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  1. Aoi
    Aoi August 10, 2007 at 9:44 am |

    Still one of my favorite quotes… “the more you tighten your grip, the more star systems will slip through your fingers…”

    Seems appropriate.

  2. RKMK
    RKMK August 10, 2007 at 9:54 am |

    Fuck these fucking fuckers.

  3. Emily
    Emily August 10, 2007 at 9:58 am |

    Thank you Jaclyn!

    My mother always told me that bullies are insecure and need to scare the rest of us to make themselves feel better. I’m feeling that watching these deluges of trolls (the rude, the misogynist, the violent) confirms that.

  4. WV
    WV August 10, 2007 at 10:22 am |

    I think they were probably just bored. *shrug* It’s all about the lulz.

  5. Tom
    Tom August 10, 2007 at 10:29 am |

    I thought the trouble I had viewing this site was because of the server change. I had no idea it was a concerted effort to shut this place down.

  6. Roy
    Roy August 10, 2007 at 10:32 am |

    I think they were probably just bored. *shrug* It’s all about the lulz.

    That still makes them assholes and bullies, though.

    Besides, I don’t think they picked this site at random, there’s a reason they’re coming after feminists, and I think it’s because people like them see sites like this as a threat. They think you’re out to change things and take away their power… to take away their toys. The more violently and loudly they protest and the harder they try to shut sites like this down, the more I think they realize that power is slipping from their fingers.

    And they’re right.

  7. dawn
    dawn August 10, 2007 at 10:32 am |

    What is the saying? “Keep on keeping on.” Amen, jaclyn.

  8. Pope Guilty
    Pope Guilty August 10, 2007 at 10:40 am |

    Anonymous’ last big campaign was against Hal Turner, Stormfront.org, and soforth. I don’t think they really care about feminism or anti-feminism- it’s just about pissing people off and freaking them out.

  9. Jennifer Smith
    Jennifer Smith August 10, 2007 at 11:04 am |

    I could not do what you do. I am not that brave.

    I thank you for fighting the good fight for us all, but please, please do what you have to do to keep safe.

  10. Another
    Another August 10, 2007 at 11:09 am |

    Anonymous’ last big campaign was against Hal Turner, Stormfront.org, and soforth. I don’t think they really care about feminism or anti-feminism- it’s just about pissing people off and freaking them out.

    That’s the thing, though. It’s all about hierarchy, and they have to be on top. It’s all about powr, all about humiliation, all about dick-waving and proving they have the biggest penis on the block. The fact that in the past their targets have been fascists is immaterial: even if the reason they’re attacking feminists isn’t because they think/realise feminism is going to take away their privilege, they’re still doing it because they think feminists, like fascists, are a soft target unable to defend themselves and they want to show them who’s boss.

    (Maybe they’re compensating for something, I dunno.)

  11. Another
    Another August 10, 2007 at 11:12 am |

    (In other words, even if you think it’s not the patriarchy talking, it smells damn like it.)

  12. WV
    WV August 10, 2007 at 11:15 am |

    Agreed, Pope Guilty.

    I know people want to feel better about this whole thing, but try to be realistic.

  13. Onymous
    Onymous August 10, 2007 at 1:00 pm |

    No, seriously Another, Roy, this is not the patriarchy, feminism is not a threat, hierarchy is not a threat, they are not bullies (in the traditional sense), even calling them assholes isn’t quite right.
    This is /b/.
    They did it because some one said “It’s time for another Epic Raid” and then some one spun the wheel of fortune and it landed on feminists this time. /b/ has crashed their own website for the lulz. Ascribing any sort of motivation beyond chance and boredom is totally pointless.

  14. Caro
    Caro August 10, 2007 at 1:35 pm |

    I mean, look at this. They think it’s necessary (or maybe just funny) to harass and/or threaten people not only because their opinions differ from theirs, but largely because they are women who are voicing these opinions publicly. Also, they often choose to do so using the old misogynist chestnuts of sexual objectification and sexual violence.

    In my mind, they are proving exactly why feminism is necessary, and showing that its social critiques about sexism are speaking to real phenomena that we still experience today.

  15. micheyd
    micheyd August 10, 2007 at 1:41 pm |

    Ascribing any sort of motivation beyond chance and boredom is totally pointless.

    Then why does the seriously violent, sick, misogynistic stuff just flow like honey? The rape and death threats? You’ve got to hate women enough in the first place to conjure up that stuff for “lulz”.

  16. Bitter Scribe
    Bitter Scribe August 10, 2007 at 1:53 pm |

    How about some context here? Did someone launch DOS attacks or something like that against this site?

  17. Holly
    Holly August 10, 2007 at 2:01 pm |

    It flows like honey precisely because that’s the stuff that’s mostly likely to make people upset, outraged, and vocal. Which is precisely the goal; like I said on the other thread, it’s a mistake to think that the intention here is to silence when it’s actually the opposite. You can’t get any “lulz” from silence, the ebaums/b/somethingawful gang wants people to get upset and respond and post more so that they’ll have more stuff to make fun of, etc.

    Of course a lot of it is misogynist and offensive and fits right into a larger, societal, structural scheme of misogyny and violence; they pick their words specifically to be misogynist, crass, violent and offensive, because it’s effective in pissing people off. To quibble over the precise distinction between someone who says horrible things because they really believe it deep down and someone who says horrible things because they want to outrage and they don’t care at all about NOT being misogynist… well, it’s kind of semantic distinction and besides the point. The effect is similar. The real point is to NOT feed the trolls unless you want to be a troll feeding ground.

  18. Jeff
    Jeff August 10, 2007 at 2:14 pm |

    Then why does the seriously violent, sick, misogynistic stuff just flow like honey? The rape and death threats?

    Yeah, that’s pretty much why the South Park Defense (“hey, we pick on everyone”) doesn’t work – it’s not just who they target, but how they target them.

  19. zyzzogeton
    zyzzogeton August 10, 2007 at 2:14 pm |

    Holly gets it. There’s been a lot of heartfelt rhetoric, of which this blog entry is one example, about this being part of a greater War on Women, and seriously, all that gnashing of teeth a little misguided. Yes, the bored teenagers behind this are undoubtedly various degrees of sexist. But half of the entertainment for them is that they are being taken so very, very, very seriously. It’s quite obvious if you read the ED entry that they find the righteous outrage over this hilarious. I know it’s hard not to give them more of the negative attention they crave … but try. Seriously.

  20. micheyd
    micheyd August 10, 2007 at 2:17 pm |

    I mean, I *understand* they want to get us pissed off, and the reaction is what they thrive on – I agree, we must ignore them, but I think reporting threats if you feel threatened is still important.

    But I guess I take issue with the idea that they are just picking random targets. Women are always a favorite target on the internet.

  21. SoE
    SoE August 10, 2007 at 2:20 pm |

    @ BitterScribe – 16:

    Go to feministe.com and scroll down a bit.
    Or maybe just klick on What do we do about online harassment?

    And the RSS feed seems to be down, again…

  22. Jeff
    Jeff August 10, 2007 at 2:36 pm |

    To elaborate: there’s a lot of ways to piss someone off, especially someone who actually cares about an issue. They chose these particular kinds of statements. That doesn’t come from nowhere.

  23. Violet Socks
    Violet Socks August 10, 2007 at 2:43 pm |

    If they were only choosing language to piss people off, why do they use the same language when talking to each other on their own private hacker site? If they only want public reaction in the tubes, why are they trying to destroy some woman’s life? Like this:

    ****
    >> Anonymous 07/08/09(Thu)20:57 No.48384 REPOST, LOL
    I have a plan, Anon.
    Let’s contact EVERY FUCKING ANTI-ABORTION ORGANIZATION IN THE WHOLE FUCKING COUNTRY, including every fundie and conservative group we can find.

    >> Anonymous 07/08/09(Thu)21:01 No.48393 We don’t need to beat a dead horse. Once we’ve achieved our main goal I think we can stand down for a bit. Remember, this is the First Feminazi War. If they get uppity in a few weeks and start thinking that they won, we can smack then down again.

    >> Let’s do some counting! Anonymous 07/08/09(Thu)21:07 No.48401 First Feminazi War. Victories: http://www.radicalsroar.com http://www.freesoil.org http://www.womenspace.org http://www.gentlespirit.com (am I forgetting any?)
    Defeats: Er…ummm….

    >> Anonymous 07/08/09(Thu)21:16 No.48413 has anyone been trying to hit her email?

    >> RecapAnon 07/08/09(Thu)21:22 No.48419 >>48413 Nope, I don’t think anyone has tried any serious phishing yet. If anyone can/wants to, go for it because all psyops report not being able to get access to the hidden BitingBeaver blog.

    >> Sage 07/08/09(Thu)21:24 No.48420
    Have we tried contacting anyone at Bantown to try and crack her email/Photobucket?

    >> Anonymous 07/08/09(Thu)21:32 No.48425 This anon has already contacted the local chief of police and several school intervention councilors. When replies are sent back, this anon will provide details. This anon will also be contacting , statewide, all outpatient clinics, ER rooms, urgent care clinics, etc etc in order to saturate the general vicinity with awareness concerning this …womyn…thing.

    >> Anonymous 07/08/09(Thu)21:34 No.48431 >>48425 I assume you mean contacting them about ********’s situation and Beaver’s nuttiness, and not “LOL INERNET HATE MACHINE GO TO JAIL”, right?

    >> Anonymous 07/08/09(Thu)21:37 No.48436 >>48431 Yes, fellow anon. I do mean that. In the event that this batshit insane ‘womyn’ decides to perhaps get a bit of real meat back in her , and is sloppy again, she’ll end up at one of those clinics. If any of her kids are hurt or abused by her in any way shape or form that requires going to a doc or being seen by nursing staff, I pray that someone has the mental facilities to remember the circumstances of the alert i’m going to send out as well as the name and pictures associated with it.

  24. Miller
    Miller August 10, 2007 at 3:14 pm |

    Even if they consider this a joke, it is still ultra-violent hate speech–period. And how are we supposed to differentiate between what is “real” and what is a “joke,” when the effect is the same? Replace the female gender with a religion or ethnic group and it becomes a bit more difficult to laugh it off, as if bigotry should be hilarious to begin with. According to that logic, all neo-nazis need to do to escape opposition is say, “It’s a joke!”

    And if it is true that they attacked stormfront, which I believe is a neo-nazi site, it suggests that they believe those who believe in the basic human rights of women and girls are the equivalent of fascists.

  25. Cola Johnson
    Cola Johnson August 10, 2007 at 3:23 pm |

    Yay! The idiot children think I’m teh bad news. Someone left a spam message on my blog.

    Pffft. Little pedant! I’m so small time, he just wasted his c/p function.

  26. RachelPhilPa
    RachelPhilPa August 10, 2007 at 3:27 pm |

    I’m noticing something interesting…

    Onymous at 13:

    No, seriously Another, Roy, this is not the patriarchy, feminism is not a threat, hierarchy is not a threat, they are not bullies (in the traditional sense), even calling them assholes isn’t quite right.
    This is /b/.
    They did it because some one said “It’s time for another Epic Raid” and then some one spun the wheel of fortune and it landed on feminists this time. /b/ has crashed their own website for the lulz. Ascribing any sort of motivation beyond chance and boredom is totally pointless.

    Holly, comment 80 on the other thread:

    Unfortunately, posts like this just keep the whole thing going, because it’s precisely, exactly what /b/ wants to see. The more sites get involved and respond, and the longer the whole kerfuffle gets dragged out — in fact, the more “authorities” of whatever kind are called — the more rewarded the instigators will be. It isn’t that hard to understand: the only reason they’re doing it is to piss as many people off as possible. They’re not doing it to “silence” anyone; they want to hear as many loud angry voices as they can, because that’s what “lulz” are. Get it yet? You’re mistaken if you think there is a resemblance in motivation (except maybe at a structural level, sure) between these guys and say, outrage campaigns run by right-wingers. The only practical thing to do is completely ignore it, which is hard because it’s understandable to want to say something, especially when other bloggers are really upset & taking a beating, etc.

    Note the similarity in tone (disputing the misogynist nature of the attacks), similarity in language, and the use of the terms /b/ and lolz.

    Also note Holly’s comment #17 on this thread, also dismissive of the misogyny.

    Holly, if this is really you, please, please forgive me…but I have to ask…Are these comments really from Holly? Because the Holly that I know and love at this blog, I don’t think would dismiss the misogyny out of hand like this, nor suggest that the attacks just be ignored.

    I am raising this issue because Shakespeare’s Sister / Shakesville (which has already been hit by 2 DDoS attacks in recent weeks), there was a post on this subject (the trashing of Heart’s blog), and a troll took on the identity of other commenters, causing mass confusion.

    One thing I would suggest is that blogs require a TypeKey identity in order to comment. The Feministing blog does this. Although I suppose TypeKey could be hacked, too.

  27. WV
    WV August 10, 2007 at 3:28 pm |

    They’re not going after all feminist blogs; they’re going after ones that supported BB and/or Heart. The main target is BB, due to her remarks about her son.

    Read up about the various chans, ebaumsworld, SA, and other places. It’s…a very different world.

  28. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub August 10, 2007 at 3:30 pm |

    If they don’t want the blogs to be silenced, they wouldn’t put up a list of blogs that either shut down or shut down comments with a victorious OWNED! next to them.

  29. slythwolf
    slythwolf August 10, 2007 at 3:31 pm |

    If you think people spew death and rape threats against women just because they’re bored, you must think everyone hates women.

    And if you say that they were “just joking”, you must think it’s acceptable to joke about killing and raping women.

  30. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub August 10, 2007 at 3:31 pm |

    Really? Then why are they going after Vanessa? Or Feministe, for that matter? Or Violet Socks?

  31. Violet Socks
    Violet Socks August 10, 2007 at 3:41 pm |

    They’re not going after all feminist blogs; they’re going after ones that supported BB and/or Heart. The main target is BB, due to her remarks about her son.

    Nope. They’re going after feminist blogs and boards that they found through links. They came after me and I’ve never even been to Heart’s message board, ever. They went after the IBTP board, too, which is obviously not the same territory. They’re just shit-for-brains morons. You think they actually know the difference between various feminists? To them all feminists are just feminazis.

  32. Ted
    Ted August 10, 2007 at 3:50 pm |

    “Gift to feminism”?

    And all I got Feminism was a card and a muffin basket.

  33. Holly
    Holly August 10, 2007 at 4:10 pm |

    Yeah, it’s actually me. And I don’t think I was being dismissive of the misogyny at all. (Read my comment in this thread, for one thing.) The misogyny is serious and real. I just think it’s important to understand why it’s being used and to what end, that’s all. If someone is trying to yank your chain and provoke you into an outraged response, what is the most effective thing to do? I leave that up to individual bloggers and commenters to decide. Personally I really, truly do feel the best thing to do is completely ignore this kind of stuff.

    /b/ is one of the boards where a lot of the people involved in these attacks hang out, and “lulz” are basically what they’re after, cheap laughs and thrills. Which unfortunately involve harassment, stalking, deliberately offensive language, denial of service, etc.

  34. philosophizer
    philosophizer August 10, 2007 at 4:14 pm |

    in addition to what everyone else has said, it’s sad to hear that somethingawful is involved in this – i used to be 2 degrees of intertubes separation from Lowtax, and back then he wouldn’t have stood for this – back in the day the best person a Goon could fight was another Goon.

    sad times all around.

  35. Another
    Another August 10, 2007 at 4:21 pm |

    @Holly: You know, when I was a kid they told me to ignore the bullying because they would go away and stop when they ceased to get a reaction. They didn’t, because they were sadistic fuckers and they knew it hurt inside even if I didn’t show it. The only thing that did work in the end was siccing the senior teachers and/or the cops on them. I think this is a similar case.

  36. Holly
    Holly August 10, 2007 at 4:35 pm |

    Another: I agree about real bullies, especially in the case of physical violence, and lord knows I got beaten up enough as a kid to know what works and doesn’t work in those circumstances. But I really also do think that dealing with anonymous hordes of amoral thrill-seeking jerks on the Internet is a different story. Nobody sees your face on the internet, for one thing; it’s all just words, what you don’t say stays offline.

    My advice to everyone: “Don’t feed the trolls” is probably the single most important rule everyone writing on the internet needs to understand, and it’s often misunderstood. Of course it’s not hard to sympathize with the feeling that you want to stand up and fight back and say something and oppose what’s wrong. But there are also cases in which doing that is pretty much the same thing as laying out a big, welcoming, inviting spread for trolls and /b/tards and script-kiddies and anyone else who will rub their hands in glee at more online drama and people getting upset and making noble comments that can be mocked, etc.

    Also, there aren’t any law enforcement authorities who know how to deal with this kind of thing at all. You can’t shut down every IP anonymizer or control the customer base of every ISP or keep people from starting new websites; this is a much broader cultural phenomenon we’re talking about, there’s no “leader” you can target, etc. And in case anyone is confused by my meaning or intention, it’s not a phenomenon that I am a fan of or interested in “defending.” These are just the facts as I see them.

  37. Onymous
    Onymous August 10, 2007 at 4:38 pm |

    @RachelPhilPa:

    I’m me and not Holly, Onymous is homophonic with my real name. The reason we use the same terminology is because it is the correct terminology. /b/ is a board on 4chan, specifically the “random” board. Lulz is a neologism which was if not coined, certainly adopted by them.
    Yes they probably are all a bunch of woman haters, but that’s not why they do anything. LOLcats? They were invented on /b/, for the most part every single bit of internet humor/culture can be traced back to /b/.

    The first thing to remember about 4chan and /b/ in specific is that NOTHING IS SACRED, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS TOO FAR, and THE INTERNET IS NOT SERIOUS BUSINESS.

    To elaborate: there’s a lot of ways to piss someone off, especially someone who actually cares about an issue. They chose these particular kinds of statements.

    Yes but the most OBVIOUS way to piss of a bunch of feminists is to be terrifyingly misogynistic. They aren’t big into effort.

    And if you say that they were “just joking”, you must think it’s acceptable to joke about killing and raping women.

    I happen to think it’s acceptable to joke about killing and raping ANYTHING. Also: The holocaust, dead babies, sexual inadequacy, appearance, intelligence, dumb blondes, people getting hit with 2x4s, religion, politics, war, abortion… everything. Humor doesn’t work with limits

    go there sometime, 4chan, click i agree in the bottom left then click random, right now i think they’re photo shopping storm trooper masks onto people in random photos, there’s a 50% chance that within 10 minutes they’ll be posting their favorite all male orgy pictures. By the end of the day some one is going to end a shaggy dog story with the lyrics to The Fresh Prince Bel Air, a thread devoted to jokes about the lines “This is Sparta” and “Tonight we dine in hell.” A thread about being An Hero (killing yourself) pops up every hour, as does a battle between longcat and tacgnol.
    Seriously no one was trying to do anything but piss people off and crash some websites for a laugh, there was no agenda, there was no message.

  38. Q Grrl
    Q Grrl August 10, 2007 at 4:44 pm |

    yeah, boys will be boys, eh?

    Burn a few witches, rape some women, harass and stalk women (and their children). All for the lulz.

    That shits funny.

    [you know Onymous, just because *they* think it's grand fun, doesn't mean we have to swallow while thier dicks are in our mouths. I prefer to bite down. Hard.]

  39. Violet Socks
    Violet Socks August 10, 2007 at 4:49 pm |

    Yes, we all know they’re just the basement idiots, but my point is that things like this are not shock statements made to piss off feminists:

    >> Anonymous 07/08/09(Thu)21:32 No.48425 This anon has already contacted the local chief of police and several school intervention councilors. When replies are sent back, this anon will provide details. This anon will also be contacting , statewide, all outpatient clinics, ER rooms, urgent care clinics, etc etc in order to saturate the general vicinity with awareness concerning this …womyn…thing.

    (The whole transcript is posted on the thread at Shake’s Sister, which is where I grabbed it.) That wasn’t a statement put out in public. This is the shit-for-brains cheeto-dicks talking to each other in private.

  40. Pope Guilty
    Pope Guilty August 10, 2007 at 4:53 pm |

    Onymous has it. These aren’t ideological warriors, out to silence those who oppose them. These are quasi-nihilist retards who derive pleasure from pissing people off and are equipped with a powerful sense of how to anger people. As much as I hate to be a man saying “Hey, don’t take this sexism too seriously”, that’s where I have to be on this one- if Feministe were a “men’s rights”-advocating blog, they’d be pulling the shit that pisses those guys off.

    It has nothing to do with thinking that feminism and fascism are similar. Such analysis is pure overthinking, and is, in fact, the sort of thing that they’re trying to provoke.

  41. Holly
    Holly August 10, 2007 at 4:53 pm |

    I don’t agree that this is just “jokes,” I mean a lot of it is really obviously harassment and intimidation. Saying that something is “just a joke” is different (and far more dismissive) than pointing out that people are doing something because they think it’s funny. I mean, look at it this way. Let’s say a church gets burnt down. Regardless of whether it was kids doing it as a horrible prank or a militant racist organization trying to send a message to the community, it’s still a crime, it was wrong, the church was burnt down and it’s horrible. But the response and the meaning of what happened is quite different.

  42. Holly
    Holly August 10, 2007 at 4:56 pm |

    VS — yeah that is an example of what I mean. It’s clear that some of them are trying to ruin BB’s life; it’s also clear that this kind of thing wouldn’t be happening if our society was less misogynist, etc. But they’re still basement idiots who are basically doing it for attention and yuks. And yeah, tracking someone down and calling the cops on them, etc. can still be done by some trolls for “lulz.”

  43. WV
    WV August 10, 2007 at 5:28 pm |

    VS, with regard to that particular thread, that is ALL publically posted over at not420 in /i/. I wouldn’t advise going there though.

  44. ED Editor
    ED Editor August 10, 2007 at 5:31 pm |

    They are passing round copies of divorce documents of a woman they think is her on their forums. It’s a complete lie that this isn’t carrying over into real life.

    Here’s what they’ve done to some of their other targets (if you can stomach Fox News):

  45. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub August 10, 2007 at 5:31 pm |

    These maggots better hope that nothing happens to any of the targeted bloggers. If it does, they’re pretty much instant suspects.

  46. SarahMC
    SarahMC August 10, 2007 at 5:39 pm |

    Would someone who regularly reads Biting Beaver please invite me to join? Looks like it’s invite-only now.

  47. Miller
    Miller August 10, 2007 at 6:20 pm |

    Pope Guilty writes:

    These aren’t ideological warriors, out to silence those who oppose them. These are quasi-nihilist retards who derive pleasure from pissing people off and are equipped with a powerful sense of how to anger people. As much as I hate to be a man saying “Hey, don’t take this sexism too seriously”, that’s where I have to be on this one- if Feministe were a “men’s rights”-advocating blog, they’d be pulling the shit that pisses those guys off.

    I’m sorry, but do you know these individuals enough to tell us what their intents are, as if that (again) excuses the effect? I don’t give a shit if these asshats are 14 year-olds with too much time on their hands, it is hate speech damnit and there is no reason why we shouldn’t oppose them. Amazingly, you’re more worried about us getting our panties in a bunch then about these overly sensitive bigots. Why don’t you go tell them to stop getting all hot and bothered for a change.

    Onymous says:

    I happen to think it’s acceptable to joke about killing and raping ANYTHING

    Your all-inclusive rape humor doesn’t change the fact that rape overwhelmingly targets females (9/10 victims are female according to RAINN) so trivializing it in essence justifies this unanimously gender-based violence that happens in real life to real people on a daily basis. Besides the examples you listed in your reply as justification confuses generic violence (Go kill yourself, etc.) with hate crimes (anti-female). Your nonchalance attitude about this, especially considering that you are not female and, thus, not targeted is quite hysterical in that you believe you are somehow a legitimate judge of whether or not to take such an issue seriously. You will not pay the price for it: females will. And just because one is fond of all bigoted humor, doesn’t make such humor less bigoted. According to that logic, no one should be bothered with a racist as long as he’s also homophobic, misogynistic, anti-Semitic, etc.

  48. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub August 10, 2007 at 6:25 pm |

    ED Editor, since you’re from Encyclopedia Dramatica, and you’ve been posting on blogs today, tell me, are you okay with rape and death threats against feminist bloggers? This somehow gets justice for BB’s son, which is the big cause on your site when it comes to this?

  49. WV
    WV August 10, 2007 at 6:27 pm |

    1. How do you know the sex of Onymous?

    2. Explaining is not (always) excusing.

  50. Alex
    Alex August 10, 2007 at 6:28 pm |

    I’m glad that some of the commentators here are able to eloquently elaborate on the true nature of the beast which is Anonymous. It’s not about feminists being “powerful”, or a “threat”, it’s about a woman who said she wished she had aborted her son because he looks at pornography and those who have sprung to her defense as “challengers” to Anonymous’ ultimate goals of ruining her life.. or, more specifically, tracking down her son.

    It’s not about ideology, unless you believe that “lulz” is an ideology – the commentator who described it as “quasi-nihilist retards” is pretty much spot on, and that’s the kind of labeling which Anonymous might endorse. Who was the last major raid target before the “Feminazi War” (as it has been so dubbed) erupted? Hal Turner, a right-wing hatemonger who was ultimately humiliated by persistent harassment. Other frequently-proposed targets include Tom Green, Fox News (Bill O’Reilly in particular is a far-off dream for them), Habbo Hotel, and a girl who does dorky (“weeaboo”) Japanese videos on Youtube. Can you string an ideology out of this? I can’t.

    It’s tempting to try to find some kind of redemption in this affair, to find a way to say “hah, we win and you lose”… but really, there is none, unless it somehow unites the radfem community. But alas, I fear that if it does, it will be on the false pretenses… Anonymous doesn’t think you’re powerful, or a threat to his (?) way of life. Really.

    Personally, I find Anonymous to be an abhorrent phenomenon, but insofar as I recognize my inability to combat it, I watch it with great interest. An academic interest, really, and I suppose I try to do my best to clear up misconceptions concerning it whenever possible.

  51. Miller
    Miller August 10, 2007 at 6:41 pm |

    I should amend one thing about my previous post: I am not certain whether Onymous is male or not, but the gender does not excuse the hate speech or else Ann Coulter and Phyllis Schafly would be benign.

  52. Mnemosyne
    Mnemosyne August 10, 2007 at 6:49 pm |

    Seriously no one was trying to do anything but piss people off and crash some websites for a laugh, there was no agenda, there was no message.

    And yet this would be much more believable if people weren’t posting BB’s real name and address.

    You may think the threats are empty, but that’s not something to count on. There’s always at least one disturbed person in a large group who’s willing to do something stupid — ask Elie Wiesel.

  53. Violet Socks
    Violet Socks August 10, 2007 at 7:06 pm |

    It’s not about feminists being “powerful”, or a “threat”, it’s about a woman who said she wished she had aborted her son because he looks at pornography and those who have sprung to her defense as “challengers” to Anonymous’ ultimate goals of ruining her life.. or, more specifically, tracking down her son.

    I’m sorry, that’s bullshit. They went after a bunch of people, including me, who had no connection to that message board, no fucking clue what BB had said there or why in the hell our blogs were being attacked. My blog was attacked and I was sent death and rape threats, and I don’t even fucking know Biting Beaver. I never knew about her post at Heart’s message board (which I’ve also never visited) or why any of us were being attacked until almost 24 hours after I was first threatened, and then only because somebody else told me the background. Jesus christ. Enough with the rewriting history.

    And if anybody thinks the whole story of what happened is out there on those ED pages, let me get FTD on the phone and send you a nice Summer Bouquet of Clue. Sites were simultaneously DoDed that aren’t listed on ED at all, but it was by the exact same people as part of the same attack.

  54. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub August 10, 2007 at 7:08 pm |

    It’s not about feminists being “powerful”, or a “threat”, it’s about a woman who said she wished she had aborted her son because he looks at pornography and those who have sprung to her defense as “challengers” to Anonymous’ ultimate goals of ruining her life.. or, more specifically, tracking down her son..

    Bear in mind, the feminists who were targeted weren’t all springing to BB’s defense–some of them didn’t even know about that thread. But they’re still getting threatened and harassed.

    And I suppose we should just shut up lest the worthless little fuckmonkeys turn their attention to us, but that’s what bullies want.

    And what the fuck kind of loser stalks a kid?

  55. kali
    kali August 10, 2007 at 8:27 pm |

    I’m sorta getting the sense that the correct analogy is not with schoolyard bullies but with stalkers. Don’t give them the gratificaton of responding because that’s what leads to escalation?

  56. Mickle
    Mickle August 10, 2007 at 8:32 pm |

    “But they’re still basement idiots who are basically doing it for attention and yuks. And yeah, tracking someone down and calling the cops on them, etc. can still be done by some trolls for “lulz.””

    And if, like lone trolls or bullies that pick a specific target, they were doing it exclusively in order to get attention from the people they were insulting, that might work. But since, like cat-callers and gang rapists, the real point is to get attention from peers – it won’t. So STFU about sucking it up.

  57. WV
    WV August 10, 2007 at 8:55 pm |

    1. Did you guys ever comment at IBTP? The primary target is BB, with Heart as secondary. It wouldn’t be unlikely that another part of Anonymous went after Twisty though, since I’ve seen several of the same names pop up in both the Margins and IBTP…some comments by Anonymous saying that Anonymous was not interested in all feminists also said that any radical feminists were fair game.

    2. Anonymous says that Anonymous is looking to contact the son and tell him about his mother’s posts.

  58. kali
    kali August 10, 2007 at 9:07 pm |

    I don’t think it’s really about getting attention from peers. How can it be? I don’t know much about /b/, but I know the hivemind “Anonymous” is called that because the board is an anonymous posting zone. So “status” in that “community” doesn’t really exist. It’s fucking weird and interesting actually, and ripe for study by some strong-stomached sociologist. Anyway, just saying. It’s not the same as the law student site that shall not be named, despite superficial similarities in the situations. Different approaches apply.

  59. anon radfem
    anon radfem August 10, 2007 at 9:08 pm |

    As for the anti-racism of this crowd, I have several extremely racist messages saved that they sent me, in which they use words that would no doubt horrify the “plenty of black friends” I’m sure that they’ll present later.
    Yeah, they might be bored assholes, but I don’t think that explains why the words they’ve used to insult me and other feminist bloggers are “whore”, “bitch”, and a large battery of other sexualized epithets, and why they’ve threatened to rape us.
    I think misogyny explains it much better.
    And they aren’t targeting feminists by chance or because it’s fun – most of the language in the ED entry and other places drips with sexism and antifeminism.

  60. RachelPhilPa
    RachelPhilPa August 10, 2007 at 9:27 pm |

    Holly,

    Well, regarding your earlier comments and my response, I must apologize, both for my general paranoia and for hastely misreading your comment upthread. Clearly you are not giving a pass to misogyny.

    When it comes to run-of-the-mill trolling, I have to agree with you about not feeding the trolls. But what has been going on for the past several weeks is beyond run-of-the-mill. When fuckwads post credible threats of rape and murder; publish female bloggers’ names, addresses, photos, and other identifying information; force them out of their jobs; and carry out numerous, targeted denial-of-service attacks against specifically feminist blogs, I don’t think that can be ignored. It doesn’t matter whether these guys are specifically being misogynist or just stirring up trouble for lulz, we need to find them and shut them down, because they are hurting a lot of women.

    I guess that I’m just getting so sick of these attacks – starting with Donohue’s attacks against Melissa and Amanda – that I’m getting hypersensitive and freaking out on very shaky (or no) evidence, so for that, I apologize.

    Sorry if I have stated what has already said – I’ve not read all the intervening comments – but I just wanted to respond before too much time went by, as I did not have access to the nets for a few hours.

  61. RachelPhilPa
    RachelPhilPa August 10, 2007 at 9:45 pm |

    Alex @ 50:

    Can you string an ideology out of this? I can’t.

    I can. A total lack of a shred of ethics; a total lack of empathy for other humans; total self-isolation to feed and reinforce and celebrate their sociopathy.

    The fact that they are attacking right-wingers too doesn’t mean that they are not misogynist. It means that misogyny is just one of the tools in their toolbox.

  62. Lauren
    Lauren August 10, 2007 at 10:02 pm |

    If you look up the thread from the original board using Google cache she didn’t even say the things she is accused of. There is no offensive catalyst.

  63. Silvia
    Silvia August 10, 2007 at 11:18 pm |

    All discussion of run-of-the-mill trolling aside, I’d like to add the following:

    You are so rad. Yay for perfect writing, perfect tone.

    from Silvia, who reads often but comments rarely.

  64. mythago
    mythago August 10, 2007 at 11:59 pm |

    Also, there aren’t any law enforcement authorities who know how to deal with this kind of thing at all.

    Holly? Is there a reason you are frantically posting all this “no no ignore them YOU ARE HELPLESS maybe they will go away if you STFU” bullcrap over and over, other than wanting the people being harassed to STFU?

    I mean, truly. NO law enforcement agency ANYWHERE knows how to deal with online harassment or death threats issued on the Internet? Did you really intend to say something so idiotic?

    “Don’t feed the trolls” is very different than “don’t do anything to try and stop harassers or stalkers, other than ignore them and hope it goes away.”

  65. Holly
    Holly August 11, 2007 at 12:31 am |

    Mythago, I’m saying those things based on plenty of experience, both first and second hand. Of course there are some kinds of online harassment and death threats (particularly coming from individuals) that some competent law enforcement knows how to deal with. And no, I don’t think “STFU” is the right kind of response, either, and I haven’t said that. I don’t think anyone who’s getting DOS attacks on their blog should stop blogging, for instance — not in a million years. There’s a big difference between what I’ve said in this thread and the other one, and how you’re interpreting it. There are also plenty of things you CAN do to keep a blog or board running for the sake of being able to keep posting about issues you want to write about (i.e. feminism) and to keep discussion open for regular non-troll users that don’t involve feeding trolls. I’d be happy to go into detail about what those are, privately (and have already shared a checklist of this kind of thing with a bunch of bloggers early in this whole mess). All I’m saying is that what might seem like an appropriate, admirable response — a head-on “stand up for yourself” engagement — can sometimes be feeding the trolls, even if you don’t realize it. So please don’t misconstrue that I’m telling anyone to “STFU.”

  66. Violet Socks
    Violet Socks August 11, 2007 at 12:56 am |

    If you look up the thread from the original board using Google cache she didn’t even say the things she is accused of. There is no offensive catalyst.

    Yes, Lauren, you’re right. And I’m not at all trying to distance myself from the attacks on Heart and BB, who have both been hounded outrageously. I just keep pointing out that the cheeto dicks are lying when they say this is all about “freeing Brandon” or whatever the fuck. They planned this out and it was bunch of sites simultaneously with no actual connection to Heart’s board or BB or her post. But of course they’re lying. They’re just shit-for-brains twits. Annoys me to see people actually believing the Brandon nonsense.

  67. a regular here
    a regular here August 11, 2007 at 2:46 am |

    I’m sympathetic to the “these people are trolling for the sake of trolling, ignore them” response, but I don’t think it’s appropriate to say that there’s no misogynistic motivation for the attacks. I’m also regular at 4chan (mostly /v/ and /tg/), and I can tell you that the only true description you can give of /b/tards and other channers is “diverse.” It’s all-trolling all the time, with an occasional invasion. There are long, heated threads at 4chan that consist ENTIRELY of ONE jackass trolling him/herself and responding, I am sure of it (indeed, I have been that one jackass.) So, the opinions you see at 4chan are not necessarily the opinions of the people who posted them, and I’m guessing the same applies to these raiders.

    There HAVE to be plenty of misogynists at 4chan, because there are plenty of misogynists everywhere (also, it’s a little difficult to attribute the entire volume of misogynist gunk at 4chan to pure trolling.) Probably, more than a fair share of these actual misogynists are involved with/instigating the misogynist raids. However, 4chan itself is not an site that endorses or promotes a particular socio-political ideology… and again, you can see this in the diversity of raid targets. Additionally, it’s not entirely appropriate to implicate 4chan in this mess at all, as 4chan has a no-invasion policy that is actually enforced (threads deleted, posters banned) when the moderators are around. Other chan-type sites are the primary staging area for raids like this.

    Feminist bloggers should not feel that they have been especially targeted by Anonymous. You point out that BB’s personal info has been shared amongst the raiders… but that’s pretty much par for the course. The admin of Subeta.org had his personal info distributed, and if screenshots are to be believed, his identity was actually stolen… This was over the idea of an unusually long cat.

    Of course, the fact that these raids are not exclusively against feminists does not negate their seriousness. It’s really, really awful that people are being threatened with rape and murder and having their personal info posted. But, take comfort in this: most anons are not leaving their home for any reason. Identity theft is a more likely danger.

    The question ought to be “how best to respond to these raids?” The answer is “quietly.” Go lurk on 7chan, 420chan, or even 4chan when the mods are asleep, and watch a raid thread. You’ll notice that raiders thrive on the response to their actions: deprive them of that. Contact law enforcement if you feel you or someone else is in danger, and delete any abusive posts you come across… but publicly addressing the problem is just feeding the forum trolls. Certainly, these trolls have a few more hit dice than the garden variety, but they’re still trolls and they have the same weakness.

  68. Joanna
    Joanna August 11, 2007 at 4:36 am |

    I’m sorta getting the sense that the correct analogy is not with schoolyard bullies but with stalkers. Don’t give them the gratificaton of responding because that’s what leads to escalation?

    Having had experience with both schoolyard bullies and a (serious, scary, cops-eventually-involved) stalker, I can’t help but point out that it often doesn’t matter what the target does. Respond to them, ignore them, find safety in numbers, isolate yourself, involve authorities, don’t, whatever… they can always find some reason to escalate if they want to. Ignoring them could send them off in search of more responsive prey, or it could trigger the always fun “I’m going to make you see me, woman!” reaction. Frankly, these guys scare the hell out of me, even if, in the end, they do end up just being impotent, spamming, misogynist jackasses. I dread any blogger I care about (in my lurkery way) running into the one who isn’t.

  69. Georgia
    Georgia August 11, 2007 at 5:39 am |

    “It doesn’t matter whether these guys are specifically being misogynist or just stirring up trouble for lulz”

    Yes it matters. If these people were sending threats to lynch people of colour, everybody would be solid in understanding that what was going on was racism and standing against it. However rape and death threats and, for example, talking about how a site that had been brought down had been c**tpunched stil somehow don’t register as the very deepest and worst kind of misogyny to many people. If feminists refuse to recognise male supremacy in action and sexism used as terror weapon against women what hope is there for persuading anybody else?

    Instead the women on the end of the sexual terrorism are being told that they are imaginging the misogyny or that it’s not what is most important.

    Misogyny = LULZ, it’s pretty simple.

  70. aradfem
    aradfem August 11, 2007 at 7:46 am |

    There is a lot of misogyny in this discussion coming from feminists themselves. For example in the trainwreck comments thred on Shakespeare Sister the pro-porners particularly who have had targetted BB and Heart with lying about them before, and who are still prepared to label BB as “mentally unstable” and “abusing her child”.

    This is an issue that needs addressing as well as the Anonymous scum.

  71. If My Site Goes Down… | Diary Blog of Elaine Vigneault

    [...] take a look at this post. It conveys some of my same [...]

  72. shannon
    shannon August 11, 2007 at 11:57 am |

    I feel torn. On one hand, the descriptions of the amoral behavior from Holly and Pope are true. On the other hand, inside that amoral behavior are the prevailing beliefs of our culture, which is that insulting women is fine and dandy.

  73. Vesper
    Vesper August 11, 2007 at 12:26 pm |

    “It is time anonymous; The JB phishing is over and we need to take this one step beyond. It’s time to phish out the US presidential candidate’s myspace accounts. We all know how easy this will be, and we know the lulz that will quickly follow on mainstream broadcast television in the name of ebaumsworld.

    That is why we must begin this attack. Starting with Giuliani.”

    It looks like Holly was right, I looked at that page that she linked, and now they want to start attacking U.S. presidential candidates. I didn’t see anything to do with feminism, except a thread from a couple of days ago. Maybe they have moved on.

  74. Kathy Sierra
    Kathy Sierra August 11, 2007 at 1:04 pm |

    ” they can always find some reason to escalate if they want to.”

    I agree with Joanna. While ignoring the typical drive-by troll (no matter how nasty) is probably the best approach, the typical troll is looking for a response. Period. But when the attack is personal, they’re looking for a response from YOU. You can try ignoring it (as I did for quite some time), but when YOU don’t respond, that can lead to escalation. While the random trolls will move to a new target to get what they want, a personal attacker is forced to turn up the dial on YOU. While the odds are perhaps ridiculously low that online abusers mean to act on their threats/fantasies in the real world, but still…these are not the actions of rational, healthy, ‘safe’ people. At the very least, they’re showing an obsession with the target(s), and it’s not secret that they can easily find you in the real world (posting addresses, etc.)

    In my case, within 24 hours of my post, someone began posting in public forums “in retaliation for trying to impose order on chaos” my home address and social security number, other personal and private data, mixed with a bunch of lies (my time as a prostitute, divorce with domestic abuse charges, etc.) and it’s EVERYWHERE. I googled my own social security number today and it still returns 40 hits — all public places where my name/address/ss# are still up as part of this retaliation.)

    Law enforcement is useless here since the chance of finding exactly who is behind it is slim, and *proving* it is even slimmer. In my case, the guy who *appeared* to have done some of the worst posts and photos came out after my post to say that his identity was ‘hacked’ and that someone used his passwords to log in as him and post these things. The “I was hacked and impersonated” –however farfetched in this case–is pretty much a perfect free pass defense. You can’t do anything without concrete proof.

    Ignoring it “because it’s on the internet and therefore not real” continues to desensitize us. The stuff we’re willing to just shrug off as the work of ‘trolls’ lookin’ for LULZ is shocking. If that same stuff came in the postal mail, we’d be far less likely to write it off as harmless, especially if it’s directed at a daughter, wife, sister, etc. I believe that automatically, implicitly considering that all these things are the work of ‘basically harmelss juvenile trolls’ is a dangerous trend. Think about the men and women you know in real life, young or not. How many of them would demonstrate this level of cruelty and abuse? And if they did, would you consider them normal, well-adjusted, rational, safe people just ‘having some tasteless fun’? Some of these folks are not just *assholes*… they’re behavior indicates they’re disturbed. The fact that they’re acting online doesn’t necessarily make that less true.

  75. Elaine Vigneault
    Elaine Vigneault August 11, 2007 at 6:45 pm |

    Regarding the “don’t feed the trolls” statements:

    1. These aren’t just trolls. They’re attacking my website, straining the server, and trying to bring it down. They are not just attacking me with words, they are trying to attack my livelihood.

    2. We are too often too silent about these things. We need to let the world know what’s going on. We can’t just sit back quietly and let the feminist bloggers get knocked down one by one until we’re all gone.

    3. Do you think staying silent will help the next generation of bloggers? Do you think sweeping it under the rug makes sense in the long term, for the web and for society in general? It might make sense for you personally, for your blog. But it doesn’t make sense for everyone.

  76. a regular here
    a regular here August 11, 2007 at 7:14 pm |

    Elaine Vigneault,

    Re: point 1,
    And how exactly does public soapboxing help to preserve your livelihood? It doesn’t. It just generates more “lulz” for Anonymous. The only people who can help you are your ISP and other service providers, and law enforcement. Contact them. If they fail you, perhaps you should go public regarding their failure to protect your site. Embarrass them, and they’ll get on your team, drawing much more aid from law enforcement.

    Re: point 2,
    If all the feminist blogosphere is destroyed by Anonymous, it will be because attacking feminist blogs was very rich in “lulz” for Anonymous. However, it’s just not going to happen. Anonymous simply doesn’t have the attention span. As others have reported, other targets rich in “lulz” have already begun to draw Anonymous from the attack on feminist blogs. You may have a few genuinely invested misogynists hanging on in perpetuity, but that just leaves fewer people that law enforcement needs to track down.

    Re: point 3,
    You’re just failing to see the true nature of Anonymous, here. I seriously doubt you’ve taken my advice and lurked on their home websites. These really are forum trolls. I understand that it feels very personal, as if everything you believe in is under attack: it is supposed to. They’re very good at trolling, because they do nothing but practice. Go lurk. Yes, it’s distasteful. Yes, it will decrease your faith in humanity (moreso.) However, you will understand that most of the raiders are really just punk kids out for a laugh, and you will realize that the best way to dissuade them from picking on you (and other feminist bloggers) is to deny them their laughs.

    Look at the example of the Habbo Hotel raids. Habbo Hotel is a frequent raid target because it never fails to amuse them. It’s a free, online game that is played by a lot of people. Therefore, there are always some unfamiliar people eager and willing to react to their antics. Habbo Hotel is a lulz factory. If you really care about the next generation of feminist bloggers, you won’t set them up to slave away in a lulz factory. Don’t. Feed. The trolls. They have nothing to gain but the sheer joy of observing your misery. If you take that away, they’ll take their nonsense elsewhere. Don’t let them see you cry.

  77. Mickle
    Mickle August 11, 2007 at 7:54 pm |

    “If you take that away, they’ll take their nonsense elsewhere”

    But that’s the point, they will take it elsewhere. They aren’t going to stop, they’re just going to do it to someone else. Isn’t that the same sort of advice we get in the name of preventing rape?

    It’s one thing to say “no, I don’t think that’s going to work” and another to say “ignore them and they will go elsewhere.”

  78. Mickle
    Mickle August 11, 2007 at 8:00 pm |

    “So “status” in that “community” doesn’t really exist.”

    They compliment each other, don’t they? Try to one-up each other? And, as ilyka pointed out, they show it to people in “real life” with the expectation that it will be considered cool. Which – as with all group bullying – makes it about their acceptance within a group and not just about getting negative reinforcement elsewhere.

  79. a regular here
    a regular here August 11, 2007 at 9:34 pm |

    Mickle,

    The only way to get them to stop is real-life consequences. Most of the raiders (and probably all of the raiders involved in the feminist blog raids) have embraced a sort of code of anti-ethics. To run with the rape analogy, these aren’t date-rapists who don’t view themselves as such: these are the wild-eyed knife-wielding rapists you meet in dark alleyways. Just as the knife-wielding rapists would be unmoved by any take back the night rally, most Anons will be unmoved by any appeal to ethical reason.

    To re-iterate:

    Things that will likely help to fend off Anonymous: Law enforcement, help from ISP

    Things that will likely cause Anonymous to redouble its efforts against feminist blogs: publicly or privately addressing their actions.

    It really seems like some of you are just badly missing the point. I understand that rape is bad, and that Anonymous are doing everything they can to make sure you can draw endless analogies between their actions and rape. I also understand that you like to express verbally your disapproval of these attacks. You’re bloggers and commenters. Talking about stuff is what you do. However, if your goal is actually to stop the attacks, you’ll take my simple advice: don’t feed the trolls. It might be the oldest nugget of internet wisdom going, but it is a meme that has lived so long because it works so very well. This is a problem that cannot be solved by consciousness-raising. Everyone involved is well aware of the moral import of their actions.

    Lulz really is practically a religion to these raiders. If you want to take a peek inside, perhaps Encyclopedia Dramatica would be a good place to start, though there’s more misogyny there than I think exists in the general Anonymous population. You can start with the article on lulz. Lulz @ Encyclopedia Dramatica – NSFW Naturally, one who was at work or wished not to be deeply offended would do well to avoid that article and Encyclopedia Dramatica in general. Encyclopedia Dramatica is more or less a raid trophy-room. I hope that after having a look, you’ll understand that engaging these people in moral address is going to be monumentally useless. You really, really must take their lulz away.

  80. WV
    WV August 11, 2007 at 10:13 pm |

    Mickle, check out 4chan sometime. That might give you a better understanding of how Anonymous works.

  81. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub August 11, 2007 at 10:17 pm |

    I am saddened for the people who aren’t related to this who have been harmed, but Anonymous is a group of individuals and imprecision happens, sometimes accidental and sometimes by individuals who don’t understand the greater picture of what we’re trying to do.

    How about you go fuck yourself? You’ve obviously had no choice but to practice a lot.

    BTW, how is sending rape and death threats to people who didn’t even know about the BB thread saving her son? Please! Explain how threatening people like VS and harassing people like Vanessa is somehow saving someone from abuse.

    Don’t bother. We know you’re full of shit, basement dweller. Gent bent.

  82. Female Anonymous
    Female Anonymous August 11, 2007 at 11:10 pm |

    Another female Anon here. I didn’t take part in the raid, because I didn’t really know about it.

    If Anon attacked Feministe, that’s a shame. This is a really good blog. Just so you all know, not all of the Anonymous are 18 year old white supremicist boys or 40 year old pedos, there are some decent women who are Anonymous too. Most of us are just bored teenagers with nothing better to do.

    I’m sure other Anonymous have said this, but I suppose I should say it again. Raid targets are pretty random. A single Anonymous finds a website that they personally may not like, then if some other Anonymous are bored, well, you have a raid. Also, we get bored pretty easily and move on.

    And Jaclyn, to be honest, Anonymous really doesn’t give a fuck about you or feminism. You and/or the movement not the center of Anon’s world and really, not a threat to “our way of life”. We can find plenty of other places to get a good laugh.

  83. Elaine Vigneault
    Elaine Vigneault August 12, 2007 at 12:55 am |

    regular,
    Going public about harassment and contacting my ISP and the FBI are not mutually exclusive. I can (and will) do both.

    Going public about it is to raise awareness of the issue. Yes, they act like trolls and a lot of what they do is very simplistic. Because it feels so personal to so many people who are attacked (and well, it is personal to the people whose private information has been compromised) it tends to isolate the victims. That’s not OK.

    Going public is telling/reminding other victims of online harassment that they’re not alone. When Kathy Sierra went public about her harassment, it came as a surprise to a lot of people. A surprise to enough people that it got on the news and now whenever I tell someone I’m a blogger they ask if I’ve received death threats.

    You’re thinking about this problem from the wrong angle. You want to stop the attacks. Sure, that’s a nice thing to want, but they really don’t have much rhyme or reason and they’ll just attack at random. They literally are a little army of evil-doers who just copy and paste stuff over and over when told to do so. They go after feminists and whomever else they deem worthy of an attack. You’re right that it will never stop.

    Think about it from another angle, from the victim’s angle. The victims don’t need to feel alone. The victims don’t need to feel like they have to be computer experts or they have thick skin in oder to speak their minds. Talking about the harassment publicly lets the victims know they don’t have to be silenced. It reminds them of their right to free speech.

    I’m a little tired of the rape analogies, too, but here’s one worth thinking about. There are things women can do to help prevent a rape. They can not go out alone at night. They can not accept drinks from strangers. They can not wear ‘asking for it’ clothes. They can take kickboxing classes. But sometimes they’ll still get raped no matter what. And sometimes they want to go out alone at night or wear ‘asking for it’ clothes.

    So, we should stop focusing on the things we can do to prevent the attacks and start focusing on the things that will help victims deal with being attacked. Some victims want support from others. Some victims want justice. Some victims was to share their stories… etc. Who’s to say what the *best* reaction is? Who’s to judge how a victim should act after being attacked?

    PS I blogged about it here: http://elainevigneault.wordpress.com/2007/08/11/the-post-on-web-harassment/

  84. prosehack65
    prosehack65 August 12, 2007 at 1:20 am |

    Has anyone–ANYONE–thought to take down or hide their blog rolls? They are nothing more than paths through a forest, leading the trolls to ever more targets.

    Running around in circles shrieking “misogyny rape mayhem!” doesn’t seem to be working…could another tactic be considered?

    I moderated (by default, had no actual powers) a decent-sized lesbian group, and we often fell victim to one or more young boy trying to “bait the lezzies.” Most of them were real mouth-breathing knuckle draggers who weren’t that hard to dispense of, but there were a couple who were very intelligent guys. One troll and I dueled often, usually to a draw; in exchange, he agreed to stop flooding the site; another, I actually had a good talk with, and once he realized that there were actual people with actual feelings being hurt, he relented. In fact, he’s been allowed to stay in the group as an “honorary lesbian,” and any time we’ve had subsequent trolling, he’s been one of the first to respond.

    Anonymous is nothing more than the Myspace’s DGAF group released into the rest of the Intertubes. As they get bored, see something shiny, or just have to go upstairs cuz their mom says dinner’s ready, the sites they’ve hit will come back online, and all will be restored.

  85. mythago
    mythago August 12, 2007 at 2:43 am |

    Most of us are just bored teenagers with nothing better to do.

    “I have nothing better to do than randomly harass, threaten and attack perfect strangers on the Internet” is a reeeallly good sign that your life needs some improvement.

  86. Gayle
    Gayle August 12, 2007 at 5:27 am |

    I’m glad we can have this calm, rational discussion without resorting to personal attacks, Sheelzebub.

    Your group threatens to maim, rape, destroy people’s lives in various ways–up to and including murder– and then you expect us to calmly debate you? No thinking person cares what your motivation is. You’re just too fucking dense and self-absorbed to understand this.

    But some of out targets include MALE WHITE RIGHT ADVOCATES and INTERNET PEDOPHILES.

    You used child pornography as a weapon on at least one of your targeted sites. And you don’t really want to delve into the horrific racism you’ve demonstrated throughout this, do you? Your words are all over the place –they’re saved and recorded.

    Note 2: We are not all men. Their are and have been women in our ranks.

    When the blowback begins you drop the ridiculous, militaristic language and hide behind the girls’ skirts. You’re pathetic. Now do as the nice lady above instructed– Go fuck yourself.

  87. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub August 12, 2007 at 7:55 am |

    You haven’t yet explained how posting rape and death threats to bloggers who didn’t even know BB is furthering your cause to “save” her son.

    You haven’t yet explained how targeting bloggers who didn’t even know what BB said (and then lying about them) is furthering your cause.

    While you’re at it, explain to me how sending a kid pornography, calling CPS and pretending to be BB, and trying to contact her abusive ex are saving her son. How is calling her neighbors helping her son?

    And, given this, why should the other women you’ve harassed feel particularly safe? Sorry, but I’m not going to take you at your word.

    Interesting though, that you whine and snivel and bleat about being censored here, and you go out of your way to shut down blogs with DOS attacks.

    You are dismissed, sparky.

  88. O rly?
    O rly? August 12, 2007 at 7:59 am |

    Ergh. I can’t edit my posts.

    “I feel the right to speak for or represent entire groups”

    Should be, “I don’t feel the right to speak for or represent entire groups.”

  89. anon radfem
    anon radfem August 12, 2007 at 10:53 am |

    prosehack65 – Yep, unfortunately some of the trolls got there first.

    As for being bored teenagers over the summer, I was (not too long ago) a bored teenager, too. There are lots of other things to do besides send people rape and death threats – enjoy the good weather, hang out with RL friends, volunteer, get a job, read books, sleep really late, catch up on TV, start your own blog.

    I have no idea if these trolls are all coming from one source or not. However, I doubt the anti-racism and pro-feminism quotient of people who know enough to call nonwhites racial slurs (I haven’t seen any racial slurs at the blogs of white radfems, though I believe that there were some at the womensspace boards because Heart has nonwhite children and there were some nonwhite women who posted there) and use sexualized and rape slurs towards women.

    If you left the same “drop dead asshole” message at the blogs of everyone that you targeted, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, etc., then I’d believe that they’re misanthropes.

    Until then, and as long as they keep intimidating nonwhite people, women and gays *based* on race, gender and sexual orientation, then they are racist, misogynist and homophobic.

  90. belledame222
    belledame222 August 12, 2007 at 11:07 am |

    They are annoying little twits, and the fact that they are, indeed, only in it for the “lulz” isn’t mutually exclusive with them being mouthbreathing sexists, racists, etc. etc. Yeah, bored teenagers. You want a medal? Go volunteer at a homeless shelter, why don’t you; maybe they’ll really appreciate your charming humor about them. More to the point, it’ll give you something to do, and who knows: you might stop being bored.

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