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Why would anyone think this is clever?

Anita Sarkeesian shares some of the Twitter hatred she gets.

kdobbsz

Why? Why would anyone think this kind of sick mindfuckery is an appropriate response to a video?

The @kdobbsz account was quickly shut down, but the way twitter works…that guy will just create another pseudonym, another account, and go his merry way again, with no accountability. Twitter won’t even make an effort to prevent him from doing so, either. That he was apparently posting her address, and that of her parents, while threatening them with violent murder should mean that all contact information should have been extracted from the account and forwarded to the police.

Comments

  1. thelastholdout says

    It’s worth noting that Twitter finally came out with a statement a couple of weeks ago about dealing with trolls more effectively… Because Robin Williams’ daughter had to leave, because of the exact problems you’ve described. So when it’s someone famous getting fucked with, sure, they’re all concerned. But the rest of us have to suffer with evil motherfuckers like that.

  2. brett says

    Twitter talked about dealing with trolls in the wake of Zelda Williams being harassed – and then promptly did about the least they could do while saying they did something. The new thing they put in place only applies to the survivors of deceased people IIRC.

  3. Scr... Archivist says

    He’s not trying to be clever. He is trying to suppress free expression, and sometimes these tactics work. It’s unfortunate, but sometimes they do.

    And he would probably attempt to justify his censorious intimidation campaign by calling it freedom of speech. It’s kind of like Christian supremacists who claim that their religious liberty requires that society allow them to impose religious tyranny.

  4. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    For month, one charming racist troll calling itself “Assholter” has been harassing feminist WoCs for months, sometimes tarting a few new accounts a day, every time the old account gets shut down. Yeah, that is how seriously Twitter takes it’s troll problem.

  5. John Horstman says

    @thelastholdout #1:

    But the rest of us have to suffer with evil motherfuckers like that.

    This is Twitter’s business model. It is INTENDED to be a platform for random strangers to harass users. Nominally, the active intent is to give advertisers a platform to do so, but that same model necessarily lets any random asshole target anyone. By law, for-profit companies can only have their owners’ interests guiding their actions. Do not ever make the mistake of thinking they will do the right thing if it is not the maximally profitable thing (unless the company is privately held and the owner/s has/have integrity and a pro-social outlook).

  6. knowknot says

    @7 John Horstman

    This is Twitter’s business model. It is INTENDED to be a platform for random strangers to harass users.

    – Not sure if it was really in the original business model, but I can’t believe it wasn’t expected (just awareness of the real world). After the expectation, not planning to deal with it comes down to ignorance, malice, or callous acceptance of harrassment traffic as a plausibly deniable feature.
    – Nastiness sells. Sickening. Like we’ve got nothing better to do in the world.

  7. unclefrogy says

    sure every time some crap is re-posted from twitter I think, I should go and sign up sounds like a great idea and you can get free adds too I am told

    uncle frogy

  8. says

    unclefrogy:

    sure every time some crap is re-posted from twitter I think, I should go and sign up sounds like a great idea and you can get free adds too I am told

    On the flip side, most of the world wouldn’t know about the murder of Mike Brown and the aftermath in Ferguson without twitter. And sure as shit, the msm wouldn’t have reported the truth without it, either.

  9. Great American Satan says

    Doxx this dude! Anyone who can and is in a position to should. I’m in favor of protecting even odious speech. In the context of something clearly specified to be fiction – say, a novel that no one with good taste has to read – this should be allowed. In the context of sexualized death threats, DOXX HIM NOW! If anyone has the skizzles to do that kind of shit – and can be sure they did it successfully – I think there’s a clear moral imperative to do so.

  10. unclefrogy says

    when the noise in the street gets loud enough even MSM might hear it and send a reporter
    or some one may even re-post to another location where I will hear about it.
    I personally, do not have an interest of standing in the street trying to find out what is going on. If I keep my eyes and ears open I will find out what I need to know.
    uncle frogy

  11. frugaltoque says

    “That he was apparently posting her address, and that of her parents, while threatening them with violent murder should mean that all contact information should have been extracted from the account and forwarded to the police.”

    That’s a ridiculous violation of privacy. The police can only get such contact information in case of *serious* crimes, like music piracy. Why would they bother with some trivial like credible rape and death threats?

  12. samihawkins says

    But remember everyone, there’s nothing wrong with the gaming community and she’s silly for thinking many gamers/developers have a disturbing fondness for sexualized violence.

    *Cue ‘isolated incident!’, ‘Just a vocal minority!’, etc.

  13. Great American Satan says

    Ironchew- What you prefer is to let someone’s life and safety be threatened with no consequences whatsoever for the scumbag. You’ll have to forgive me for being unimpressed with your moral high horse.

  14. Great American Satan says

    I should perhaps specify and elaborate. It is probably a misrepresentation of your position to say you want no consequences, but anything that allows him to feel like he can do this again freely and easily is inadequate. If he is doxxed, he is very unlikely to face a serious threat to his person – it’s the pro- misogyny side is associated with violence. He might – and won’t necessarily – lose his job over the doxxing, or have people in his personal sphere be made aware of his actions.

    But you know what? THAT’S THE MINIMUM THIS FUCK DESERVES. And women who know him deserve to be warned that even if he’d never act on this – and we have no way of knowing his intent – that he thinks this is a reasonable way to treat women.

  15. says

    Ironchew, it’s so easy to have highfalutin’ principles, I’ve noticed——something so many men do when other men threaten women. All of a sudden, oh dear, freedom of speech is in danger. Even though nobody ever notices or cares that the whole point of threatening to rape a woman’s cunt till she dies is to shut her up. Nope, just a fact of life, can’t get too upset about that, can we? The excuses haven’t changed in four decades, not since Kevin S******* tried to grab my ass in Mr. P.’s second grade class one goddamned time too many and I hauled off and laid that little fucker flat. Suddenly every last fucking adult developed the eyesight they’d lacked all the previous times that shit had grabbed me, groped me, or whatever.

    And that’s what people do. Maybe because they just don’t think women are important. Maybe because they want to be able to harass women themselves. Whatever.

    Every time someone tells women and girls to shut up and deal with you are preserving the power imbalance that lets men and boys assault and threaten women with impunity. You’re on the side of the men who do this.

  16. says

    Remember creepshots on Reddit? The teacher who was sharing his screenshots of his underaged students? The lack of consent was the allure. Well, here you have what happens when that “lack of consent is hot for dudes” is allowed unchecked.

  17. says

    Great American Satan, if you don’t mind me asking, what would be the point of doxxing this person? They have already been reported to police, so what good would it do to doxx? It’s not like it would teach this person anything (I’m fairly sure of that, anyway), and surely you wouldn’t advocate a lynch mob thing, so I’m a bit at a loss to see the point.

  18. Jeff S says

    There are some extremely terrible people in this world, and they are at their worst when they can hide behind a layer of anonymity on the internet.

    You can ban trolls like this, but they pop up time and time again. This level of trolling really does need to be reported to the police, but even they will likely be unable to find the offender (if he is at all sophisticated in hiding his tracks).

    Being a public figure of any kind is truly scary, these days. I don’t know if I could handle it.

  19. witlesschum says

    I don’t see anything wrong with doxxing people who are making actual, repeated threats of violence.

  20. says

    Jeff S:

    Being a public figure of any kind is truly scary, these days.

    You have a remarkable talent for missing the elephant in the room. Ms. Sarkeesian is hardly a public figure. She is, however, a woman speaking up about issues which affect women in particular, and all people in general. For that, she is garnering threats of a very specific type – perhaps you missed all the references to genitalia and rape. A lot of other women, who aren’t widely known in the public sphere, have received similar threats for simply blogging while female.

  21. says

    Inaji @19: because it matters to crack down. Because women should not have to endure years of threats and harassment for saying innocuous shit like, “Guys, don’t do that.”

    These guys don’t listen to women. Men have to do more than pat our shoulders and go, “There, there…..aren’t I better than these guys?”

    These guys make lots of mens’ lives really easy. The bar for how men treat women is so low you can step over it, but when push comes to shove, lots of dudes just don’t care when get threatened with anything.

  22. says

    Ginmar:

    Inaji @19: because it matters to crack down.

    Yes, I get that, and I agree. That wasn’t what I was questioning. I wanted to know what doxxing would accomplish, and Great American Satan clarified.

  23. says

    I know the guy from Reddit got fired. Of course, he always denied that there was real life risk to the girls he posted pics of. What gets me is: how could anyone NOT see a guy like that as anything but a risk to his female co workers? His whole schtick was the lack of consent.

    It’s funny, when these guys get exposed, people get pissed. When they’re anon, people seem to think it’s “oh, well, that’s life.”

    A woman on Reddit found out her hubby was a hateful misogynist troll. When she confronted him, he refused to stop harassing other women, saying that he used it for stress relief. He told teenaged girls to kill themselves, threatened to rape women, called fat women horrible names.

    Misogyny was his therapy.

  24. Jeff S says

    Inaji

    Agreed that she is hardly a public figure, which is what I meant by a “public figure of any kind”. These days with the advent of social media and being able to make your own videos and have them seen by millions online… regular people have their identities known to huge numbers of people.. they become sudo-public figures. I don’t mean it in terms of a legal sense.

    I’m not missing any elephants in the room, the content of the messages are obviously designed to inflict maximum hurt on Anita, and worded as such due to her being a strong feminist voice. I get it. Its obvious.

    I’m sure PZ has received his share of death threats over the years as well.

    The scary thing is, you never know if that death threat is coming from a 16 year old idiot from 4chan trying to impress his sick friends, or a person who is literally plotting to kill you.

    This shit is poisoning the internet.

  25. scott says

    Cue the “it’s all fake, she did it herself for the attention” idiots… I’ve already seen one without hardly looking.

  26. ck says

    @29,

    I’m certain that there will be plenty of that. I wouldn’t be surprised if a certain former FtB blogger joins that particular chorus, either.

  27. closeted says

    You don’t dox because the chance of getting the wrong person is too high. The past week or so, 4chan has taken to post some horribly sexist bits on tumblr blogs along with clues that pointed to somebody else, with at least one result where an innocent kid has been the subject of a lot of harassment, and the blogger is trying to call off the mob.

    So yeah, @kdobbsz is a shitstain, but push for legal changes to allow/require Twitter to share information with the authorities who can verify the identity, rather than stir up a well-meaning but-possibly-mistaken mob.

  28. Great American Satan says

    @closeted – You’re quite right of course. The thought had crossed my mind, which is why I said “– and can be sure they did it successfully – “, but there are some powerful examples out there of doxxing gone wrong. I’m just so used to authorities doing the wrong thing lately, it makes me feel all vigilantish.

  29. anteprepro says

    This guy pretty much is a great symbol for the kind of irrational, disproportionate, unbridled hatred from the menz of the Gamersphere that Sarkeesian receives. Any time, on any website, something even coming close to mentioning her is posted, there comes an influx of smug, self-important gamers making snide remarks, and talking about how Terrible or Wrong she is, usually with no examples or evidence or specifics given. When these people do actually get somehow coaxed into clarifying what causes their incoherent hate, it is usually….nothing much. It is incoherent hate all the fucking way down. Even among folks that just put on the face of smug dispassionate intellectual rather than fully committing to the transformation like the disgusting human being in the post here: a violent and angry misogynistic piece of shit.

  30. ck says

    I simply have no words…

    I hope the police take these threats seriously (although I have my doubts), and this person gets to spend several years living in a very small room.

  31. Ichthyic says

    Misogyny was his therapy.

    sick, but also fascinating in a way.

    I wonder how common that is?

  32. says

    scott #29

    Cue the “it’s all fake, she did it herself for the attention” idiots… I’ve already seen one without hardly looking.

    I had not been on Twitter today until now, and the first tweet I clicked on was by Tim Schafer and it dealt with this issue. It really did not take much reading to find people screaming about it being fake, that her star power was fading and she is making it up to get attention. After that there were those that decided that this was just how the internet works and that you cannot take these things seriously. She should just ignore them. I had to stop reading, it was making me so angry.

    I love gaming, I am interested in game development and have made a few games, working on one right now actually, but I actually do not know many gamers and because of the reaction I see from the gaming world I really feel I will have to be very selective with choosing the gamers I want to associate with. While I would love some success in the field, the idea of success also worries me as I would then have to deal with these types of gamers on a regular basis should I dare comment on these issues.

  33. says

    And I realize the amount of hate I get or would get pales in comparison to the amount women get on a regular basis, but I would personally have a hard time dealing with it.

    I have not seen it mentioned here, maybe I missed it, but there has also been horrible things going on with Zoe Quinn over the last week. She is a game developer who has been dealing with accusations that she traded sex for positive reviews and of course the endless hatred and threats that inevitably follow. I saw a quote just now on a blog that I liked, though it makes me sad at the same time:

    The truth about Zoe Quinn is that every woman in the industry is one unhinged ex-partner away from being Zoe Quinn, and if that doesn’t scare you, there’s no hope for us at all.

  34. Athywren says

    @Ginmar, 27

    A woman on Reddit found out her hubby was a hateful misogynist troll. When she confronted him, he refused to stop harassing other women, saying that he used it for stress relief. He told teenaged girls to kill themselves, threatened to rape women, called fat women horrible names.
    Misogyny was his therapy.

    My therapy is setting fire to misogynists. I wonder if he’d be ok with that? You can’t take away a guy’s stress relief, after all, can you?

    Seriously, though, that guy needs to learn how to paint, or make music, or something vaguely productive. If your only form of stress relief is intentionally hurting people, then you need to fuck off and learn how to be a mature adult.

  35. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    DOXX HIM NOW!

    I prefer not to stoop to his level.

    Can we please stop it with the fucking false equivalences?

  36. says

    scott @ 29:

    Cue the “it’s all fake, she did it herself for the attention” idiots… I’ve already seen one without hardly looking.

    ck @ 30:

    @29, I’m certain that there will be plenty of that. I wouldn’t be surprised if a certain former FtB blogger joins that particular chorus, either.

    Predictably, said certain former FtB’er (who has a major and possibly spiky bug up his arse about Sarkeesian in general, her being female and outspoken on the internet and everything) has indeed already tweeted to the effect that Sarkeesian is attention-mongering (well, at least he didn’t call her an attention-whore, though I bet he really, really wanted to). Obviously to the irredeemable misogynist fuck formerly known as Phil Mason, threatening someone with graphic and brutal rape and death isn’t crossing any particular line.

  37. bigwhale says

    A great example of Lewis’ Law. The reason Anita Sarkeesian makes her videos isn’t because she hates games or men or wants power. It’s because she knows the tropes that devalue women lead to the kind of behavior exemplified by these tweets.

  38. says

    One of the many, many things going on with these videos is the constant bullshitters that are hammering away going “HOW DARE SHE ALSO NOT WORK ON THIS FAST ENOUGH! IT’S BEEN YEARS SINCE SHE STOLE ALL THAT MONEY SHE’S A FLAKE!!!”

    If I had to deal with even a fraction of this every time I uploaded my hobby to the internet, I’d just give it up. Goddamn.

  39. OptimalCynic says

    Why not boycott Twitter, or even better start an equivalent with better management?

  40. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Yes, of course OptimalCynic, the answer is totally for the victim to stop using the platform or make their own similar platform. Non-existent-gods forbid we address the people causing the problem. That’s just silly.

  41. says

    #39: very common. It’s not just the trolls. It’s the guys who are silent when other men do this to women (but they get really really hostile to women when they complain) or the guys who argue “free speech” or other high falutin’ principles that they never cite anywhere any other time. At best they sit on their hands when other men do horrible shit to women—–or get very angry at women for daring to speak of it.

  42. frugaltoque says

    I watched her latest video late last night.
    Holy fuck … the games I don’t play because I only place PC and Wii games. I mean, sure, the Damsel in Distress is pretty common in Nintendo’s Zelda series, but WTF everybody else. There’s a game where you drag around a topless woman and then string her up to hold a door open? Then she gets mangled by the thing she was strung up to? WTF.
    The only thing like that I ever saw was the one scene in Dragon Age where the bad guys came to steal the elf women for later abuse. I didn’t realize that every game out there is constantly doing that.
    Again. WTF.

  43. Rasmus says

    Twitter could probably “doxx” this person privately to Anita and her family members if they wanted to. They could at least share the email address and ip(:s) used to register and access the account. This is from their privacy policy (my boldening):

    “Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Policy, we may preserve or disclose your information if we believe that it is reasonably necessary to comply with a law, regulation or legal request; to protect the safety of any person; to address fraud, security or technical issues; or to protect Twitter’s rights or property. However, nothing in this Privacy Policy is intended to limit any legal defenses or objections that you may have to a third party’s, including a government’s, request to disclose your information.”

  44. Chie Satonaka says

    @frugaltoque, 53

    I’ve missed most of these, too. I do play Dragon Age, and the city elf origin story was always the most disturbing one to me, with the common dwarf one being a close second.

    But otherwise I tend to play sandbox style RPG games where I’m allowed to choose everything, from playing as a woman to deciding how ethical my playstyle is. It’s why I’m still playing Skyrim three years later and thinking about even going back to Oblivion for a bit. I’m clearly not missing anything by skipping games like Hitman.

  45. says

    I have to admit being very, very uncomfortable with doxxing as a thing progressives should do, not least because it’s a viciously abusive tool when used against us, particularly trans women – which is why the TERFs love to use it so much. On what moral ground will we stand when we say that doxxing risks trans peoples’ lives, if we’re known for doing it ourselves? I know they don’t give a shit about morality, but don’t we?

    Please don’t think I agree that this asswiping should be allowed to continue his death threats and generally animalistic behaviour; I don’t, categorically. But you’re looking for individual solutions to systemic problems, and that simply doesn’t work. Even if we managed to shut down this jackass – what then? Think ten more outraged hydra-heads won’t spring up, driven to better his work in memory of his momentarily-lost opportunity to harass and threaten?

    Work, instead, towards a systemic solution: press Twitter hard and publicly to clean up its act, inspire developers to make apps which make for a safer Twitter experience, speak out loudly about who this asshole is on Twitter so others can block him. On a smaller scale, donate to Ms. Sarkeesian, as she’s now having to spend money counteracting this kind of threat.

    I agree that he deserves to have his life ruined, he’s a vile skidmark in the pants of humanity.

    But I have a hard time finding a way to do it to this individual that won’t rebound tenfold on more vulnerable members of society, and as loathsome as he is, they matter more to me, not least because I’m one of them.

    I’m trans, and an outspoken feminist activist. Where will you stand when someone doxxes me, spreads my old name to the world, ruins my self-employment business because of my unique name combination, if you stood in favour of doing the very same to someone even so loathsome? “Oh, but that’ll be different!”, you think…but it won’t. The power-groups will always win in that kind of game, because a lot more people will think I’m loathsome for being feminist and trans than think his defence of the status quo is loathsome. His offences will be written off to boys being boys, it’s all just banter, she can’t take it seriously, et c., et c.. Do you think I’ll get the same consideration for challenging the kyriarchy?

    Twitter has become a incredibly useful source of social-journalism, we saw that with Ferguson, and the Arab Spring, and so many other places. The tool isn’t broken, its implementation is. The answer is to fix the implementation, not to continue using its brokenness while decrying that same feature/bug.

  46. toska says

    #56, CaitieCat

    The power-groups will always win in that kind of game,

    ^^QFT
    Trying to ruin someone’s reputation for fighting to maintain the status quo never works out the way it seems it would in your head. Trying to ruin someone’s reputation for fighting to subvert the status quo….. well, I think we’ve all seen that before.

  47. says

    There’s a good reason to believe this specific one to be fake.

    The screen capture shows nobody logged in and nothing in the search bar on the top of the screen.

    Why wasn’t she logged in when she screencapped this, 12 seconds after the last tweet?
    How did she find these tweets, especially so fast without being logged in, without doing search?

  48. My Name says

    She is lying about the threats. The tweets were made 3 hours AFTER she tweeted about receiving them. That and she has yet to contact the police (since they would get the IP from Twitter).

  49. Esteleth is Groot says

    Seriously? This is so trivial it’s absurd.

    I read twitter from a client I have downloaded onto my computer. I am almost never actually logged into Twitter’s web platform.

    However, if I want to go to an individual user’s Twitter page, I can in about 3 clicks from the client. When I do so, I get the page that’s equivalent to the screenshot: no one is logged in, and the search bar is empty. Because I linked to the account page directly from my desktop client.

    I believe clients are very commonly used by many Twitter users. Why is it hard to believe that Sarkeesan uses one?

  50. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Conspiracy Theorist @ 58

    So Twitter shut down the account because there weren’t any threats made from it? You should be a detective.

  51. says

    Seven of Mine:

    So Twitter shut down the account because there weren’t any threats made from it? You should be a detective.

    I’m sure Ferguson PD would be thrilled to have them. Right about their speed.

  52. thelastholdout says

    I love how some loony conspiracy theory about Anita fabricating threats against herself and family is more believable to these assholes than the idea that there’s some nutcase who would make such threats, as if no one in the history of the Internet has ever been psychotic and made threats like that before.

  53. Pteryxx says

    *rolleyes* And when you’re not logged into Twitter, the timestamp it shows is the default US Pacific timezone.

    So I’ve been posting and quoting tweets from the Ferguson protest in real time that have timestamps two hours earlier. (than Central time.)

  54. Esteleth is Groot says

    Oh hey look what I did in the space of 15 seconds!

    I went to PZ’s Twitter page on my client and then clicked “View on Twitter.com.”

    I then got this.

    Which, you will note, has:
    (1) me not being logged in (despite the fact that I am very much logged in on the client)
    and
    (2) an empty search bar.

    I was curious, so I looked at the url bar to see if it would have a “redirect from [client]” language in it. It does not.

  55. says

    I was able to doxx Kevin Dobson… It turns out that these tweets are coming from INSIDE THE HOUSE OF Anita Sarkeesian. How else do you explain how quickly she started taking screen shots, especially considering that the first ones were not explicit in anyway. Well it worked and she was able to garner sympathy and tons of free press, which I guess was what she was after all along.

  56. says

    Peter Doyle, not only are you a fuckwit, you’re a fuckwit posting on a thread which has been over for a month. A thread consisting of many comments which you obviously did not read. Go away.

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