Posted on | November 1, 2013 | 20 Comments
As Twitter prepares to issue company stock to the public, investors are trying to size up its future in the social media universe. The microblogging site has a critical flaw anchoring its prospects. Unlike Facebook — which requires members to submit their real names and email addresses when joining — Twitter lets anonymous louts romp through otherwise intelligent conversations.
Thus, it’s become a haven for “trolls” leaving false, nasty and/or moronic comments. Would advertisers want to go near an often foul user experience? . . .
[A]bout 85 percent of the nastiest stuff . . . would simply disappear if participants had to attach their real identities to their words. Numerous news organizations have already banned anonymous comments. Twitter can do likewise.
Harrop is very close to the target, but not quite on it. The problem is not anonymous accounts, per se. The problem is a failure of Twitter to identify and permanently ban certain users from their service, despite repeated and specific terms-of-service violations.
A week ago, Melissa Brewer abandoned her @catsrimportant Twitter account after victims of her harassment exposed Brewer’s 2006 prostitution conviction, which involved a 19-year-old sex offender who was arrested and charged with being her pimp. This was newsworthy because Brewer had been involved in the “Stop Rush” boycott against Rush Limbaugh, had put out a “hit list” against conservative bloggers including Sister Toldjah and Darleen Click and, in June 2012, had encouraged deranged cyberstalker Bill Schmalfeldt’s harassment of Kimberlin target Aaron Walker.
Brewer quit her Twitter account, and Neal Rauhauser evidently took it over, using it to smear, harass and threaten various of his enemies, including the defendants in [convicted bomber Brett] Kimberlin’s lawsuits.
What’s bizarre and perplexing about this is that most people simply cannot imagine someone as dishonest as Neal Rauhauser — the digital sociopath who is adept at deception, and who is especially skilled at creating falsehoods intended to discredit those who expose his malicious activities. Unless and until you have been targeted by Rauhauser, it is difficult to understand what he does, and because what he does is so complex and objectively crazy, any attempt to explain it to others tends to make you sound like a paranoid lunatic.
- June 17, 2012: ‘Scrubbed’ Writings Show Kimberlin Associate Neal Rauhauser’s Obsessions
- June 20, 2012: ‘Person Management’ for Wackjobs: Rauhauser’s Methods of Deception
Those two posts include Rauhauser’s explanations of his own motives and methods and I urge you especially to pay attention to Rauhauser’s writings about “persona management”:
We often feel we’re being clever in constructing a persona but we generally fail miserably due to time constraints. We’re always goal oriented when in character and that is an instant tell to those with situational awareness. If you don’t have time to “be” someone else and remain in character your results will be limited. . . .
Commit to trying to run a persona for a while if for no other reason than to understand what will and won’t work; your situational awareness will be dramatically enhanced. Stick to it until it becomes second nature and you can simply disappear when needed, or protect your friends from unwanted attention with a fog of disinformation.
Simple question: Who does this, and why?
The complex deception involved in creating an online “persona,” the statement that Neal is “always goal oriented when in character,” and the advice to “simply disappear . . . with a fog of disinformation” certainly raises questions of motive: If you’re doing something legal and honest, why the need for such elaborate deception?
True to his sociopathic personality, however, Rauhauser creates news lie to conceal his old lies, explaining his actions by reference to the alleged malice of his enemies. If you do not understand how profoundly dishonest he is, or if your political sympathies are such that you buy into the accusations Neal makes against his enemies, you may be tempted to believe his cover stories. If you keep in mind what Rauhauser wrote about creating a fog of disinformation,” however, you know his explanations cannot be trusted.
With that in mind, then, look at what Neal Rauhauser wrote in August on Twitter’s development bulletin board:
I have a serial harasser who has had four accounts over the last three years. She’s directly mentioned my unique combination of first/last name at least two thousand times and most of the rest of her tweeting involves organizing others to harass me. This isn’t just name calling — I’ve deleted a Twitter account with a Klout in the mid 70s, changed careers, moved twice, faced frivolous criminal charges in two states from other crackpots she’s manipulated into believing I did something to them, a group I used to volunteer for faced an intrusion late last year, and last fall one of my neighbors was swatted. I’m pretty sure I was the target of the false report, as they had the right apartment number, but had transposed the last two digits, causing the raid to hit a guy across the street from me.
Gee, why would a totally innocent person be targeted by “a serial harasser”? A bulletin board commenter helpfully explains:
No, what Neal Rauhauser did was use Twitter to manipulate elections in 2010 and three people busted him doing it. Now he’s blaming everyone who knows about it or talks about it as being the one name he can’t find. The other two have already been SWATTED, harassed, employment screwed with and this man even followed one guy’s wife to work and video-tapped it. Then he put the video up on Youtube but quickly privatized it after someone told an FBI Agent on LA Weekly when that guy made an appearance to tell everyone that the FBI is not Neal Rauhauser’s boogeyman.
In my own case, Neal Rauhauser first mentioned me because I’m a friend of Patrick Read, who busted Neal in 2010. Again, he accuses his target of being someone he has stalked in the past and justifies that as a reason for mentioning me. He then gets his buddies to repeat it, over and over and over, no matter how untrue it is, because repeating it 10,000 times must make it true.
Remember Twitter, this is Neal Rauhauser, the man who falsely accused Mike Stack of hacking Anthony Weiner and embedding his privates into the former Congressman’s YFrog account. Mike Stack was then SWATTED and could have been killed.
This is the same guy who is threatening @Bullyville in DMs that he may also be SWATTED if he doesn’t back off people Neal likes.
If any criminal or civil charges are happening here, they are against this perp. He has outstanding warrants and an FBI Investigation on him. But instead, he’ll come here and have the balls to ask Twitter to help him harass people some more.
Maybe Twitter should go look up the complaints made to them about this guy and if my feeling is correct, they’ll find a long TRAIL of abuse reports.
You can and should go read the whole thing, including the comments from other people testifying to Rauhauser’s activities. The claim that Rauhauser used “Twitter to manipulate elections in 2010″ is an exaggerated description of the episode known as “TwitterGate.”
What is true is that Tea Party activists were obscenely harassed on Twitters by a group of accounts that were in communication with Rauhauser. Neal referred to the harassers as his “beandogs.” At the time, Rauhauser was part of a Democrat campaign consulting firm, and boasted that his speciality was “solving problems in the social media work space for political campaigns and causes.”
After the “beandogs” harassment was exposed, Rauhauser started deleting accounts and — can you say “fog of disinformation,” boys and girls? — convinced Adrian Chen of Gawker that it was just a harmless prank: “Hahaha, silly paranoid teabaggers!”
Unfortunately for Neal Rauhauser, there are people who were witness to the “beandog” harassment, and one of them is “Zapem,” the person Neal describes as “a serial harasser.” This is the exact opposite of truth: It is Neal who has relentlessly harassed her.
In the three years since “TwitterGate,” Rauhauser has gone on to other equally notorious activities (you really should investigate that “Gaped Crusader” episode) creating new enemies for himself, all of whom wonder why Twitter can’t just ban this creep. And considering the nature of his activities, including connections to the Anonymous hackers that Rauhuaser has boast about, others wonder why the FBI can’t do something to stop his online harassment.
So I put @FromaHarrop’s Twitter handle in the headline, knowing that she would see multiple re-postings of this — a sudden burst of activity in her “mentions” timeline — and wonder, “Who is Neal?” Last time I checked, he was using the @catsrimportant account, but whatever you do, Ms. Harrop, don’t listen to that sociopath.
“Especially important is the warning to avoid conversations with the demon. . . . He is a liar. The demon is a liar. He will lie to confuse us. But he will also mix lies with the truth to attack us. The attack is psychological, Damien, and powerful. So don’t listen to him. Remember that — do not listen.”
– The Exorcist (1973)
Those who have withstood Neal Rauhauser’s harassment for months, or even years, know what good advice that is. In a characteriztic symptom of a disturbed personality, when Rauhauser is exposed as victimizing others, he invariably claims that he is actually the victim, and then proceeds to allege all manner of evil against those who have exposed him. It is inaccurate to say that Neal Rauhauser doesn’t give a damn about the truth. In fact, he actively hates truth.
“Facts don’t matter, that’s the perception of the situation, and the world is going to act on that basis.”
– Neal Rauhauser (“Gaped Crusader”), Nov. 26, 2011
Pray that someone can do something to stop his war against truth.