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Racists, trolls and idiots launch Twitter campaign to smear John Oliver as racist

John Oliver’s campaign for Net Neutrality is facing some interference

HAPPY UPDATE: Looks like this little bit of hashtag activism despicable trollish smearing has collapsed; the hashtag is pretty much dead as of now. (5/11/17, noonish Chicago time)

On last Sunday’s episode of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight,” John Oliver once again rallied his fans to stand up for Net Neutrality, now under threat from the Trump administration, urging them to visit Gofccyourself.com, a site that links directly to the FCC page for public comment on the proposed change.

And so some of the worst people on the Internet have launched a new Twitter campaign to smear Oliver as racist — and get him fired. 

“Er, what?” you might be wondering.

Well, it turns out that Trump’s newly appointed FCC head is of Indian descent. And the FCC site has been hit with a flood of racist comments attacking him.

The Washington Free Beacon, a right-wing rag the Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf once described as a “decadent and unethical” part of the “ascendant ‘smear wing’ of the conservative movement” has decided that Oliver is personally to blame.

John Oliver’s “grassroots” activism against Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai is full of bot accounts, fake comments, and death threats against the chairman. ….

However, an analysis of comments to Pai’s Restoring Internet Freedom filing, which Oliver has dubbed “Go FCC yourself,” shows thousands of comments using fake names and bots posing as “Jesus Christ,” “Michael Jackson,” “Homer Simpson,” and “Melania Trump.”

For instance, as of Tuesday evening, there were 1,761 comments filed under the name “John Oliver,” 998 separate comments using the name “Yoni Schwartz,” and 611 comments filed using “1” as the name. …

Pai also received death threats in several submissions. …

Other comments used racial attacks against Pai, the son of Indian immigrants.

Now some of the Internet’s worst people have seized upon this article (and a similar one in the right-wing Daily Caller) as an excuse to attack Oliver as the supposed instigator of this racist harassment campaign against Pai.

https://twitter.com/GasJaredKushner/status/862449448017952768

https://twitter.com/JimMcNulty8/status/862446902398332928

https://twitter.com/uliw315/status/862396353426731008

https://twitter.com/DeplorableSammm/status/862389346816720897

https://twitter.com/RosalynJBurgess/status/862390076596248576

https://twitter.com/dreamedofdust/status/862385631141539841

https://twitter.com/DeportSJWs/status/862386470509658112

I guess staying on message is harder than it seems.

Alongside all the Pepes and Deplorables, the hashtag is currently being spammed by dozens (hundreds?) of egg accounts all tweeting the same thing; it’s not clear who’s responsible for this.

The instigator and main organizer of the Twitter campaign? Alt-right “journalist” and infamous internet troll Jack Posobiec.

https://twitter.com/JackPosobiec/status/862370548063633416

https://twitter.com/JackPosobiec/status/862400904523374592

https://twitter.com/PutinsHacker/status/862404791003222016

https://twitter.com/Nik_Kirtane/status/862392588304777216

That last accusation from Posobiec — that Oliver was “making fun of the way foreigners talk” — is especially pungent bullshit, by the way. In the video that Posobiec links to in his Tweet as evidence, Oliver gently chides some of India’s more sensationalistic cable news channels, not by mocking how anyone talks but by pointing out the the ways in which they resemble Fox News. One of the channels he mocks? CNN India, for a misleading headline.

Posobiec, who works for Canada’s Rebel Media, was recently granted a White House press pass. Because that’s the kind of world we live in today.

Now, there are just a few teensy problems with the #FireOliver campaign.

John Oliver is not actually racist. He said nothing even vaguely racist in his Net Neutrality segment on Sunday, nor did he in any way encourage his viewers to launch racist attacks, or even personal attacks, on Pai.

There is absolutely no proof that Oliver has any connection to the troll accounts or the hate campaign, nor does he have any history of using trolls or bots. 

You know who DOES have a history positively overflowing with trolls and bots?

Jack Posobiec.

You remember the massive leak of hacked emails from the campaign of current French President-elect Emmanuel Macron? Posobiec was the key person responsible for spreading the hacked data on social media in the West.

Sandy Garossino, writing in Canada’s National Observer, notes that Posobiec has been identified by cyber-security experts

as the origin of the first tweet linking a massive cache of Russian-hacked documents dumped onto the conspiracy website 4chan. He attached the hashtag #MacronLeaks. …

The #MacronLeaks hashtag, from the moment Posobiec tweeted it, was the primary social media propellant of the hacked Macron data, according to cyber-intelligence analysts at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensics Research Lab. They also concluded that bots played a significant role from the outset. Some 40 minutes later, Wikileaks tweeted the link with Posobiec’s hashtag, and the Internet erupted.

The appearance of bot activity, observed independently by both the DFRL and Belgian academic Nicolas Vanderbiest, from the first minutes after Posobiec’s tweet, strongly suggests a planned and coordinated campaign.

(For what it’s worth, Posobiec says he had nothing to do with the bots.)

As Garossino goes on to point out, Posobiec was also heavily involved in promoting the #Pizzagate nonsense as well as on last month’s #SyriaHoax campaign. Working alongside internet troll and steroid enthusiast Mike Cernovich, Posobiec helped to promote the

Russian-led social media propaganda campaign that claimed footage of children dying from Assad’s chemical weapons was a hoax.

Analysts expert in propaganda and social media at the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism at The Hague identified the #SyriaHoax as “a clear example of a Russian influence campaign designed to undermine US credibility.”

Both [Posobiec and Cernovich] picked up the hashtag early and propelled it through U.S. social media … .

You may also recall the “Rape Melania”sign that appeared at an anti-Trump rally last year. Though most assumed it was the work of anti-Trump protesters, Buzzfeed later uncovered text messages proving that the sign was in fact the work of, yes, Posobiec, who was attempting to make Trump’s opponents look bad

Huh. That sounds … familiar, huh?

Oh, and one other thing about the supposed pot by Oliver to bombard FCC boss Pai with racist comments and threats: Not only is there no evidence for it, but the very idea makes no sense. Why would Oliver, whose last campaign to protect Net Neutrality was a notable success, decide this time to launch a racist harassment campaign that would only serve to make him and other supporters of Net Neutrality look bad?

And while I’m playing Colombo here, there’s one more thing about the FCC thing that seems a bit off: The FCC says that on Sunday night, the night Oliver’s show aired, it was hit with distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks intended to overload the FCC’s comment system.

The Washington Free Beacon story seems to insinuate that Oliver was behind these as well. This of course would be absurd. Oliver’s campaign depends on people being able to reach the FCC site so they can leave comments there. Why would he launch a DDoS attack that could knock the site offline, or at least make it harder to reach?

My guess is that whoever is behind the harassment campaign is also behind the DDoS attack. And that it’s not Oliver.

So is Posobiec the secret mastermind behind the harassment campaign? There’s no evidence — at least none that I know of — for this. But he’s certainly working overtime trying to blame Oliver for it, and spreading demonstrable lies about Oliver in the process.

I guess this is just what right-wing “journalism” looks like in the age of Trump.

EDITED TO ADD: I added the stuff about Posobiec and the infamous “Rape Melania” sign after being reminded of the incident by @EyesOnTheRight.

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dreemr
dreemr
3 years ago

If you’d brought this to me hours ago, I’d have been right on it

If you’d been upfront about why you were here, we would have.

PeeVee the (Timber-Rattling Booger Slut, But Noice) Sarcastic
PeeVee the (Timber-Rattling Booger Slut, But Noice) Sarcastic
3 years ago

Anyone else here reminded of MRAL or Brandon?

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
3 years ago

Haven’t finished perusing the Reddit (I think someone’s confused the red pill group with the totally different source on the movie) but you’re wrong. I don’t need to know about Karen to know that Weir is lying about my position.

You’re cheerleading for a rape apologist. You don’t get to criticize Salon for one of their writers being a rape apologist that one time and in the same breath cheer for GWW. David isn’t relying on a rape apologist – he linked to a site that once ran a review that contained rape apology. You are relying in a rape apologist. This is a case of plank-in-your-own-eye.

I’ve been up front that I’ve read very little of Karen’s stuff, that I was still looking into it.

Then this is a teachable moment for you. Don’t hero-worship people you know nothing about. This is especially true if they are MRAs, MGTOWs, TRPers, or adjacents, because 100% of those people are misogynist at best, and pro-rape at worst.

If you’d brought this to me hours ago, I’d have been right on it, but after wearing me down, I’m going at it, but unenthusiastically.

Hours ago I was at work making a living. My job does not involve doing your homework for you. That’s actually not anyone’s job but your own.

Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
3 years ago

Noisy troll is noisy.

PeeVee the (Timber-Rattling Booger Slut, But Noice) Sarcastic
PeeVee the (Timber-Rattling Booger Slut, But Noice) Sarcastic
3 years ago

Jesus Christ, GWW is Karen Straughan; her blog is known as Girl Writes What.

PeeVee the (Timber-Rattling Booger Slut, But Noice) Sarcastic
PeeVee the (Timber-Rattling Booger Slut, But Noice) Sarcastic
3 years ago

I’m pretty sure that not one fuck will be given, David.

Hasta le toodles.

dreemr
dreemr
3 years ago

Thanks, David.

I’m all for giving people a chance. but sheesh. That one squandered all the good will in about 30 seconds flat.

Troubelle: Moonbeam Malcontent + Bard of the New Movement
Troubelle: Moonbeam Malcontent + Bard of the New Movement
3 years ago

@PeeVee

Hasta le toodles.

*steals for later use*

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

weir trying to molest my inner child.

Weir’s virtual molestation of me.

comment image

This is quite the meltdown.

As for the spanking thing, there are plenty of contexts in which using “spank” to convey winning an argument is appropriate. A conversation about rape, sexual abuse and misogyny is not one of those times. As spanking quite often has sexual connotations. You’re not bantering among friends here. There were plenty of ways you could have said that you believe you’ve bested us that don’t have associations with sex and sexual harassment.

ETA: Ninja’d by the inevitable banhammer

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
3 years ago

Nope. No cheerleading. I said I liked what I’ve seen of her. That’s not cheerleading. Cheerleading would be me trying to get others to see her.

Looks like cheerleading to me, but use a different word if “cheerlead” gives you a sad. You’re pro-GWW and GWW is a rape apologist. So you must be okay with that? That’s WWTH’s conclusion, and it’s a reasonable one. If you don’t like that conclusion, it’s up to you to say that you’re actually not pro-GWW anymore and you think she’s kind of shit.

Who the fuck is GWW?

The person you love so fucking hard.

I still haven’t taken as much time as you did to indicate any interest in looking up my facts.

Is English a second or third language for you? I’ll cut you some slack for this making zero sense if that’s the case.

It’s why I came here, and it’s why I’ll eventually check out the vid, when I detox from Weir’s virtual molestation of me.

What vid? It’s a Reddit AMA. Jesus christ, you’re lazy as fuck. Not only didn’t you click the link, you didn’t even LOOK at the link.

You’re also trivializing molestation, so it’s becoming clear why you’re fine with GWW’s trivialization of rape.

DO I understand correctly that no one here has a problem with anything that Faludi said in “Stiffed”? Because it was the hate-storm on that that put me off the movement in the 1990s.

I don’t do non-sequiturs. I value my own time and don’t waste it trying to figure out wtf some random on the Internet is talking about. I haven’t read Stiffed so I can’t speak to what’s in it.

ETA: hooray for the ban

PeeVee the (Timber-Rattling Booger Slut, But Noice) Sarcastic
PeeVee the (Timber-Rattling Booger Slut, But Noice) Sarcastic
3 years ago

Troubelle, it’s freely given, darlin’.

Bina
3 years ago

Oh gee, I missed the trollish fun.

(shrugs)

Meh. Over it already.

Troubelle: Moonbeam Malcontent + Bard of the New Movement
Troubelle: Moonbeam Malcontent + Bard of the New Movement
3 years ago

@PeeVee

Thanks for the blessing.

Collateral Thought
Collateral Thought
3 years ago

Petra here is pretty annoying. I hope no one minds that I just banned her.

Thank you, David.

Part of me wanted to engage and help the general effort to point out her inconsistency and disingenuousness and manipulation and hypocrisy, but most of me just wanted her to shut the fuck up and/or go away.

That was a good troll, though. Gotta give credit where it’s due. She put some real effort into continually moving the goalposts, trying to recontextualize previous statements with imagined insights never actually shared, and shifting the burden of proof. And the martyrdom was just sublime, even if it was blatant emotional manipulation and deflection.

She was one of the more effective trolls I’ve seen in a while, which is to say that I hope never to hear from her again.

Gaebolga
Gaebolga
3 years ago

Petra wrote:

You’d understood if you thought I was human.

No, we’d understand if you learned how to fucking communicate. We can’t read what passes for your mind, and we don’t know what you know. Assuming you’re not being intentionally obtuse and obscure – which at this point is a giant assumption I’m only willing to make hypothetically – you need to explain what the hell youre talking about and link to the sources you reference. Either that, or you need to stop assuming anyone will understand anything you’re trying to say.

I sure as hell don’t, and I’ve been teaching college-level writing courses for more than 15 years, so I’ve seen some pretty incomprehensible writing.

Yours is such total crap, I find it very hard to believe you’re not doing it intentionally.

Collateral Thought
Collateral Thought
3 years ago

Yours is such total crap, I find it very hard to believe you’re not doing it intentionally.

I am quite certain it was intentional.

OK, the tactics used by this troll are actually interesting to me. Sorry to anyone who doesn’t want to live through all of that again – please feel free to skip all of this. My feelings won’t be hurt. 😉

***

This won’t be brief. Again, apologies.

Petra’s first post was a bizarre hypothetical intended to confuse and provoke. It was clearly also an attempt to create a wedge issue (or two) to get community members arguing among themselves. Petra hadn’t read enough of this site’s articles and discussions though to realize this was doomed to fail.

Petra’s second post was more or less an admission where she stood:

The far right is mastering the tools of the anti-1st amendment wing of the left. Eventually, they will start using Title 9 to shut down safe spaces and other 1st amendment suppresants. Someone will figure out that V-day is “cultural appropriation” of Valentine’s day. lesbian domestic abuse victims will actually get protection, as cops stop being as useless as a white knight in a catfight; Lesbians who abuse their lovers will actually do time. All your worst nightmares are about to begin. Muahahaha.

That’s not something said by an ally, or someone who’s looking for a stimulating exchange of ideas.

Most of the responses were jokes about “all your worst nightmares” (which is not, as noted previously, an Andre the Giant quote). Alan asked for more information about the Salon article, which had of course been left unsourced. Leftwing noted that Trump isn’t generally called “bossy”, so the bizarre hypothetical in Petra’s first post didn’t actually prove anything.

Then Petra replied to Leftwing with a lazy half-assed Google search result showing that the words “bossy” and “Trump” could be found together. Amusingly, none of the hits actually showed people labeling Trump as bossy; this was a lazy deflection intended to do nothing but muddy the waters.

Petra then scolded some imaginary interlocutors for not being understanding enough about what some hypothetical trans people would feel about a new hypothetical example. She cited “13 transpersons in my acquaintance” in an attempt to gain moral authority on this topic.

Many posters rightly pointed out that Petra’s assumptions about this community were unfounded, and that her imaginary interlocutors who would be transphobic in that hypothetical situation were not actually real people engaged in this discussion.

In another blatant effort to confuse the issues, Petra then went on to attack some imaginary attackers again:

most who have responding are saying shit like this, much to my disappointment. Maybe you could exaplain to them how they are tying themselves in knots over nothing

I also know how groupthink and loyalty makes it too painful for you to signal to allies when they are making fools of themselves.

Now, at this point, I was wondering if Petra just had a problem with reading comprehension. I mean, it’s conceivable that she badly misunderstood basically everything people were saying to her, because she came in with some preconceptions that were filtering her experiences and preventing her from self-correcting.

This is where it gets… interesting, in a rhetorical sense anyhow.

To make the blanket statement that I, or any of the commenters here, do not care about men or boys by mere virtue of being on this particular blog is absurd to the point of laughable

I’m glad my pain amuses you. I’d rather make you laugh than make you hate me.

This is the first time Petra mentioned this pain. Note how she uses it to deflect a valid comment about Petra’s judgment of this community. Note also that she accuses dreemr of being amused by this pain, which had never been mentioned in the discussion to this point, and which dreemr absolutely didn’t do.

It was at this point that I started to feel more certain that Petra was being disingenuous and manipulative. Though, to be fair, maybe she previously mentioned this pain in another thread. I wasn’t about to go hunting to find out though. Regardless, dreemr’s comment had nothing to do with Petra’s pain, and Petra’s reply was deeply suspicious.

we can only assume you are either lost or trolling.

A little of both, and more of something else entirely. Who here isn’t lost and trolling to some extent?

RED FLAG. RED FLAG.

Most posters here are neither lost (in the sense that they are here for a reason and know where they are) nor trolling. Trolling has a specific meaning; it’s not just being contrarian, or an asshole, but rather being disingenuous in the hopes of provoking a negative emotional response. Trolls fuck with people deliberately and try to get people to engage with them, so they can frustrate those people

With this new context, it became clear that Petra wasn’t remotely sincere.

“so say we all.” I hope your evident care for the males in your life does more care than your conviction that all that ails them can be described as “toxic masculinity.” I’m sure that there were good doctors that cared about women, but thought they had to be bled or cured of “hysteria.”

Ahhhh now come the strawmen.

LindsayIrene noted that Petra’s posts use tortured logic and continual deflection, which makes it hard to engage Petra on any one point. Petra’s response was classic trolling:

Yes, I’m a big one-person conspiracy. Of course, my disorganized approach can’t possibly have anything to do with the fact that I’m getting pelted by a dozen different people trying to fit me into some box, or to pretend that I’m some other person you know under a different name. (Nope, last night was my first time here).

Here we have a nice strawman (that LindsayIrene was talking about conspiracies) along with some emotional deflection and martyrdom. “Oh, woe is me! I’m just trying to have a rational discussion about why you hate sealions, and you’re all being so insufferably rude!” (Apologies to Wondermark for the paraphrase)

I’m almost done. I promise!

Petra FINALLY mentions what the Salon reference was about wayyyyy back in her first post, but she doesn’t provide a link, of course. Got to make everyone else work for it, after all.

I suspect that some of you do harbor principles, and I’m fishing for people who would read the article and denounce it to Salon.

No. Petra was fishing for people who would take the bait and engage her about whatever she’s talking about in the moment, so she can then move the goalposts or try to trip them up.

If she genuinely just wanted to see if people agreed with that article or not, she would have just posted the damned link from the start, with an open question about it. That’s not what she did though; not in the slightest.

OK, last Petra post.

dreemr, I haven’t accused you of anything other than being mistaken about what ails your boys. I used to use terms like “toxic masculinity” too. The MRAs blame feminism, but the problem goes deeper than that. If you ever realize that you’ve misunderstood me, I’d be happy to discuss it with you.

There is no doubt what’s happening here; this is masterful trolling.

Note how she claims “the problem goes deeper than that” while rejecting the strawman she’s projecting onto dreemr, but never actually talks about what “the problem” really consists of. It’s all implications and hints of superior insight, with literally nothing to back them up.

And then that last sentence… wow.

If you ever realize that you’ve misunderstood me, I’d be happy to discuss it with you.

No, you were understood quite well, Petra.

We see you.

***

Anyhow, again, sorry for the length of that missive. I just find it fascinating to see how someone could so masterfully troll. I mean, I despise the thought process, but admire the skill and tactics in the abstract.

dreemr
dreemr
3 years ago

@Collateral Thought

No apology necessary, to me, at least. I thoroughly enjoyed that analysis. I had noticed bits and pieces of it, but I appreciate it all being put together into a cohesive whole.

And, as you say, credit where it’s due: it was some pretty good trolling. The reason I found it better than some others was because it teetered pretty well along an edge between being allied with our general ideas and being directly opposed to them, which was kind of fascinating. The idea that kept popping into my mind was “A person could get whiplash going from such extremes so quickly!”

To be fair, I am lumping in some posts from a different thread, where the troll got more involved in accusing us of condoning male sexual assault.

Anyway, a splendid take-down, thank you.

ETA: and actually, they hadn’t even accused me of being mistaken about “what ails [my] boys” either, though they may have been thinking about it. 🙂 They did, however, accuse me of treating them disdainfully, of hating them, blah blah blah, of being demoralized by them.

Bina
3 years ago

@Collateral Thought:

Applause and thanks for the Reader’s Digest Condensed Version of the Book of Petrollia Pumpkinpuker. I now feel fully up to speed after having missed all that.

PeeVee the (Timber-Rattling Booger Slut, But Noice) Sarcastic
PeeVee the (Timber-Rattling Booger Slut, But Noice) Sarcastic
3 years ago

Collateral Thought,

comment image

Nicely done.

Faerie Bard
Faerie Bard
3 years ago

Well, that ended well…

Silly me thought it wasn’t necessary to add: The regulars also seem to know each other pretty well, so making up bullshit and tossing names around in a lame attempt to get them to attack each other won’t work. Also, they eat trolls for breakfast, which can be very entertaining.

Feline
Feline
3 years ago

@Collateral Thought:

OK, the tactics used by this troll are actually interesting to me.

Quite old-school, I’d say. Given how the term “troll” has morphed since the olden days, it is a bit nice to see that some idiots keep to the old ways. Mostly annoying though.
This sort of alternating antagonism and acting at solicitousness, slipperiness, claims of martyrdom, moving goalposts and leaps of illogic is the sort of thing that can keep an unfocused group without a sense of community or active moderation going for ages, especially when one can play members of the group against one another. The balkanization of the internet has made these tactics much less useful for people doing old-school trolling these days, and thus we have far fewer people doing it, instead doing the petulant teen thing that’s so popular among channers and other rank incompetents.

Collateral Thought
Collateral Thought
3 years ago

Bah. Upon re-reading my post above, I wish I’d added a bit more detail about Petra’s first post at the beginning. There was a lot to unpack there and I didn’t cover it all, or provide enough context to anyone who didn’t read and remember the original.

Ah well.

@ Feline:

Yeah. I’ve seen trolls less skilled than Petra cause some serious flailing and infighting in other communities. While I grew increasingly frustrated with her posting as I read more of it, I remained content that nobody was tricked. I mean, several people took Petra at face value and tried to engage constructively, which isn’t a failing in any sense (nor is it being tricked; it’s showing compassion and tolerance). But nobody fell for Petra’s rhetorical traps or attempts to drive wedges on issues of trans respect or male rape or toxic masculinity.

dreemr
dreemr
3 years ago

Some days I have a higher tolerance for trolls than others. On the days I don’t, I just don’t say anything. But I don’t do battle as often as some others, so sometimes going at face value is a luxury I can afford.

Collateral Thought
Collateral Thought
3 years ago

@ dreemr:

That’s very well put.

I feel similarly, and I’m often coming from an angrier and more bitter viewpoint than I’d like, which flavors how I interact with hostile viewpoints.

On some days I just can’t bring myself to try to engage with someone that I think is trolling using anything but withering scorn. I often wish to try to have a real conversation, and see if perhaps I was mistaken or they were miscommunicating, but… that takes a lot of energy and emotional fortitude for me. That’s why I wasn’t even going to comment at all to or about Petra; I didn’t feel that I could afford that luxury today. Once she was banned, it was a different matter to just express my reactions to and analysis of her trolling than it would have been to engage with her directly.

guest
guest
3 years ago

‘Because it was the hate-storm on that [Stiffed] that put me off the movement in the 1990s.’

Just to say, for those of you who haven’t read it, that Stiffed, like all of Faludi’s work, is a compassionate and insightful exploration of gender relations. I don’t know if she was the first to describe it, or remember if she actually used the expression, but it’s a consideration of the causes and effects of ‘toxic masculinity’. She starts by suggesting that ‘masculinity’ and ‘femininity’ are two different approaches to the same task–protecting and nurturing children. She goes on to argue that the value of actual ‘masculinity’ has changed, in our current economic environment, into what we’d now call ‘toxic masculinity’, and describes the effect of this change using case studies of men in various life circumstances; all heartbreaking stories of men attempting to ‘be men’ as best they can, in situations that are destroying them.

EJ (Marxist Jazz Weasel)

That’s a very interesting analysis. Thanks, Collateral Thought.

It’s interesting to note that the person who got it right was Imaginary Petal, in that they called for a ban very early on. At the time it could have been seen as unjustified hostility, but in retrospect it seems not only entirely justified, but as the smartest response.

However, there’s another aspect to it. Remember that the internet is predominantly not an interactive medium: the overwhelming majority of people who view this comments section will never post in it. As such, we’re not just writing for Petra or for one another, but for them.

Someone watching the last twenty-four hours from outside would have seen a group of feminists leaping to engage with someone, answering her points in good faith, trying to educate her and otherwise responding as kindly and compassionately as could be expected. If that watcher had little experience of kindness and compassion in their lives – as so many haven’t – then they might start thinking “I want to hang around feminists, they’re cool people”; or even “I want to be a feminist, they’re cool people.”

This matters, and this is one reason why having a community diverse enough to include people like dreemr as well as more badass people, is a great thing.

Collateral Thought
Collateral Thought
3 years ago

@ guest:

I’ve not read Stiffed but will add it to my list on your recommendation.

@ EJ:

You’re quite right. There’s a lot to be said in favor of having people in a community who approach seemingly-toxic strangers with an open mind, and courtesy, and tolerance, and respect. I always admire those who are able to do so, especially given I have often wanted to do so but not found myself able to. My training and predilections often lead me more towards troll-slaying than possible-ally-engaging I fear. I’m glad there are others better suited to the latter here.

And I also strongly agree that we’re not just writing to or for each other, but for a silent audience who might never engage. I visited this site for several years before deciding to post quite recently. I’m sure many others are the same way… only, you know, smarter and better-looking and nicer and less privileged and so on. /selfdeprecation 😛

opposablethumbs
opposablethumbs
3 years ago

I think the community dealt well with a bad-faith interlocutor. A troll who leaves firm, well-defined turds in only a few places is easier to track and deal with than one like this, who leaves liquid diarrhoea everywhere.

Chapeau to Collateral Thought for, well, everything on this page! And to all who engaged, across the whole gamut from courtesy to chucking-out time.

opposablethumbs
opposablethumbs
3 years ago

PS Anyone heard from Scildfreja at all? I hope xie is well (general <3 and awed chapeaux to Scildfreja)

Pie
Pie
3 years ago

@PeeVee

Anyone else here reminded of MRAL or Brandon?

Well, I can tell you that when I read this charming little bit of prose,

you sadistic child-eating pimp.

I could have sworn I detected the delicate aroma of barbequeued seagull…

dreemr
dreemr
3 years ago

@opposablethumbs – I asked about Scild a couple of weeks ago, too, but she hasn’t been heard from lately. I, too, hope everything is going swimmingly for her and that she’s just very busy.

@guest – thank you for the mini-review of Stiffed. I have read some excerpts but not the entire book.

@EJ & Collateral Thought – Agreed re: non-commenting readers and what they see here. I also want to note that I do not have the same talents for troll-slaying as I admire in others here, and I appreciate how they call it out (yes, even when it’s me, although it takes me a day or two to get over it). I learn a lot from the approaches others take.

My skills for scorn usually amount to “Oh yeah?!!! SEZ YOU!!”

Rhuu
Rhuu
3 years ago

Re: engaging with someone for the benefit of others reading:

That’s why the ‘don’t feed the trolls’ mantra always feels off to me. Sure, they get a reaction. I guess that is what they wanted, so in that sense we ‘lose’. But everyone reading and not commenting sees that the commenters will engage with people who haven’t posted before, even of their first posts aren’t perfect.

They see the commenters pushing back against false assumptions, with sourced arguments.

They see that it takes a while for the banhammer to fall, that people are given answers to questions and explanations about assumptions that are wrong.

I hope that allows lurkers to post, when they feel like they want to. Please do, the conversation is strengthened with more voices.

I read pretty much all the comments, though i don’t post too often.

@petra, if you’re still reading, all of this happened to you. You came in with ideas, which people explained were false, and then gave you reasons why.

Please consider why you were banned. (Goalpost moving, not providing information and then being angry that we didn’t know it, etc) If you aren’t a troll, though you did say that you were trolling earlier, then reflect on how you acted that made you come across as such.

I would recommend reading Collateral Thought’s excellent recap of the interaction, perhaps after you’ve had a chance to put some distance between yourself and this. That is how it looked to people who weren’t in your head.

If you are a troll, good job at least being a memorable one.

guest
guest
3 years ago

Re Stiffed–it’s been probably pushing two decades since I read it; I hope it’s aged well. I do remember it pretty clearly though because I mentioned her take on space travel when I was on a panel at a sf convention and people completely flipped out (if you were there and remember that then you know who I am :)).

PeeVee the (Timber-Rattling Booger Slut, But Noice) Sarcastic
PeeVee the (Timber-Rattling Booger Slut, But Noice) Sarcastic
3 years ago

@Pie,

Yeah, I noticed that, too.

I was speaking more of the “say something intended to be imflammatory, explain with more imflammatory rhetoric, give a personal (painful) anecdote, receive sympathy, go back to posting imflammatory insults against the community, and then expect that anecdote to erase all of the shit they’ve previously posted and wonder why empathy is finite” type of shit that was so glaring of, say, MRAL’s style.

Along with the “why are you guys so MEAN to me??” nonsense.

I wonder if David could shed more light whether this was a brand new troll, or a returning guest?

ETA: I hope Scild is okay, too. She would have shredded Petra, in the most kindly way possible.

In any case, glad Petra is gone.

Croquembouche, poorly-dressed vandal
Croquembouche, poorly-dressed vandal
3 years ago

I’d like to add my thanks to Collateral Thought for their excellent summary of Petra’s posting behavior, and to everyone else who has joined in the (far more interesting and worthwhile than Petra’s posts) meta conversation about engagement with trolls, benefits and drawbacks thereof.

One benefit I would like to further highlight, especially to the lurkers and infrequent commenters here, is the learning opportunities we all get in pattern recognition when a new ‘nym tapdances in, whistling an old tune, and commenters name that tune.

When commenters here name that tune, they flag it to other people as both a non valid argument which they might want to be aware of while listening to others, and a technique that is eschewed by intellectually honest folk.

I really hope Petra is still reading this thread despite no longer being able to speak on it. An honest person who was trying to have a sincere discussion would be doing that.
They would be reading and evaluating the many other contributions to the discussion, rather than just stating their case and labelling the commenters they did skim with a variety of slurs.

I also miss Scildfreya so so so much. Kupo too.

PeeVee the (Timber-Rattling Booger Slut, But Noice) Sarcastic
PeeVee the (Timber-Rattling Booger Slut, But Noice) Sarcastic
3 years ago

Oh, Kupo! Where did Kupo go??

GrumpyOld SocialJusticeMangina
GrumpyOld SocialJusticeMangina
3 years ago

I have been reading and commentring on WHTM for about 3 years, and I have NEVER heard anyone here condone the sexual abuse of men and boys or even try to dismiss or deflect about it. As a man who has faced the threat of prison rape for 18 months — which turned out to be less of a threat than I had thought it was in my particular slammer, but you hear the stories and only after a while get a feel for what really goes on — I certainly would notice it if it existed here. I suppose there are occasional people in the world who call themselves feminists who have a cavalier attitude on the subject, but I have never encountered them. In general, feminists are a HUGE amount better on this subject than manospherians, who whine about the subject but never do anything concrete to help the victims. Therefore, when someone comes here accusing this community of condoning rape of men and boys, it raises a giant red flag for me — and therefore I never really took Petra seriously. It sounded to me like zie was angry and just venting whatever came into zir mind in no particular order and trying to say as many hurtful things to as many people as possible.

There were several good comments on what zie said — particularly Collateral Thought’s analysis — but I’m not sure all those posts from Petra were intended to be anything more than an attempt to work off some kind of negative energy. After all, pretty much all zie did was try to claim we were trying to harm zir — after zie came barreling in here like a baseball runner going into second base with his spikes high, hoping to gouge the fielder.

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