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SocialAutopsy-Turvy: Candace Owens’ Twitter Trainwreck, Part One

Only this cat can Tweet more furiously than Candace Owens
Only this cat can Tweet more furiously than Candace Owens

Last week, I wrote about Candace Owens, the founder of a would-be anti-bullying startup called Social Autopsy, and her strange descent into GamerGate-style conspiracy-mongering after prime GG target Zoe Quinn contacted her to point out how her startup’s strategy of doxxing alleged bullies could backfire in a big way.

As GamerGaters and assorted other shitlords whisper into her ear on Twitter, Owens seems to have concluded that the real villains in the GamerGate saga were those, like Quinn and anti-harassment activist Randi Harper, who had in fact been the targets of the GamerGate mob.

Owens has so far dropped three long posts on the subject, including one tonight — an attack on Washington Post reporter Caitlin Dewey that I may end up writing about tomorrow.

But much of this drama has played out on Twitter, as Owens has furiously Tweeted out a seemingly never-ending torrent of self-obsessed, self-aggrandizing and frequently delusional thoughts and accusations.

To those supporting or simply flattering her, she shows an almost childlike credulity; towards her “enemies” she displays a level of paranoia so extreme that it would make all but the most dedicated conspiracy theorists blush.

I touched on this, and quoted some of her more paranoid Tweets in my original post.

But her Twitter timeline really needs  to be seen to be believed.

So here, in chronological order, are some of the more, er, enlightening of the literally hundreds of Tweets she’s graced us with since this whole mess began, starting with the Tweet where she first started to go seriously off the rails. Be aware that the Tweets here are but the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

https://twitter.com/socialcoroner/status/721195254393790465

(Hint: It is never safe to assume that anything in the Ralph Retort is true.)

https://twitter.com/socialcoroner/status/721195801779810305

https://twitter.com/socialcoroner/status/721207466168610817

https://twitter.com/socialcoroner/status/721209335309803520

https://twitter.com/socialcoroner/status/721215403494666240

https://twitter.com/socialcoroner/status/721308241947467776

https://twitter.com/socialcoroner/status/721317140360491008

https://twitter.com/socialcoroner/status/721319090015612928

https://twitter.com/socialcoroner/status/721457219267661830

https://twitter.com/socialcoroner/status/721457425082105856

https://twitter.com/socialcoroner/status/721457721095143424

https://twitter.com/socialcoroner/status/721458028273385472

This was an accusation she returned to again and again: anyone who devoted more than a few moments of their time to criticizing her startup’s possibly quite dangerous strategy was suspect, because … I’m not sure. They were being paid? They were part of some vast conspiracy? They were all the same person?

Actually, she made that last accusation more than a few times. Here she accused Twitterer @WithMetta, attacked in the Tweet above, of being Randi Harper. Or vice versa; I’m not sure.

https://twitter.com/socialcoroner/status/721459981426507777

And here she accused a longtime anti-harassment activist, who could have been easily Googled, of being another possible member of, well, whatever she thinks he’s a member of.

https://twitter.com/socialcoroner/status/721460797268959232

https://twitter.com/socialcoroner/status/721518163830116354

https://twitter.com/socialcoroner/status/721518353978888192

https://twitter.com/socialcoroner/status/721518785363111936

https://twitter.com/socialcoroner/status/721518941416353794

I think she means

a conspiracy on a scale so immense as to dwarf any previous such venture in the history of man. A conspiracy of infamy so black that, when it is finally exposed, its principals shall be forever deserving of the maledictions of all honest men.

I guess that’s more than 140 characters, though. There was no Twitter in the McCarthy era.

https://twitter.com/socialcoroner/status/721533356417150976

Here, she cites Kanye West as, I guess, an inspiration? Not musically. As a Twitterer.

https://twitter.com/socialcoroner/status/721574245785059329

Here she talks about herself in the third person:

https://twitter.com/socialcoroner/status/721577674280419328

https://twitter.com/socialcoroner/status/721600063542333442

https://twitter.com/socialcoroner/status/721601517636227072

https://twitter.com/socialcoroner/status/721728934455316481

https://twitter.com/socialcoroner/status/721730057811529728

https://twitter.com/socialcoroner/status/721733117673738240

When she learned that Quinn had appeared at the United Nations to talk about online harassment, it didn’t occur to Owens to stop for a moment and consider if perhaps she had gotten the wrong impression about her. Nope. The United Nations had obviously made a HUGE mistake.

https://twitter.com/socialcoroner/status/721736300366147585

https://twitter.com/socialcoroner/status/721737063603642368

I have to admit that this next one puzzles me a little:

https://twitter.com/socialcoroner/status/721759375732391936

PAY ATTENTION TO THE MENTIONS!

https://twitter.com/socialcoroner/status/721776420016504832

https://twitter.com/socialcoroner/status/721776805720494085

We are THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS HERE, PEOPLE!

This is BIGGER THAN WATERGATE!

https://twitter.com/socialcoroner/status/721787353904386048

https://twitter.com/socialcoroner/status/721787818884886529

https://twitter.com/socialcoroner/status/721831676976959488

https://twitter.com/socialcoroner/status/721836033684467713

This next one is rather comically ironic, as she’s been manipulated by GamerGaters and others of their ilk since the start of this whole embarrassing spectacle.

https://twitter.com/socialcoroner/status/721853079096848384

The next morning she was back to the mentions. The sinister, sinister mentions.

https://twitter.com/socialcoroner/status/722063672642838529

And then, in another deeply ironic Tweet, she suggested that anyone who Tweeted too much about a person was somehow inherently sinister.

https://twitter.com/socialcoroner/status/722064134624436225

She promised a thorough “investigation.”

https://twitter.com/socialcoroner/status/722228142019125248

https://twitter.com/socialcoroner/status/722229357314510848

https://twitter.com/socialcoroner/status/722229462528565248

Not long after this, she declared that she was “going to take a Twitter break for a couple days.” She followed this with innumerable tweets in rapid succession, culminating in this weird burst of melodramatic idealism.

https://twitter.com/socialcoroner/status/722293636885516288

The next day, her 3-day Twitter break evidently forgotten, she returned to posting in a decidedly less idealistic frame of mind.

https://twitter.com/socialcoroner/status/722451043242622976

https://twitter.com/socialcoroner/status/722451161618505728

https://twitter.com/socialcoroner/status/722451645595000834

https://twitter.com/socialcoroner/status/722451758547615746

Zero self-awareness:

https://twitter.com/socialcoroner/status/722453126779965440

https://twitter.com/socialcoroner/status/722453526996258820

This seems an appropriate point to take a break. Stay tuned for part 2, and possibly even part 3.

 

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snork maiden
4 years ago

There’s a massive thread about her over on GG site Kiwifarms:

https://kiwifar.ms/threads/candace-owens.19404/

I’m wondering if there’s any point sending Owens a link so she can read what her new friends are saying about her?

Patricia Kayden
Patricia Kayden
4 years ago

@BreadandCirce,

Agreed. It appears that Ms. Owens is suffering a breakdown of some sort. Not sure why she has become so obsessed with “investigating” Harper and Quinn and making a public spectacle of herself.

Sad.

lamuella
lamuella
4 years ago

Unfortunately it’s a very human tendency. If you do something and people say you’re mistaken, or wrong, there’s a really strong instinct to double down. This is especially the case if the reaction is angry or in an unexpected amount. It’s easy to interpret criticism as an attack.

What separates Candace’s response from that of most reasonable people is what you do next. That first “I’m wrong? Screw you, YOU’RE wrong!” reaction is kneejerk and a result of feeling attacked. However, a reasonable person should at that point examine what’s being said and ask “Have I screwed up? Was I wrong?”. Unfortunately this takes some degree of self examination. It’s much much easier to just let the idea that your opponent is wrong ossify and become fixed, incorporating any new evidence that emerges into an edifice that supports this.

Sad, really.

Lukas Xavier
Lukas Xavier
4 years ago

I wonder how much real life bullying might be a result of a similar effect. I.e. a person does something stupid without really thinking about it, is called out for their stupid behavior, and as a way to shield their ego, concludes that anyone not agreeing with them is evil and don’t deserve to be treated nicely.

The more you mistreat someone, the more they push back (or don’t, showing how, deep down, they know they were in the wrong), thus justifying further mistreatment.

Once you’re on the rollercoaster of confirmation bias, it’s hard to get off.

tricylist
tricylist
4 years ago

@snork maiden

You could try – but she’d almost certainly spin it into a false flag site set up by her enemies.

Skiriki
Skiriki
4 years ago

Never seen this level of ineptitude, digging down, Dunning-Krugerism and bass-ackwardness since my first long-time job’s leadership.

It creates roughly the same amount of distress, except in this case I feel it on behalf of Quinn and Harper than myself.

Imaginary Petal
Imaginary Petal
4 years ago

Even the gamergators at kiwi seem to agree that Candace is being weird and paranoid.

Axecalibur
Axecalibur
4 years ago

What we are scratching at the surface of is a profitable, systematic group that has developed a self-sufficient Eco-system

Are Quinn and Harper space lizard crypto Jews as well!?
http://reactiongifs.me/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/computer-smash-other-guys-Mark-Wahlberg-angry.gif
The internet was a colossal mistake. I’m trying to be a good person about this, but I’m fresh the fuck outta sympathy. Contempt! That’s the word. I contempt her

I need to feel better
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMkC07PmaWA
Gets me every time. RIP headphone users. Cannons, yo!

Wetherby
Wetherby
4 years ago

Unfortunately it’s a very human tendency. If you do something and people say you’re mistaken, or wrong, there’s a really strong instinct to double down. This is especially the case if the reaction is angry or in an unexpected amount. It’s easy to interpret criticism as an attack.

And in a context where bullying is being discussed, it’s particularly hard to have a rational discussion because the person who’s getting things wrong will instinctively characterise themselves as “the victim” and will assume that anyone not unconditionally taking their side is “one of the bullies”. Even though this often isn’t the case – and sometimes very very obviously so at that.

On another forum I frequent, I was on the receiving end of a wonderfully florid rant from another regular poster about my “personal attacks” on him. What hideous crime had I committed? I’d merely raised eyebrows at a conclusion that he’d drawn from what seemed to me to be very shaky evidence, and I’d made no personal comment whatever. But he was so convinced that I was instigating a witch-hunt against him that he reported me to the moderators – who, thankfully, examined the evidence and concluded that I had no case to answer.

(Not long afterwards, the guy was suspended for a week for making what were unarguably personal attacks on somebody else. Obliviousness to irony is another regular symptom of these tendencies.)

the_real_Nick
the_real_Nick
4 years ago

Did Candace Owens just discover the internet?

Imaginary Petal
Imaginary Petal
4 years ago

The Social Autopsy twitter account has just ‘followed’ Mike Cernovich. Yup, seems like she’s getting on the racist gravy train.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
4 years ago

It appears that Ms. Owens is suffering a breakdown of some sort.

No, she’s not. She’s a scammer, just like Cassie Jaye, Owen and Aurini, and she’s overacting to keep herself in the spotlight.

Delphi_ote
Delphi_ote
4 years ago

No, she’s not. She’s a scammer, just like Cassie Jaye, Owen and Aurini, and she’s overacting to keep herself in the spotlight.

She keeps bringing up that she worked in finance. She compares everything to her experiences working in finance. Do we know if she actually worked in finance? What exactly are her credentials in finance? If she didn’t mention it so frequently, I’d just take her word. Still inclined to take her word, but the way she refers to it constantly is just so bizarre.

I’m super suspicious about why she left finance. Given her current erratic behavior, I bet there’s more to that story.

leftwingfox
leftwingfox
4 years ago

I’m super suspicious about why she left finance. Given her current erratic behavior, I bet there’s more to that story.

DexX
4 years ago

She believes herself to be a genius. She honestly thinks she is akin to Woodward and Berstein, uncovering a massive conspiracy through her own brilliant deduction – deduction that nobody else has ever managed to piece together – and sheer guts and dedication. She doesn’t realise that she’s that weird-smelling homeless person, shouting about chemtrails on a busy street corner. If she wasn’t so utterly arrogant, I would pity her.

p.s. She actually backed up one of her claims by linking back to Davis Aurini today. Davis fucking Aurini. Davis “women today are the most decadent sluts since the fall of Rome” Aurini. Davis “not the ‘blacks’; the n—-rs” Aurini. Davis “white nationalist on paper” Aurini. A woman of colour, falling back on the support of a man who hates her, squared.

Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
4 years ago

I can’t tell if her finance skills are so sharp she automatically assumes she’s an expert in other areas, or if her finance skills are so dull she needed to find another way to make money. Either way, I’m just not impressed with her discovery and analysis.

Argle Bargle (formerly Carr)
Argle Bargle (formerly Carr)
4 years ago

Is this lady well? I mean, I don’t think she’s trolling at this point and I’m starting to get worried about her. I really don’t want to sound mean, but she sounds like she could use some therapy. I don’t have a twitter so I’m not sure exactly how the whole thing works, but a rapid succession of paranoid tweets doesn’t exactly seem healthy.

Skiriki
Skiriki
4 years ago

1) Hey it’d be cool if comparisons to homeless people and mentally ill people weren’t made, since they’re kinda against the rules.

2) It is no use to pop over to Twitter and ask her “are you OK”, because when people do that en masse, it is exactly as nasty as sealioning.

3) She’s got problems, no shit, but right now it is the duty of her nearest and dearest to try and deal with it; internet randos do not do any good, if anything, they’ll just reinforce her beliefs.

Margaret Pless
Margaret Pless
4 years ago

Next stop: the inevitable garbage documentary.

banned@4chan.org
banned@4chan.org
4 years ago

I still suspect she’s being taken advantage of by some of the people she’s hired.

Like I said before, if you’re a programmer who’s been hired to create a web platform which targets an “obsolete” form of cyberbullying, it’s easier to just say “Well, the customer is always right,” rather than try to explain how harassment on the web has evolved quickly and jeopardize your own paycheck.

Iseult The Idle
Iseult The Idle
4 years ago

So, if this Ms. Owens is the same one as is mentioned in last week’s NYMag, she’s quite young. She has also arguably been traumatized by some pretty vicious racist bullying, which could very well contribute to her…. less rational reactions.

I, for one, will not be revisiting or commenting on any more stories about this young lady. Everyone has painful lessons to learn, and I just cringe at the thought of some of my painful lessons being played out in public.

Viscaria
Viscaria
4 years ago

She makes several mentions of her journalism degree, and yet she’s shocked to have witnessed unheard-of breaches of journalistic ethics including: 1) being nice to a source when you’re trying to get them to talk to you, but then saying less nice things about them when you write your story, and 2) going out for birthday dinners for 3 whole hours when people are trying to get you to call them.

Zyvlyn
Zyvlyn
4 years ago

@banned

That’s a plausible explanation for how she could devise such a naive and readily corrupted business model, but everything that has happened since then is all on her. I can’t imagine an unscrupulous web designer is the cause of her making her bed with gamergate, the alt right and the conspiracy theorists.

@Iseult

Whoof. Agree with you on your last point. I’m really glad I didn’t have access to a platform like twitter or facebook while I was growing up. There were some hard lessons I learned back then that are hard enough to live down when the only one who remembers them is myself. If some of those episodes were catalogued on the internet forever…? I shudder to think.

That said, Owens is a grown ass woman who should probably have already learned some of these lessons.

ScarlettAthena
ScarlettAthena
4 years ago

Is this all a way to put GamerGate back into the spotlight?

I can’t believe someone who makes the claims Owens does missed all the hoopla last year. It was everywhere for awhile.

I thought GG was pretty much buried by now.

The scammer accusation seems plausible. I mean, when someone has been recognized publicly as a spokesperson for something (like Zoe Quinn at the UN), it seems like it should give one pause. I know I would be re-evaluating my opinions at that point.

karak
karak
4 years ago

What’s so interesting about this is that even if she is right that it still proves she’s staggeringly ignorant and incompetent.

And her constant ego-stroking about how great a writer she is, and how she knows real journalism because she once majored in it (but it doesn’t seem to have gotten her degree in it…)

Just, I try to avoid picking on people for their writing because it can be super ableist/regionalist/racist, but for Chrissakes, you write like an amateur, it’s impossible to suss out the points, it’s boring, and totally erratic and hard to follow. Who graduated you?

leftwingfox
leftwingfox
4 years ago

I have seen this thinking before from plenty of people, so it really doesn’t surprise me. This was, after all, Thunderf00t’s super-villain origin story. That’s Dawkins. It’s what happened to Ophelia Benson.

They have a righteous cause. They fuck up. They get criticized by allies. They double down. The critics become the enemies, and they fall in with the ego-strokers, and take up their cause with the same fervor.

This is why I think Gamergate is best understood as a tantrum towards criticism. How dare you call the game I like sexist. How dare you call my buddy racist. How dare you score this game I hate highly, or this game I love with a low score. How dare you call me part of a hate mob because someone else threatened to murder you for your opinion. It’s a giant cloud of whining providing cover to the monsters at it’s core.

Harper and Quinn criticized her openly. The #gamergaters stroked her ego publicly even while they were attacking her anonymously. Facts are hard, and feelings are easy.

leftwingfox
leftwingfox
4 years ago

David: I do! I also remember the gamer gate manifesto (Your post on which is the top hit in google, congratulations!), and the demands for reviewers to be fans of the genres they review.

But also I see the inevitable comment rage at the Jimquisition. Jim Sterling is constantly called out whenever his number for a game is different than what it “should be”. It’s amazing how many people will disagree with a game score by calling him a “cuck” or an “sjw”, even if there’s not a single social issue called out in the review.

Julien Ruthers
4 years ago

She may be bi polar. That can make one very paranoid and delusional.
Some how it reminds me of this artist.

http://disinfo.com/2015/10/mark-lombardi-art-and-conspiracy/

Frantic Caps
Frantic Caps
4 years ago

Hey it’d be cool if comparisons to homeless people and mentally ill people weren’t made, since they’re kinda against the rules.

Seconding this; internet diagnoses are not ok. If you really can’t contain the urge to speculate about Candace Owens’ mental state then you can go and do it pretty much literally anywhere else on the internet. It’s not tolerated in this comments section.

Mels
Mels
4 years ago

She may be bi polar. That can make one very paranoid and delusional.

Can we not.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
4 years ago

I will personally call the UN tomorrow and get in touch with the right person. This is sick. https://t.co/i5K6Frr7mW

Delusions of grandeur there. I guarantee she got nobody at the UN behind the Public Inquiries team, because they don’t care who she is or what her opinions might be.

I have to admit that I’m curious about the mentions conspiracy. Has she explained it anywhere?

Also: I’m sure Zoe Quinn is going to strongly reconsider any future urge to help out an anti-harassment newbie, and that fact makes me very sad. 🙁

Speaking of which:

I, for one, will not be revisiting or commenting on any more stories about this young lady. Everyone has painful lessons to learn, and I just cringe at the thought of some of my painful lessons being played out in public.

If you organized a harassment campaign against someone who had already been the target of a harassment campaign, and who initially reached out to you in compassion, then maybe your “painful lessons” should be played out in public. Because Owens is not the only victim here, or the most important by far. Drawing a discreet veil over her actions does not magically erase the harassment she is causing Zoe Quinn to suffer. All it erases is your unease at knowing that it’s happening. Your unease is not the important thing about this train wreck.

katz
4 years ago

We seriously need to crack down on the “she’s crazy.” I don’t care if it’s just a sneaky “she needs to see a doctor” or “well, I’m not going to comment on her mental health, but…” or whatever. It’s obvious to everyone what you’re trying to say and you need to not say it.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
4 years ago

Would it be overstepping the line to ask David to not let through any first posts calling Owens “Crazy,” “Bipolar,” “NPD” etc? I mean, even aside from how offensive and irrelevant it is, they simply don’t give a shit about the rules (no, I won’t take “But they didn’t know” as an excuse – there’s a HUGE YELLOW BOX smack in the middle of the reply section!).

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
4 years ago

Would it be overstepping the line to ask David to not let through any first posts calling Owens “Crazy,” “Bipolar,” “NPD” etc?

I’m willing to overstep that line and ask for that.

Her Grace Phryne Purriosa Fisher
Her Grace Phryne Purriosa Fisher
4 years ago

On the one hand, she made the choice to make this all public. On the other, her naivete and whatever else she’s got going on means she may not understand HOW public this has gotten. So I’m conflicted, and a little worried, and I hope that people that are close to her are aware of what’s going on.

Orion
Orion
4 years ago

I have to admit that I’m curious about the mentions conspiracy. Has she explained it anywhere?

I assumed it was just “people who disagree with me talked about me to other people who disagree with me.” Is there more to it?

ColeYote
ColeYote
4 years ago

And every single threat that we received had the word “game” in it’s address. For example:

… Yes, because that’s the interesting part of “gamedeveloperyal@animalfetishporn.us

Ray of Rays
Ray of Rays
4 years ago

It’s, um…not too self-aggrandizing to apologize for my comment earlier, is it? In retrospect, you’re all right, it was totally not okay of me to compare her to a mentally ill person I met once.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
4 years ago

@Ray of Rays

An apology is actually a great start and I appreciate you offering it. I just hope you understand why those sorts of comparisons are damaging.

We all make mistakes, and owning up to having made one makes you a better person than most.

katz
4 years ago

It’s, um…not too self-aggrandizing to apologize for my comment earlier, is it? In retrospect, you’re all right, it was totally not okay of me to compare her to a mentally ill person I met once.

I super appreciate it, actually.

Ray of Rays
Ray of Rays
4 years ago

An apology is actually a great start and I appreciate you offering it. I just hope you understand why those sorts of comparisons are damaging.

I do. Speculating on the mental state of someone (both in general, and especially someone unknown to me) is rude and horribly dismissive towards the one in question, helps stigmatize those with legitimate mental illness, and is utterly unnecessary to boot.

Ashamed that didn’t occur to me last night while I was reading and writing it. >_>

Ben
Ben
4 years ago

PoM & Orion:

From the various ways that she’s phrased it, the conspiracy of mentions lies somewhere between “those mentions are a ready-made list of my enemies” and “Twitter accounts that mention, retweet, or follow each other are all sock puppets of a single user.” Considering the relative newness of the concept of “sock puppets” to Owens, I’m increasingly sure that it’s the latter. Owens is confusing communities of like-minded individuals, organized around popular figures, for networks of sock puppets controlled by her enemies. It’s almost Nixonian.

Imaginary Petal
Imaginary Petal
4 years ago

@Ray of Rays

You handled that very well. 🙂

whatalineup
whatalineup
4 years ago

@snork maiden Kiwi Farms isn’t GG. The “official home of GamerGate” tag is tongue in cheek. They’re more like SomethingAwful-lite, in that their interest is to watch all the the cringe happen.

banned@4chan.org
banned@4chan.org
4 years ago

@Ray of Rays

It’s okay, I had to have almost this exact conversation my first time posting too.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
4 years ago

@Ray of Rays

Thankyou. =) Apologies if I sounded snippy before – we have this conversation a lot and I get a bit worn out by it all.

rachel mentik
rachel mentik
4 years ago

she was an assistant in finance and the most overreactive bully ever. it’s laughable that she even had the idea to stop bullying with this crap idea, not to mention entirely hypocritical.

brady
brady
4 years ago

Snakes to the left of me, jokers to the right.