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On Harassment: Don’t Do It

UPDATE: I have no reason to believe that the harassment alleged by Kyle Lovett — which I  discuss below — involved anyone even tangentially connected to this site, or indeed that it ever happened. The “evidence” he provided only showed that he got traffic from a link on this site. He never provided any evidence that the alleged harassment occurred or that, if if did, it was perpetrated by anyone who found his site through my site. The rest of my piece still stands.

The other day, a commenter here linked to the blog published by one of the moderators of the Men’s Rights subreddit. Kyle Lovett, the mod in question, says that not long afterwards, someone contacted his workplace saying that he was a member of a “hate group.” Claiming to be concerned about his safety, he temporarily hid his blog. And stepped down as mod.

Lovett says he suspects that this person who he says contacted his work is a Man Boobz reader, and has now provided evidence that seems to back up this suspicion. If Kyle is indeed telling the truth about the harassment, it was a Man Boobz reader who contacted his workplace. (There is no evidence it was one of the regulars here, merely someone who was reading the comments in that one thread. Nor am I completely convinced that the alleged harassment happened; Lovett has lied about things in the past.)

But if the harassment happened let me be blunt: That’s not cool. I don’t like that sort of harassment when it’s directed at feminists, and I don’t like it when it’s directed at MRAs. As Rebecca Watson once said, in a different context, “guys, don’t do that.” Seriously, DON’T DO THAT.

All this said, Lovett and other MRAs are acting as if the link to his blog  here was in some way equivalent to “doxing” – that is, tracking down the personal information of someone posting anonymously, and posting it online, for purposes of harassment..

It isn’t. Kyle publishes his blog under his own name, and he regularly posted links to it on Reddit. It was no secret that he posted on Reddit as Qanan, just as my real name Is no secret.

I’m not sure why it’s necessary to point this out, but I will anyway: If you publish things on the internet under your own name, people will indeed connect your name to these things. There is absolutely nothing wrong with posting a link to someone’s blog. No one here advocated harassment in any way.

Needless to say, the indignation on the Men’s Rights about this is hypocritical, to say the least. MRAs harass feminists all the time.

A Voice for Men, the worst offender in this regard, has published the personal information of feminists, and once put out a thousand dollar bounty in an attempt to find out the identity of one feminist who had been posting anonymously online. AVFM head Paul Elam talks about “stalking” feminists and on his radio show gleefully discussed the prospect of not only revealing the names and addresses of women he considers evil, but also their routes home from work. He orchestrated a harassment campaign against one commenter here, which led to people contacting her workplace in an attempt to get her fired. There are many more examples.

Meanwhile, today on the Men’s Rights subreddit, one commenter’s call to harass a woman got two dozen upvotes from the regulars:

Guys, don’t do that.

EDIT: I have added a few comments in the post above to highlight my concerns that the alleged harassment may be a fabrication; I will remove these comments of Lovett provides proof, publicly or privately, that the harassment occurred.

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Cotton Pony Wrangler
Cotton Pony Wrangler
10 years ago

That fucking sucks. And “they do it too/they do it worse” is neither here nor there.

As the “Cotton Tail Pony” in question, I feel like shit about this. I have no indication that he’s anything other than a nice-guy MRA who thinks he’s doing the right thing. I vehemently disagree with him, given the fact that he helps provide a safe space for people to spew bitter, cruel vitriol, but that neither excuses nor justifies going after him personally in my judgment.

The fact that this was such a FAIL-y effort at vigilante justice or whatever just adds injury to insult. Damn.

LilBusted
LilBusted
10 years ago

I actually sent the “$500 pair of shoes” woman a message suggesting she make her profile private because of those assholes.

blitzgal
10 years ago

I missed that thread. What what his “silly harmless comment” (his quote) that caused someone to jump into his real life?! Yikes, I want to reiterate David on this one: “Don’t do that.”

Anyone who’s seen the disturbing level of intrusion Sandra Fluke is currently suffering simply because she had the nerve to testify about women’s health should know that this stuff is beyond the pale, and gross, and wrong. (The right wing has been following her incessantly since her testimony, keeping track of her travel plans, how much her clothes seem to be worth, who she’s going out with, etc)

Crumbelievable
Crumbelievable
10 years ago

Of course his bosses laughed at it. Haha, that’s ok Kyle, we hate women too! That’s why we pay them less than we pay you.

Crumbelievable
Crumbelievable
10 years ago

The SPLC article wrote that these websites are hotbeds of misogyny– hatred of women. So while they didn’t write, “The MRM is a hate movement “, saying, “The MRM has a lot of sites that display an intense hatred of women, and the r/mensights subreddit is one of them” isn’t much better.

magdelyn c. prossii (@magdelyn)

Well, in this heated environment, it was bound to happen. Manboobz is very popular, with topics getting sometimes 500 comments, not to mention hits. Noone can blame this website for something some jackass did. I didn’t like it when they stalked those Swedish kids for putting on a silly S.C.U.M. video, either. I posted my disgust on /r/mensrights at that time.

But, that is the way of the internets.

Ithiliana
10 years ago

I’m sorry that happened to him, and I am glad there were no repercussions at work.

However, he has just learned what many many many women live with every day–but I hope anybody speaking out against what happened to him ALSO condemn the MRM sites that purposely post information and encourage harassment of women, and what is happening to Sandra Fluke.

I ain’t holding my breath waiting.

Kendra, the bionic mommy
Kendra, the bionic mommy
10 years ago

That was awesome of you to speak up about that to the mensrights reddit, magdelyn. I respect that.

At AVfM’s $1000 reward for real identity of vliet tiptree

Kyle Lovett said

So, ummm, I found out who this woman is and there is a big reason that she has made her 4 blogger blogs private. Yep, 4 blogs.

Not sure if I should share it in public, but if someone else wants to, send me an email(you can find it on my about page on my blog) and I’ll give whoever the info to post it if they wish too. Let’s just say her publishers I don’t think would be very happy to know this info.

It’s not right for anyone to be doxxing other people. It’s important that feminists take the high ground, though, and never harass people in the real world, regardless of what MRA’s do to feminists. It’s also wrong for people to contact other peoples’ employers to tell them about their online activities. It’s up to workplaces to set their own Internet policies for their employees. The only exception I’d make is if someone posts a credible, specific threat to other people, then that information should be passed on to the authorities.

I think it would also be nice for the MRA’s to admit that the doxxing crap is wrong, and stop putting bounties out on women they don’t like. Like Ithiliana, though, I’m not holding my breath.

Kendra, the bionic mommy
Kendra, the bionic mommy
10 years ago

Dang it, another blockquote fail!

Simone Lovelace
10 years ago

I’m from Ann Arbor so I just wanted to say that it wasn’t me!

Also maybe it’s the cold medicine but I’m having a hard time seeing how this could have any long-term implications for Kyle Lovett. If his site is relatively innocuous, his employers won’t care; and it’s not as though a “secret identity” was outed, since his reddit account was already linked to his real name.

Am I missing something?

KathleenB
KathleenB
10 years ago

Kendra said everything I wanted to say, and more eloquently. This shit is wrong no matter who’s doing it.

cloudiah
10 years ago

Also maybe it’s the cold medicine but I’m having a hard time seeing how this could have any long-term implications for Kyle Lovett. If his site is relatively innocuous, his employers won’t care; and it’s not as though a “secret identity” was outed, since his reddit account was already linked to his real name.

Even people who may not be that careful to be completely anonymous could be freaked out at suddenly seeing their real name appear on the Web associated with their pseudonym. Even if nothing bad actually happens, it’s a wake up call that something bad could happen. I still remember a time when someone anonymously outed me to my boss as a union activist. Luckily, my boss wasn’t interested in firing me, but I sort of dodged a bullet and had to learn to be both more careful and (sadly) less trusting of my coworkers.

Anyway, since Qanan wasn’t here harassing or threatening anyone, I think it was a shitty thing to do.

Cotton Pony Wrangler
Cotton Pony Wrangler
10 years ago

So once again Kyle is whining about the terrible, terrible things feminist bloggers do, while doing the same exact things himself.

She’s been online posting since at least 2004, using another handle. In that time, she has made many comments that give pretty specific information about her life. The trick is linking the two together with data that matches exactly. Try searching a phrase that Denis posted using the quotes to see if you can find her second handle.

Fuck this guy.

cloudiah
10 years ago

Stupid question: Is the difference between this and “doxxing” (I learn new words every day at manboobz!) that the information that was shared about Qanan here was publicly/easily available information, as opposed to someone going full-on detective-style and posting information that was private/not easily available?

Cotton Pony Wrangler
Cotton Pony Wrangler
10 years ago

Wow, thanks, Kendra.

Kyle posted a fucking how-to on doxxing people, so his outrage at this falls a bit flat, one thinks.

Kyle Lovett in reply to old joe:

Most of the answers are already right here in this thread, you just need to try different combinations of searches, and start collecting data points. Hell, you posted a good chunk of the data needed to do a search that will link the information, if you combine that with what Denis posted up a bit.

Look for things like:
Places
Events
Professions

in combination with key words, handle names and known sites and blogs. Remember using ” ” between phrases when searching is pretty powerful.

She’s been online posting since at least 2004, using another handle. In that time, she has made many comments that give pretty specific information about her life. The trick is linking the two together with data that matches exactly. Try searching a phrase that Denis posted using the quotes to see if you can find her second handle.

I want to be 100% clear: doxxing people is wrong and acting on the info, in any way, is worse.

But fuck this guy.

Simone Lovelace
10 years ago

Cloudiah, I agree that it was shitty. Just probably not dangerous, I would hope?

Crumbelievable
Crumbelievable
10 years ago

I hope anybody speaking out against what happened to him ALSO condemn the MRM sites that purposely post information and encourage harassment of women, and what is happening to Sandra Fluke.

But see, Kyle Lovett is a brave warrior fighting for men’s rights who’s had to put up with horrible shaming tactics, whereas Fluke is an evil feminazi bitch who deserves to be exposed.

Or something.

Ithiliana
10 years ago

@Kendra: Wow, that’s a nasty thread–and there they are a whole bunch of guys demanding to be able to out the women in the video (and actually posting the personal information of a man involved with the production, JohnnyK something), and planning to seek out any academic or radical feminist who has written approvingly about Solanis, and harassng her–and yet they are incensed at what happened to Quanan?

The hypocrisy and double standards here are even more mind-boggling than usual.

Ithiliana
10 years ago

@Crumbelievable: It’s hard to see how their heads do not explode with the size and scope of the contradictions they believe!

ozymandias42
10 years ago

It is seriously not okay to call people’s employers. :/

cloudiah
10 years ago

@David Okay, thanks.
@Simone Not dangerous in this case, but the person who did it wouldn’t have known that Qanan wouldn’t be fired. p.s. Sorry about the cold!

Ithiliana
10 years ago

@Cloudiah, and Simone: I’d guess that the person doing it hoped he would get fired; that it didn’t work is good, but why else would somebody do that?

Holly Pervocracy
10 years ago

It’s worth pointing out that nothing on Manboobz gave any indication where e works. All we did was link his blog to his Reddit, which he’s done himself.

Doxxing is wrong, but for someone to come in here and say about me, “Hey, she has a blog called The Pervocracy” is hardly doxxing.

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