Posted on | August 9, 2012 | 45 Comments
After I posted about Jimmie Bise Jr.’s “gay slurry” post this morning and Tweeted it to Jimmie’s attention, he was accosted with vile accusations from the Twitter troll @warpublican (aka “Bloody Leftist”), an anonymous supporter of the Occupy movement who has sent nearly 10,000 Tweets but has fewer than 900 followers.
This is one of the hallmarks of a Twitter troll: A small number of followers and a large number of Tweets. They have few followers because nobody wants to read a Twitter feed that is nothing but a stream of vile attacks and obscene harassment.
The whole purpose of such an account is to “get in their faces,” to annoy, distract and harass the troll’s targets.
It’s a form of psychological warfare, and it is permitted to continue because it has not been taken seriously. Except for the troll account’s comparative handful of followers, nobody sees the harassing messages except the person to whom they’re addressed. The target of this deliberate harassment feels isolated — “Why is nobody coming to my defense?” — and decides to ignore the troll.
Ignoring this kind of troll acount, however, only encourages them to continue their harassment. In their mind, they’ve gotten away with it, so it must be OK, and then they go on to attack the next innocent target and the next and the next.
Conservatives keep getting their Twitter accounts suspended because the Left uses swarming “block and report” attacks against the targeted conservative. The leftists doing the “block and report” attacks are, in many cases, anonymous trolls. And these trolls may actually be sockpuppet accounts created for this specific purpose, so that one person can use multiple accounts to “block and report” the target.
Did you know that, on a social media forum in 2010, Neal Rauhauser casually mentioned that he had created more than 100 different Twitter accounts? Some of those accounts were created on behalf of the Democrat politicians and other clients for whom Rauhauser was working with his Progressive PST consulting firm. But it is also a demonstrable fact that Rauhauser has created multiple sockpuppet alias accounts. When Rauhauser was harassing Andrew Breitbart in 2011, for example, he used the Twitter account @WeOccupyAmerica.
Let’s be clear about a few things in terms of free speech, OK? The First Amendment does not protect deception and libel.
You cannot hide behind a false identity and use that deceptive concealment to defame actual human beings by name.
The fact that Neal Rauhauser has developed, and taught to others, methods of hiding online “personas” even from law enforcement — click here to read all about it — is what emboldens Rauhauser and his associates to imagine they can never be apprehended. This is why Rauhauser foolishly thought he could send e-mails to government officials defaming Brandon Darby and suffer no consequence.
Rauhauser has exhorted others on the Left to emulate his vicious example and so, when we see a troll like @warpublican engaging in libelous harassment of Jimmie Bise, the appropriate name for this phenomenon is Rauhauserism.
Here’s the thing: We know nothing about the person who uses an anonymous Twitter account to engage in these attacks. What we do know is this: You cannot libel an alias.
The unknown person hiding behind @warpublican cannot file a lawsuit claiming that his pseudonym is being defamed. Furthermore, it is a matter of logic that there must be a reason for such deceptive concealment: If the person behind the troll account has nothing to hide, why are they hiding? Therefore, I assume that @warpublican is the alias of a convicted criminal whose heinous reputation is such that, if his true identity were known, this disclosure would devastate his credibility as a participant in public discourse. And speculation about what crimes @warpublican has committed is therefore a matter where the First Amendment provides absolute protection to anyone who guesses that @warpublican is, in fact, a rapist or a thief, et cetera.
Until @warpublican discloses his true identity, his online pseudonym has none of the legal protections against defamation that an actual human being has. His secrecy and deception — an imagined “strength” that emboldens him — is in fact a vulnerability.
Whatever or whoever @warpublican is, he is a lying cowardly creep deserving of no courtesy or mercy so long as he continues his malignant deceitful harassment of honest human beings — including not just Jimmie Bise, but also Michelle Malkin:
Message to @warpublican: You think you’ll get away with that?
You have been permitted to get away with that stuff for so long that you have begun to think you have the right to do it, but you’re about to learn an important lesson, punk.
You got away with your evil only because you never attracted the attention of an Army of Davids. an irresistible force of thousands of people sick and tired of being harassed by cowards who think they’re invulnerable because they’re anonymous.
When nothing remains of @warpublican except a bad memory — when this troll account has been deleted — we will call the Left’s attention to the smoldering online crater, so that they know that this tactic will no longer be tolerated: You can’t use anonymous accounts to attack, smear and harass people.
UPDATE: Linked by Donald Douglas at American Power, who has previously written about “The Left’s Underground Online War.” It’s “underground” because you probably won’t notice it unless it’s directed at you. People usually try to avoid calling attention to this kind of harassment, because they don’t want to seem thin-skinned, and because the harassers aren’t confronted and exposed, the harassment continues.