Just a quick update on the case of Arianna Pattek, the recent Georgetown graduate targeted for harassment by A Voice for Men and others, including the white supremacists at Stormfront. As I pointed out in an earlier piece, the “detective work” that led A Voice for Men’s Paul Elam and the other Pattek-bashers to target her was incredibly inept and sloppy, and it’s clear beyond any possible doubt that she has nothing whatsoever to do with the misandrist blog they accused her of writing, which increasingly obviously seems to be an utter hoax.
A Voice for Men, which hasn’t yet acknowledged much less apologized for its obvious mistake, has made much of the fact that information about Pattek was pulled down off of a Georgetown website after various websites started targeting her — attributing this to some sinister conspiracy. “[I]t now appears almost certain,” Elam wrote in his error-riddled post on the matter,
that individuals at Georgetown, perhaps even university officials, are purging their online records of that thesis, and her identity, in order to protect the interest of the school against what will almost certainly result in a massive amount of litigation.
Last night Mark Lance, director of the Justice and Peace program at Georgetown, left this message in the comments here on Man Boobz. (I confirmed his identity through email.)
Hi. Im the director of the Justice and Peace program at GU, though I was not directing when Arianna graduated. I just wanted to let folks know that her information was removed from some web sites at to protect her. This story was first picked up by Stormfront.org and the white supremacists have been harassing and threatening her, including posting her home address, picture, etc. It was probably pointless, but the person who directed the program last year decided to remove the info. So, sorry, no conspiracy. Just an attempt to protect a young woman from vicious hate groups.
That explanation makes sense to me, and certainly he’s got more credibility on this matter than Paul Elam. (A ham sandwich has more credibility than Paul Elam.)
Lance’s comment raises an interesting question: Did Stormfront in fact start harassing Pattek before the MRAs got to her?
Here’s what we know: Stormfront — incorrectly — named Pattek the author of the feministconservative blog a little after 3 AM Eastern time on the 18th, the same day that Redditors in the Men’s Rights and Conspiracy subreddits (and a few others) picked up the story. Timestamps on Reddit aren’t precise, but I’m guessing they got to it after 3 AM. The phony news also began spreading around Tumblr that day as well. Elam posted his piece trashing Pattek later that same day.
So, yes, it does sound like the white supremacists got to Pattek first.
Does this also suggest that the bogus information published by A Voice for Men came — directly or indirectly — from Stormfront?
That seems much less likely. Though I can’t confirm it, it looks like the whole thing originated not on Stormfront but on 4chan, and that their bogus theory about Pattek spread to all the other sites out there. (I find it hard to believe that all the other sites arrived independently at the same patently false conclusion.) It’s certainly possible that Elam got his info from Stormfront, but it seems more likely he got it from 4chan, or, even more likely, 4chan via Reddit.
If anyone has evidence that 4chan picked up the theory from Stormfront, let me know.
In any case, the whole event says a lot about how bad information spreads on the internet, and just who is getting information from whom.
It also says a lot that A Voice for Men, which likes to pretend it’s at the vanguard of a great 21st century “Men’s Human Rights Movement” was nearly as quick to jump on the Pattek-hating bandwagon as the literal Nazis at Stormfront — that is, the leftover stragglers from a 20th century hate movement.
And it’s quite telling that both Stormfronters and AVFMers think that doxing and harassment of individuals are justifiable forms of “activism.”
I would say something about strange bedfellows, but these bedfellows aren’t strange in the slightest. They’re two hate movements, just made for each other.