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Racists, trolls and idiots launch Twitter campaign to smear John Oliver as racist

John Oliver’s campaign for Net Neutrality is facing some interference

HAPPY UPDATE: Looks like this little bit of hashtag activism despicable trollish smearing has collapsed; the hashtag is pretty much dead as of now. (5/11/17, noonish Chicago time)

On last Sunday’s episode of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight,” John Oliver once again rallied his fans to stand up for Net Neutrality, now under threat from the Trump administration, urging them to visit Gofccyourself.com, a site that links directly to the FCC page for public comment on the proposed change.

And so some of the worst people on the Internet have launched a new Twitter campaign to smear Oliver as racist — and get him fired. 

“Er, what?” you might be wondering.

Well, it turns out that Trump’s newly appointed FCC head is of Indian descent. And the FCC site has been hit with a flood of racist comments attacking him.

The Washington Free Beacon, a right-wing rag the Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf once described as a “decadent and unethical” part of the “ascendant ‘smear wing’ of the conservative movement” has decided that Oliver is personally to blame.

John Oliver’s “grassroots” activism against Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai is full of bot accounts, fake comments, and death threats against the chairman. ….

However, an analysis of comments to Pai’s Restoring Internet Freedom filing, which Oliver has dubbed “Go FCC yourself,” shows thousands of comments using fake names and bots posing as “Jesus Christ,” “Michael Jackson,” “Homer Simpson,” and “Melania Trump.”

For instance, as of Tuesday evening, there were 1,761 comments filed under the name “John Oliver,” 998 separate comments using the name “Yoni Schwartz,” and 611 comments filed using “1” as the name. …

Pai also received death threats in several submissions. …

Other comments used racial attacks against Pai, the son of Indian immigrants.

Now some of the Internet’s worst people have seized upon this article (and a similar one in the right-wing Daily Caller) as an excuse to attack Oliver as the supposed instigator of this racist harassment campaign against Pai.

https://twitter.com/GasJaredKushner/status/862449448017952768

https://twitter.com/rockie_springer/status/862413212427456517

https://twitter.com/JimMcNulty8/status/862446902398332928

https://twitter.com/uliw315/status/862396353426731008

https://twitter.com/DeplorableSammm/status/862389346816720897

https://twitter.com/RosalynJBurgess/status/862390076596248576

https://twitter.com/dreamedofdust/status/862385631141539841

https://twitter.com/DeportSJWs/status/862386470509658112

I guess staying on message is harder than it seems.

Alongside all the Pepes and Deplorables, the hashtag is currently being spammed by dozens (hundreds?) of egg accounts all tweeting the same thing; it’s not clear who’s responsible for this.

The instigator and main organizer of the Twitter campaign? Alt-right “journalist” and infamous internet troll Jack Posobiec.

https://twitter.com/JackPosobiec/status/862370548063633416

https://twitter.com/JackPosobiec/status/862400904523374592

https://twitter.com/PutinsHacker/status/862404791003222016

https://twitter.com/Nik_Kirtane/status/862392588304777216

That last accusation from Posobiec — that Oliver was “making fun of the way foreigners talk” — is especially pungent bullshit, by the way. In the video that Posobiec links to in his Tweet as evidence, Oliver gently chides some of India’s more sensationalistic cable news channels, not by mocking how anyone talks but by pointing out the the ways in which they resemble Fox News. One of the channels he mocks? CNN India, for a misleading headline.

Posobiec, who works for Canada’s Rebel Media, was recently granted a White House press pass. Because that’s the kind of world we live in today.

Now, there are just a few teensy problems with the #FireOliver campaign.

John Oliver is not actually racist. He said nothing even vaguely racist in his Net Neutrality segment on Sunday, nor did he in any way encourage his viewers to launch racist attacks, or even personal attacks, on Pai.

There is absolutely no proof that Oliver has any connection to the troll accounts or the hate campaign, nor does he have any history of using trolls or bots. 

You know who DOES have a history positively overflowing with trolls and bots?

Jack Posobiec.

You remember the massive leak of hacked emails from the campaign of current French President-elect Emmanuel Macron? Posobiec was the key person responsible for spreading the hacked data on social media in the West.

Sandy Garossino, writing in Canada’s National Observer, notes that Posobiec has been identified by cyber-security experts

as the origin of the first tweet linking a massive cache of Russian-hacked documents dumped onto the conspiracy website 4chan. He attached the hashtag #MacronLeaks. …

The #MacronLeaks hashtag, from the moment Posobiec tweeted it, was the primary social media propellant of the hacked Macron data, according to cyber-intelligence analysts at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensics Research Lab. They also concluded that bots played a significant role from the outset. Some 40 minutes later, Wikileaks tweeted the link with Posobiec’s hashtag, and the Internet erupted.

The appearance of bot activity, observed independently by both the DFRL and Belgian academic Nicolas Vanderbiest, from the first minutes after Posobiec’s tweet, strongly suggests a planned and coordinated campaign.

(For what it’s worth, Posobiec says he had nothing to do with the bots.)

As Garossino goes on to point out, Posobiec was also heavily involved in promoting the #Pizzagate nonsense as well as on last month’s #SyriaHoax campaign. Working alongside internet troll and steroid enthusiast Mike Cernovich, Posobiec helped to promote the

Russian-led social media propaganda campaign that claimed footage of children dying from Assad’s chemical weapons was a hoax.

Analysts expert in propaganda and social media at the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism at The Hague identified the #SyriaHoax as “a clear example of a Russian influence campaign designed to undermine US credibility.”

Both [Posobiec and Cernovich] picked up the hashtag early and propelled it through U.S. social media … .

You may also recall the “Rape Melania”sign that appeared at an anti-Trump rally last year. Though most assumed it was the work of anti-Trump protesters, Buzzfeed later uncovered text messages proving that the sign was in fact the work of, yes, Posobiec, who was attempting to make Trump’s opponents look bad

Huh. That sounds … familiar, huh?

Oh, and one other thing about the supposed pot by Oliver to bombard FCC boss Pai with racist comments and threats: Not only is there no evidence for it, but the very idea makes no sense. Why would Oliver, whose last campaign to protect Net Neutrality was a notable success, decide this time to launch a racist harassment campaign that would only serve to make him and other supporters of Net Neutrality look bad?

And while I’m playing Colombo here, there’s one more thing about the FCC thing that seems a bit off: The FCC says that on Sunday night, the night Oliver’s show aired, it was hit with distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks intended to overload the FCC’s comment system.

The Washington Free Beacon story seems to insinuate that Oliver was behind these as well. This of course would be absurd. Oliver’s campaign depends on people being able to reach the FCC site so they can leave comments there. Why would he launch a DDoS attack that could knock the site offline, or at least make it harder to reach?

My guess is that whoever is behind the harassment campaign is also behind the DDoS attack. And that it’s not Oliver.

So is Posobiec the secret mastermind behind the harassment campaign? There’s no evidence — at least none that I know of — for this. But he’s certainly working overtime trying to blame Oliver for it, and spreading demonstrable lies about Oliver in the process.

I guess this is just what right-wing “journalism” looks like in the age of Trump.

EDITED TO ADD: I added the stuff about Posobiec and the infamous “Rape Melania” sign after being reminded of the incident by @EyesOnTheRight.

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PeeVee the (Timber-Rattling Booger Slut, But Noice) Sarcastic
PeeVee the (Timber-Rattling Booger Slut, But Noice) Sarcastic
5 years ago

Who here have I harmed? Isn’t mockery the stated purpose of this blog?

Mockery of misogyny. Get yourself a clue with your JAQing off.

Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ petra

The article author…actually quotes the female rapist’s line

But how do you extrapolate that to suggest the reviewer approves of the reasoning? I mean, I quote a lot of films but I’ve never actually needed a bigger boat.

PeeVee the (Timber-Rattling Booger Slut, But Noice) Sarcastic
PeeVee the (Timber-Rattling Booger Slut, But Noice) Sarcastic
5 years ago

Petra, so “Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberries” is clearly an attack on the heterosexual two-parent familial unit, with small rodent and plant-shaming thrown in, if a reviewer quoted that line in their review, according to your logic, and whatever media that review appeared in must support that particular opinion?

Oh, okay.

GrumpyOld SocialJusticeMangina
GrumpyOld SocialJusticeMangina
5 years ago

Somebody’s really mad about something, and we’re the cat zie’s kicking to relieve frustration.

dreemr
dreemr
5 years ago

Well, my long comment was either eaten or lost in moderation, and I’ve no interest in wasting any more energy duplicating my reply to dear Petra. You seem to be one of those people who come here and, when finding that we’re not discussing whatever your pet cause is, immediately accuse us of not supporting whatever that cause is. Yawn. We don’t owe you discussion on the topic of your choice.

“I notice nobody has anything to say about the low birth rate of flatworms in captivity! ANTI-FLATWORM MUCH, SHEEPLE?”

“There’s not enough discussion about the merits of baking powder as a leavening agent in this thread! BIG BAKING SHILLS, ALL OF YOU!”

@PeeVee – now you’re getting it.

@Alan – Ha!

PeeVee the (Timber-Rattling Booger Slut, But Noice) Sarcastic
PeeVee the (Timber-Rattling Booger Slut, But Noice) Sarcastic
5 years ago

@dreemr, David said on the first page of this thread that both the Spam filter and the Trash filter were acting up, and to email him if a comment doesn’t appear.

And, yeah. I have zero patience in the intellectual dishonesty on display here.

dreemr
dreemr
5 years ago

Thanks, @PeeVee! I did see his note on that, it’s just not important enough, y’know?

My missives are not indisputable works of art like some of the commenters’! 😀

PeeVee the (Timber-Rattling Booger Slut, But Noice) Sarcastic
PeeVee the (Timber-Rattling Booger Slut, But Noice) Sarcastic
5 years ago

@dreemr, I understand completely, but I enjoy your posts and I would have liked to have seen it. ?

dreemr
dreemr
5 years ago

@PeeVee awww thanks, internet hug of appreciation to you!

LindsayIrene, Rioting Werebonobo

I like to quote ‘Tombstone’ a lot, but I am not actually anyone’s huckleberry.

LOL Yeah, I totally accused you of being a conspiracy of… one. Come on, you know that twisty-turny shitposts are a common form of trollery. You’re no wide-eyed ingenue. Knock it off.

EJ (Marxist Jazz Weasel)

“There’s not enough discussion about the merits of baking powder as a leavening agent in this thread! BIG BAKING SHILLS, ALL OF YOU!”

I, for one, welcome our delicious overlords.

Swedish Sexual Bread
Swedish Sexual Bread
5 years ago

@EJ
There are plenty of games where you can hurt people. And if it’s a multiplayer game, you can be even more effective at annoying people than trolling the comments of this blog. Example: Playing any SPG in World of Tanks. if the goal is to piss off as many people as possible, I highly recommend this.

Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

“Excuse me, do you have a copy of George Michael’s first album?”

“Yes.”

“Hah, I find your lack of Fai…Oh.”

Petra Pumpkineater
Petra Pumpkineater
5 years ago

dreemr, I haven’t accused you of anything other than being mistaken about what ails your boys. I used to use terms like “toxic masculinity” too. The MRAs blame feminism, but the problem goes deeper than that. If you ever realize that you’ve misunderstood me, I’d be happy to discuss it with you. I’m sad that I missed your comment; I’ll watch for it, and I agree with you that you don’t owe it to me to answer my questions. If you were paying attention, you’d notice that I’m not using the tactics being attributed to me.

Given what you’ve shared with me, I can understand how this discussion would be demoralizing to you. Again, you are under no obligation to tell me anything, but if your disappeared post turns up, and if it has anything that boys in that situation can use, I’ll be very grateful and it will be put to good use. Thank you.

Pee Vee, you wouldn’t know sincerity from intellectual dishonesty if it sat in your face. You’re a nihilist. Feel free to ignore me, and I’ll try to return the favor.

Alan: “But how do you extrapolate that to suggest the reviewer approves of the reasoning?”

Did you read the article? The reviewer states outright that he agrees with her and that it’s conclusive evidence that Joyce McKinney could not have raped him, even though the actual facts were undisputed. He was taken at gunpoint from a chapel, with assistance of a hired thug, chained to a bed, and fucked. Then they went on a picnic together. Then he ran away, and never talked to her again.

Look, I believe that Joyce McKinney didn’t grasp that the guy wasn’t consenting. She’s not the brightest light on the tree. I don’t stay up at night angry that the poor moron didn’t do time. But fucking Salon should not go publishing claims like that, saying that an erection gives consent.

Check out the movie and the article when you have the time.

EJ (Marxist Jazz Weasel)

@SwedishSexualBread:
I tried World of Tanks; my experience of it was that:
A) Being a light tank is really fun.
B) SPGs, as you point out, can fuck right off.
C) I’m surprisingly put off by people spamming the text chat with overtly Nazi messages.

It’s a good recommendation though, and I hope our guest follows up on it.

leftwingfox
leftwingfox
5 years ago

Ah, and Petra slips out enough info for google to work: here’s the Salon link:

http://www.salon.com/2011/07/15/tabloid_2/

and the comments in question in context:

Indeed, it’s Tory, along with ex-Mormon and gay activist Troy Williams, who articulate the area where Morris clearly thinks the truth lies about McKinney and Anderson, partway between their competing accounts. While it is legally and theoretically possible for a woman to rape a man, most of us see it as unlikely to happen in practice. As McKinney puts it, “That’s like putting a marshmallow in a parking meter.” Anderson may well have gone with McKinney willingly, enjoyed three days of consensual (and mildly kinky) sex, and then felt consumed with guilt and shame and went creeping back to seek redemption. As Williams explains, Anderson was risking excommunication from the Mormon church, exile from his loved ones, and the abandonment of his potential future as a god on another planet. (I am not mocking LDS theology; to most people’s tastes, it mocks itself.) Kirk Anderson, who later married a Mormon woman, had a family and is now a real estate agent in Utah, did not participate in the film and is seen only in old photos and file footage.

So, yeah rape apology bullshit. Which is not to say that the ad-hominem attack on Salon by Petra is any more valid.

dreemr
dreemr
5 years ago

I don’t know why none of us immediately realized the connection of Salon to male-rape-denial through an unreferenced 6-year-old film review.

Honestly, it’s like we’re not even trying. /sarcasm

Weird (Encouraged by the RESISTANCE!!!!) Eddie
Weird (Encouraged by the RESISTANCE!!!!) Eddie
5 years ago

“racist”, “*phobic”, etc. are just buzz words to the mras, mgtows and alt-right/right. Those people have no idea what the terms mean, indeed, they don’t acknowledge that the terms even HAVE specific meanings. They just bandy them about in a “Nyah, nyah, you did it, too” mockery of social justice.

LindsayIrene, Rioting Werebonobo

Okay, I found the article that PP is banging on about. It’s from 2011. Almost every single comment is negative toward the article and the writer. So… we’re awful for not focusing on a six-year-old article that has already been roundly criticized?

Petra Pumpkineater
Petra Pumpkineater
5 years ago

“Why is Petroll shitting up every thread with the exact same whine? ”

I’m not. The only other thread I’ve posted on for hours is about the Civil War and John Brown, and I haven’t mentioned any of this shit over there. Ask Alan — who seems to be the only one on that thread who grasps that what I’m about there.

EJ (Marxist Jazz Weasel)

Lindsay and leftwingfox, you are excellent researchers and I bow to your google-fu.

LindsayIrene, Rioting Werebonobo

Ask Alan — who seems to be the only one on that thread who grasps that what I’m about there.

Non, it’s that you’re finally writing in clear sentences and not throwing bizarre accusations around.

Petra Pumpkineater
Petra Pumpkineater
5 years ago

So… we’re awful for not focusing on a six-year-old article that has already been roundly criticized?

No. You’d be awful if you agreed with it. I’ll have to check out the comments. Thanks. As for banging — I mentioned the article, I was asked for citations, and I mentioned it. I’ve got other stuff to look up too. My point wasn’t that you are “awful” but that there are systemic issues (most of which predate feminism, but some of which have been aggravated by certain feminists) that oppress men and boys, and that addressing these generally would not harm girls or women (except for those who rape and abuse), and that in many cases, increased equity for men would make life better for women as well. I’m not making an antifeminist argument; I’m taking Susan Faludi’s position from Stiffed. This turned into a brawl because some folks kept assuming that I was ranting against all feminists, so I assumed in response that you were, like “little Red Ranting hoodlum,” out to bury any discussion of violence against men.

dreemr
dreemr
5 years ago

@Petra, it’s all right, I assure you, I am not demoralized. If you go through the archives, you’ll see that we’ve been over this ground time and time again.

It’s not that it’s demoralizing, it just gets kind of dull and wearisome, and when a person doesn’t bother to be straightforward – say, they don’t bother to link to the specific article/review/opinion piece in Salon that they are referencing that makes them believe the entire publication is pro-male rape, and makes an awful lot of vague sorta-accusations, and then pronounces themselves portentously as: “Your worst nightmare!”

We’ve heard it all before, including the worst nightmare bit.

LOL I just read your recent post. You’re talking about Feminism 101 and I do suggest you go through the archives before you spout off as you have, because leading with “I’m your worst nightmare” bs was kind of a giveaway.

Anyway, there are PLENTY of discussions on this blog about how men are shortchanged by a patriarchal society and how they can be helped but that’s not the focus of the blog. Nobody here is going to deny that men are hurt by the patriarchy. Coming in here swinging when you should have taken an hour to research would have told you that.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
5 years ago

No Petra. You’ve been on this thread, the MGTOW thread, Judgybitch Nazi shirt thread and the Marine Le Pen thread. What a stupid thing to lie about. You’ve been in three active threads and necro’d an older one. You’ve been here for probably close to 12 hours now.

Stop lying.

Stop lying about being a sock too. I did a quick Google search for your name. Nothing comes up but this site. So you’ve only used this name especially for this site. That’s a bit suspicious.

ETA: Petra also necro’d the Lindy West thread to wank about Chanty Binx. So that’s 5 threads shat in that I’ve seen

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