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Dec 28 2012

Thugs

Now there’s another fake Twitter account using my name. I changed my profile picture two days ago to try to avoid the deception caused by the fake account (which had the pineapple as my picture). I used the amusing one that Hank Fox took of me squirming at a talk at Eschaton, which he gave me permission to publish. Nobody else has any right to use that photo. The harasser-bully who set up fake account using my name number 2 is using that photo. They’re bullies and thieves and thugs.

fake2

 Update: Ed says what he thinks of the thugs (he calls them assholes, which also fits), and what people should do about them.

Update 2: Latest “parody”

Bitter Benson@FakeOphiBenson

How can I exploit the Delhi rape death? It’s all about ME ME ME

Right, because tweeting about it and RTing other people’s angry sad tweets is exploiting it and making it all about me.

The thugs, meanwhile, of course are not exploiting anything, they’re just pursuing an honest…vendetta.

50 comments

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  1. 1
    Parse

    And the worst part about it is that there’s no real penalty for the assholes when they finally get caught.
    Their harassment account gets banned? No big loss to them, but the damage to you is already done. And there’s nothing that prevents them, or somebody else, from pulling the exact same tactic again.

    The main ways that I see it ending are either somebody on ‘our’ side pulls the same dirty tactics on the slymepit leadership, or the slymepit leadership announcing zero-tolerance for this type of shit. The first I don’t want to happen (partly because I suspect it would only lead to an escalation, but mainly because we’re not complete and utter wastes of complex organic molecules), and the latter I doubt will happen (because driving you offline is a feature, not a bug).

  2. 2
    Ophelia Benson

    There’s no way I would do the same thing. Just thinking about it makes me feel dirty.

    People at Twitter are giving me wisdom about staying strong and the fact that I’m better than the thugs. Yes I know that, and I am strong, but these fake accounts do me real damage, and being strong and better makes no difference to that.

  3. 3
    RichardReed84

    I would love to see someone try and make a Poe/parody Twitter account of someone from the Slymepit. It won’t work for two reasons:

    1. Poes are only funny if there is something to parody
    2. The people at the Slymepit won’t give a shit

  4. 4
    Ophelia Benson

    Of course they wouldn’t give a shit, because nearly all of them are anonymous, and they don’t do anything of value anyway, so there’s no shit to give.

    Like you, as Y U NO SKEPTIC.

    Now fuck off.

  5. 5
    Sarah AB

    Really sorry to see the abuse you have been getting – and parody accounts shouldn’t attempt to seriously mislead readers, I don’t think.

  6. 6
    Peter Ferguson

    Richard,

    I was trying to say this to you on twitter. How about we start criticising the parody accounts and finding a way to stop them rather than focusing on how people react to their parodies.

  7. 7
    sheila

    You know, they must spend hours and hours on this stuff. Imagine what they might achieve if they put the same amount of time and effort into something constructive, like, say, fighting the Vatican’s propaganda against gays.

    Or perhaps not. It’s not like they have your talent.

  8. 8
    stakkalee

    I have a hard time understanding the mindset of these assholes – their behavior is so juvenile and I wonder how they justify their use of time to themselves. It would be laughable if not for the real pain and damage their harassment cause. Why would you dedicate yourself to obsessively policing the writing of someone you actively dislike, actively disagree with? If I read something I disagree with (or consider egregiously stupid) I simply ignore it, and never go back to that site – it’s why I’ve only ever visited the slymepit once (and once was more than enough, let me assure you.) I have to assume that they enjoy being miserable, and enjoy causing misery in others as well. I almost want to ask a slymepitter why they congregate there, what benefit the get from that association, but then I realize, I don’t care. I don’t care about their justifications, their tortured logic, their twisted narratives where they’re the poor, downtrodden heroes standing up to the evil FTB Empire. I just want them to stop being obsessive stalkers. And it’s up to the community, and all the fence-sitters, to ask them to stop. Are you a fence-sitter who’s sick of this drama? Don’t complain to the victims that they keep bringing up their victimization. Complain to the harassers that they need to cut that shit out.

  9. 9
    PZ Myers

    RichardReed1984:

    1. The slyme are already ridiculous, no parody needed.

    2. The slyme have no reputation to protect.

  10. 10
    billygutter01

    And it’s up to the community, and all the fence-sitters, to ask them to stop. Are you a fence-sitter who’s sick of this drama? Don’t complain to the victims that they keep bringing up their victimization. Complain to the harassers that they need to cut that shit out.

    QFMFT!

  11. 11
    RichardReed84

    Peter, I’m not that comfortable continuing a Twitter conversation on someone else’s blog, but I can only repeat the mantra “don’t feed the trolls”. That works.

  12. 12
    Ophelia Benson

    No it does not work when they steal your name, you fucking fool.

  13. 13
    Gwen

    There is no comfort in the fact that we can do nothing to stop the slime, but, in time the odiousness that pervades the medium will curtail its use. If the folks who run Twitter and other social media do not eventually recognize this, their medium will succumb to oblivion and be overtaken by whatever future social medium figures out how to clean up the place. Laws of the markets, y’know. Wadda ya think?

  14. 14
    Peter Ferguson

    Richard,

    It is directly related to this post so I am sure Ophelia won’t mind and if she does then I will stop.

    If you don’t want to feed the trolls then don’t, but criticising somebody for how they handle a parody/impersonation account is different. Telling people to just “deal with it” is ridiculous. If Ophelia feels aggrieved and wants something done about it then why criticise her for such? What dog do you have in this fight? Why do you care?

  15. 15
    stakkalee

    Frankly, RichardReed84, that’s terrible advice. There’s plenty of different ways to deal with trolls, and no one way works best in all situations. Here’s a thought though – I see that @Y_U_NO_SKEPTIC has over 400 followers – have you thought about posting a tweet saying that these impersonation accounts are unfunny and unhelpful? It might be a good idea, you know.

  16. 16
    Ophelia Benson

    Again – it’s not just parody, it’s not just trolling, it’s not that I “feel aggrieved” – it’s that they are using MY REAL NAME in the tweets. My real name. My name. Not theirs. That misleads people into thinking the tweets come from me. That’s not parody or trolling or something to feel aggrieved about. It’s more than that.

  17. 17
    oolon

    1. Poes are only funny if there is something to parody

    Hmm so the opponents of FtBs like Al Stefanelli calling A+ a McCarthyite-Stalinist plot or all the “FfTBs” are running an atheist cult that is *just* like religion… Is not something you could parody? Yes actually you are almost right for the wrong reason, they are beyond parody and make themselves so ridiculous it is hard to top it. But not impossible ;-)

    2. The people at the Slymepit won’t give a shit

    Oh yeah when people parody them they really take it like pros and don’t get worked up or feed the troll at all :-D

  18. 18
    Peter Ferguson

    I see that @Y_U_NO_SKEPTIC has over 400 followers – have you thought about posting a tweet saying that these impersonation accounts are unfunny and unhelpful? It might be a good idea, you know.

    This actually a good idea, because of the 22 followers the impersonation account has, 17 also follow @Y_U_NO_SKEPTIC

    That’s not parody or trolling or something to feel aggrieved about. It’s more than that.

    Either way my point was Richard should let you deal with it the way you see fit, and he should stop criticising you for it.

  19. 19
    oolon

    In support of Ophelia I blocked them all BTW, as I find parody funny it would be hypocritical to be totally anti them, but these ones that look exactly like the id are stepping over the line. Not content with just being a parody they are trying to imitate and pass themselves off as Ophelia – that is plain nasty.

    So I’d say Richard should send a tweet to his followers but given it is never going to be to tell them that parodies are unfunny maybe to say keep your parodies obviously a parody, like he does with SkepticBoromir and Y_U_NO_SKEPTIC…. Be a role model for the idiots :-)

  20. 20
    Ophelia Benson

    Peter – true.

  21. 21
    RichardReed84

    So let me get this right: you want me to do what I can with @Y_U_NO_SKEPTIC and @skepticBoromir to stop Twitter impersonators. Why do you think they will listen to me.

    Tell you what, I’ll do it, but I would appreciate not being told to “Fuck off” every time I post here!

  22. 22
    glodson

    I was trying to figure out their purpose in doing this. I couldn’t figure it out at first. It was laughable to me as i figured the ruse would be quickly spotted and fool no one. It just didn’t make sense, and seemed to be a juvenile plot to besmirch your reputation. It was funny to me.

    Was being the important word because I didn’t approach this correctly. I was still not being vicious enough in my thinking. And that’s why it isn’t funny. It is just sickening bullying. While pathetic, I get the purpose now. I honestly can’t believe anyone can think it was a good idea, but I will bet there’s a number of troglodytes congratulating each other for acting like petty thugs.

    It is nasty. It is pathetic. It is the act of bullies. It seems to be an attempt at a heckler’s veto. And it might not mean much, but at least you are getting under the skin of people who deserve to be made uncomfortable, the assholes.

  23. 23
    RichardReed84

    There, I’ve done it (check the feeds) but I really don’t know what that will accomplish.

    The problem with trolls is that once they know how to get under someones skin, they will keep doing it for a cheap laugh. Ophelia, you have been feeding trolls for as long as I can remember, so this latest episode was all too predictable. Someone impersonates you on Twitter, you go public saying you don’t like it, and lo and behold, lots of other impersonators turn up. As predictable as the tides.

    I don’t like it, but as I’ve said before, the best thing to do is to not feed the trolls in the first place. You can’t do anything else.

  24. 24
    Ophelia Benson

    Richard Reed – really? You? When you’ve been harassing many of us for months on end? You don’t like being told to fuck off?

    Good grief.

  25. 25
    Peter Ferguson

    I really wouldn’t constitute being @ed on Twitter as harassment. Unless there is something more he was doing that I am unaware of.

  26. 26
    stakkalee

    RichardReed84, I’ve never told you to fuck off, although I do understand why Ophelia might react to you that way. Given the subject and frequency of your Y_U_NO_SKEPTIC tweets are you really so surprised? And I don’t know if they’ll listen to you, but I see that you have several slymepitters as Twitter followers – surely it couldn’t hurt? That’s assuming, of course, that you’re sick of the harassment and want it to stop.

    Peter @24, I wouldn’t characterize the first ‘@’ing as harassment (at least not generally; but definitely content-dependent), but once it’s been made clear that the ‘@’ing is unwelcome, then yes, I’d characterize the second, and all subsequent, ‘@’ings as harassment.

  27. 27
    SallyStrange

    So let me get this right: you want me to do what I can with @Y_U_NO_SKEPTIC and @skepticBoromir to stop Twitter impersonators. Why do you think they will listen to me.

    What made you think Ophelia would listen to you?

    Tell you what, I’ll do it, but I would appreciate not being told to “Fuck off” every time I post here!

    Fuck off.

  28. 28
    Peter Ferguson

    I wouldn’t characterize the first ‘@’ing as harassment (at least not generally; but definitely content-dependent), but once it’s been made clear that the ‘@’ing is unwelcome, then yes, I’d characterize the second, and all subsequent, ‘@’ings as harassment.

    Interesting point. I was going to say that is what the block button is for but people should not have to block somebody to prevent people from sending them messages. Being asked to stop should be enough. I still don’t think it is harassment though as the tweets never had any malice, threats, demands etc. Obviously that is only from what I have seen from Y U NO.

  29. 29
    szyan

    How about making a Poe account for the slyme that sounds accepting, positive, and reasonable? I bet THAT would get under the skin of some.

  30. 30
    stakkalee

    You can definitely harass someone while avoiding anything threatening or demanding; if I tweet “I love you THIS much!” at you dozens of times a day I’m definitely harassing you. I’d also say that attempting to communicate with someone even after they’ve expressed a desire to NOT communicate with you is most certainly malicious. The harassment stems from the disregard for consent, not the actual content of the message.

  31. 31
    Peter Ferguson

    Fair enough.

  32. 32
    Kevin

    Ophelia: IANAL, but you might have a legal claim here.

    You are a public figure whose “likeness” is being misappropriated. That’s a tort.

    Sue for damages to your reputation.

  33. 33
    Ophelia Benson

    Peter Ferguson there was a lot of malice, plus endless relentless repetition. It was way beyond @ing.

    Both of you just stop trying to minimize it, to me of all people.

  34. 34
    Ophelia Benson

    Richard Reed @ 23 stop lecturing me. They’re not just trolls, as I’ve told you 2 or 3 times now. And it’s not true that “the best thing to do is to not feed the trolls in the first place” because that doesn’t stop them either.

    But you’re in no position to lecture in any case, since you’re a harasser yourself.

    Fuck off.

  35. 35
    atheist

    @ RichardReed84 – December 28, 2012 at 10:36 am (UTC -8)

    I can only repeat the mantra “don’t feed the trolls”. That works.

    It provably does not work.

  36. 36
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    What evidence do proponents of “do not feed the trolls” have to support its efficacy?

  37. 37
    Anthony K

    What evidence do proponents of “do not feed the trolls” have to support its efficacy?

    It absolves them from having to do anything.

  38. 38
    maddog1129

    I don’t know twitter. Is there anything to be done that is not twitter-blocking or somethign along those lines? This is like stalking, or perhaps it IS stalking. I wonder if an anti-harassment order or other injunction can be obtained?

  39. 39
    Stacy

    First you clowns blamed everything out of the ordinary on “hoggle”

    What does that even mean? Was there an unexpected comet sighting, and people here said, “Ooo–must be hoggle!”

    It’s like Senator McCarthy seeing communists under every bed

    What, exactly, is like Senator McCarthy seeing communists under every bed? Ophelia noticing actual parody accounts? Very poor analogy.

    Jesus these fucks are stupid. That’s why I disagree with Reed whosit, above. I think these people are ripe for parody.

    1. Poes are only funny if there is something to parody
    2. The people at the Slymepit won’t give a shit

    1. There’s lots to parody. Kristina Hansen’s pathetic record of plagiarism. John Welch’s spittle-flecked stupidity. Remember Pornalysis? He was a hoot, poor guy. What’s her name, with the blog, who photoshopped people? I read her blog once. It read like a middle-schooler’s school essay. These people are deeply stupid and entertainingly narcissistic. They’re only protected by the fact that we aren’t obsessed with them the way they are with FtB.
    2. Oh yes, they give a shit. When they’re not harassing people, they’re whining about how meeeean FtB is to them.

  40. 40
    Anthony K

    There are words for this kind of nonsense, “paranoia” and “narcissism”.

    You forgot a few more words, namely:

    THE FUCKING ACCOUNTS ACTUALLY FUCKING EXIST, YOU STUPID FUCK.

  41. 41
    Ophelia Benson

    I think that was a comment I shitcanned, for obvious sock puppet email address as well as obvious slyme-derived content. The management apologizes for any resulting confusion.

  42. 42
    Neelix

    I guess all you condemn the “HomerVacula” parody account – the one established with the help of a FTB follower?

  43. 43
    hotshoe, now with more boltcutters

    No, Neelix, we don’t all have to condemn a “HomerVacula” parody account – because, get this, it’s “HomerVacula” not “JustinVacuIa” deliberately attempting to fool people into thinking the tweets from the fake “Vacula” account are really from the real person named Justin Vacula.

    How stupid do you have to be to think the two situations are morally similar?

    Oh, I have no doubt some of the devils’spawn at the slymepit are pretending the two situations are the same – just like you are,

    So, your question proves you’re either stupid or evil. Or both. Which are you?

  44. 44
    hypatiasdaughter

    #29 szyan
    Maybe posts in their names saying that they support feminism, or that FTB rocks? I think half of them would keel over with aneurisms.

  45. 45
    Martha

    If only there were a way to restrict all these people to an alternate internet universe! How lovely it would be to read posts at FtB unencumbered by such pathetic argumentation in the comment sections. I’m often concerned that I’m missing something of value in some of these discussions– not from the likes of RichardReed, but from other comments surrounded by theirs. As one can only wade through so much muck, I can only hope that similarly brilliant comments will be made elsewhere.

  46. 46
    RichardReed84

    Well, I used Y_U_NO and skepticBoromir to call for the impersonators to stop and have had one positive response:

    https://twitter.com/Trinoc_/status/284757781804879872

    As for trolling, I wish I could point to a study which clearly shows that people who feed the trolls get trolled the most, but sadly as far as I’m aware no such study exists. All I can say from my own personal experience is that people who don’t feed the trolls don’t get trolled, whereas people who do feed the trolls (like yourself Ophelia) get trolled all the time.

  47. 47
    screechymonkey

    Anthony K @ 37:

    [mouthing the "don't feed the trolls" trope] absolves them from having to do anything

    More than that — it reassures them that the world is a safe place for them. Bad things only happen to people who are either bad themselves or too stupid to protect themselves.

    “People only get harassed online if they make the mistake of feeding the trolls” is motivated by the same emotions as “women get raped on the bus because they stayed out too late/dressed too provocatively/did something else that I and the women I care about would never do.”

  48. 48
    Ophelia Benson

    Your personal experience isn’t worth anything when it comes to predicting what will happen to me. As I think I’ve pointed out more than once, I have ignored the lying thuggish bullies for months on end and it never became the case that I didn’t get bullied by lying thugs. The lying thuggish bullies continued their wholesome project anyway. You’re simply being stupid and ignoring what is going on. This isn’t some momentary outburst that will end if no one responds. Duh.

  49. 49
    richardreed84

    OK Ophelia, I will make a testable prediction:

    Some time in the future, someone will find a new way to troll/annoy/harass you. You will then blog about it. Other people will see this and do the same thing.

  50. 50
    Ophelia Benson

    Ok Richard, you are both dense and morally blind.

    1. People do this anyway – whether I blog about it or not. I keep telling you that and you keep ignoring it. That’s dense.

    2. The people at fault here are the ones doing the harassing and slandering. I’m not at fault for saying what’s wrong with it. You’re morally blind (and that’s putting it charitably) to focus all your criticism on the people being harassed and slandered.

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