So Salon columnist Charles Davis seems to be endorsing my harassment by threat of doxing that began when I had the queer nerve to find something homophobic, by providing an additional reason for why it should continue. The harassment Davis is adding his voice to and his rationale for doing so are described in detail here. The accusation is “snitch-jacketing” which he justifies with this:
Among the numerous problems with Davis’s complaint is this: I never tweeted that. Tarzie_txt is a malicious account that mixes real tweets with fake for the purpose of smearing me. I mentioned tarzie_txt (formerly BroTarzie) in this February post about how much harassment I was subject to for criticizing Glenn Greenwald. Journalist Alexa O’Brien was the object of this same ostracism technique when she covered Chelsea Manning’s trial.
I’d mentioned the account previously in this post, where I embedded the tweet below:
It should be obvious from the tweet to which Greenwald is responding, that it’s not me, especially when you factor in the adjacent thread and my remarks in the post where I wrote about it.
I said much of the above on Twitter yesterday which — with striking alacrity — elicited this:
Let’s not linger on what kind of person indexes alleged screen shots of my timeline from close to a year ago and produces them in literally minutes intending to legitimize an unambiguously bogus, malicious tweet from February. Instead let’s note that this is a graphic image rather than actual tweets, and entertain the likelihood of at least an ethical kindredness between the two accounts.
Some of those tweets are definitely mine, but the two at the top seem entirely unfamiliar. It’s beside the point, though, because even if I owned all the tweets the above graphic credits me with, the tarzie_txt tweet, via its explicit earnestness, would still be a gross mischaracterization of offhand, untagged, deleted jabs in a locked account, and crediting it to me would still be disgustingly dishonest and malicious. Injecting this tweet into the ether again, almost a year after it was first concocted, also seems purely malicious and divisive. That apparent adults have credulously accepted the authenticity of tarzie_txt as merely a block workaround, such that a journalist for whom Charlie resurrected the old tweet yesterday accepted it at face value, should surprise me, but it is this kind of infantile credulity that has made Twitter such a haven for liars and defamers.
I did tweet onefed but quickly deleted it because it was over the top. With the first impulse I felt justified in tweeting it, because onekade — Kade Crockford of the Massachusetts ACLU — has spent months mischaracterizing and belittling Greenwald’s critics, including me, while demonstrating absolutely no acquaintance with anything I’ve ever written. On the single occasion when Crockford directly engaged on misrepresentation of my posts, Crockford accused me of being a destructive provocateur, as well as in need of professional help. I don’t think people with vastly larger platforms than mine who dishonestly discredit me should expect kinder treatment in return. Nonetheless, I deleted the tweet because I regretted it. Had a malicious embellishment not been entombed on the tarzie_txt account, almost no one would be aware of it, including my own followers.
In the time since conflict over this and the Geronimo campaign erupted, Crockford has been carping about “losers” “prolonging stupid Twitter wars” to the detriment of — wait for it — “black revolution.” Crockford directs this tough love message of peace not, of course, to the people who have been stirring shit with fake tweets via tarzie_txt for over a year or to Davis for resurrecting a bogus tweet from last February with menacingly doxxy talk of accountability — that is, to the people who are unquestionably “prolonging stupid Twitter wars” — but to the low status targets of their smears and threats and a vanishingly small number of defenders. Pretty sure I want this over more than anyone else, for reasons that should be obvious, but still it’s me that’s the instigator apparently.
Innocent bystanders Davis and emoprog have ratified Crockford’s noble calls for solidarity via faves. No, really. Go look. Does that mean this is over? Otherwise, I truly can’t fathom the story they, and the random people they’ve incited to get their hate on, again, are telling themselves that makes me the inciter here. Is it my dogged insistence that people who harass and smear me and their role models are not my allies? If so, I take it all back. Really. You are my allies. You are, you are, you are! Now stop with the threats, comrades, close those parody accounts, and apply your unique gifts to Black Revolution!
As to the alleged single-tweet “snitch-jacketing” of Charlie, who, like Crockford has a vastly bigger platform than mine: though his recent metamorphosis into splainy disciplinarian of Marxist women and anti-imperialists has struck me and a number of other people who used to like him as disappointing and weird, I recall making only one play on his handle which was charlieomidyarchy. But let’s assume I’m having a memory lapse. Considering how generic ‘archy’ is, I don’t think one could be certain cointelarchy has anything to do with Davis at all, especially since my melancholic misgivings about new, improved Charlie didn’t harden into unalloyed dislike until June, when he signed on for Sarah Kendzior’s orgy of misogyny and red-baiting at its most deplorable point. Whatever the case, it’s one tweet. If he continues to co-sign threat-infused campaigns against radicals based on malicious, hand-rolled tweets and smears, people are likely, and well within their rights, to call him all kinda things he doesn’t approve of, though considering the ratios on Twitter, very few are likely to do so.
I freely admit that I believe there are operatives on Twitter, an idea I am sure Crockford and a number of others who openly dislike me, endorse. I will also freely admit that I have found the dedication of certain people online to ostracizing and harassing me and others for over a year odd enough to speculate about it, though I am as inclined to credit it to publicists and other private interests as to anything else. The level of dedication and malice seem weird, but maybe I just don’t know crowds. I am saying this not to implicate anyone in particular, but to explain the times I expressed general doubts about the environment as a whole.
I am not proud of some of some of the things I tweeted along these lines but they’re mild compared to stuff that was coming at me every day. You might be surprised that watching people you once respected — even liked — shrug at, cordially interact with, or join up with people who have newly committed themselves to driving you off the internet/insane/to suicide via smears and harassment is not in the least bit ennobling. Since many people were accusing me of being, well, all the awful things, including a government agent of some kind, I didn’t feel obliged to be super careful in my own remarks about them and their enablers. Throughout this whole conflict I have been genuinely shocked by how vicious trolls and character assassins feel entitled to better treatment than they dole out, but then avid, malicious trolling runs on narcissism, sociopathy and social psychosis. As Crockford’s “Twitter Wars” bullshit suggests, the mob becomes entirely convinced the heretic is the aggressor if s/he does anything but retreat in the face of more shit-throwing, and usually even that’s not enough.
I should not have to say this at all, but snitch jacketing is more than expressing suspicions about Twitter culture generally or one-off jabs that, were it not for screen capping shit-stirrers, would come and go in less than a half-hour. It’s campaigning. Certainly everything I do and write presupposes that I’m a pariah for the most part. I’m someone Charlie, Kade and emoprogs ostentatiously feel superior to. I don’t feel anything I say matters except to a handful of people who are also of limited influence. Therefore I am constantly puzzled by the extent to which people who obviously despise me monitor my thoughts, talk about them, shamelessly lie about them, and apparently meticulously file screenshots of them. I have zero power to influence anything, let alone a snitch jacketing campaign against people with followings five times the size of mine, with affiliations to mainstream organizations and publications, and who enjoy signal boosting by Greenwald and Chris Hayes, among others. The erasure of power differentials in these discussions is one more way in which they’re grossly dishonest.
Of course if you confront these power differentials, you then must admit who among all parties has the means to defame and who doesn’t. Who can — and will — stoke a smear campaign by, say, a second injection of a bogus tweet and who can’t. Who’s “prolonging Twitter wars.” Who the bullies are and who’s being bullied. That there are multiple “parody” accounts along with tarzie_txt dedicated to smearing, mischaracterizing and ridiculing me, should, by itself, settle the question, especially given that no less than Glenn Greenwald can be seen above cracking wise with one of them at my expense, which inarguably constitutes both endorsement and incitement. (Funny story: Greenwald’s trolls say I bully him!)
As one might guess, instigation by a revered dude with half a million followers yields far more harassment than just multiple defamatory “parody” accounts and almost everyone observing Left Twitter for the past 15 months knows it. If you want to burn yourself into my brain as someone I need never take seriously ever again, say something along the lines of “both sides”, “peas in a pod” or some other dimwitted erasure of the acute asymmetry of this “conflict”. People who recognize this for what it is only differ on whether or not I have it coming, for leaving the church after jeering at the service and the uniquely belligerent congregation. Is this ostracism campaign — going on fifteen months now — made innocuous if it doesn’t include snitch-jacketing?
We needn’t dwell on that question, because my ostracism did not exclude it. Which brings us to the double standard at work here. Charles Davis is proffering this trumped up charge of snitch jacketing to suggest I’m a fed. In other words, he’s snitch jacketing — in an inciting, harassing way — predicated mostly on a ten-month-old tweet that is indisputably fake. I am absolutely certain Charlie also knows it’s bullshit, and one can only guess why he’s really, under very thin cover of “accountability,” joining in harassment that clearly began when I had the audacity to find homophobia homophobic, and doubtlessly wouldn’t be happening otherwise. Though he and I only know each other from the internet, we go back four years or more. I read his blog and other writing regularly and enthusiastically promoted his work on Twitter. Until fairly recently, we followed each other and interacted amicably. If I’m a pro bent on his destruction, I’ve been taking my time. I’ve also done a bum job of accumulating anything near the social capital to counter his. As spooks go, I’m a bit of a flop.
Considering that the tweet Charlie produced as “evidence” is from February, and that when first published the tweet provoked light-hearted ridicule more than anything else, the timing here seems odd, as if it’s simply a convenient pretext to join defamation and doxxing campaign Tor has shark-jumpingly embarked upon, which having dispensed with anti-Greenwald gadfly Geronimo, now trumps up charges against anyone who’s pointedly withholding applause. There’s a stenchful purgi-ness in the air, as the beatdown kangaroo court adds new prohibitions and blatantly fabricates infractions. Pointing out Tor developer Andrea Shepherd’s use of homophobic insults is now “libel” in this strange new world. It’s revealing that Charlie presented the bogus tweet attributed to me in a conversation in which he also offered a manual RT as proof of JB’s anti-semitism, which was later shown to be fake by an archive of the actual deleted tweet. Yet Charlie presented it — a fairly obviously concocted RT — as legit. That’s two fakes out of two for those keeping score.
Why is this ok when things I do that are far less inflammatory and a good deal more honest arent? And what about these, just a small sample of what’s out there: Here’s a tweet from a member of the emoprogarmy that isn’t fake:
@fucktardtrole tarzie’s fed ass gave them a heads up
— lindsey (@lindsberty) (locked account)
Here’s one, faved by Charles Davis no less:
Here’s one suggesting the idea was rather widespread:
soooo yeah the whole “tarzie’s a fed” thing is just fucking absurd on its face ❤ OR MAYBE THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT THEY WANT ME TO THINK (locked account)
Lots of people suggested many if not all of Greenwald’s detractors were members of the surveillance apparatus, an idea that Greenwald fostered with a post on The Intercept that neatly coincided with a rare and brief flowering of online criticism and mockery of The Greenwald Show. With reference to sock puppet accounts and “fake victim blog posts,” Greenwald left no detractor too small to avoid suspicion, including someone like me, who’d vexed, only hours before, former Rancid Honeytrap commenter Glenn with a post about how his army of authoritarian trolls and he were such a fitting match. It was widely believed and expressed for months that anyone casting aspersions on Greenwald and Snowden were operatives of some kind. This tweet is hardly unique:
Finally, putting aside the shamelessly bogus foundation for Davis’s complaint, and that it came bundled with another fake tweet against someone else, I call bullshit on his quaint idea that jabs suggesting government sponsorship are a particularly feddy kind of aspersion which uniquely justifies “accountability” by doxxing mostly over a single alleged tweet. Are we to assume that Feds don’t use the same bag of tricks rank and file authoritarians use to control people? Pathologizing? Character assassination? Harassment? False accusations? Libels? False attributions? Threats? Of course, we can’t assume that at all, unless we have some interest in manifesting bad faith as feigned stupidity yet again. Seems logical to me that a propensity for prolonged smearing, harassment, lying and ostracism suggests nefarious provocation more than a one-off jab. Why is no one calling for a dox of tarzie_txt or the army of anons routinely harrassing people — mostly radicals — on behalf of celebrity lefts and Tor? No doubt it’s for the very same reason clownish Crockford hasn’t accused them of postponing Black revolution with “Twitter wars:” status and politics. Punching up is “in-fighting.” Punching down is just good clean fun.
It’s truly surreal getting a stern lesson in proper smearing from people like Davis, whose indeterminate, hybrid politics mostly reveal themselves through sliming and ridicule, who concoct and RT fake tweets for no reason but to generate animosity, and who obsessively harass red feminists and anti-imperialists. But then they would know the rules, wouldn’t they, since they make them, the way bullies always do.
I actually prefer the people who accuse me of being a Fed to people like Davis, Crockford and emoprog, who misrepresent what I say and pathologize me. I prefer it to the juvenile sociopaths who spend evenings filling my mentions with ugly photos and insults. Of course the heretic doesn’t get to choose the harassment and defamation methods. He just gets defamed and harassed. He sure can’t insist that differences be talked out. Had anyone ever attempted to engage with me on the merits of what I actually wrote, things would have never gotten this nasty. But few except me wanted a discussion that got past the question of my right to have opinions, which suggests to me a paucity of arguments and an authoritarian attitude toward discussion generally. If there is something more high-minded here than insistence on uncritically admiring the same people, I genuinely don’t know what it is.
I don’t think most of the people who trash me have read a single thing I’ve written, considering it perfectly sufficient to breathe the fumes from parody accounts and hearsay. Writers know when they’re arguing with someone who actually reads them, and I recognize actual readers among my critics very little. Twitter has completely normalized talking entirely out of your ass about people with lower status than you. You look like a complete jackass to people who know better but fortunately none of those people matters.
Anyway, I’ve learned by now that there is no reasoning with mobs, especially when it comes to double standards, but here’s the thing: this fever that’s overtaken left Twitter for beatdowns and doxxing and whatnot will bite a lot of people in the ass. I’ve watched bullies disappear this year after they got a taste of their own medicine. Would be nice if some sober minds prevailed if only for self-preservation.
Have you noticed that the same group of people are at the heart of every beatdown? Do you seriously contemplate with anything but disquiet, a group of people administering discipline via trolling, smears, parody accounts and threats, especially now that doxxing and libel are becoming part of the the mix? Why the threats? Why the resistance to settling things with dialogue? What, exactly, is identifiably “left” about a discourse increasingly fixated on who gets to speak and who doesn’t?
Seems this culture has way bigger problems than an almost entirely unknown blogger with unpopular opinions. Maybe it’s time to start punching up again. In the meantime, the Twitter swamp is all yours.
Advocates, Liberal Pundits, and Nazi-Rapist-Snitch Allies Make Case for Doxxing Critics. You Are Literally Next. (RancidSassy at 100 Flamingos)