! They were given a big ole grrrrrrrl power huzzah!

Shit, take away a womans free contraceptive and it’s a war on women. It isn’t diamonds that are a girls best friend, it’s state violence. Get a man fired, imprisoned, kicked out of his home, kidnap his children or beaten up by the boys in blue, and still look like you just stepped out of a salon.
—————
A quick question for the enlightened class. If everyone is equally protected from DV by law, what’s the point of VAWA? From what I gather, before VAWA everyone was equally protected. If a disturbance couldn’t be resolved on site by the officers summoned to a DV situation, both parties were arrested and cooled their heels in lock up for the night. Which sounds quite reasonable since it takes two to tango. Also, if someone is bruised worse it really doesn’t mean they didn’t start it. Especially since men don’t bruise nearly as easily as women.

So if everyone was treated equally and fairly before the VAWA gender preference law, how can always arresting the man be considered equality? Is a man hitting a woman worse than a woman hitting a man? What exactly is the point of VAWA other than to give special treatment to women over men?

xardoz
9 years ago

Anonymity is basic Internet etiquette, strange that the inventors of the “anonymous” movement love to tell netiquette to go fuck itself.

The latest /mr doxx threat David linked to is up to three dozen upvotes, by the way. 🙁

BlackBloc
BlackBloc
9 years ago

The reason the MRM are doxxing people is because it works. People like the One People’s Project and Anti-Racist Action (and Hollaback, and and and) were doing it before these clowns ever figured out it was a good idea. I always supported these actions when they were done by leftist revolutionaries and anti-oppression people, and I’m not going to stop now. You’re deluding yourself if you think that refraining from doing it will somehow stop any escalation on their part.

This is all I’m going to say on that subject.

Ithiliana
9 years ago

BlackBloc: So you support the MRA doxing women and/or feminists “because it works”? I don’t know enough about two of the groups you mention, but I thought Hollaback was posting pics of men harassing women in public–is there actual posting of personal information? I think NWO might have claimed as much, but coming from NWO means I automatically disbelieve it.

*goes to google*

Shadow
Shadow
9 years ago

@Cloudiah

Oh yeah, that wasn’t meant to be a jab at Cotton Pony Wrangler, just about the whole “I’d be happy” type comments. Like Holly said, it’s like the death penalty: today it’s someone you oppose, tomorrow it’s someone you support. It’s one thing when you can be 100% certain that it’s only people who objectively deserve it. Until, and unless, that happens, the only way to protect the people who need it is to protect everyone.

BlackBloc
BlackBloc
9 years ago

I oppose the MRA doxxing women/feminists because it works. I support feminists and anti-racists doxxing organized racists and misogynists because it works. At the end of the day, who wins trumps who’s right.

BlackBloc
BlackBloc
9 years ago

And already I’ve been lured into debating this. This is my final say on the matter. This is the fundamental disagreement at the core of the conflict between liberalism and revolutionary socialisms and I’m not going to derail this forum any further.

Ithiliana
9 years ago

Ah, OK: that makes sense (a quick look at Hollaback didnt’ show me any public info, and One People’s Project seemed focused on public groups and actions; anti-Racist was definitely releasing information on racists (reminds of of Cheryl’s example), but I guess…..I’m not seeing this guy as all that important/public — and nobody did an expose of his work online (OPP and AR seem to do a lot of work offline as well as working online)–they just (apparently) contacted his boss. I do see differences in those actions. Thanks for the names–I knew about Hollaback, but hadn’t read that much about it (street harassment so not a problem in small town texas–at least not for this white woman).

Ithiliana
9 years ago

BB: Sorry, my post was made before I saw your last one. I’ll stop posting too.

xardoz
9 years ago

You’re right about the last part, MRAs are going to escalate anyway.

It’s just nice that we can claim the moral highground on this. There might be a rouge doxxer among us, but that still makes a ratio of 1 feminist to 100 MRA doxxers. MRAs also see themselves as bullied little revolutionaries up doxxing the powers that be, because according to MRA logic, all radical feminists are court judges or high powered lawyers donchaknow.

Ithiliana
9 years ago

I should note that I did out (to a certain extent) notorious fan who was outing other fans (as with Qanan, she had used her legal name along with various fan pseuds, and was actually soliciting venture capital for her fan history site). I did not contact anybody offline, but did post an expose in my LJ: people were afraid to challenge her, given her outing, but since I’d already been outed (and am fairly open about who I am in both fandom and academia, I just avoid putting my two names together in one site), I figured what the heck.

http://ithiliana.livejournal.com/922604.html

I guess I see that as somewhat different than taking it offline and actually contacting people about the person (and I never posted any contact information).

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