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Sep 23 2012

Atheism+ Hashtag Camping

Those of you following the saga of Atheism+ may know that the hashtag has been overrun since the beginning with a small group of people repeating the same objections to Atheism+ that have been answered ad nauseum on every blog thread discussing the topic. Seriously, some of them are downright repetitive, claiming the same objections right after you explain reality to them.

This is why it was so funny when a reader sent me this yesterday. It’s a Storify of a conversation held on the hashtag. Text after the jump.

Twitter Storify. Text provided in post.

Anti-Atheism Plus trolls hypocritically decry twitter spam

About a dozen individuals and sock puppets have been obsessively, prolifically, and inconsiderately spamming #AtheismPlus with personal attacks and shoddy bad-faith arguments, hitting the same tired notes over and over. Yet they get mad when some theist does the same.

Rationally Faithful: There is no empirical evidence that indicates the absence of #God #atheism is merely speculative rhetoric. #atheismplus #atheist #atheists (3 hours ago)

Rationally Faithful: There is no empirical evidence that indicates the absence of #God #atheism is merely speculative rhetoric. #atheismplus #atheist #atheists (2 hours ago)

Rationally Faithful: There is no empirical evidence that indicates the absence of #God #atheism is merely speculative rhetoric. #atheismplus #atheist #atheists (2 hours ago)

John Brown: @RationallyFaith Look, we’ve seen this status update a bajillion times. Could you tone it down? #atheismplus

The Other Atheists [aka Franc Hoggle]: @RationallyFaith You really don’t know how stupid that statement is do you? Empirically proven nonexistance [sic]? bit.ly/SKlJVE #atheismplus

Rationally Faithful: @humidpress Twitter is a public forum that allows for public tweets. You have no right to dictate what is tweeted. #atheismplus

John Brown: @RationallyFaith LOL. I’m not dictating anything. I politely asked if you could tone it down with the same tweet over and over. #atheismplus

Renee Hendricks: @humidpress I doubt very much that @RationallyFaith will tone it down. He/she/it *loves* verbal barfing :) #atheismplus

Seems to me that Rationally Faithful fits right in over there. I’m sure they’ll all have fun together.

16 comments

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  1. 1
    hyperdeath

    How many sockpuppets do you think there are? There’s definitely a You’re-Not-Helping like feel to the conversation. There’s an insufficient number of writing styles, the tangents aren’t varied enough, and the agreement is a little too perfect. It’s difficult to tell in specific cases, as many of them probably are single identities, but I’m fairly sure that there are far fewer people than names.

  2. 2
    Tony Sidaway

    Hashtags are a rather blunt organizational tool at best. They’re still handy as long as you have a quick finger on the block button.

  3. 3
    Tom Foss

    “The Other Atheists” is Franc Hoggle pretending to be a plural, isn’t it? Very “You’re Not Helping,” but then again, their whole conversation has been. Elisions, lies, vilification, and tone-trolling, with some prominent bloggers/leaders buying into every little bit of it.

  4. 4
    SallyStrange

    How totalitarian of them, asking that guy to “tone it down,” rather than engaging critically with his very good points. Obviously they are afraid of criticism and want to control what everybody thinks.

  5. 5
    hyperdeath

    thomasfoss says:

    “The Other Atheists” is Franc Hoggle pretending to be a plural, isn’t it?

    I don’t think there’s indisputable proof that Hoggle is behind “The Other Atheists”, but there’s a striking similarity. There’s also a strong similarity to some of the other haters.

    For that matter, is Hoggle definitely Victor Ivanoff? Hoggle steadfastly denies it, but I suppose that doesn’t count for much.

  6. 6
    Anthony K

    So theists and slymepitters are coming together under the atheismplus hashtag?

    And people complain that atheism+ is divisive.

  7. 7
    oolon

    @hyperdeath, Huh I didn’t know this was such a mystery, fun five minutes googling it. ERV says he is dead on the slymepit – the real Victor that is – whoever ‘franc’ is remains a secret. Justicar appears on one blog bizarrely saying he totally supports PZ in outing him! Which implies it is him. ‘franc’ asserts he is Kaiser Soze… All very conspiracy theory worthy, but no clear proof he is Victor Ivanoff. If Victor is dead I suppose it would explain why he is not complaining at being likened to ‘franc’

    I’d have to say that of the obsessives he is the best at it. He must be retired/unemployed or he really wouldn’t have the time to spend on his campaign. However I’d imagine even he has limits so if I had to guess who was behind “The Other Atheists” from the slymepit I’d not guess ‘franc’ as theotheratheists.net seems to be populated by different slymepitters.

  8. 8
    Gretchen

    “The Other Atheists” is Franc Hoggle pretending to be a plural, isn’t it?

    Oh, I got a tweet from that entity today. Replied, and then blocked.

  9. 9
    julian

    @Gretchen

    You’re wiser than me. I tried arguing with him a first.

  10. 10
    Jason Thibeault

    hyperdeath: Franc Hoggle owns the Facebook account Theothera Theists. He’s been using the nym for a few years, evidently. It’s not just that they sound alike — they’ve overlapped a few times.

  11. 11
    oolon

    Ahh I see ‘franc’ likes wordplay then. Stupidly did not see Theothera Theists as The Other Atheists… I see that author has a networkedblogs.com list that only includes greylining posts. I’m staggered by his output, comparing to Mabus is not such hyperbole then. I presume the easy link between Theothera Theists and Victor from Atheist Nexus was too obvious, hence theotheratheists.net is not populated by him anymore. Unless ‘uber goatse’ the mod on there is another nym of his!

  12. 12
    Aratina Cage

    I don’t think there’s indisputable proof that Hoggle is behind “The Other Atheists”

    Except that Hoggle runs that site? Gets email for it (which he showed publicly in a screenshot when he was outed as Victor)? Has about three different administration profiles under different names at theotheratheists.net? How much proof does one need before it becomes indisputable? There is little room for doubt that it is him.

    [Abbie Smith] says he is dead on the slymepit – the real Victor that is – whoever ‘franc’ is remains a secret. Justicar appears on one blog bizarrely saying he totally supports PZ in outing him! Which implies it is him. ‘franc’ asserts he is Kaiser Soze… All very conspiracy theory worthy, but no clear proof he is Victor Ivanoff. If Victor is dead I suppose it would explain why he is not complaining at being likened to ‘franc’

    How the fuck does Abbie know he is not really Victor? LOL! He goes by Victor Ivanoff in person as his former friends have attested. Whether that is his real name or not probably makes no difference since that is what most people call him offline. Witness this myspace posting (Google the text to find the source) from a band whose name he used to register a business where they write that they were once close friends with Victor:

    I should add that, despite our having once been close friends many years ago, neither I myself nor any other former or present members of Rectoplasm® endorse or even necessarily agree with any of ‘Franc Hoggle”s recent actions or statements in any way whatsoever.

    On the contrary, if Victor Ivanoff is ‘Franc Hoggle’ the abundant online evidence of his current frame of mind simply makes me sorry for him, and mildly embarrassed at our former association.

    So, no, he isn’t dead and this whole thing about Victor being someone else is part misdirection and part another one of his gags. People know him. He has been reported to people who can apprehend him for actions he has talked about carrying out. It doesn’t really matter what his real name is at this point. He won’t be getting away with any anonymous attacks on people in person. The only place he thinks he can still hide is online, but then his obsessive, sewery writing tends to out him there also.

  13. 13
    Aratina Cage

    this whole thing about Victor being someone else is part misdirection and part another one of his gags

    Oh yeah, it is also gaslighting. He is gaslighting one woman in particular in a fit of revenge since he blames her for his outing. The thing is, his gaslighting didn’t work out as he expected. Instead of making her look like an idiot, it just made him look even more kooky and paranoid. It means he gave a fake name to several people in person for no reason whatsoever! Who does that?

  14. 14
    oolon

    Arantina, Bizarre – I don’t think I’ve fully appreciated how weird he is. Certainly pretty much all his written works (Outside the slymepit for some reason) seem to drip with hate. Then again so do Michael Kingsford Grays but he is proud of his non-anonymity and criticised me for being anonymous. Maybe he can help ‘franc’ out himself for the cause of truth and purity in the face of Baboon attacks or something… One thing I’ve learnt is that the internet needs anonymity almost as much as it doesn’t.

  15. 15
    hyperdeath

    Jason Thibeault says:

    Franc Hoggle owns the Facebook account Theothera Theists. He’s been using the nym for a few years, evidently. It’s not just that they sound alike

    I wasn’t aware of that. Thanks for the information. I know he has a fondness for strange word rearrangements.

    Aratina Cage says:

    So, no, he isn’t dead and this whole thing about Victor being someone else is part misdirection and part another one of his gags. People know him. He has been reported to people who can apprehend him for actions he has talked about carrying out.

    More evidence for Victor Ivanoff theory, is the behavior of an Australian by that name on Usenet in the mid-90s. He had a familiar writing style, a liking for fecal humor, and profound women-issues. It’s difficult to piece everything together (thanks to DejaNews’s erratic archiving, and Google’s flawed assimilation of the DejaNews archive), but there’s something about a girlfriend named Leanne bleeding him dry, and then dumping him. Then again, this was on alt.tasteless (a kind of /b/ of its day), and so it could just be random insults.

  16. 16
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    I want to learn how to be an idiot on the internet and in meatspace; I think I would fit in better. Where do these types normally hang out besides Twitter these days? I need lessons.

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