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By David Futrelle
Candace Owens — self-proclaimed “Red Pill Black” conservative — is having a bit of a moment, hanging out with new Trump fan Kanye West, posing for selfies with Don Jr., getting an effusive Twitter shout-out from Don Sr,, threatening to sue people who talk about her in what she considers the wrong way.
A lot of people have been left wondering just where exactly Owens came from. Well, there’s a bit of a story there.
Long-time readers of this blog first met Owens back in the days of Gamergate, after Zoe Quinn criticized her ill-conceived plan for an “anti-bullying” site that would have basically doxed a bunch of teenagers. After Quinn spoke out, Gamergaters spouting conspiracy theories quickly abandoned their own critiques of Owens and rallied around her. Owens began spouting conspiracy theories of her own, and, well, let’s just say things got very weird very fast, as they generally seem to do when Owens gets involved in anything.
In several posts, I tried my best to make sense of the whole surreal mess. I’m linking them here because I think they may illuminate a few things about Trump World’s newest heroine.
This post describes what happened immediately after Owens first heard from Quinn. Trust me, the headline (and the snippet from the post below) don’t fully capture the weirdness of the story.
Instead of listening to Quinn, Owens declared war on her, spewing forth dozens of angry and accusatory tweets, charging that Quinn and fellow anti-harassment activist Randi Harper … were somehow the puppetmasters behind a barrage of abusive, threatening, and often blatantly racist anonymous messages that Owens (who is black) started getting not long after news of Owens’ plans hit Reddit and 4chan.
Owens quickly began to sound like every other internet crackpot who sees conspiracies in every Twitter mention.
SocialAutopsy-Turvy: Candace Owens’ Twitter Trainwreck, Part One
(APRIL 24, 2016)
And quite a trainwreck it was. The story continued to get weirder, and at such a pace that I never had a chance to write part two.
In this episode, Owens writes an angry diatribe against an article she imagined that Washington Post writer Caitlin Dewey had written about her. No, really. She accused Dewey and her editor of attempting to libel her in an article that the Post never published and that as far as I know Dewey never even wrote.
Naturally, Gamergaters were thrilled to have such an, er, original thinker on their side.
NOTE TO READERS: Sorry for being MIA the last couple of days; I’ve been dealing with the double whammy of migraines and some really nasty lower back pain. Doing a little better today.