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Manufactured outrage

It’s pathetic what the slymers are up to now: they’re inventing lies, then getting angry at the offenses in the lies, none of which occurred. They keep going around and around on this Ferris wheel of nonsense.

It’s just plain weird. When Brayton and I put this network together, the unifying idea was to encourage diverse voices to speak out for freethought. We had no idea that the warped regressive side of atheism would respond with such sustained petty tantrums, but here we are — still going strong, still growing, and not backing down…and still getting nonstop harassment from fools. I wish they’d grow up and face reality: just as the United States is changing demographically, so is atheism, and the howls and kicks and screams of those privileged obnoxious children are going to be left behind by history.

Well, except as embarrassing blemishes on the record.

Comments

  1. Amphiox says

    The Slymepitters seem to be demonstrating that some people really do need a religion ordering them to be good in order to be decent, moral, humane human beings.

  2. says

    It’s pathetic what the slymers are up to now: they’re inventing lies, then getting angry at the offenses in the lies, none of which occurred.

    I thought you were talking about Bill O’Reilly for a second…

  3. Tyrant al-Kalām says

    The Slymepitters seem to be demonstrating that some people really do need a religion ordering them to be good in order to be decent, moral, humane human beings.

    Ouch.

  4. says

    here we are — still going strong, still growing, and not backing down…

    It’d be interesting to see some statistics about FTB usage – hits, users over time, etc. Y’know, because: deep rifts driving everyone away. It’d make a good posting. That’s a hint.

    I’m betting there’s a fairly steady growth in all areas, which would be what one would expect as a site continues to attract people and some number decide to hang around.

  5. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Read the exchange. Still red from the facepalming.
    The ‘pitters remind me of Faux News. Their perception of what they would like the truth to be is more important to them than the real facts.

  6. Jackie, Ms. Paper if ya nasty says

    Amphiox,
    Wouldn’t it be wonderful if that were true? If religion actually made people better, I might not mind how make believe it is. But the means don’t produce any worthwhile ends. They wouldn’t be any better, of course. They’d still be sexist liars. They’d just have the support of patriarchal religion and they’d be liars for Jesus rather than just plain ‘ol liars.

  7. Sili says

    I wish they’d grow up and face reality: just as the United States is changing demographically, so is atheism

    But change is baaaaaaaaddd!!

  8. Amphiox says

    Jackie, I think it may be possible to design a religion specifically that commands its adherents to do good, be progressive, etc. If one was really skilled as the leader of it, I think it could be pulled off. The effect would last perhaps one generation, until you die and your successors corrupt the whole thing for their own selfish ends.

    Of course what you promote as YOUR version of what is good, progressive, etc, may turn out not to be so….

  9. Amphiox says

    Actually, let me amend my first comment. Instead of “be good, decent…”, change that to “behave as good, decent….”

    The distinction is important in that you might be able to con/browbeat/terrorize with hellfire someone into externally acting a certain way, but you can’t guarantee that they won’t remain the same pieces of misogynistic turds in private.

  10. elyss says

    @7

    There was, but sadly it burned down. Both books were destroyed, and one of them hadn’t even been coloured-in yet.

  11. poxyhowzes says

    OT, but not far:

    “…here we are — still going strong, still growing…” [my bold]

    When am I going to “see” on the front page of FTB the new bloggers in all their masthead glory?

    I don’t insist on *not* seeing the moribund, moved, and outdated mastheads, but I do think the new folks should have precedence over the folks who have officially left.

    And I do distinguish between folks like NonStampCollector, who has announced that he’s not blogging here any more, and folks like Jen Mcreight, who blog here when she feel like it, even if that’s not as often as I’d like.

    pH

  12. says

    The stats are messy, and I’ve always actively avoided looking at them, on the Watched Pot principle and because I don’t want to get lured into the trap of writing to please an audience (this is my blog, you know, and I write it for me, not you). But what I’ve seen is a lot of ups and downs, and most of it tracks how much attention I invest in the blog, not what wacky outsiders are saying. I know it dipped during my overwhelming fall semester, climbed up this spring, and that generally, my traffic has been in the same ballpark for the last two years…so it’s boring data.

    The network as a whole gets whipsawed a lot by arrivals and departures. We do have a long tail distribution, with me and Ed making up most of the traffic, but it’s not as extreme as it could be and I think its better than it was at Scienceblogs. The more active blogs here sometimes have days where their traffic is greater than mine, so it really is a good team effort.

    But you know, Jen’s blog was one of the big draws here, and when she was bullied into silence, that cut into overall traffic. Then we had a bunch of blogs sucked away by the big money waved around by the assholes at Patheos (Fuck you, Patheos! And phththbthbp to the traitors who left us!) which cut into revenues a bit. We’re rebuilding now and traffic should be rising again. Those losses didn’t damage traffic to my blog or Ed’s, but we really, really do want to use our vast powers to nurture lots of new talent, and it’s defeating our purpose if we just gather more readers to our two blogs.

    We are also anxiously awaiting the big front page redesign. The current layout just doesn’t reflect the activity here well, and is bogged down by the detritus of some abandoned blogs. We expect that that redo will also help.

  13. garlic says

    *Shrug*

    FWIW, using only info posted by Ophelia (Skep Tickle’s first name and the fact that she was on the board of an atheist organization), I was able to identify her easily with one Google search.

    Using additional information provided by her commenters (hi Oolon!), I was able to confirm this identification.

    Does that count as “doxxing”? You tell me.

  14. says

    OK, #12, I think I just answered you without knowing it.

    Yes, the front page is an ugly inefficient mess. We’re supposed to get the redesign any day now, and it’s going to be completely different — last I heard, to clear the deadwood, it was going to be organized by topic (like politics & science & so forth), with the latest posts on the network listed by their category. It’ll be much easier to see what’s new since you last visited.

    I think one of the reasons you’re not seeing the newest bloggers on the main page now is that we’re so close to releasing the redesign that it wasn’t worth the effort to patch up the current main page.

  15. says

    Using additional information provided by her commenters (hi Oolon!), I was able to confirm this identification. Does that count as “doxxing”?

    No it definitely doesn’t! But I’d be interested to know why she thinks she needs anonymity. It appears that being an out atheist doesn’t affect her life, so anonymity is required for…. The slymepit life?

  16. says

    Regarding the blogs design and timeliness in changing the elements around:

    Maybe soap and water?

    Perhaps dunking the entire machine into a vat of nice, warm soapy water.

    Yes, I like that idea. Perhaps it should be mandatory for ALL computers.

    Your friend,

    Janice, Amazon Princess of the Great White North

  17. anteprepro says

    It’s pathetic what the slymers are up to now: they’re inventing lies, then getting angry at the offenses in the lies, none of which occurred.

    “Up to now “? That’s been their M.O. since some evil diabolical feminazi first told guys to not do “that”. It’s consistently been misinterpretation into exaggeration into manufactroversy with these folks. It’s a game of telephone, except if the first person or two in the chain were deliberately trying to fuck up the message to better suit their biases, preconceptions, or agendas. And they consistently, stubbornly trust the results of the game of telephone over the actual accounts of primary sources. They are the internet atheist equivalents to avid Fox News viewers.

  18. CaitieCat says

    They keep going around and around on this Ferris wheel of nonsense.

    I wonder if some value could be gotten from this. Maybe we could get them to do their posting from a big hamster wheel, and they’d at least be contributing power to the grid.

    Alternately, I suspect you could make a pretty good steam engine from their hot-air bloviation. Perpetual Outrage Machine Motion!

  19. Scr... Archivist says

    The thing I don’t get is how the personal attacks against Ophelia, Jen, and others advance the cause of atheism and secular social policy. The immature critics support that cause, and I do not doubt it. But then, maybe that’s the wrong question.

    Maybe the immature critics make it personal because for them it is personal. Of course, we don’t know who most of them are, so that makes it hard to understand any real disagreements they may have. Then I realize that maybe the disagreements are not rational, and the bearers of personal grudges are pseudonymous because they don’t want their unprofessional behavior to jeopardize their standing within the network of organized atheist, secularist, and skeptic pressure groups.

    When their noise is forgotten, and they have lost the fight to keep their organizations small and exclusive, will any of these people still hold leadership positions? How do we keep them from climbing the ranks without knowing who they were during the Atheist Sexism Wars back in the 2010’s?

  20. says

    I write it for me, not you

    That’s true. I’m a system logging and metrics geek so it literally never occurred to me that someone might not be absolutely fascinated at the idea of poring over through tons of data. Because sleeping is so … ordinary.

    Thanks for doing what you do so well!

  21. Pierce R. Butler says

    PZ Myers @ # 13: Fuck you, Patheos! And phththbthbp to the traitors who left us!

    All together, now: Deeeeeep Rifts!

  22. anteprepro says

    … You on the right thread?

    The comment is referring to one of the issues in the linked article.

  23. Ogvorbis: ArkRanger of Doom! says

    So the Slymepit is the Faux Newz and Whirled Nuts Daily of atheism. Suddenly, it all makes sense.

  24. says

    that makes it hard to understand any real disagreements they may have

    They’ve been asked, repeatedly – and given plenty of opportunity – to explain their disagreements. It’s not a matter of lack of comprehension on one side or another. Also, one doesn’t photoshop people’s heads onto animals or porn or whatever as a serious form of argument: screaming “poopyhead!” at someone is not rational or honest engagement.

  25. says

    Y’know, if you were to write a movie in which the protagonist was stalked, harassed, and threatened with rape and death for 2+ years and counting for the slight of “guys, don’t do that,” you’d be laughed out of the writer’s guild for being so absurd and histrionic. I’m not sure what that says about these pathetic fuck-offs, but I reckon it’s not flattering.

  26. daniellavine says

    Yes, that is definitely doxxing.

    No it’s not. Use of someone’s (common) first name does not constitute “doxxing” under any sane, reasonable interpretation of the term.

    What garlic did would constitute doxxing if garlic had bothered to actually divulge “Skep Tickle”‘s identity and the links that they had used to determine it. But garlic didn’t do that so there is no “doxxing”.

    You’re diluting the term “doxxing” to the point of making it useless. Isn’t that the sort of thing pitters are always whining about when “FTBullies” do it?

  27. TheBlackCat says

    Yes, that is definitely doxxing. If this was done to any person here, people would be outraged, so this is a double standard. Ophelia Benson should be held to the same standard as Greg Laden, Justin Vacula, etc, and at the very least removed from this network for deliberately doing that (with oolon’s help). You are right, what she did is definitely doxxing, so that accusation against her that was made, did occur, and is completely valid accusation.

    Ophelia did not reveal anything that had not already been revealed by “Skep tickle” herself.

  28. TheBlackCat says

    @ toweliejoint: Again, Ophelia did not publicly reveal any information that “Skep tickle” had not already publicly revealed herself.

  29. G Pierce (Was ~G~) says

    Did Skeptickle previously reveal she was on a board of an atheist organization?

  30. Pteryxx says

    When their noise is forgotten, and they have lost the fight to keep their organizations small and exclusive, will any of these people still hold leadership positions? How do we keep them from climbing the ranks without knowing who they were during the Atheist Sexism Wars back in the 2010′s?

    IMHO, as long as the organizations have safeguards working as intended – harassment policies, eyes on diversity, calling out public sexism fails, and moderating out the hate and bullshit (see Facebook, etc) – who these people were when they could get away with this shit won’t much matter anymore. Either they’ll behave themselves and mutter to each other in private, or they’ll get caught out by their public or reported sexist actions. That won’t stop the careful ones from anonymous harassing and spying, but as far as organizations are concerned it should really thin them out.

    You’re diluting the term “doxxing” to the point of making it useless. Isn’t that the sort of thing pitters are always whining about when “FTBullies” do it?

    Yep… and they’re busily manufacturing a doxxing in hopes of further smearing Ophelia with pit-brand false equivalence, over in her thread.

  31. Pteryxx says

    And that’s why two new commenters are busily repeating Skep tickle’s first name over here, along with cries of outrage, to be sure the manufactroversy sticks.

  32. Pierce R. Butler says

    Hey toweliejoint @ # 30 – I hadn’t seen the comment where “Skep Tickle” revealed herself as “Eliza” before, so as far as I’m concerned you are the one who doxxed her.

    Wanna go all the way and tell us which organization(s) she sits on the board(s) of?

  33. A Hermit says

    30
    toweliejoint

    Among other differences between the two incidents you’re leaving out the fact that Skep tickle has been actively joining in the trash talking and harassment; Ophelia was responding to her calling Ophelia “paranoid” and telling her to get “professional help” in her comments on Ophelia’s blog.

    Whereas McCreight has quite publicly withdrawn from the whole fight, so why Justicar felt it was necessary to do a twenty minute video telling people how to find her months after she’s already been successfully bullied into silence…is kind of a mystery.

  34. says

    I remember that the ‘pitters tried the same stupid non-argument that toweliejoint is using now when people started using T-footie’s real name, even though it had been semi-common knowledge for a long time before he made a complete fool of himself here. If someone outs themselves, they can’t then turn around and expect other people to repair their anonymity, especially when they are using to engage in harassment… and even less reason for third parties to start flinging lies and attacks based on it.

  35. says

    Yes, that is definitely doxxing

    No, doxxing would be if I dumped your real name, SSN#, current residence and phone #, criminal record, credit history, lease history, and automotive records.

  36. says

    why Justicar felt it was necessary to do a twenty minute video telling people how to find her months after she’s already been successfully bullied into silence…is kind of a mystery.

    What about “fucking vengeful asshole” is a big mystery to you?

  37. daniellavine says

    towliejoint@30:

    Making it possible for anyone to find out who she is and her location (Justicar showed people how to use the internet to find Jen McCreight’s locations and received vast abuse here for that) is awful. It does not matter whether Eliza has people that are following her or not.

    But no one on the “FTB side” has “showed people how to use the internet to find [Skep Tickle's] locations”. So I fail to see the relevance of this argument.

    YOU don’t know who might be following this person, but the fact remains: this person Eliza has (sorry, HAD) as much right to her personal privacy as Jen McCreight and that right has been taken away from her by Ophelia Benson.

    She still has more privacy than Jen McCreight. I still don’t know Eliza’s last name or location. So I fail to see the relevance of this argument.

    That is “doxxing”. Not calling Ophelia Benson out for this disgraceful behavious (when Justicar *was* called out for it) is an egregious double standard.

    No, using someone’s first name is not “doxxing”. “Doxxing” involves documenting the identity of someone but as I already pointed out no one has documented Eliza’s identity. Using someone’s first name is not “doxxing”. Next stupid unevidenced claim please?

    Also, while we’re talking about double standards would you care to go lecture the ‘pitters on the myriad double standards they’re holding w/r/t the “FTBullies”? No, I’m sure you won’t. And that’s a double standard on your part.

  38. says

    I think what Justicar did was wrong, and I think that what Ophelia Benson did was equally as wrong

    “Equally”? (raised eyebrow) Oh, really.

  39. G Pierce (Was ~G~) says

    Black Cat- If one searches for Eliza and atheist, there are many atheists named Eliza. If you didn’t know anything about being on a board, how would you know that was the correct person?

  40. TheBlackCat says

    @ toweliejoint:

    Let me see if I have this right: you see absolutely no difference whatsoever between mentioning information that someone who has actively smearing you has already publicly revealed and revealing still private information of someone who was bullied into silence months ago? You seriously see absolutely no difference whatsoever between these two actions?

  41. TheBlackCat says

    @ G Pierce: Look at the comments. She is using the same name and avatar she used on Ophelia’s board.

  42. anteprepro says

    Making it possible for anyone to find out who she is and her location (Justicar showed people how to use the internet to find Jen McCreight’s locations and received vast abuse here for that) is awful. It does not matter whether [?] has people that are following her or not. YOU don’t know who might be following this person, but the fact remains: this person [?] has (sorry, HAD) as much right to her personal privacy as Jen McCreight and that right has been taken away from her by Ophelia Benson.

    What a fucking clueless hypocritical git you are. If it was such serious business to mention her name in the first place, such sensitive fucking information, WHY ARE YOU FUCKING REPEATING IT. You fucking disingenuous asshat.

    Although that person revealed her name in another thread, why did Ophelia *choose* to use her name in the thread (it was not used anywhere else in that particular threat, this alone was deliberate and abusive)?

    It is BAAAAAAD to repeat someone’s name when it was revealed elsewhere. Except when you do it.

  43. daniellavine says

    So if anybody says anything critical of Ophelia Benson’s behaviour, then they are automatically a “pitter”?

    I know I didn’t accuse you of being a pitter. I pointed out that you’re not holding pitters to the same standards to which you’re holding “FTBullies” and that this is a double standard on your part. Go ahead and re-read my comment if you need to.

    Look again at what Ophelia did
    – Although that person revealed her name in another thread, why did Ophelia *choose* to use her name in the thread (it was not used anywhere else in that particular threat, this alone was deliberate and abusive)?

    I have never, not once in my life, heard that using someone’s first name is “abusive”. I’ve never considered it to be abusive. This is because it is simply not abusive.

    Meanwhile much of what pitters and their ilk throw at Ophelia seems to me pretty obviously “deliberate and abusive”. You were talking about double standards?

    - Why did Ophelia then state further down that the knows the persons name, location, and job (alerting anybody that they could also find out the name, location and job without much difficulty)?

    I imagine to point out that despite the fact that this person is pseudonymously smearing her that she is a big enough person not to reveal the identity of “Skep Tickle”.

    These were deliberate acts on Ophelia’s part, she did not need to do them. Why did she do that? Nobody else does that.

    LOL. You were talking about “double standards”? Of course other people do that.

    Why did she do it, and why are you protecting her for doing this?

    I’m not “protecting her”. I’m pointing out you’re wrong both factually and ethically. This is about you and your terrible arguments, not about Ophelia Benson.

    I think what Justicar did was wrong, and I think that what Ophelia Benson did was equally as wrong.

    You think giving step-by-step instructions on how to locate someone physically in the real-world after that person has already withdrawn from the conversation (to much cheering from the ‘pitters, incidentally — they weren’t exactly outraged by that development) is equally as wrong as using a person’s first name as a reminder that they’re pseudonymously smearing a named person despite the fact that the named person is able to prevent that at any point by divulging her identity. Riiiight.

    You were talking about double standards?

    Every comment against Justicar could and should be applied to Ophelia Benson for this. This is not a *smearing*, this is applying critical thinking and the same standards that applied to Justicar. What Ophelia Benson did is a disgrace.

    As already argued you’re simply wrong about this. You’re drawing a false equivalence between using someone’s first name and giving step-by-step instructions on how to locate someone physically. One of those two things is doxxing and the other isn’t. You’re going to need some better arguments if you want to keep this up.

  44. says

    What Ophelia Benson did is a disgrace.

    The original title of PZ’s thread is “manufacturing outrage” and I think your contribution is amazingly appropriate in that vein. It’s as if he asked someone to come over here and illustrate exactly what he was talking about.

  45. gmcard says

    @ toweliejoint

    Absolute disingenuous bullshit. Doxxing (i.e., investigative reporting) is a method; it can be used for good purposes, and it can be used for bad purposes. Doxxing the Koch Brother’s astroturf political advocacy groups is good. Doxxing fundamental religious orders interfering with educational standards is good. Doxxing the Stubenville rapists was good. Doxxing someone keeping a private profile after promoting social justice due to the overwhelming rape and death threats received is bad. Only willfully ignorant mendacious propagandists would say its hypocritical to support doxxing in the first three cases but not to support it in the last.

    And yes, doxxing someone keeping a private profile because her atheism could cause personal or professional harm would be bad. And yes, this is the motive skep tickle claims for her anonymity. And yet she is on the board of an atheist group under her real name. Her posts on general atheist advocacy carry her own name. Only when engaging in the serial harassment of others, or when supporting the originators and propagators of rape and death threats does skep tickle suddenly need anonymity. She knows damn well that her atrocious behavior, if linked to her real name, would harm her reputation in this community. And as long as she continuous smearing others and supporting vileness, that atrocious behavior should harm her reputation.

  46. anteprepro says

    You got offended when someone pointed out how you can find out where a vocal feminist lives in an attempt to verbally bludgeon them for some ridiculous point?
    And don’t simultaneously get offended when a vocal feminist addresses someone by their commonplace first name? A name which I have repeated several times in this very thread in my attempts to bludgeon you vocal feminists for some ridiculous point?

    Hypocrites, you are hypocrites, I win, I win, I win!

    (People accusing us of being hypocrites, behaving hypocritically: Delicious)

  47. daniellavine says

    Ok, so by that definition, then what Justicar did was also NOT “doxxing”, and yet, he is called out for doxxing Jen McCreight repeatedly on FtB, so that is another double standard.

    Actually, it was. McCreight’s identity was already public so he couldn’t “dox” her in the sense of divulging her identity. But you can still “dox” someone in the sense of divulging other personal information about someone such as phone number, email address, or physical fucking location.

    Note that OB didn’t divulge the identity, location, or anything else about Skep Tickle. Just her first name — not enough on its own to identify her and certainly nowhere as creepy as Justicar’s “we know where you live” bullshit.

    And the fact remains: what Ophelia Benson did is without question equivalent to what Justicar did, and *any* person that criticized Justicar for what he did, should apply the same standards to Ophelia Benson.

    You have not yet made an argument to convince me of this. You are simply asserting it without offering any support for your assertion. This is tedious. Please get better arguments.

    They both willfully decided to take actions which would allow others to be able to identify another individual. In both cases, it was done deliberately and with bad intent, and so in both cases, both people (Justicar and Ophelia Benson) should be equally called out for this.

    I have already offered several arguments rebutting this and you have not responded to those. Further, you have not offered any arguments of your own to support your contention. Again, tedious. Try supporting your assertions with actual arguments or at least rebut the arguments already made against your position.

    It’s a valid point: Justicar did not expose Jen McCreight’s location, he showed how her location could be found on her videos, and Ophelia Benson also did not expose this person, but she did show how her location, full name, job, etc could be easily found.

    No, OB did not show those things. She simply mentioned Skep Tickle’s first name. If you then go on to follow that and find Skep Tickle’s RL identity then you are the one doing the doxxing.

    You find no double standard in all of the above?

    I’ve already pointed out numerous times you are in no position to cry about double standards.

    How is what Ophelia Benson did not wrong?

    Using someone’s first name? Please explain how it is wrong. I’ve never heard of using someone’s first name as being wrong.

    And yet, Skep Tickle is labelled a “pitter” and so anything goes right (because presumably they are subhuman, or C.H.U.D. as Richard Carrier says?),

    She’s labeled a “pitter” because she posts at the pit.

    and Ophelia simply gets a blanket pass on this … wow …

    A pass on what? using someone’s first name?

    HOW is this not a double standard?

    This has already been explained several times. Please engage with the arguments already made. And again, you’re in no position to cry about double standards.

  48. daniellavine says

    Fucking hell, the anger here is insane.

    Please note that I’ve been very patient and temperate in all my replies to you.

  49. daniellavine says

    This is insane. Ophelia did this out of BAD INTENT, nothing about her actions were of good intent.

    I disagree entirely. You’ve said nothing to support this claim so far.

    She was utterly uncivil (telling Skep Tickle to fuck off, insulting her, etc) to her, and then she deliberately posted things hinting at what she knew about her and other clear ‘droppings’ to help others find out information about Skep Tickle. Just awful.

    Nowhere near as bad as Skep Tickle’s treatment of OB. And here you are defending Skep Tickle. Just awful.

    And the defense of her is unwavering. Presumably, Justicar is a C.H.U.D., utterly worthless, but Ophelia Benson can do no wrong (except when she does wrong, like in this situation here).

    We’ve already made clear and cogent arguments why OB did was not wrong and why what Justicar did was wrong. You’ve made no clear and cogent arguments to the contrary. Your credibility is suffering. It’s starting to seem that you, like Skep Tickle, are simply interested in smearing OB pseudonymously rather than actually taking things like fairness or proportionality into account.

  50. anteprepro says

    Fucking hell, the anger here is insane. I see why people say that FtB feels like a “Cult”.

    Awww. Precious. Someone buys into slyme-memes in order to accuse us, yet again, of groupthink. Aren’t you the smartest kid in kindergarten.

    Ophelia did this out of BAD INTENT, nothing about her actions were of good intent.

    Intent: Still not magic. Not even black magic.

    Please, riddle me this: Why was Ophelia saying Skep tickle’s real first name a bad thing . Don’t concern yourself with intent. Why was the actual act, the actual effects of it, bad ? And then, why is it that you repeating that real first name not considered also bad ?

  51. daniellavine says

    To be clear, I think what Justicar did is not bad because he “doxxed” anyone. I think it was bad because “we know where you live” is pretty much inevitably a veiled threat.

  52. anteprepro says

    In actuality, no one actually knew if it was the case that skep tickle’s real identity could be obtained from merely her first name. That information was only brought to light by people accusing Ophelia of doxxing, by pointing out how to obtain more information. The relevance? Ophelia’s role in this isn’t analogous to Justicar in this. You know who is? The slymey idiots saying “hey, look, you can totally find out skep tickle’s True Identity if you just do this!”. Which, you know, is basically what Justicar did to Jen under the pretense of helping her hide her shit better or something. You are not helping one: you are the one actively bringing attention to it. Don’t pretend otherwise, you pathetic, disingenuous little fuckers.

  53. says

    Fucking hell, the anger here is insane.

    I see several posters including myself and daniellavine who have been quite courteous with you. Although, now that you’ve started tone-trolling as well, I may resort to gutter language to see if you’ll faint or burst into tears and leave.

  54. Jackie, Ms. Paper if ya nasty says

    Amphiox, did you just suggest we start a cult?
    ;)
    If L.Ron could do it, it can’t be that hard.

    Can a central tenet involve the gifting of pie? I like pie.

  55. Eristae says

    But you know, Jen’s blog was one of the big draws here, and when she was bullied into silence, that cut into overall traffic.

    I miss Jen! It breaks my heart that she was treated so poorly that she had to duck out for her own sanity. When people like Ron Lindsay go off about how “shut up and listen” are silencing while welcoming people like Vacula, I want to scream at then, “You want to talk about silencing? Look what happened to Jen! She was harassed right off the internet and right out of the skeptical movement! If you fuckers cared about silencing, where were you when she was being abused? Where are you when other women are being abused? You say you want more women, but then you act like this. What the hell is wrong with you?”

    Damn it, I really am going to need to send that unhappy letter to CFI, aren’t I? Where the fuck did I post it?

  56. anteprepro says

    He made it POSSIBLE for others to do so, exactly as Ophelia Benson did. As a result of Ophelia Benson’s actions it is now a simple process to find out the location, full name and job of Skep Tickle.

    No, he didn’t, you gibbering, myopic hypocrite. Information already there made it possible: He pointed out that it was a “simple process to find out the location” of Jen. You know, like you are doing right now. Not out of genuine concern for someone’s well-being, but in order to score points. So, you dishonest shitweasel, might I suggest that you just go fuck yourself instead of continuing to do more harm than good in your desperate attempts to get one puny little swipe at us?

  57. daniellavine says

    You have just contradicted yourself as Justicar did no more than this. HE DID NOT divulge Jen McCreight’s phone number, email address, or her physical *fucking* location. He made it POSSIBLE for others to do so, exactly as Ophelia Benson did.

    Did Justicar do more than refer to Jen as “Jen”? Yes of course he did. In that case OB clearly did not do as much as Justicar.

    As the slymies were very eager to point out it was relatively easy to find McCreight anyway. What was wrong with what Justicar did is that it is a commonly used intimidation tactic. Is using someone’s first name a commonly used intimidation tactic? Not that I know of.

    As a result of Ophelia Benson’s actions it is now a simple process to find out the location, full name and job of Skep Tickle.

    I don’t think that’s true. She certainly didn’t give step-by-step instructions the way Justicar did.

    And look again at the threads, this was done way way in BAD INTENT on Ophelia’s part, she didn’t need to do it, but she CHOSE to, just like Justicar.

    I don’t think the intent was bad. I don’t think you could know for sure, but simply inferring from what OB has written recently I think her intent was to point out to Skep Tickle that OB was permitting ST to smear her pseudonymously because she could divulge ST’s RL identity at any time.

    Way to doxx someone and then make out like you are an angel.

    As I’ve already pointed out, what OB did was not doxxing. Try to keep up. You may have a point that what Justicar did does not technically qualify as doxxing but as I’ve already said that’s not why I think Justicar was in the wrong in the first place. It’s certainly not why I think Justicar is a repulsive person — he’s provided a great many reasons for me to think that quite aside from this incident.

    Just call Justicar and Skep Tickle “Pitter C.H.U.D.’s” and then I guess their rights don’t matter.

    I never called anyone a “CHUD”. What rights are we talking about, by the way? The right to engage in an anonymous smear campaign against someone who hasn’t actually done anything wrong in the first place?

    If someone goes round to Skep Tickle’s house late at night and does something awful, well, Ophelia Benson is completely innocent … The way that Ophelia is being defended is just sickening.

    Who do you think is going to go round to Skep Tickle’s house late at night? What reason is there to believe that Skep Tickle is under any sort of threat?

    OB and Jen McCreight have credible reasons to worry. There are dozens of angry, obsessive people constantly talking about how terrible they are, making veiled threats, and as I already pointed out the ‘pitters were positively ecstatic when Jen stopped blogging due to the intimidation tactics used by the ‘pit side.

    Do you have anything to say about the pit’s smear campaign against FTBloggers? Or is that another double standard on your part?

  58. throwaway, extra beefy super queasy says

    @The Black Cat: it’s different in what they did, but both are “outing”, absolutely. They are equivalent, and every piece of criticism levelled at Justicar should also be levelled at Ophelia Benson.

    So do we have any documentation of you approaching Justicar with the same level of condemnation? Or does it only matter to you when there is an opportunity to shake a stick at those who you’ve chosen are on the wrong side?

  59. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I see the lack of context in every post toweliejoint makes. It just seems like they can’t/won’t look at the larger picture, and the total evidence. All they do is whine about their inane and evidenceless imagufactured outraged opinions not being taken seriously. They aren’t taken seriously because of total context of OB’s remarks, where their outrage is out of sync with reality. Do try to keep up towliejoint; your arguments are feeble and going nowhere.

  60. CaitieCat says

    Well, I heard that OB actually is the local executive director of Friends of Hamas! That’s how she came to play such an important role in the Benghazi scandal. She helped Hilary Clinton – whom she knew from her days in the business of helping cover up the huge Whitewater/Vince Foster thing, and we all remember how serious and important that was! – to carefully manufacture some fake reasons to keep the talking points from being released until after the election, because KenyansocialistMuslinMarxofascist! Also, PZ is head of the Illuminati. I mean, he doesn’t sit in the head of the table spot, but he’s the real power behind the throne, him and his Bene Gesserit puppetmasters.

    Richard Carrier’s in charge of the Black Helicopters of Looming Politically Correct Atheism+, which will be used to round up all the evil demons who don’t like the plus, just as their paranoid fantasies have always told them will happen.

    And just wait til you see the serried ranks of Miri’s Fun-Ruining Monstrous Regiment! I have the proud honour of being a sergeant therein.

    Ed Blue Jay Brayton, meanwhile, has been carefully counting votes in the College of Blue Jays* to see if he can be made Righteous Popiest Pope of All Atheism. He’d be doing better, but Ashley Blue Jay Miller and Kate Blue Jay Donovan have been trying to insist that the next Pope should be a woman, so Maryam’s been making some subtle inquiries on the side to find support for her own run.

    (just figured if they were going to be making shit up whole cloth to make into scandals, we may as well let them buy the whole roll of fabric)

    * Also, OKAY BLUE JAYS LET’S PLAY BALL!

  61. daniellavine says

    towliejoint, read anteprepro@63. It explains very well why Justicar’s actions and Ophelia’s are not morally equivalent. If you have a counterargument to this then go ahead and let us know. Any time now. We’re all waiting for you to make some sort of argument to support your naked assertions of moral equivalence.

  62. throwaway, extra beefy super queasy says

    Also, I’m calling it, Toweliejoint == andywatson == treestump.

  63. daniellavine says

    And so the cult says that I’m a “suppressive person” because they don’t like what I say … I can’t say that I was not warned that would happen.

    I did not call you a “suppressive person”. I pointed out that you are hammering on this perceived wrong by OB instead of acknowledging the much more serious wrongs committed by pitters all the while crying about double standards.

    A little more slowly since it’s obvious you’re having trouble keeping up: you’re demonstrating a double standard while complaining about double standards. This is hypocritical and makes you look disingenuous. That’s all the quoted bit from my post was saying.

    I came here, I followed the links, and I saw what OB did, I read all the threads, saw how uncivil OB was, and what she did is shocking.

    You have not made a very good case for this yet. Yes, she was uncivil. More on that below.

    I hope that nothing bad happens to Skep Tickle as a result of what OB did. I heard the same things about Jen McCreight after what Justicar did, people saying that he had endangered her life. On FtB everyone agreed that it was terrible. Similar is done to Skep Tickle, and she’s just a “fuck” in your eyes (and that’s the least of the insults that she was given).

    Many arguments have already been offered to show that this is a false equivalence. You have not rebutted those arguments. You have not made any arguments of your own. You simply keep making the naked assertion that they are equivalent. Your credibility is suffering as a result. Please make a real argument.

    I don’t think you care as much about fairness and justice here as you PRETEND you do. Skep Tickle is just a “Pitter” so she can “fuck off”.
    Fuck off back to the “pit” Skep Tickle, you fucking piece of shit …

    Why do you suppose OB might have been “uncivil” to Skep Tickle in this way? Do you think it was completely unprovoked hostility? Or do you think Skep Tickle may have engaged in some uncivil behavior of her own to provoke it?

    This is one of these “double standards” you keep mentioning. OB dropping Skep Tickle’s first name to make a point about pseudonymous smearing is somehow the worst thing in the world but Skep Tickle engaging in a multi-year smear campaign against OB is completely unremarkable.

    I do care about fairness. That’s why I keep pointing out the false equivalences and double standards you keep asserting without offering any argument. Please offer some sort of argument for your position. It’s tedious to have to reply to repetitious assertions of something you are not supporting through argument.

  64. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    And so the cult says that I’m a “suppressive person” because they don’t like what I say …

    Gee, you’re freeze peach is being suppressed because nobody believes a word you say, after you continuously lie and bullshit, and are shown to be refuted by the facts. Poor, poor poster, get real. Nobody has to believe a word you say.

    and what she did is shocking.

    In your opinion, not in the opinion of people looking at the total context, and all the facts. Your outrage is irrelevant to the facts, and can be dismissed.

    I don’t think you care as much about fairness and justice here as you PRETEND you do. Skep Tickle is just a “Pitter” so she can “fuck off”

    You are putting words in peoples mouths are aren’t being said. What is being said is Skep Tickle has out themselves, and your outrage is superfluous noise doing nothing to change the lack of context. Why is your outrage not against JV? Like Faux Noise, the perception of your reality is more important than reality itself. Which refutes you solidly and completely.

  65. daniellavine says

    @towliejoint:

    Have you told off Reap Paden for doxxing Anthony K yet? That might help your credibility a little bit.

  66. Jackie, Ms. Paper if ya nasty says

    Throwaway, I hope so. I’d like to think that much cluelessness is confined to one person.

  67. says

    I’m facepalming at the whole spectacle. There’s the whole false equivalence that’s well-covered here. At the moment, I’m thinking of some people in one thread who publicly said slymy things and try to take them back by going private after the fact and whining that we dare to associate them with their previously public statements or make social judgments based on their professed (and then “hidden”) association with the slymepit.

    It’s like they think reputation is something you can opt out of at will. If you attach your name and/or your pseudonym to a statement, you can’t declare takebacksies when you decide you don’t want to be associated with it. The whole point behind my pseudonym is twofold: It gives me a layer of insulation between the internet life and my meatspace life so I don’t have to worry about my online good deeds being punished in my offline life. It also gives me a consistent identity so that I’m motivated to think about what I say because I want “Bronze Dog” to be associated with my good ideas and arguments, and give people something to recognize so I don’t have to repeat position statements and social context unnecessarily if they know me. My name carries some level of baggage with it. If I say something amazingly stupid or unethical and get known for it, my name will carry that negative baggage wherever I post. That’s how identity and reputation work. It’s a feature, not a bug.

    It’s like they think there’s some highly technical, highly pedantic big book of Orwellian etiquette that treats the internet entirely unlike every other social context, where they can control which statements of theirs “count” and which don’t. It’s also like they think they get to dictate which parts of their personality or which positions of theirs we’re allowed to care about.

  68. says

    And so the cult says that I’m a “suppressive person” because they don’t like what I say …

    Wow, demonizing everyone here as a “cult” is exactly equivalent to, what??? Demonizing you for not liking what you say?

    You keep attempting these moral equivalencies and then turn around and do ‘exactly’ the thing you’re complaining about. Funny, that.*

    (*By funny I mean “makes me laugh out loud at you” not “witty”)

  69. CaitieCat says

    Can someone give toweliejoint’s arm a nudge? I think zie is skipping…

  70. says

    Imagine I came on here and said to “daniellavine”

    I know your name and occupation and location

    Maaaaaan, I wish you’d used me as your example instead of daniellavine. ‘Cuz then I could have replied, “yeah well it’s all on my website which is linked to my avatar right up there on the left hand side of my comment.”

    I wouldn’t presume to put words in Daniel Lavine’s mouth but if I did they’d be something like, “You mean you right-clicked on my name to Google it, and it came up with my Facebook and Twitter feeds, which twitfeed says where I live and work?”

  71. Scr... Archivist says

    Marcus Ranum @25,

    They’ve been asked, repeatedly – and given plenty of opportunity – to explain their disagreements.

    I think I didn’t make myself clear. I have also noticed that they can’t really articulate any disagreements about policy.

    That is why I am suggesting that this might really be about a personal disagreements/disliking which may date to before 2010. It then turned into a pile-on when that “community” found each other. That might explain the content-free, vitriolic nature of these personal attacks.

    I’m speculating about this, of course, but I think it might explain why they got so readily bent out of shape two years ago and haven’t let it go.

    ———

    And, Pteryxx @33, thank you for your reply. I hope that’s how this works out, too, but I hate the fact that it will take so long.

  72. daniellavine says

    If someone came on here, and said this about say “daniellavine”, everyone here would scream that this is intimidating and a veiled threat of releasing such information. AND IT IS A THREAT.

    I’ve already pointed out an alternate interpretation that is much more consistent with what OB has been writing recently: that it was a reminder that Skep Tickle is engaged in a pseudonymous smear campaign against someone who can but so far hasn’t divulged her identity. Pointing this out is, to me, much less threatening than the sort of bullshit Skep Tickle has engaged in and encouraged so far.

    Ophelia Benson is a disgrace, and if I am involved in organizing conferences, I will definitely make sure that she is rejected from speaking, and I hope that all other organizers do to.

    Fortunately you’re a powerless nobody so we don’t really have to worry about anything coming of that.

    What she did there is disgusting. This is as bad as any death threat in my view. No question in my mind.

    And again, you have yet to make any kind of argument that would convince anyone who is not as obsessive and angry as you are that this is the case. Nowhere near a death threat, especially since OB does not pose a credible threat in the first place. She is defending herself against harassment and stalking whereas Justicar participates in harassment and stalking. Once again, your false equivalence is false.

    She stepped way over the line there and if this was done to ANYONE on FtB (except of course, by Ophelia Benson) you would call that person out. It’s a disgrace. Imagine I came on here and said to “daniellavine”

    Imagine if you did. Like OB and unlike you or “Skep Tickle” I’m perfectly happy to put my real name behind the things I say and do on the internet. I don’t much care if I get “doxxed”.

    But then, I’m not engaged in a protracted and earnest effort to anonymously smear, discredit, and intimidate named bloggers off the internet. Maybe if Skep Tickle was more like me she wouldn’t have anything to worry about either.

  73. A Hermit says

    54
    gmcard

    29 May 2013 at 12:32 pm (UTC -5)

    …she is on the board of an atheist group under her real name. Her posts on general atheist advocacy carry her own name. Only when engaging in the serial harassment of others, or when supporting the originators and propagators of rape and death threats does skep tickle suddenly need anonymity.

    ^this^

  74. Eristae says

    Okay, so if I’m understanding this, SkepTickle put their name out on the internet along with the fact that they worked at an atheist organization (without specifying which), presumably at different times in different places. Benson posted both of these facts in the same place at the same time. People used this information to declare that these could be used to definitively find out ST’s real identity.

    Assuming this is the case, I fail to see how Benson should have known that people could do that considering that ST didn’t know it (and ST clearly didn’t know that or they wouldn’t have put their name out there). If someone told me that this was possible, I’d have looked at them funny. In fact, I actually am looking at them funny; I think the degree of certainty that ST corresponds to anyone you found on Google is much lower than people want to think it is. It’s like those daft MRAs who decided that a specific woman wrote a specific blog when said MRAs didn’t actually have a foundation for their accusations. Anyone who is certain that they found a specific person using only their first name along with an incredibly broad description of one thing that said person did (served on the board of “an atheist organization?” Come on!) should be whacked on the head with a newspaper.

    To put it simply, if you think that you found ST’s real identity using a first name and broad service description, then you are an fool and you are the reason that we need to handle criminal accusations in a court of law rather than through vigilantism. A first name and a broad service description is not enough to draw a conclusion on. It isn’t even close. You aren’t anywhere near as clever as you think you are, and real people will undoubtedly suffer for this fact.

  75. Jackie, Ms. Paper if ya nasty says

    Demonizing you for not liking what you say?

    Marcus, it isn’t fair to judge toweliestumpwatson for the things he* says and the way he behaves. We need to be more charitable and assume his intentions are pristine because…..?????

    *I think Throwaway called it. This sounds alot like Andy.

  76. David Marjanović says

    Have you told off Reap Paden for doxxing Anthony K yet?

    Oh, so that’s why he uses his meatspace name now… I had no idea! When did that happen?

    To put it simply, if you think that you found ST’s real identity using a first name and broad service description, then you are an fool

    Indeed, there’s at least one other biologist with my full name out there.

  77. daniellavine says

    Maybe if Skep Tickle was more like me she wouldn’t have anything to worry about either.

    In fact, there’s no “maybe” about it. We’ve seen no reason for Skep Tickle’s pseudonymity except to protect her real-world reputation from suffering as a result of the smear campaign she’s been engaged in for the last few months at least.

  78. daniellavine says

    David@92:

    I learned about it at the linked butterflies and wheels thread — Anthony himself mentions it way down in the comments.

  79. says

    I found out there is another James Billingham in IT when I annoyed the pittizens a little, specifically Mykeru. Unfortunately for my co-James he was deemed to be a geek/nerd or somehow risible. I hope he never stumbles on the pit and wonders why so many “rational skeptics” decided to be nasty about his appearance.

  80. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    So, what I learned from towelie is that its a pretty safe bet to assume an obviously dishonest, doesn’t-know-doxxing-from-a-hole-in-the-ground troll is from the pit, as soon as they pretend they aren’t.

  81. iiandyiiii says

    I’ve been reading PZ’s blog almost every day for the past year or so, but I still don’t understand the basics of this ongoing debate/feud/flame war/whatever between (as far as I can tell) pro-feminist atheists like PZ and anti-feminist atheists… it seems like it started quite a while ago, and (again, as far as I can tell) every post seems to refer to past events that I’m not aware of. Is there a “sum up” post somewhere, or can someone just sum it up for me?

  82. anteprepro says

    Towlie takes offense to:

    I know your name and occupation and location

    Awww. Still precious. Here is what skep tickle said, in response to Ophelia saying “Hey “Skep tickle” @ 7 – that’s easy for you, isn’t it. You’re just “Skep tickle” – nobody knows how to follow you around.” :

    …3) You’re a published author, a well-established blogger, and an invited speaker at conferences in atheism & secularism (& feminism) – of course you’re a public figure, under your own name. Of course there are going to be some people who express agreement & support, and others who express disagreement & criticism, some of which is going to be expressed calmly and some of which (the positive as well as the negative) is going to be expressed with vigor. Doesn’t it come with the territory, whether or not in an ideal world all interaction would be expressed politely (and agree with one’s own point of view, lol).

    4) Some people on both “sides” of “the rift” do know my RL name and where I live, for what that’s worth. I maintain semi-anonymity because of my job, as do many atheists, including (presumably) some of your regular commenters.

    And Ophelia responded with:

    3. Fuck that shit. Yes I’m a blogger; no that does not mean I deserve a torrent of sexist bullshit flung at me every day.

    4. How nice for you. (I know your name and occupation and location too.) But you should have the minimal decency to recognize that other people don’t, and refrain from egging on people who throw torrents of sexist bullshit at women who have the audacity to blog under their own names.

    I don’t know what she was trying to express by mentioning it, but it wasn’t completely out of the blue, and it is not clearly a threat.

    (Notice how our resident troll neglected to copy and paste the “too” from that particular sentence. I can only imagine why)

  83. Eristae says

    Indeed, there’s at least one other biologist with my full name out there.

    My name is also the name of a famous person and if you stuff my name in Google, you’ll not find me, not unless you have more information. I’ve tried. Anyone who took my full, legal name and decided that they knew who I really am and took it upon themselves to harass “me” would be going after entirely the wrong person. This whole “oh, I have this tiny bit of information so I used my super sleuth powers to snoop out the truth!” mentality ends with real people getting hurt and should not be encouraged. It’s daft, and it infuriates me.

  84. says

    There is no summary. There’s a faction that detests feminism, really hates women like Rebecca Watson who get all uppity and point out gender inequities, and they’ve gone on a two year long temper tantrum of irrational gibberish, photoshop games, misrepresentation, fuming about anti-harassment policies, and calling us ‘cunts’ and ‘manginas’, among other colorful sex-based slurs. The good thing is that all the assholes have conveniently decamped to a place called the slymepit where they spend all their time whining about FtB and Skepchicks.

  85. says

    We’ve seen no reason for Skep Tickle’s pseudonymity except to protect her real-world reputation from suffering as a result of the smear campaign she’s been engaged in for the last few months at least.

    In all fairness, that’s an issue. Vacula has already done tremendous damage to any future career he may have (other than working for misogynists) — I wonder if he wishes he’d been anonymous about it. Of course, that would be thinking about the problem wrong: if you avoid doing horrible things that people will think less of you for, then you won’t have people think less of you.

    It’s for that reason that most people apply extra filters of doubt(tm) to anonymous postings. As you can see I’m not taking toweliejoint particularly seriously a) because they’re talking nonsense and b) doing so anonymously. A outweighs B by a huge margin, which is why I do take some people quite seriously in spite of their anonymity. B is just an extra little filter that amounts to “why is this person choosing anonymity?” Sometimes the answer is “because they need to” and other times its “because they’re a weasel.” I think it’s reasonable to wonder why someone chose anonymity.

    What I most wish I knew was where the name “Voltaire” came from. ‘Sieur Arouet never said. :(

  86. daniellavine says

    anteprepro@99:

    Should have guessed that towlie wasn’t even making a pretense of honesty there. From context that’s clearly not a threat.

  87. CaitieCat says

    Yeah, well, part of the reason I use a ‘nym is that my name is quite unique – there is no one else on the entire Intertubez who has my first and last name. Not one. So if one gets associated with the other, I have an issue.

    Why do I have an issue? Because I work for myself, and my name (for twenty years) has been my business’ name. I mean, I have a business name, but most of my clients know me and met me as $REALNAME. And due to the nature of my business, most of my work is one-on-one with clients from non-English-speaking countries. Due to the nature of word of mouth, and the demographics of the first few people I started with, a significant majority of my clients are Muslims, from various GME/NAf countries: since they tend to know one another, they also tend to be of a similar religiosity (quietly devout Sunnis).

    This population, then, that is the majority of my clients, are socially conservative (thus my queer activism would be a BIG problem) and fairly religious (thus my atheism would be a BIG problem).

    So for me, putting my name and ‘nym together in a public place is very much a potential threat.

    Also, Eristae, I believe you meant this in good faith and not as a dismissal, but when you say:

    This whole “oh, I have this tiny bit of information so I used my super sleuth powers to snoop out the truth!” mentality ends with real people getting hurt and should not be encouraged. It’s daft, and it infuriates me. (emphasis mine)

    …it sounds like you’re suggesting that if the actual person is easy to find, then “real people” won’t be getting hurt, which in turn sounds rather like those of us who are the targets of harrassment are not “real people”. Again, I don’t think you meant that to be dismissive, but thought I’d point out that it kinda turned out to be.

  88. anteprepro says

    Huh. So was towelie actually stumpy, just like throwaway said? Or someone else’s sockpuppet?

    From context that’s clearly not a threat.

    Heh. I’m glad I’m not the only one who got that impression. I still don’t know why she said it, but the tone of the rest of her statement doesn’t imply that she intends to do anything nefarious with that information.

  89. Jackie, Ms. Paper if ya nasty says

    Eriste,
    Nope. Please follow the links to see what Skep Tickle actually said. She linked her nyms using an avatar that had also been used under her name. She wasn’t being secretive at all. She also issued an invitation for us to come pay her a visit, saying that her info was available through the bloggers whose blogs she was posting on. Also note that yes, you can Google her first name and “atheist” along with her nyms and you quickly find her. Any doubt of who she is is erased by the photo of herself she uses as an avatar on other blogs. The info she did mention was vague and in a response to Skep Tickle declaring Ophelia paranoid and in need of help for her mental health. So, it’s pretty rich that people are freaking out about her first name being uttered when Ophelia’s is known to everyone. Either there is nothing to fear, or she’s full of shit. ST’s talking out of both sides of her mouth. Further, note that her reason for claiming to want anonymity is fear of being outed as atheist. That has been shown to be a lie. She only uses her anonymity to bully and lie. Do we protect the identity of Mabus too now? She wasn’t doxxed. She just regrets not covering her tracks while she was being awful.

    In short, she spouted off proudly that she didn’t care if we knew who she was or even came to see her in person. She offered information on FTBs and now she’s acting as if she hadn’t. This is bullshit. Saying “she’s on a board” is not telling people anything specific or anything they could not have easily found out on their own. Here’s the thing, I don’t think anyone cared to do so until her sock puppet pals made such a dishonest stink.

  90. daniellavine says

    Marcus@102:

    In all fairness, that’s an issue.

    If by “that’s an issue” you mean “that really could affect her real-life reputation” I agree. She also seems to agree based on the fact that she is doing this stuff pseudonymously — in her own words here — “because of [her] job”.

    In other words she knows what she’s doing is wrong and could impact her job and she does it anyway but does it pseudonymously specifically so it won’t affect her job.

    If by “that’s an issue” you mean it would be unfair to attach her words and actions to her identity in such a way that her employers both current and prospective could judge fairly whether they want such a person working for them I disagree. Given the bit I do know about her job she should be fired for participating in a harassment campaign.

    I don’t think there is a right to anonymity. I support anonymity for the powerless and those speaking truth to power. I don’t support anonymity for bullies to get away with bullying without consequences.

  91. says

    Apropos nothing, but I just thought this story would fit in here…

    A bunch of years ago I tangled with Kevin Mitnick the “super hacker” who’s written a few books about his exploits and used to be on the sociopath speaking circuit. Anyhow, I was interviewed alongside him and decided to jerk him around a bit on the interview (and did) so a couple days later I’m eating dinner with my wife and the phone rings and it’s Kevin. At that time, my phone number was unlisted to keep robot calls away, so apparently he had somehow hacked something or social engineered someone into giving it to him. So he asked me if I knew how he got my # and I replied, “It’s on my website. Under ‘Contact Me'” I love the idea that he actually spent time trying to get my phone #, and thought that he’d done something clever/vaguely threatening by doing so.

  92. Jackie, Ms. Paper if ya nasty says

    nyone who took my full, legal name and decided that they knew who I really am and took it upon themselves to harass “me” would be going after entirely the wrong person. This whole “oh, I have this tiny bit of information so I used my super sleuth powers to snoop out the truth!” mentality ends with real people getting hurt and should not be encouraged. It’s daft, and it infuriates me.

    Eriste,
    Why would you assume that anyone here wants to harass anyone else? We’re not the ones doing that. You really reaching out for something to be concerned about.

    Also, who said Google was a superpower…other than you?

  93. iiandyiiii says

    Thank you PZ. In an effort to better understand the argument, I’m trying to put myself in the shoes of the opposing side- but for the life of me, I can’t seem to understand what their point is. What exactly do they want?

  94. daniellavine says

    Jackie@109:

    I think Eristae nonetheless has a fine point about the fact that cases of mistaken identity in internet vigilante justice situations are very common and that such behavior should be discouraged. If I’m getting you correctly you also think outing should be discouraged so maybe you’re violently agreeing?

  95. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    for the life of me, I can’t seem to understand what their point is. What exactly do they want?

    To be able to scream gendered slurs at anybody at any time and never have that turned back on them, basically.

  96. Jackie, Ms. Paper if ya nasty says

    .”.ends with real people getting hurt and should not be encouraged. It’s daft, and it infuriates me.”

    Why don’t you go tell that to the harassers and the people encouraging them then, instead of the real people they are hurting?

  97. says

    In other words she knows what she’s doing is wrong and could impact her job and she does it anyway but does it pseudonymously specifically so it won’t affect her job.

    Exactly.

    And I never bought that the KKK wore hoods because they were scary, either. :)

  98. Jackie, Ms. Paper if ya nasty says

    Daniel, wouldn’t be the first time I’d made that mistake.
    Walking away for now.
    Thanks.

  99. David Marjanović says

    (Notice how our resident troll neglected to copy and paste the “too” from that particular sentence. I can only imagine why)

    Hmmmmmmmmmmmm. *strokes beard theatrically*

    What I most wish I knew was where the name “Voltaire” came from. ‘Sieur Arouet never said. :(

    Behold the Pffft! of All Knowledge.

  100. anteprepro says

    What exactly do they want?

    Simply put? The status quo. They really don’t want anything in particular aside from wanting feminists to shut up already so they can go back to enjoying their privilege. Aside from that, and shouting about how they hate hate HATE feminists X, Y, and Z, they don’t really have anything to say. They will say a lot, they will say it loudly, and they will say it length, but they really don’t have anything to actually say. It’s just a combination of incoherent outrage and smug incredulity. All wrapped up in a neat little package of faux-logic. They have creationist levels of stubbornness and immunity to facts or logic, but pretend to be the Vulcans among us.

  101. throwaway, extra beefy super queasy says

    I don’t think there is a right to anonymity. I support anonymity for the powerless and those speaking truth to power. I don’t support anonymity for bullies to get away with bullying without consequences.

    But putting a subjective lens on who deserves anonymity makes all subjective lenses valid about who also doesn’t deserve anonymity. It’s not something I’m comfortable with, myself; i.e. picking and choosing when to apply such a lens. Either it stays on all the time or it stays off all the time or we’re all in danger of subjective reprisals by individuals who refuse to wear that lens at all and having no moral grounds to admonish them for it.

    I’m not saying that ‘bullying’ is a matter of perspective, mind, I’m just saying that justifying outing for the perception of bullying, manufactured through propagandizing by feint or hyperbole, must require an argument against the propaganda itself, rather than the act of outing, at which point the damage has already been done.

  102. anteprepro says

    And I never bought that the KKK wore hoods because they were scary, either. :)

    I thought they wore those hoods for a different reason. Consider that their leader is called “Imperial Wizard” and they all look like ghostly wizards. I think the conclusion is obvious: The KKK was the most racist and violent group of LARPers to ever walk the earth.

  103. Eristae says

    …it sounds like you’re suggesting that if the actual person is easy to find, then “real people” won’t be getting hurt, which in turn sounds rather like those of us who are the targets of harrassment are not “real people”. Again, I don’t think you meant that to be dismissive, but thought I’d point out that it kinda turned out to be.

    You’re right; that’s not what I meant. What I meant (but seem to have not actually written) is that they’re acting like this is a Scooby Doo episode where broad, overarching conclusions can be drawn from basically no evidence whatsoever. They know who you are, they know what you did, and they know you deserve it because they’re just so bloody intelligent that everything is made clear based on bread crumbs. But this isn’t a cartoon, and no one is going to shout, “If it wasn’t for those meddlesome kids!” at the end of this. A real person is going to have to pay for their fantasy detective roleplaying.

    Nope. Please follow the links to see what Skep Tickle actually said. She linked her nyms using an avatar that had also been used under her name. She wasn’t being secretive at all. She also issued an invitation for us to come pay her a visit, saying that her info was available through the bloggers whose blogs she was posting on. Also note that yes, you can Google her first name and “atheist” along with her nyms and you quickly find her. Any doubt of who she is is erased by the photo of herself she uses as an avatar on other blogs.

    . . . eiah, that’s not a good way to maintain anonymity. It’s like a lesson in how not to.

    That being said, I can’t actually find her easily, but some of that is undoubtedly due to the fact that I don’t really care who she is and am thus possibly not looking hard enough.

    @Jackie You’re not understanding what I meant. Perhaps I phrased myself poorly.

  104. CaitieCat says

    thanks, Eristae – I figured it was something like that. Seen enough of your comments to have gained an idea of who you are, and it didn’t fit with what I was reading. Sorry if I misread, and thanks for being willing to clarify. :)

  105. daniellavine says

    throwaway@118:

    Those are great points and I completely agree. That’s why I typically wouldn’t divulge the identity of an anonymous bully even if I could…at least until the anonymous bully got to the point of being a credible threat. Of course, that would also be a judgment call on my part but one has to weigh the benefits and drawbacks.

    It’s hard being principled, yo.

  106. says

    I don’t think there is a right to anonymity. I support anonymity for the powerless and those speaking truth to power. I don’t support anonymity for bullies to get away with bullying without consequences.

    I do support a right of anonymity. Because it’s impossible to accurately tell who’s powerless and who’s not. It’s absolutely critical that whistle-blowers are able to anonymously disclose the lies and crimes of others as long as they can do so, credibly. As we’ve seen again and again, retaliation is common. But it is socially valuable to encourage certain types of anonymous speech. Partly because of the observation that even the best-hidden ‘nym will eventually be discovered if they become important enough, i.e.: “Deep Throat” (Mark Felt) and Voltaire (Francois Arouet). I would say that the existence of Voltaire, alone, justifies whatever painful side-effects we suffer throughout the remainder of history, due to anonymity. :) One important exception to my observation above is the individuals who doxed the FBI’s COINTELPRO programs. That was an incredibly valuable (in the short term) action for society, and whoever did it – my bet is an insider – would have been hounded to death by the FBI in retaliation.

    What happens is that society uses an informal process of opinion to “decide” whether anonymity was justified. And, I think that generally it works. The political parties that engage in “astroturfing” are now trusted less than they were before they did it. Sockpuppets are seen as a breach of trust exactly because we humans value identity and recognize when someone is gaming our value-systems. A case in point is “Deep Throat” who, I think, did the US a service by imploding the Nixon presidency – but as a senior executive at the FBI, we have to weigh whether what he did was an inter-agency “hit” on a president that had cut the FBI out of the dirty tricks loop and was relying on the CIA too much. If we had no right to anonymity, we would not even be able to ask these questions.

    The same point goes with regard to anonymous bullying: unless the players are completely sociopathic loners, there are other people who are involved. And they remember and/or may have logs. I imagine (or hope) that if one of the anonymous bullies someday ran for office and declared as feminist, someone might “out” them. So I think the most important thing to remember about anonymity is that no matter what, it’s probably temporary.

    Here comes the moral argument, and it goes like this:
    If you believe that we have a right to disclose information at a time and place of our choosing, i.e.: if you believe we have a right to private thoughts and controlling how/if they become public, then our right to anonymity applies because our identity is a piece of information that we control, just like any other. It’s harder to control but that doesn’t make it any less my decision.

  107. Eristae says

    @CaitieCat No, the fault is not your’s in misreading, the fault is mine for not actually putting down my complete thought. I do it in papers for school, too. I’ll go to get my papers proofread and the proofreader will say something along the lines of, “I don’t understand what you meant here,” at which point I’ll realize I wrote half of a sentence and didn’t finish it. Whoops.

  108. says

    David Marjanović writes:
    (Re: Voltaire)

    Ha! Interesting! I wonder where that came from. It certainly seems possible. I wish he’d explained it himself. It’s certainly one of The Greatest Exercises In Branding, along with “Acura”..

    Thanks for pointing me to the well of all knowledge! For a self-described lover of Voltaire to learn something new from Wikipedia is pretty much like being RTFM’d. Pardon me while I hang my head in shame.

  109. Jackie, Ms. Paper if ya nasty says

    Thanks for clearing that up for me. I have my dense moments. I did misunderstand. I’m sorry.

  110. daniellavine says

    Marcus Ranum@123:

    While I agree with the thrust of your arguments (as I already said to throwaway who made essentially the same arguments) I would still not consider anonymity a right. It is a status that should be defended in most cases but that does not make it a right.

    For example, I do not think Adrien Chen violated Brutsch’s rights when he outed him as ViolentAcrez.

  111. says

    I do not think Adrien Chen violated Brutsch’s rights when he outed him as ViolentAcrez

    It’s tough to stick up for a repugnant creature like ViolentAcrez.

    So let me ask you another way: do you believe that if I communicate with a friend via Email that I have a right to expect it to remain private? Or do I have no right to control the time, place, and manner of disclosure of information about me? I’m also a privacy advocate; I tend to see anonymity and privacy as aspects of the same continuum, which is why this gets tricky.

    One of the other reasons I tend to list heavily toward treating privacy (hence anonymity) as rights is because of the observation that treating them as privileges has historically served only the wealthy and powerful. That’s where the “why do you need to keep it secret if you’re not doing anything wrong?” trope comes from: the powerful do have things to hide, but the poor and the powerless have “nothing worth hiding” unless they’re planning a tumbril-ride for the powerful. My concern with treating privacy and anonymity as rights is aligned with my concern for keeping free speech as a right, as well – and in much the same way. The powerful and privileged don’t need a right of free speech because being able to speak as you please is part of what power is.

    We all properly disapprove of people who attempt to use anonymity and privacy to protect themselves from the consequences of doing wrongful actions. Like ViolentAcrez.

    When I speak of “rights” I am not speaking as though there is an absolute right. If I came across a private email in which one person was planning to kill another – and I thought it was plausible – I’d violate their privacy (and/or anonymity) and take it to the FBI. I believe that it’s a difficult thing to stomp on someone’s rights for the greater good, but I can think of plenty of situations in which I would. Again, whoever it was who broke into the FBI office in Harrisburg committed a crime in doing so, but I think it was justifiable in light of the more serious crimes it revealed, affecting all society.

    So perhaps if we disagree, we disagree on what a “right” is and whether it’s something that can be violated. I think that it’s best to approach things as granting everyone a broad bill of rights and dealing with the exceptions appropriately. So for example, I’d be quite willing to out ViolentAcrez and have a conviction for aggravated privacy violation and aggravated anonymity violation on my rap-sheet. Treat it as a matter of civil disobedience.

  112. A. Noyd says

    anteprepro (#99)
    I think what you pasted is really important because it shows that Skep tickle was originally trying to argue against the accusation that she engages in anonymous smears by pretending she’s not anonymous enough to get away with that. Now this fake doxxing bullshit is her trying to have it both ways.

  113. anchor says

    Why do I smell the cloying aroma of right-wing, conservative, science-denying, am-I-right-or-am-I-right god-walloping republicanism?

    The stench is unbearable.

    These folks love and live to lie.

  114. says

    @128: I was told a long, long, long time ago by an IT professional who I trust and respect that e-mail should be regarded as identical to a postcard. Open to anyone who cares to look, and not that difficult to figure out how.

    So, no. I don’t expect my e-mails are “private” in any sense other than I’m completely and totally boring and my e-mails tend to be about stuff that matters only to the people I’m having dinner with that night (or whatever).

    Nor should you. If you want private communications, pick a different medium.

  115. says

    @130: I don’t know if this is what you meant, but at the beginning of all of this, I offered the opinion that many of those who populate the pit are in truth conservative religious folks who are just in it to stir up shit. “No atheist would think like that, would they?” was my thought.

    Sadly, I’ve been proven mistaken. They’re real-and-true atheists, who are real-and-true assholes who really-and-truly are against human rights for everyone. And apparently have the ethics and character of 3-year-olds who want the entire cookie jar for themselves.

    The general disbelief in god is not necessarily associated with being a more ethical, humanistic, or empathetic human being. Sadly.

  116. Eristae says

    Aaaand I went back to read the thread (again; thanks to antepropro/99 for the link) and this is what stuck out to me (only the parts I feel are relevant are included, i.e. parts are left out):
    Skep Tickle:

    Please get some professional psychological help. I’m serious. Paranoia seems to be consuming you. [Note: This is post #7 as is referred to later]

    Ophelia Benson:

    Hey “Skep tickle” @ 7 – that’s easy for you, isn’t it. You’re just “Skep tickle” – nobody knows how to follow you around.

    Skep Tickle:

    4) Some people on both “sides” of “the rift” do know my RL name and where I live, for what that’s worth. I maintain semi-anonymity because of my job, as do many atheists, including (presumably) some of your regular commenters.

    Ophelia Benson:

    4. How nice for you. (I know your name and occupation and location too.)

    Skep Tickle:

    4. How nice for you. (I know your name and occupation and location too.)

    Great, then some of that info may have helped explain my expression of concern in #7 above.

    To me this reads as Skep Tickle sneering at Benson for being medically “paranoid” because Skep Tickle doesn’t care if people know her name, occupation, and location and thus Benson shouldn’t be reacting as she does. Only now it really is important that people not know Skep Tickle’s identity? Bwah? Because I don’t see how the last section (“some of this info may have helped explain…”) makes any sense otherwise. What would Benson knowing Skep Tickle’s information explain in #7 if not that Benson is being paranoid? #7 is comprised solely of an accusation that Benson is paranoid in a mentally ill fashion.

  117. sawells says

    I think the problem is not so much “the warped regressive side of atheism” as “the atheist side of warped regressivism.”

  118. consciousness razor says

    I would say that the existence of Voltaire, alone, justifies whatever painful side-effects we suffer throughout the remainder of history, due to anonymity. :)

    If Voltaire had not existed, it would have been necessary to invent him.

  119. briank says

    Studies have been done that show if a person’s viewpoint is attacked, it will put them on the defensive and harden them in their beliefs. One study even assigned false beliefs to participants that they didn’t believe, but after being attacked, it was found that they actually began to believe the false beliefs. I mention this because I have to wonder if your blog might be helping generate the very thing you are complaining about in your post.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that you are creating misogyny or the like. I am saying perhaps when you call names or make mean-7spirited comments or you see some of the blatant trolling of some of your more rabid fans, you are putting your detractors on the defensive, resulting with them hardening their stances, even to ridiculous levels.

    I’d be curious as to what would happen if a more caln and patient style were adopted that stressed education to those rather than shamd and criticism.

  120. consciousness razor says

    I think the problem is not so much “the warped regressive side of atheism” as “the atheist side of warped regressivism.”

    Yes. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say they’ve done more for regressivism than they’ll ever do for atheism.

  121. consciousness razor says

    Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that you are creating misogyny or the like. I am saying perhaps when you call names or make mean-7spirited comments or you see some of the blatant trolling of some of your more rabid fans, you are putting your detractors on the defensive, resulting with them hardening their stances, even to ridiculous levels.

    I’d be curious as to what would happen if a more caln and patient style were adopted that stressed education to those rather than shamd and criticism.

    Then go test your hypothesis. See what kind of effects your calm, patient education has on the assholes.

  122. Ichthyic says

    I don’t get why you guys are being so harsh to Towliejoint! All it said was…

    Sockpuppet says blah blah blah.

    just goes to show how right the pitters are about the vindictiveness and anger of FtBullies(tm)!

  123. Ichthyic says

    Then go test your hypothesis. See what kind of effects your calm, patient education has on the assholes.

    or, if you don’t want to waste your time, you could ask Oolon. he tried it. Ask him what he thought of the results.

  124. briank says

    “then go test your hypothesis”

    Actually, I have. I used to make YouTube videos where I tried to adopt that stance in the comments. In my anecdotal experiences, I had much better luck at deconverting theists (even trolling ones) than I did when I adopted a more antagonistic approach.

    I’m curious as to what the goals of FTB are. If they wish to change minds, wouldn’t the best methods be the ones shown to make a difference? If the goal is to increase a feeling of tribalism to form a loyal core membership, then I totally can see why the current methods are being employed.

  125. MrFancyPants says

    briank @136 wrote:

    I am saying perhaps when you call names or make mean-7spirited comments or you see some of the blatant trolling of some of your more rabid fans, you are putting your detractors on the defensive, resulting with them hardening their stances, even to ridiculous levels.

    That might work, were this ongoing “debate” an actual debate in which everyone involved refrained from intellectual dishonesty. In reality, it’s exactly as PZ described @101: it’s a tribal reaction against even the slightest attempt to address feminist concerns within the broader skeptical/atheist movement. I mean, really, when a woman makes a brief aside to say “guys, don’t do that” regarding some ill-advised behavior at a conference and the response is two+ years of fury, rape threats, and daily harassment, what is to be done?

    There are people and ideas that simply cannot be reasoned with.

  126. briank says

    Ichthyic,
    Yes, ridicule can be an effective tool in propaganda. However, that is not the point I was making. PZ was complaining about the tenacity of an atheist subset he fights against.

    Ridicule is a definite tool he can effectively use. However, if that tactic is helping cause them to be more hardened in their beliefs, perhaps he shouldn’t complain how hard-headed they are.

  127. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I had much better luck at deconverting theists (even trolling ones) than I did when I adopted a more antagonistic approach.

    Gee, anecdote =/= evidence, especially controlled and properly publish evidence.

    I’m curious as to what the goals of FTB are.

    For the bloggers and commenters to have fun. There is no ulterior motive.

  128. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    However, if that tactic is helping cause them to be more hardened in their beliefs, perhaps he shouldn’t complain how hard-headed they are.

    Fine, show us your method works. Go there an deconvert them from misogyny. Meanwhile, quite tone trolling us. Complaints about tone not backed by evidence is tone trolling.

  129. Ichthyic says

    However, if that tactic is helping cause them to be more hardened in their beliefs, perhaps he shouldn’t complain how hard-headed they are.

    you understand nothing of this mindset.

    it doesn’t matter WHAT approach you take. the ridicule is not for them as an audience, it’s for those who are looking on.

  130. tonyinbatavia says

    briank @146: So your claim is that ridicule about their assbackwards, backwoods beliefs about women is the cause of them clutching onto those beliefs? For that you will need to provide actual evidence, not a lame-ass personal YouTube anecdote.

    Incidentally, that was a slick job you did there, trying to link ridicule exclusively to propaganda. Ridicule is a response to the ridiculous, period. It can be used in a vast array of ways that have absolutely nothing to do with propaganda. So why did you try to tie it only to propaganda?

  131. Ichthyic says

    If they wish to change minds

    again, you do not understand who the audience is.

    example:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-22701082

    the people who organized to attack violence against women on facebook. Was their audience the people exhibiting and promoting the violence?

    no.

    Tell me, so I know you understand:

    WHO WAS THE AUDIENCE?

  132. consciousness razor says

    I’m curious as to what the goals of FTB are. If they wish to change minds, wouldn’t the best methods be the ones shown to make a difference? If the goal is to increase a feeling of tribalism to form a loyal core membership, then I totally can see why the current methods are being employed.

    A false dichotomy. One of my goals is to express my feelings toward total assholes, about how destructive their ignorant, immoral fuckwittery is. It has nothing to do with generating loyalty.

    Ridicule is a definite tool he can effectively use. However, if that tactic is helping cause them to be more hardened in their beliefs, perhaps he shouldn’t complain how hard-headed they are.

    Perhaps their hard-headedness causes his ridicule. Or perhaps it’s not so much their hard-headedness, but the ignorant, immoral fuckwittery that is most ridiculous.

    Either way, he should complain, because either is worth complaining about, no matter what the causes may be.

  133. John Morales says

    briank:

    I’d be curious as to what would happen if a more caln and patient style were adopted that stressed education to those rather than shamd and criticism.

    You would be curious, would you? When would that be?

    (You are here being educated in the subjunctive tense, and I need not wonder what will happen)

    Ridicule is a definite tool he can effectively use. However, if that tactic is helping cause them to be more hardened in their beliefs, perhaps he shouldn’t complain how hard-headed they are.

    Did you read #101?

    Here: “There’s a faction that detests feminism, really hates women like Rebecca Watson who get all uppity and point out gender inequities, and they’ve gone on a two year long temper tantrum of irrational gibberish, photoshop games, misrepresentation, fuming about anti-harassment policies, and calling us ‘cunts’ and ‘manginas’, among other colorful sex-based slurs. The good thing is that all the assholes have conveniently decamped to a place called the slymepit where they spend all their time whining about FtB and Skepchicks.”

    (The chaff has been winnowed from the grain)

  134. briank says

    I mean, really, when a woman makes a brief aside to say “guys, don’t do that” regarding some ill-advised behavior at a conference and the response is two+ years of fury, rape threats, and daily harassment, what is to be done?

    There are people and ideas that simply cannot be reasoned with.

    I think that taking the higher ground is better for the long term. You might not be able change the mind of many of the trolls, but in online discussions, there are more involved. All the hidden users who read the discussions look at context as well as content. If one side is calm and expresses logical standpoints, while the other engages in increasingly deranged rants… well, they end up helping you win your case for you.

  135. Ichthyic says

    So why did you try to tie it only to propaganda?

    because he only skimmed the link I gave instead of reading it.

  136. John Morales says

    briank:

    I’d be curious as to what would happen if a more caln and patient style were adopted that stressed education to those rather than shamd and criticism.

    You would be curious, would you? When would that be?

    Never mind. Your naivete is amusing.

    Ridicule is a definite tool he can effectively use. However, if that tactic is helping cause them to be more hardened in their beliefs, perhaps he shouldn’t complain how hard-headed they are.

    Did you read #101?

    Here: “There’s a faction that detests feminism, really hates women like Rebecca Watson who get all uppity and point out gender inequities, and they’ve gone on a two year long temper tantrum of irrational gibberish, photoshop games, misrepresentation, fuming about anti-harassment policies, and calling us ‘cunts’ and ‘manginas’, among other colorful sex-based slurs. The good thing is that all the assholes have conveniently decamped to a place called the slymepit where they spend all their time whining about FtB and Skepchicks.”

    (The chaff has been winnowed from the grain)

  137. katkinkate says

    michaelblayney: “Y’know, if you were to write a movie in which the protagonist was stalked, harassed, and threatened with rape and death for 2+ years and counting for the slight of “guys, don’t do that,” you’d be laughed out of the writer’s guild for being so absurd and histrionic.”

    That’s because, unlike real life in all it’s messy glory, fiction has to make sense.

  138. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    because he only skimmed the link I gave instead of reading it.

    You expect people to read? Harsh. ;)

  139. John Morales says

    briank:

    I think that taking the higher ground is better for the long term. You might not be able change the mind of many of the trolls, but in online discussions, there are more involved. All the hidden users who read the discussions look at context as well as content. If one side is calm and expresses logical standpoints, while the other engages in increasingly deranged rants… well, they end up helping you win your case for you.

    There you go. You endorse FtB!

  140. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I think that taking the higher ground is better for the long term

    Fine, you take it. By the way, we seldom go to the Slymepit™ and post there. When they come here, all they have is attitude. They display nothing rational. Laughing at them and ridicule is the best way to tell them to buzz off, nobody is listening to your drivel.

    You, like them, lack context and perspective. Get some if which to have a rational evidence based discussion. You known, one where you say “this is what I believe, and this [link to the evidence] backs this up”.

  141. says

    We’ve seen no reason for Skep Tickle’s pseudonymity except to protect her real-world reputation from suffering as a result of the smear campaign she’s been engaged in for the last few months at least.

    that’s true, and it’s probably really the reason she’s semi-pseudonymous. That isn’t a good reason to ignore her desire to be semi-pseudonymous though.
    Having people refer to someone posting under a handle with their meatspace name is… awkward. I wouldn’t want it doen to me even though I have no safety-related reason for that. It’s not doxxing, but it still strikes me as not quite right.

    In other words she knows what she’s doing is wrong and could impact her job and she does it anyway but does it pseudonymously specifically so it won’t affect her job.

    again, in Skep Tickle’s case that’s probably right, but it’s not universally true: not everything that negatively affects your meatspace life is actually something that’s ethically wrong.

    But putting a subjective lens on who deserves anonymity makes all subjective lenses valid about who also doesn’t deserve anonymity. It’s not something I’m comfortable with, myself; i.e. picking and choosing when to apply such a lens. Either it stays on all the time or it stays off all the time or we’re all in danger of subjective reprisals by individuals who refuse to wear that lens at all and having no moral grounds to admonish them for it.

    (mostly) this. I do think there are acts so egregious and so dangerous that they lose one the right to pseudonymity, but they are and must be kept extremely rare to protect those who actually need pseudonymity.

    One of the other reasons I tend to list heavily toward treating privacy (hence anonymity) as rights is because of the observation that treating them as privileges has historically served only the wealthy and powerful. That’s where the “why do you need to keep it secret if you’re not doing anything wrong?” trope comes from: the powerful do have things to hide, but the poor and the powerless have “nothing worth hiding” unless they’re planning a tumbril-ride for the powerful. My concern with treating privacy and anonymity as rights is aligned with my concern for keeping free speech as a right, as well – and in much the same way. The powerful and privileged don’t need a right of free speech because being able to speak as you please is part of what power is.

    We all properly disapprove of people who attempt to use anonymity and privacy to protect themselves from the consequences of doing wrongful actions. Like ViolentAcrez.

    When I speak of “rights” I am not speaking as though there is an absolute right. If I came across a private email in which one person was planning to kill another – and I thought it was plausible – I’d violate their privacy (and/or anonymity) and take it to the FBI. I believe that it’s a difficult thing to stomp on someone’s rights for the greater good, but I can think of plenty of situations in which I would. Again, whoever it was who broke into the FBI office in Harrisburg committed a crime in doing so, but I think it was justifiable in light of the more serious crimes it revealed, affecting all society.

    this, too.

  142. Eristae says

    I’d be curious as to what would happen if a more caln and patient style were adopted that stressed education to those rather than shamd and criticism.

    I’m curious as to what the goals of FTB are. If they wish to change minds, wouldn’t the best methods be the ones shown to make a difference?

    I have in the past and remain to some extent one of the most calm and patient atheists that I know when it comes to educating other people on the internet and I can say, with great confidence, that it has proved to be wildly ineffective when it comes to “converting” people. The only thing it does seem to accomplish is either get me ignored or goes about allowing the other side (generally theists) to use me against the people on my side (generally other atheists) who are in the room. While the “rude” atheists are in the room, it’s all “Oh, Eristae is so nice and rational and logical and calm! If only atheists were like Eristae, our discussions would be so much more productive.” But you take the “rude” atheists out of the room? Then all of a sudden I’m irrational, deceptive, disingenuous, willfully ignorant, trying to make them look bad, and more. I’m only a “good atheist” when there are people who are “meaner” than I am around.

    So, I’m not really keen on this, “Can’t we all be nice?” position. If, like me, you are uncomfortable being as aggressive as some people are, then fine, don’t push it. Do what’s right for you. But don’t think for a minute that you’d still be acceptable if the meanies weren’t around. I found that out the hard way.

  143. briank says

    I’m typing out my posts on my aging cellphone, so I already know know I wont be able to keep up with replies.

    You are more than welcome to use ridicule. It has its purposes. It can make you feel better, increase feelings of tribalism, act as propaganda against your target, etc.

    My initial point is that complaining about how hard headed some groups are might be related to the tactics used to fight them.

    I prefer taking the “high road”. I am not saying you shouldn’t take the low one. Both end up in Scotland. I just might get there before you do.

  144. says

    I think that taking the higher ground is better for the long term. You might not be able change the mind of many of the trolls, but in online discussions, there are more involved. All the hidden users who read the discussions look at context as well as content.

    given the large number of lurkers who have thanked us for aggressively destroying the bullshit spewed by those who threw a shitfit over “guys, don’t do that”, and who have said that it helped them realize a)their own privilege, and b)the depth of anti-woman toxicity in the atheist movement, I’m going to need some very convincing argument that politeness and meekeness actually work better; or that they even constitute the higher ground.

  145. John Morales says

    [meta]

    briank:

    You are more than welcome to use ridicule. It has its purposes. It can make you feel better, increase feelings of tribalism, act as propaganda against your target, etc.

    Your narrative is amusingly self-revealing, O high roadster.

    (Not merely high, but lofty!)

  146. says

    My initial point is that complaining about how hard headed some groups are might be related to the tactics used to fight them.

    this, of course, is getting the chronology wrong.

  147. Ichthyic says

    what’s more, Brian seems to fail to note the real history, which indeed inevitably starts out with people reaching out to try and understand why others were being so irrationally critical, and even reacting violently towards things like what RW said about proper behavior on elevators. That behavior was slapped down, repeatedly, in favor of demonization from those attacking Watson (again, as just one example).

    This isn’t an immediate escalation to ridicule. Ridicule is a RESPONSE to the complete intractability of the situation to begin with.

    so, Brian here is just profoundly expressing his ignorance, on multiple levels.

    oh well. At least his heart is in the right place….

  148. Ichthyic says

    It can make you feel better, increase feelings of tribalism, act as propaganda against your target, etc.

    right… that’s what it’s for.

    *rolleyes*

    run along, moron.

  149. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I just might get there before you do.

    Fine, if you do, you have evidence. But I’m not holding my breath. Liberturds like some of Slymepitters are notoriously ignorant and egotistical.

  150. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Gee, every so often we do get a ‘pitter coming over to try to get us to tone down our rhetoric, especially after they get skewered as happened recently. Brian, why are you still here and not over there?

  151. consciousness razor says

    I prefer taking the “high road”. I am not saying you shouldn’t take the low one. Both end up in Scotland. I just might get there before you do.

    And I might just get there before you. Or I might not be going to the same place as you.

    Since no here is opposed to calm and rational discourse, if we’re done with this, you might want to spread the good news to the bigoted fuckwads, assuming you can find the time. It would probably do more to change their minds than preaching at us about the virtues of tone or how great your Spock impersonation is.

  152. Eristae says

    I’m typing out my posts on my aging cellphone, so I already know know I wont be able to keep up with replies.

    You are more than welcome to use ridicule. It has its purposes. It can make you feel better, increase feelings of tribalism, act as propaganda against your target, etc.

    My initial point is that complaining about how hard headed some groups are might be related to the tactics used to fight them.

    I prefer taking the “high road”. I am not saying you shouldn’t take the low one. Both end up in Scotland. I just might get there before you do.

    Er, I’m not sure what you think is polite about this. It’s passive aggressive, insulting and dismissive. The fact that you aren’t swearing doesn’t make it any less rude.

  153. Ichthyic says

    Brian, why are you still here and not over there?

    It’s like watching the story of Oolon happen, all over again.

    though I doubt Brian will have sufficient wherewithal to actually follow up on his intentions like Oolon did.

  154. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    It’s like watching the story of Oolon happen, all over again.

    though I doubt Brian will have sufficient wherewithal to actually follow up on his intentions like Oolon did.

    And didn’t Oolon give up on the ‘pitters as a lost cause after beating his head futilely against their brick wall of bad attitude for while over there?

  155. MrFancyPants says

    Brian, Jadehawk @166 is right. This didn’t start with the ‘pitters politely responding to Rebecca saying “we would like to disagree, with all due respect.” It started with Thunderf00t FREAKING OUT, raging against her, and mocking her, and his (soon to be Slymepit fans) piling on. So don’t say that somehow people here have “hardened” their attitudes–they started out of the gate being intellectually dishonest and seeking only to harass and troll.

    I said it before, and I’ll say it again: there are people who cannot be (and shouldn’t be) reasoned with.

  156. Eristae says

    I’m going to put it out there that I despise the fact that “polite” has come to be a euphemism for “passive aggressive.” If you have something negative to say to me, just bloody well say. Don’t pull this whole, “Oh I’m going to say something that I fully intend to upset you but I’m going to do it in such a way that I can insist that you had no reason to be upset!” That kind of behavior is deplorable. I’d much rather that someone call me every filthy name in the book that have said person gaslight me.

  157. Wowbagger, Designated Snarker says

    BrianK,

    The KKK exists. Stormfront exists. AVFM (a group many of those opposed to FTB are heavily involved with) exists. Westboro Baptist Church exists. Do you think reasoned discourse hasn’t been tried with these people? It has. It failed. There are some people you just can’t reach, no matter how hard and how long you try.

    Sometimes your only option is to criticise and/or shun.

  158. Ichthyic says

    I’m going to put it out there that I despise the fact that “polite” has come to be a euphemism for “passive aggressive.”

    yeah, that’s a big issue here in NZ I’ve noticed.

  159. briank says

    I would like to apologize for my high road comment. It was in poor form and (gasp!) Seemed to cause an increase in hostile comments towards me… almost as if it seemed to encourage people to over-react negatively towards me.

    Someone posted, “there you go, you endorse FTB”. Who said I didn’t? Can’t I express mild differences of opinion or even occasional disapproval and still be pro-atheist and women’s rights?

    As to my Spock impersonization, I was actually going more for Captain Reynolds from Firefly, but my impersonation skills suck.

  160. omnicrom says

    Briank the position you endorse requires a far better world than the one we have.

    In a better world than ours cooler heads would prevail. That slow, patient, evidence-based niceness would be the right road to change and reform. In a better world the side that laid out their facts calmly would win by virtue of having reality on their side. We don’t have that world. On our Earth every move towards greater equality and virtue hasn’t come about by convincing the racists/sexists/homophobes to reform, it’s been won by dragging them and their hateful beliefs kicking and screaming into the light of day and bearing down on them until those beliefs are recognized as NOT OKAY. No major civil rights advance has ever been won purely with reason because the people who really do want the privilege to abuse women/non-whites/gays with no recourse are not interested in being convinced otherwise.

    Those who enjoy their privilege and want to perpetuate it have a vested interest in remaining unconvinced in the face of the truth. The thing to do against sexism is to shout it as loudly as possible that being a misogynist sleazeball is NOT OKAY. Break down the idea that there’s plenty of good old boys ready to cover for rape and abuse. Call out every ugly disgusting thing that happens to make sure that anyone watching knows that they’re ugly and disgusting. Refute the idea that it’s okay because “Everyone does it”. Make noise until the cultural tide turns. Shine light on inequality until it makes like a non-Twilight Vampire and burns away.

  161. Eristae says

    Seemed to cause an increase in hostile comments towards me… almost as if it seemed to encourage people to over-react negatively towards me.

    1) Did anyone dispute that being hostile towards someone was likely to increase the hostility of their response? Because if they did, I missed it. What I saw instead was people disagreeing that being hostile was universally a bad way to go about dealing with people who oppose you.

    2) “Over-react?”

    3) Engaging in a type behavior while putting forth an argument, apologizing for that behavior, and then using the whole situation as proof of your argument is awkward and I can’t say that I really know how to deal with it.

  162. Anthony K says

    I would like to apologize for my high road comment. It was in poor form and (gasp!) Seemed to cause an increase in hostile comments towards me… almost as if it seemed to encourage people to over-react negatively towards me.

    That’s incredibly dishonest of you.

  163. omnicrom says

    I would like to apologize for my high road comment. It was in poor form and (gasp!) Seemed to cause an increase in hostile comments towards me… almost as if it seemed to encourage people to over-react negatively towards me.

    There’s a bizarre irony that you’ve now taken a leaf out of the MRA playbook here. It’s an obnoxious and over-common tactic from the FTBully crowd to make smug, mocking comments to try and show how much better you are than those silly FTBers taking offense to someone acting like an asshole. Because you were acting like an asshole briank, you moved from “Wouldn’t being nice and polite be a better method” to “I’m nice and polite therefore I’m better than you lot and going to be more successful”. People reacted negatively because your methods haven’t worked before, we have no reason to believe they’ll work better now, and you were deriding us for not immediately falling in line behind you. You’ve gone from being a possibly accidental tone troll to a full-fledged tone troll in record time, briank if you really want people to stop calling you on your conduct cut the smug sneer and deflate your ego.

  164. John Morales says

    briank:

    [1] Someone posted, “there you go, you endorse FTB”. [2] Who said I didn’t? [3] Can’t I express mild differences of opinion or even occasional disapproval and still be pro-atheist and women’s rights?

    1. Someone did, yeah.

    2. Why so defensive?

    3. Who said you couldn’t?   ;)

  165. briank says

    Redhead,
    Wait I think I’m misunderstanding you. Are you saying that I should be in the slymepit because I support their stances?

    If so, where in this comment thread, or ANY comment thread have I spoken out against RW or any pro-fem stance?

    Where is your evidence! <— sorry, couldn't resist ;)

    For the record, I support RW and actually sincerely wish her the best. I think you can use ridicule if you want or swearing too (btw, where did I say swearing was bad?). I was merely adding a quick comment about tactics in regards go PZ complaining how obstinate some atheist FTB detractors are.

    Now please forgive me, but I need to go and try and get some things done.

  166. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Can’t I express mild differences of opinion or even occasional disapproval and still be pro-atheist and women’s rights?

    Keep this in mind. All the ‘pit has is disapproval and opinion. You want to make sure we recognize you as a friend, do something they don’t do. Lead with evidence. Otherwise, why express an unsupported opinion at a blog where the well evidenced null hypothesis has been in place for a couple of years? You just come off as either the enemy or naive.

  167. Suido says

    Oolon fought valiantly on the high road, Oolon fought nobly on the high road, Oolon fought honourably on the high road. And Oolon said, bugger this for a lark. The air is too thin up here and road isn’t any less slimy. To the low road!

  168. Ichthyic says

    Now please forgive me, but I need to go and try and get some things done.

    here’s hoping the other things you attempt aren’t so informed by ignorance as your attempt here was.

  169. Ichthyic says

    Can’t I express mild differences of opinion

    uninformed opinions are attacked harshly around these parts. Or hadn’t you noticed?

  170. says

    What is this about “Fuck off back to the “pit” Skep Tickle, you fucking piece of shit” (@ 77 for instance, apparently quoting). Did towel person claim I said that to “Skep tickle”? I don’t think I did say that.

  171. says

    Yeah. Lies, as I thought. There are five “fuck”s on the post where tickle commented. I said to her “Fuck that noise.” That’s all.

    Not quite the same as “Fuck off back to the “pit” Skep Tickle, you fucking piece of shit”.

    Lies lies lies lies lies.

  172. says

    Oh, and in a later comment I told her to get lost. This is what I actually said:

    Don’t tell me how great the slime pit is; I’m not interested. (And no, I don’t know that “quite a few people there” say unbad things about my books. I very seldom look at it, and then only for a specific purpose. Any time I have looked at it there has been no trace of unbad commentary on anything about me.) Don’t take this high moral tone when the pit is full of loathsome photoshops and expressions of visceral disgust at living human beings. In short, get lost.

    I consider “Fuck off back to the “pit” Skep Tickle, you fucking piece of shit” a very bad translation of that. Really shockingly sloppy.

  173. says

    On the topic of identifying a commenter by the use of the same avatar image — that’s exactly what Gravatar is for.

    The whole point is that people can see you are the same person across multiple sites. The avatar is paired to an email address, so it’s as reliably tied to an identity as is reasonably possible. If you sign up using the same address, you get identified as the same person.

    Yes, it’s easy to superficially spoof an avatar by copying the image. But it’s pretty trivial to spot, too: right-click -> Copy Image Location. The Gravatar ID code will be the same for the same user.
    (Mine is apparently 4b0fcadda15646111b3df21f0c5eec1c).

    Conversely, for those people who really do have a need to maintain anonymity versus other online identities, you’ll want to be using an email alias on any forum that uses Gravatar.

  174. Eristae says

    Off topic:
    WordPress and Gravatar hate me. Ever since WordPress merged with something (I don’t remember what it was merging with) my FTB account has been different from all my other WordPress stuff. It peeves me because I can’t seem to get into WordPress on FTB and I can’t use my FTB-Wordpress account anywhere other than FTB. I have no freaking clue how to fix it.
    /Off Topic

  175. says

    Eristae,
    You may be conflating two things here; there’s the WordPress software, which FTB and heaps of other blogs use, and there’s the WordPress network (wordpress.com), which is a hosting service for blogs.

    Your “wordpress password” is probably for the WordPress network, and will only work for stuff on that platform.
    The wordpress login you create for FTB is just for this site, and won’t work elsewhere.

    This confusion happens a lot, and is entirely the fault of WordPress naming their internally-hosted service the same as their externally-hosted software package.

    I see Gravatar is somehow partnered with wordpress.com now, so that complicates things a bit. As far as I know, if the email address in your wordpress.com account matches the one you used when signing up to FTB, you’ll still get the correct avatar. And I think you can also tie multiple email addresses to one Gravatar ID.

  176. MrFancyPants says

    Kagato @196: yeah, that confused me, too. I just managed to link my favorite Sol de Mayo image with gravatar, but only after 30 minutes of googling how to do it. It seems kind of annoying to have to set up a wordpress.com account just to get the image associated with my nym here on FtB, but I understand that there’s no better way to do it across accounts. Confusing, nevertheless.

  177. says

    For fun I’m going to spew out a silly metaphor or maybe it’s a simile. Or a semaphore. Whatev.

    High roads usually lead you to a nice promontory or scenic overlook where you can gaze down in solitude at a valley or canyon, but from which you can’t enter or cross them.

    Put that on a poster in your dentist’s office.

  178. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    I prefer taking the “high road”. I am not saying you shouldn’t take the low one.

    I prefer you to shut the fuck up. Passive-aggressive fucker.

  179. jacklewis says

    @200, Feel free to go read #180 from 3 hours back and come back with something less pointless that will not make you look as much like a little fucker.

  180. Eristae says

    @Kagato/196
    This explains so much! O_O What the hell, WordPress? What the hell.

    And it must have been Gravitar that they were merging with when all of this absurdity started.

    After poking around a bit, it seems I have one blog WordPress account and more than one non-blog account, but messing around with the one that is connected to Gravitar (and I can only log on to Gravitar using one) impacts the avatar for all of them, probably because (as you said) they all have the same email. It’s bizarre and it makes me glad that I keep anything to do with my online interactions entirely separate from anything I do in under my real name. Bloody hell. This is significantly more complicated and vulnerable to error than I had originally thought. Ack.

  181. Eristae says

    @Kagato/196
    Oh, and OMFG thank you so much! I’ve been trying to figure that out for months.

  182. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    , Feel free to go read #180 from 3 hours back and come back with something less pointless that will not make you look as much like a little fucker.

    Feel free to shut the fuck up as the pointless and inane fuckwits like you are should when around intelligent people.

  183. says

    Eristae,
    You’re welcome. I got my Gravatar account before the WordPress merger so I didn’t actually know about that side of things until now.

    To recap for the record:
    * FTB login is specific to this site,
    * WordPress.com login won’t log you in to this site, but
    * you use your WordPress.com login to manage your Gravatar image(s).

    If you’ve got multiple email addresses you use for different sites, you should be able to manage Gravatars for all of them using the one WordPress.com account.

    Sorry for the OT everyone, I think we’re done now :)

  184. MrFancyPants says

    I vote the May FtB public service award for Kagato. I’d vote for 2013 rather than just May, Kagato, but you failed to anticipate my own need for the same information ahead of time and I was reduced to brute googling and time-wasting.

  185. Louis says

    Josh! That’s outrageous! I though ass eating (mutual of course) was reserved for your Fake Spouses ™

    Now I see you let any old troll rim away at Teh Glourious Anus of Gold, for shame, Josh, for shame!

    ;-)

    Louis

  186. says

    @briank, some people here have mentioned me as trying to change the pitters minds… Not sure I really thought that possible, maybe more tolerance and understanding between the “reasonable” pitters and people here. Problem is the “reasonable” ones who would probably even pass Dan Fincke’s civility pledge are not all that reasonable… Case in point; AssamTii/Philip who joined up with the Slyme-bunch and has said Ophelia gets what she deserves because of this thread – (Comment reproduced from Nugents “dialogue” thread) –

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2013/02/reputation-management-instructions/#comment-483659
    1. Philip engages a bit above my first link and Ophelia starts off with a horrible broadside to destroy the ego of any Pittizen. She *doesn’t* remember him from RDF! Not only that but she suggests his “male-normal” language is typical of the place so she can believe he came from there.
    2. Philip rails against his mis-understanding of “male-normal”, he thinks he was called sexist by Ophelia… Errr Wut? O_o Her commenters even do not appear to say “you are a sexist” they do say “you are using sexist language please stop” (Paraphrasing there as they are not as polite as Philip would like)
    3. Ophelia deals her death blow and after she has already politely explained Philip is misunderstanding the term “Male-normal” she decides to ask him to “please leave” as he is derailing the conversation.

    This was in JULY! Philip is still railing against the horrible injustice meted out to him in that thread. I’m sure he wakes up in a cold sweat and has had treatment for PTSD after this horrible experience…
    —————————————————————————————————————-
    So when the Slymers go on about how awfully they were treated by people over here and that was bullying they are not always being truthful. Mostly by the time they were banned they were in full on trolling mode and got what they deserved. What really upset them was not having their obvious brilliance instantly recognised by the #FTBullies and deferred to when they popped up to splain something.

    If you think you can get through to them in any way then good luck. Motivated reasoning and confirmation bias are their best friends at the pit where they engage in calling the “Baboons” sub-normal in intelligence and psychopathic ideologues etc etc… Personally I think the pittizens are a mix of the outright willfully ignorant and some pretty well read and articulate people. Unfortunately they are all supporting the more openly bigoted there who say and do some pretty nasty things by supporting the Slymepit. Their justifications for this are not rational IMO, usually come down to “free speech” and “I don’t join in so its ok” or the lovely line “Its a joke get over it you professional victim or fuck off the internet” … I don’t think that’s justifiable after some thought on it, do you?

    (In other news a few “reasonable” ones are talking about divorcing themselves from Franc etc and creating a new forum without the extreme “emo” anti-FTB ppl. Could be interesting, without the constant confirmation bias effect of the “emo” crew will they actually be more reasonable?)

  187. daniellavine says

    Marcus Ranum@128:

    At this point it seems like more of a semantic distinction between what we’re going to call “rights” and “privileges”. While I agree that privacy and anonymity are on a spectrum I still think it makes sense to distinguish between them — I don’t think ViolentAcrez had any right to anonymity or else how could anyone possibly be justified in outing him? (“Rights” are the sorts of things that I don’t think should be abrogated by anything outside the law.)

    Inevitably unless you want anonymity to be a tool available to all bullies everywhere you need to start making judgment calls about who deserves it and who doesn’t. Yes, that’s scary and subject to abuse but I don’t see any alternative unless you’re willing to give ViolentAcrez a pass too — you just can’t be absolutist about it without either being hypocritical or empowering bullies at some point.

    Which is not to say Skep Tickle’s anywhere close to ViolentAcrez-level awfulness, just to explain why I don’t entirely agree (although I do mostly agree).

  188. says

    Update on towlie/andy/treestump! He’s still ranting away, all of his comments are automatically thrown in the spam bin, but he’s working himself up into a fine lather. He promises to reappear with new sockpuppets, for one thing.

    hey PZ, it’s too much fun to expose the lies of the cult, so as Arnie says, I’ll be back … and back, and back, and back, and back, and you won’t always know, and it will be fun: baiting liars is always fun.

    But mainly he’s screaming that Ophelia is disgusting, FtB is dooomed, dooooomed, dooooooomed, and we’re all liars and evil awful horrible people. Yet this is how he closed his latest screed:

    Rebecca Watson is still not going to give you that blow job. I mean, she might, cos you are all quite skeevy, but a word to the wise : she’s pig ugly man, don’t do it !!!!!!!!

    That sort of says it all, doesn’t it? We’re the awful ones, but he writes stuff like that.

    Word to the wise: many of us are able to interact with and enjoy the company of other human beings without thinking of it in terms of what sexual favors we can get out of them. Really. There are over 7 billion people on the planet, and if all you can obsess over is that they aren’t giving you sex, you’re going to be permanently frustrated.

  189. vaiyt says

    As to my Spock impersonization, I was actually going more for Captain Reynolds from Firefly, but my impersonation skills suck.

    Aren’t you a funny person. Stop pretending you don’t know what people mean, or google “Straw Vulcan” if you’re really at a loss. Being passionate isn’t the same as being irrational.

  190. David Marjanović says

    It started with Thunderf00t FREAKING OUT, raging against her, and mocking her, and his (soon to be Slymepit fans) piling on.

    No, that happened on Abby Smith’s blog ERV. One thread there gathered thousands of comments and eventually turned into a site of its own, the Slymepit.

    Thunderf00t came long afterwards.

    (In other news a few “reasonable” ones are talking about divorcing themselves from Franc etc and creating a new forum without the extreme “emo” anti-FTB ppl. Could be interesting, without the constant confirmation bias effect of the “emo” crew will they actually be more reasonable?)

    That sounds interesting. :-)

  191. cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming) says

    Weird. treestump showed up as a proud newly-registered pitizen.

    And was roundly mocked for being stupid.

    (Page #352 of the PTOS if anyone wants to go there.)

    I prefer taking the “high road”.

    I was actually going to say I prefer taking the fucking Space Highway.

    Except curiosity got the better of me and I searched YouTube for “Space Highway”.

    Nothing!

    Is this a gap in the fabric of the universe, or is it just Google messing with me because it knows I like piano music and doesn’t want to let me in on the indie hipster secrets? I don’t know. *confuzzled*

  192. cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming) says

    “Space Freeway” dammit. *grrr*

  193. jose says

    The design overhaul is good news. FTB feels stagnated as it is despite the activity of the blogs.

  194. says

    In other news a few “reasonable” ones are talking about divorcing themselves from Franc etc and creating a new forum without the extreme “emo” anti-FTB ppl.

    Because we need a forum for those who consider scat too extreme but don’t mind the odd golden shower, who aren’t totes convinced that women are people but are kinda leaning in the direction? Well I can’t wait.