The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Kooky Tuesday Continues: Is Social Media Breeding Monsters? Oh, Hell, Yes!

Posted on | February 19, 2013 | 30 Comments

Having begun the day with a post about deranged cyberstalker Bill Schmalfeldt, followed up with a post about a maniac professor at Columbia University, and then added a discussion of the (allegedly) felonious kook Barrett Brown, let’s stick with the theme, eh?

In a post at Breitbart.com’s new group-blog thingie, Mandy Nagy asks “Is Social Media Breeding Monsters?” and offers this sampling of evidence in support of the answer, “Oh, hell, yes”:

Facebook Postings Prompted Stabbing, Accused’s Sister Says
Facebook argument escalates into real-world crime when boy grabs gun
Facebook gangbanger turns himself in after threatening Brooklyn’s cyber crime-fighting captain
Briton charged over Facebook threats to kill 200 US children
Police investigating Facebook predator
Man pleads guilty to sexually assaulting underage girls he met on Facebook
Tulsa Man Arrested For Using Facebook To Solicit Sex From 12-Year-Old Girl
Facebook Sting Nets Illinois Perv On Federal Rap
FACEBOOK MURDER CASE: Defendant concocted “sinister plot,” prosecutor says

Kind of an obvious pattern there. Ace of Spades comments:

The downside of the internet’s egalitarianism is that people who have no social peers in their own lives — because, most likely, they are insane or too repulsive in character to attract real-life friends — flock to the internet. They’ve alienated everyone they’ve ever known in real-life; now it’s time to try out their off-putting schtick on the millions of new potential victims at their fingertips.

Exactly so. And it’s also a fact the Internet facilitates deceit, impersonation and fantasy role-playing, all of which involve blurring the line between perception and reality. As a famous Steiner cartoon pointed out, “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog,” and people with an appetite for fraud or make-believe therefore find the Internet irresistible. Not all of these people are criminals or nutjobs, but there are enough of the insane/dangerous types to create a critical mass whenever they find some cause for common action and — no matter how narrow their fringe appetites — it’s possible in an international communication matrix with hundreds of millions of users for a few dozen of them to cluster together and bask in the warm support of their fellow crackpots.

For example, feminists: Tracy Clark-Flory writes about the “labia pride movement,” as if this were something significant.

If there is a critical mass for that kind of delusion, then you see why Bill Schmalfeldt may believe there must be an eager audience for his bizarre fixation, as Lee Stranahan reports:

Bill Schmalfeldt shows no signs whatsoever of stopping public discussion of his sexual obsession with me and my family. He’s been writing about my wife Lauren for months, in insulting and prurient terms that have including fantasizing about having her perform sexuals acts on him and then do menial labor before discussing the death of our daughter Collette
Somehow today, he’s gotten even worse.
On today’s podcast, Bill Schmalfeldt had not one but two new ‘comedy’ pieces, both of which make explicit sexual references to my minor daughter in deranged fake commercials that are about me selling her.
Remember: Bill Schmalfeldt has said repeatedly that he is a serious journalist following a story as any professional would.

Meanwhile, as Stranahan further notes, Bill Schmalfeldt had Neal Rauhauser as a special call-in guest on his two-hour podcast.

Yes, I said, two-hour podcast.

Five days a week, Schmalfeldt rants for two hours about his selected list of enemies which — curious coincidence — exactly matches the Kimberlin-Rauhauser enemies list.

For example (and here we close the circle, as it were), the title of Schmalfeldt’s Feb. 12 podcast was, “It’s Mandy Nagy Day!” Reasonable people may ask, Why would Bill Schmalfeldt single out Mandy Nagy for an entire day of abusive podcasting?

A reasonable answer might be that Mandy Nagy wrote an October 2010 article entitled, “Flashback: Progressives Embrace Convicted Terrorist,” about “Speedway Bomber” Brett Kimberlin. In other words, it is a fair assumption that Schmalfeldt’s entire extravagant oeuvre of harassment — dating back to June, when he began cyberstalking Aaron Walker — was undertaken to defend Kimberlin.

Brett Kimberlin, who reportedly became obsessed with a pre-teen Indiana girl whose grandmother’s murder is still an open case.

Coincidence, probably.

Did I mention that Brett Kimberlin threatened to sue Mandy Nagy? Did I mention that Brett Kimberlin also threatened to sue Patrick “Patterico” Frey, who had also written about Kimberlin’s criminal career? Did I mention that Bill Schmalfeldt also occasionally lashes out at Patterico on his podcast which seemingly serves no other purpose than to attack Brett Kimberlin’s enemies?

Some of these random coincidences crossed my mind today after I received an e-mail from Schmalfeldt with the subject line, “DENOUNCE THIS, OR OWN IT!” The e-mail included a screen-cap of a death threat to Schmalfeldt from a Twitter account. But when I checked the Twitter account — which I  suspected of being bogus — the account had been suspended. So I replied to Schmalfeldt’s e-mail:

STOP CONTACTING ME. FURTHER CONTACT WILL BE CONSIDERED AS EVIDENCE OF HARASSMENT.

By the time I got back on Twitter, Schmalfeldt was already sending me unsolicited messages and trumpeting to various others my reply to his e-mail as proof that I endorse death threats. But there was no way for me to verify that the Twitter account which sent the threat is anything but another of Neal Rauhauser’s notorious collection of sockpuppets.

This morning, I remarked on “Schmalfeldt’s lack of self-awareness, his failure to understand the transparency of his own motives” — he seems to think he is cleverly deceiving people when, in fact, no intelligent person could be deceived by him. In the vastness of the Internet, there may be a sufficient audience of stupid people to justify Schmalfeldt’s daily podcasts, but what are the chances that all these stupid people are also obsessed with Brett Kimberlin’s enemies? Not very good, really.

So many crazy people, so little time.

UPDATE: Welcome, Instapundit readers! The indefatiguable psycho Schmalfeldt has kept at it, so that there is already new cyberstalking craziness, chronicled by Lee Stranahan.

 

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Comments

  • CitizenEgg

    — Robert Stacy McCain (@rsmccain) February 20, 2013

    Weird. It’s just after 10pm eastern on Tuesday the 19th, so that means…OMG, Stacy is tweeting from the future! Quick man, what are the lottery numbers?

  • Patriot

    Bill Schmalfeldt is likely being paid by Kimberlin. All of his projections about Stranahan being paid to file charges against him are only projections. Parky the Pig is probably padding his disability pay with regular checks from Kimberlin for editing Breitbart Unmasked and for playing attack dog. Kimberlin and Rauhauser need someone to play attack dog (or pig, in this case) since their profiles have become highlighted over the past couple of years.

  • http://twitter.com/PBarnumDeceased Phineas T. Barnum

    When I said, “The bigger the humbug, the better people will like it,” I was not referring to Bill Schmalfeldt.

  • The Osprey

    In the immortal words of Charles Johnson, “The Internet is a double edged sword.”

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  • http://alanye.com/ Dai Alanye

    Perhaps this has been previously noted, but Schmalfeldt looks like a conception for a bizarre villain in comics or online gaming. I suggest dieting and cosmetic surgery.

  • crosspatch

    I have noticed this happening with people who engage in less and less actual face to face contact with people and whose interactions will people tend to be mostly via the computer. They do begin to blur fantasy and reality and it really is a sort of psychosis. In most cases they even feel that someone seeing their real face and talking to them in person is threatening somehow. It’s really weird. It is a sort of “wizard of oz” syndrome where as long as they are behind the curtain of the Internet, they are the Mighty Oz. They forget how to interact with people. Simple interpersonal skills are lost. There is no inflection or tone of voice in written communications and so they are left to fantasize about how you meant something or even what sort of person you are. There are more “blanks” in written communications that need to be filled in by the imagination.

    I also noticed that those who come flying in as his posse also seem to suffer the same issues. They tend to try to act all intimidating and threatening and verbally puff themselves up to make themselves look big. It’s really weird and they probably wouldn’t act that way at all if you sat them down over a cup of coffee in the neighborhood cafe. People do things over the internet (and feel COMFORTABLE doing things over the Internet) that they would never do in real life. And once someone has spoken to them over the internet, any suggestion of a real life conversation gets seemingly interpreted as a threat. I suppose that might expose a guilty conscience or something. I have no idea, it’s just downright weird.

    I wouldn’t say it is “breeding monsters” so much as it is allowing middle aged people to run around all day acting like 14 year-olds in what amounts to one big long drawn out prank phone call. If you want some attention, you can just chime in on BS’s behalf and if you can manage to be abusive enough, you will get a mention from Stranahan or McCain or any number of other blogosphere glitterati. All for the low-low cost of just being an a-hole.

    I grew up in a different culture. If someone was talking smack about you at the local watering hole or on the phone to one of your friends, word got back to you. You went and had a personal talk with whoever was involved and got some clarity on the matter. Now you have what amounts to some overweight idiot who hasn’t changed his underwear in a week sitting at a desk making crank phone calls. Actually going out and having a cup of coffee would requite putting on pants and brushing of teeth and would expose the person for what they really are rather than what they would want to project behind the smoke of the wizard’s curtain.

    How do you fix it? I don’t know but if human culture works the way it always have we will find a way somehow. If it gets too bad, people will just leave like they did Usenet when that became unusable. I know how I would fix it if I were Twitter. I would require a $1 payment by credit card or check to open an account and I would mail the initial password to the mailing address and no more than 5 user IDs could be paid with one credit card. I would allow you to have whatever user ID you wanted but I would go on a points system. Every time you are an a-hole, you would get a point. Once you got enough “points” you would be “pantsed”. By “pantsed” I mean all of your tweets and all of your past tweets would suddenly be switched from your pretend Twitter name to your real name and you can not delete tweets until you “pants” period is over. Just like the 14yo jackweasel that gets “pantsed” by his classmates in gym class for being a jerk, that is what would happen to the user. You are left standing there and vulnerable and suddenly everyone knows exactly who was saying all those vile things. I think it would be amazing how civil people will become when they risk losing their anonymity. It wouldn’t work in this case, but it would certainly reduce the culture of booger flicking on the Internet.

  • crosspatch

    I think he’s just doing it for attention. It’s basically narcissism. It’s all about him. Even bad publicity feeds the narcissist the energy he craves. He wants everyone to know his name and if he gets some well-known “bad boys” such as Kimberlin et. al. to associate with him, all the better. Just means more limelight for him. But people make the mistake of believing somehow that you can say stuff over the Internet that you can’t say in ink and paper print; that because it is on the Internet, you can’t be made to own your words. That isn’t true.

  • http://opinion.ak4mc.us/ McGehee

    As a famous Steiner cartoon pointed out, “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog,”

    That’s only true until those who lie down with said dog wake up with fleas.

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  • http://twitter.com/KevinInABQ Kevin in ABQ

    You say “two-hour podcast”, I say “has no life”.
    Toe-may-toe, tuh-mah-toe.

  • jsn2

    Vagina Monologues, dressing in vagina costumes as a form of protest, going topless as a form of protest, sluts protesting half clothed because they feel disrespected and now Labia Pride. What is it with leftist women and their female parts? If some guys wrote the Penis Monologues, protested in a penis costume, showed his ass as a form of protest or formed a group called Pecker Pride they’d be looked at as kook perverts. The facts are piling up, liberalism IS a mental disease.

  • http://twitter.com/kylekiernan Kyle Kiernan

    damn, is he still around?

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  • http://twitter.com/RickBulow1974 Rick Bulow

    My reply to Schmalfeldt, Kimberlin, and Company:

  • Room 207

    The problem about Bill Schmalfeldt is that he is a perfect candidate for commissar. The left thinks that the perfect laws and perfect ideals and perfect teaching will make us all perfect. But people like Bill Schmalfeldt and Brett Kimberlin are the ones who carry out their perfect ideals and laws.

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    Charles who???

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rich-Knudsen/100002271627293 Rich Knudsen

    Isn’t this or hasn’t this becoming a circular firing squad by now Stacy?

  • robbins_mitchell

    Maybe all the lecherous old horndogs need their own social media site…they could call it Sit-on-my-Facebook

  • matthew w

    Someone still needs to tell me the “bicycle seat” story.

  • Allan E.

    It is long past time to stop empowering Facebook and other social media sites. On too many web sites a person can not comment on an article unless they have, and use a Facebook or other social media account to log in. No I Do Not want to register with Disquis.

  • The Crying Wolfe Blog

    Regarding Neal calling into The Grouch Podcast–The irony is not lost that he basically said he would “not be in Westminster”. Surprise,surprise. He writes to my judge, trying to get charges dismissed against him, while he disrespects the court by never showing up.
    Second-The voice makes me vomit.

  • The Crying Wolfe Blog

    One more- The conspiracy theory behind my filing of charges was that five different people, each added as the meme/agenda changed had manipulated me into pressing the charges. This theory was pushed for the charges pending now that there are “no-show” warrants still pending, along with the ones resolved last year.

    If there was INDEED a conspiracy as Neal claims NOW, why wasn’t it brought up then, when he actually showed up in court?

  • Red_Right_Returning

    The servers must be in either Greenland or Brazil.

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  • Dr Why

    “most likely, they are insane or too repulsive in character to attract real-life friends — flock to the internet. ”

    That’s me all over.

  • Matthew W

    Personally profiting from time traveling violates the ethical tenets of such travels.

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