I have to mention two strange examples of internet thuggery.
I hosted a Thunderf00t video the other day in which he outed his own identity, in response to attempts by a youtuber named DawahFilms to extort him with threats of revealing him. It was a nice way to short circuit a threat. I keep hearing from people complaining, though, that Thunderf00t is the bad guy here, which I find completely baffling. Notice: he revealed his own name, not something about DawahFilms.
I have now received email from DawahFilms arguing his case. He’s not very good at this, because it contained this argument:
I am neither a person who threatens death on people for their “free speech” or “criticism” (in fact Ive made videos condemning such behavior) nor am I out to “hurt” Dr. Mason, but instead wished to report him to his university for his unethical behavior and treatment of me.
That looks like a confession to me. I really don’t care if Thunderf00t said rude things about Islam or about defenders of superstition on the internet or youtube; but when people try to threaten their critics’ livelihood, as DawahFilms wants to do, I’m not at all sympathetic. Especially when they’re so weirdly oblivious that they can claim that they don’t want to “hurt” someone, and that they just wish to report him to his employer, all in one sentence.
The second case involves a colleague at UMTC, Bill Gleason, who is getting harrassed by one of the dumbest local ideologues it has ever been my displeasure to encounter online. I’m talking about Thomas Swift, aka TJSwift, AKA Swiftee, a far right, illiterate crank who tainted Pharyngula for a while, until he was banned.
You cannot imagine how stupid TJSwift is. He’s not a master of rhetoric; he struggles with spelling, and punctuation, and grammar, and can barely compose a tweet. So instead, he resorts to scribbling crude cartoons in MS Paint. He also has no artistic ability; these things are the kind of crude caricatures one might find scratched into the walls of a filthy toilet stall in a run-down gas station. To make them mildly recognizable, he pastes in digitized photos of people’s faces. Otherwise, though, they are incoherent, sloppy, pointless scrawls.
I saw some of the examples Gleason posted, and recognized the style immediately. I was getting a collection of these sent to me a year or two ago, emailed under a pseudonym, and containing little more than the kind of pornographic imagery you’d expect of 9 year old, talentless, angry idiot — cartoons of me having sex with a dog (or a cow, or a beige blob…something unrecognizable), for instance.
The real surprise, though, is that this frothing nutcase is allied with some of the most prominent conservative bloggers in Minnesota, Powerline and Mitch Berg. This is how low the Right has sunk.