If you're a new Twitter follower… the rest of this document is all for you. I want to tell you first why you may want to follow me, and then, why so many people don't want you to.
Why You May Like Following Me
Because most of my 15,000+ followers will tell you that I am one of their more frequent sources of socio-political and tech news and insights, a few pithy quotes and observations, and a pretty good way to locate interesting people to follow on Twitter. I am also known for creating several Twitter acronyms and conventions such as the MT code, and for heavily promoting the early popular definition and use of the #p2 tag for progressives. Finally, I was the founder of the stoprush.net project, which built the database system that helped make it one of the most successful consumer campaigns ever launched against that scurrilous talk show host. Oh, and I'm also kinda fun at parties.
Why Many Don't Want You Following Me
Because I am known for having a loud and assertive progressive voice, and this makes me a favorite target of many right wing political hit squads, as well as some disaffected progressives who often resent my support of President Obama or my pragmatic politics. Both groups delight in trying to squelch my opinions, ideas, or advocacy. These groups have dozens of phony liberal sock puppet accounts who exist just to attack me with blather that I "abuse or bully women," or any number of other mythical crimes which they even have entire websites to help perpetuate.
But that's just the political side of things. As of August, 2012, the biggest source of acrimony, and various and sundry “abuser narratives,” revolve around two overlapping personal dramas. Both are directly related to a mean-spirited act of romantic vengeance by an ex cyber-girlfriend named Jessica Delahunty (aka @vdaze) who, with an obsessively devoted Twitter clique which includes Imani Gandy, aka @AngryBlackLady (ABL), @HoneyBadgerLA, @dvnix, @miltshook and many others. This virtual gang of internet disinhibition junkies on steroids has spent months of Twitter time trying to taint me with various kinds of abusive male & male-slut shaming narratives with "proof" no one but them has ever seen, and which they never document. Jessica will even mock my recently diagnosed cancer, or reach out to "warn" some innocent celebrity like @alyssa_milano who might dare happen to retweet me. (That is itself a form of cyber-bullying, well known on Twitter.) Seriously… she did that. Seriously.
Jessica's now legendary overreaction to a minor romantic fail with someone she'd never met became conflated (on purpose) with the agenda of her good friend Imani Gandy (@AngryBlackLady) and her webmaster @HeatherEChase, who both decided to blow things up even more in a vain attempt to mask their complicity in a very ugly and sordid bit of skullduggery that resulted in a partial sabotage of the very successful #StopRush Limbaugh effort which I had helped to forge. It's a very long story, which you can begin to read here if you really like long stories about very unpleasant things. Otherwise…
That's All You Really Need To Know
Almost every dreadful thing you might hear about yours truly on Twitter owes its origins to the three paragraphs above, regardless of which belligerent brings you the news. If someone Tweets or DMs you anything that smacks of this drama, I would appreciate your sending me a screen shot of it, as the outcomes of all of this drama are still very much unresolved. Unlike my attackers, I like to have evidence of wrongdoing, not empty assertions meant to smear people.
If you're the type that just has to have more gory details of this now-legendary social media conflagration, then please do read on. But you've been warned. Your life needs this drama even less than mine does. If you think I have written all these words (on this and many other pages) because I have nothing better to do, you need to know more about me. I do this because these vicious people leave me no choice. They have wrecked dozens of personal relationships, tried to harm my business interests, and generally tarred and feathered me for purposes of vengeance, obfuscation of their malfeasance and wrongdoing, and the pure sick thrill of being "Twitter famous" for doing it.
The Gory Details
So why do Jessica, @AngryBlackLady, and their friends go to all this effort to attack me? It began because Jessica was once told that I was cheating on her (while we had broken up) during a nearly two year, on-again/off-again cyber-relationship (and while she was still married). So-called “friends” of hers (discussed below) just invented this robust set of lies to set off a vicious public drama that has disrupted multiple Twitter streams for many months. While this may already sound like a typical internet romance gone awry, to most observers, the sheer magnitude of her retributive act has been unprecedented in the history of social media. (I just bring out the best in some folks.) She and her friends have pulled hundreds of people with at least a half-dozen major narratives into the drama for many months. It doesn't end because they don't want it to.
To further her vengeful agenda and deflect from her unexplained meltdown, Jessica concocted a strained and unsupportable narrative that I "intimidated her," and was "abusive to her" over the course of our (long distance) relationship. (She was forced to later admit in her blog that we'd never actually met). And her evidence of all that abuse? None. So she just went with anything she could find. She posted to her blog an eight month old private voicemail message where I used a bad word during a nasty fight (which I publicly apologized for), while strongly objecting to weeks of passive-aggressive behavior toward me. Naturally, the listener isn't privy to what had caused my outburst, so it's all been conveniently and simplistically characterized as my needing to "blame the victim."
That one voice message, and another suite of lies about "plausibly" threatening her at work have been repeated again and again during their many months of trying to assassinate my reputation on Twitter. She has never shown any evidence of such threats, ever.
Despite the facts, or lack thereof, Jessica teamed up with @AngryBlackLady and their combined friends, enemies, Internet white knight types, and any willing attacker to pose as some kind of "victim's abuse advocate,” pretending to defend her right to “speak up” against all of this (un-evidenced) abuse. This clique has insulted, badgered, snarked or harassed me or my followers and supporters on a daily basis. They send out random messages to people who follow or engage me, and even target clueless celebrities who might wander into my stream, "warning them" about me. As is the case with most Twitter dog piling, they attack relentlessly, but any attempt by the victim (me) to mount a defense or push back is characterized as more abuse.. You know the game. You've seen it since high school.
Fortunately, people watching her campaign of malice have started to figure it out. They realize that real victims of abuse don't spend all their time harassing and taunting the person they claim to be afraid of. She's frolicking in a smear campaign that she clearly relishes. But people aren't stupid. All the obsessive daily spite merely reveals the signature of a disturbed young woman whom I constantly tried to communicate with, now demonstrating exactly why that was always so difficult. Resolving issues was never a favorite page in her personal relations playbook. But playing the mean-spirited and spiteful woman scorned, eager to punish a failed romantic partner with any pretext available, clearly was.
Why she—or anyone—would embarrass herself with such preposterous and unsupportable fabrications because their feelings were hurt by someone they claimed to love only a day before their public meltdown is any psychologist's guess. I've given up trying to figure out the emotional logic of it, but she seems to get lots of love for this Fatal Attraction/Django-caliber revenge fantasy act, and it seems to make her happy, so perhaps that's all there is to it. I sincerely hope she gets over it and gets on with her life, but as her jihad enters its 7th month (as of January, 2013), that doesn't seem too likely.
But wait, there's more!
Most people who witness this melodrama are totally unaware that some other "friends," have a parallel agenda. Led by one Heather E Chase/@HeatherEChase and ABL, they have been piggybacking on her abuse act because they had their own (more serious) need to discredit me. Their many denials and obfuscations continually blow up in their faces, which has helped to damage their own reputations as much as mine.
No matter the source of the rumors, smears, and innuendo, you will never find any credible evidence to support any of what they claim I’ve done to “so many women” on Twitter. When you hear this, please ask for evidence. They will mock you for even using that word. Why? Because for 6+ months, all I’ve done is provide evidence of their lies, malfeasance, and bullying, and all they’ve done is counter it with more of the same behavior. At some point, it comes down to people enjoying these dramas, and not caring who gets hurt.
It’s all rather sad. Read this, and understand a little bit of the world these people seem to live in. They want me to join them there. I won’t. I hope you will just have the strength to ignore these malicious people, and just enjoy the many great people in my Twitter stream. Thanks for reading.
Some Common Lies And Misconceptions About This Drama
I had meant to augment this post with an FAQ about all of the drama and the many lies being told in many places, but decided it just wasn't worth doing. But a few things still need to be said for the record in a more condensed form. So I will do that here:
- I never "abused" Jessica Delahunty or anyone else. That entire narrative was based on Jessica's posting of one voice message, with no context, and the sympathetic (but contrived) rantings of mobs whipped up by ABL and Darshann Padilla (@HoneyBadgerLA). The latter was friend and counselor to ABL whom I had dated briefly after Jessica and I broke up, and who was going to be thrown out of ABL's organization if she didn't prove her loyalty to them. Thus, she too piled on with the totally undocumented "abuser" narratives. My relationship with Padilla is all detailed here.
- I never threatened to "out" Jessica Delahunty in any way. These yarns are due to two root causes. The first was Jessica claiming in her first blog post (that set all this off) that an email I sent to her, warning her that her public drama might attract the sociopathic right winger Jason Wade Taylor (aka Randy Hahn), was merely me trying to set up some "plausible deniability" for attacking her at her place of employ (1100 miles away) myself. Gee, who would think this guy was dangerous?. The second yarn was based on my discussing rhetorically (out loud on Twitter) why she and her many anonymous friends had any expectation of privacy, given their daily smears and libelous assertions directed at me. This was then characterized, rather belligerently (if not drunkenly), by ABL's good friend (and blogging parent) John G. Cole as "threatening her." No such threats ever occurred, and Jessica had in fact, outed herself. In a series of bizarre public rants, Cole admitted he had no actual facts about what was going on, and was just "defending my friends." He also acknowledged that he was conflating their issues with my prior criticisms of his good friend Glenn Greenwald.
- I never "threatened to send a package of Jessica's tweets" to her employer. This canard was perpetuated by an acquaintance named @BeccaS43, who while briefly angry at me over a misunderstanding, had communicated with Jessica and told her that I had said many people were telling me how to "get even" with her, including the 'package' idea. Since then, @Beccas43, no small player in several ABL/StopRush related dramas, has apologized for disparaging me (and others) while she was very upset, and privately she has told Jessica the exact opposite of what Jessica and ABL have consistently tried to imply on a daily basis: that I told anyone who asked that I had no interest in any form or "revenge" against Jessica. I simply wanted her to stop propagating unsupportable characterizations of our relationship, stop pretending the #StopRush issue was not explicitly and implicitly ingrained throughout our romantic misfires for the first half of 2012, and finally, just leave me alone. In contrast, Jessica's Twitter stream, and other acts, have constituted nothing but petty, spiteful and malicious acts of vindictiveness witnessed by thousands on a daily basis, and forever stored in Internet amber. (Note: @BeccaS43 has offered to confirm all of this to anyone that asks).
- An obscure blogger named @Miltshook, who has assisted Jessica, Chase and Gandi from the start (and even triggered some of the drama), republished a letter that Chase took down, wherein Chase had tried to spin up more abuse narratives to blow smoke over what she and @AngryBlackLady (Imani Gandy) had done to me and the #stopRush effort. It has since become quite clear that Chase (by her own admissions) has had an intimate friendship with the Breitbart blogger Lee Stranahan "for many years."
- Many think a very large group was involved in this character assassination. This is because many people had retweeted the constant stream of lies from a core group of people associated with (or who blogged for) ABL, who did everything she could to milk a situation that she helped create. This would often include her accusing anyone who supported me or criticized her of "blatant racism." <eyeroll>. The names most associated with these smears are these with a direct connection to @vdaze and @angryblacklady. They are: @miltshook, @honeybadgerLA, @dvnix, @justcindeh, @semishark, @iboudreau, @brandibax, @thescottfinley,@allenbrauer and @quadcitypat.
- The core group gets constant retweet-support from others who have made it a hobby to attack me for years (for equally dubious reasons). They merely leveraged the @vdaze abuse narrative as part of their ongoing campaign. That echo chamber consists of @jennyjinx, @nadiaArtist (aka @nadeeartist), @tllanes, @gottalaff, @tymlee, @james_x_, @cody_k, @dudeImAnEgg (often alleged to be a sock of @cody_k), @jc_christian, @theXclass, @warriorbanker,@dailydriveler, @missMollly (widely considered to be @vdaze), and a small cottage industry of other nuts who will continue to have this 'fun' until the're ash or worm food.
- The Streisand Effect: Synopsis of a Twitter Drama (by Matt Osborne)
- ''I Will Ruin Him'' How it feels to be stalked
- Facts Matter: They always matter (a compendium of details about this contrived drama)
- Is Bullying an Acceptable Response—Ever?
- When Feminists Turn "Mean Girls"
- Naked emperor is naked
- Psychology of Cyberspace – The Online Disinhibition Effect
- 'It just makes me happy when I can make someone angry' - the dark world of trolling