The Other McCain

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

Why Is ‘Harassment,’ But What Taylor Lorenz Does Is ‘Journalism’?

Posted on | October 20, 2023 | Comments Off on Why Is ‘Harassment,’ But What Taylor Lorenz Does Is ‘Journalism’?

Did you know that Taylor Lorenz has her own Kiwi Farms thread? Anyway, the question in the headline crossed my mind after reading KiwiFarms founder Joshua Moon’s complaint about how payment processors have blacklisted him. That was referenced in a comment on yesterday’s post about how Instapundit got demonetized by Google Adsense because of allegedly “dangerous” content.

In case you don’t know, Taylor Lorenz first made herself infamous in 2018 by doxxing the teenage daughters of Pamela Geller.


Considering that Geller was (and still is) known to be a target of ISIS and other Islamic terrorists, and that Geller’s daughters were just Instagram influencers who had nothing to do with politics, this was an act sufficiently egregious that Taylor Lorenz should have been unemployed. Instead, she ended up on the staff of the Washington Post and now, of course, a published author. There is a double standard involved in Lorenz’s continued employment as a “journalist,” while Josh Moon is financially blacklisted because of Kiwi Farms.

Before getting into the topic of what Kiwi Farms is, let me reiterate that this topic suggested itself because of a comment on a post about how Google has banned Instapundit from its Adsense program. Because he’s “dangerous.” How? We don’t know, because the process at Google is completely opaque. Good luck getting them to answer any questions about how people get banned or how their search listings operate. But in the process of trying to explore this, I was shocked to discover that you can’t get to Kiwi Farms via a Google search. Not only doesn’t the site’s URL turn up in the Google results, but no article that links directly to Kiwi Farms is included in the first page of Google search results. That’s why I decided to put the full URL,, into my headline

How extreme is that? Some of us are old enough to remember when, 15 or 20 years ago, Silicon Valley had a libertarian tilt. Entities like Google were very much in favor of free speech and very much against censorship, but more recently, they’ve gone 180 degrees in the opposite direction. Probably the defining event of this shift — the moment when Big Tech’s pro-censorship regime made clear its intentions — was the episode known as “GamerGate,” beginning in August 2014 with the drama surrounding Zoe Quinn (a/k/a the Tattoo-Covered, Mentally Ill Ex-Stripper Whose Real Name Is Chelsea Van Valkenburg).

#GamerGate was my first encounter with Kiwi Farms, which proved to be useful for research on such personalities as Zoe Quinn, Nicholas Edwin “Sarah” Nyberg, and “Brianna Wu” (a/k/a John Walker Flynt) who were involved in the controversy as left-wing SJWs (“Social Justice Warriors”).

What united the SJWs was the rallying cry of “harassment” — #GamerGate was, according to them, about the misogynistic bullying of women in the videogame industry, and claims of victimhood were amplified to promote that narrative, even though the alleged victims of harassment were relatively obscure people who were, at best, marginal to the industry, as I explained:

[P]ractically nobody in the videogame development community had ever heard of these people until #GamerGate happened. Quinn  . . . had done one really crappy, primitive game called Depression Quest, [Anita] Sarkeesian had done nothing except some YouTube videos applying critical theory to games, and Wu had done a boring game called Revolution 60 that almost nobody ever played. But then the Great #GamerGate Victimhood Derby of 2014 got underway and by October 2015 there were literally hearings at the United Nations (!!!) with Zoe and Anita testifying about “harassment.”
Never in history had such previously obscure nobodies become “famous,” except perhaps Gavrilo Princip, Lee Harvey Oswald, et al.

This leveraging of victimhood claims for fame and money was a fraud nearly as bogus as the Jussie Smollett “hate” hoax. To my knowledge, no one has ever produced any proof — e.g., an arrest affidavit — that Sarkeesian, Wu, and Quinn were victims of any criminal act. Where are the police mug shots of those dreadful misogynist villains accused of harassing these Courageous Feminist Heroes? Where’s the copy of a restraining order against some #GamerGate miscreant? The absence of such evidence ought to have inspired skepticism among journalists, but instead the media swallowed the victimhood narrative hook, line and sinker. It is easy enough to find screenshots of people saying mean things about Sarkeesian, et al., on Twitter, but it’s not against the law to say mean things about people you don’t like. Plenty of people have said mean things about me, but nobody’s inviting me to the United Nations to testify about it. To this day, it is flatly asserted that #GamerGate was about harassment, as if this were an undisputed fact. While researching Kiwi Farms, I came across a July 2016 New York Magazine article that begins:

We live in the age of the virtual pillory. Across communities like YouGotPosted, the revenge-porn hub/blackmailing scheme, or 8chan’s doxxing and raid board, whose server Fredrick Brennan conveniently formatted after its admin was caught selling Social Security numbers, or Gamergate, the “cringe-worthy breakup story” that became a self-sustaining witch hunt against women in tech, a highly recognizable positive feedback loop of abuse and harassment plays out: A target gets dragged into the public eye, more people begin to abuse them, and that abuse escalates as individual trolls try to one-up each other. In the eyes of the mob, the target’s life is a game, and the object is to screw it up as much as possible.
The largest virtual pillory, and the one that best exemplifies its ethos, is Kiwi Farms, a loose community . . . that specializes in harassing people they perceive as being mentally ill or sexually deviant in some way.

Do you see how this works? The “cringe-worthy breakup story” of Zoe Quinn and her ex-boyfriend had to do with Zoe’s alleged involvement with male journalists covering the videogame industry. What this exposed, according to #GamerGate supporters, was the shabby ethics involved in the journalism-as-free-publicity racket whereby certain independent game developers got promoted while others were ignored or slighted. There was never any valid reason why videogame journalists would say nice things about Zoe Quinn’s lame Depression Quest game, and her ex-boyfriend claimed to have proof that she got favorable attention by the most obvious method (“Five Guys”).

How could anyone believe that complaints about unethical biased journalism were a “witch hunt against women in tech”? In what sense were Anita Sarkeesian or Zoe Quinn “women in tech”?

And as for Briann Wu . . . Well, in what sense was “she” even a woman?

Of course, we aren’t supposed to say such things, because the business of gender counterfeiting (i.e., men using transgenderism to exploit the de facto quota systems that SJWs want to impose) cannot withstand critical scrutiny, and therefore SHUT UP! That’s what it all comes down to, really — a bunch of grifters trying to silence their critics. If you start asking questions about the whole “women in tech” hustle, or about the transgender scam, or any other scam/hustle/hoax that the Left is trying to perpetrate, you’ll be accused of “harassment,” or “hate,” or “disinformation,” and they’ll demand that you be purged, silenced, fired from your job, etc. Who is victimizing whom?

All of this brings me back around to Kiwi Farms and the actually useful service they provide. The site originated with an effort to keep track of a mentally feeble person (“Chris Chan”) who seemed to think that drawing pictures of “Sonichu” (a hybrid of two characters, Sonic the Hedgehog and Picachu from Pokemon) was a path to fame and fortune.

This person turned out to be generally weird enough that lots of people started mocking him on the Internet, and thus did Chris Chan become the original “lolcow,” which is the Kiwi Farms category for people whose online behavior attracts unwanted negative attention. The New York Magazine writer asserts that “being mentally ill or sexually deviant” is sufficient to qualify someone as a “lolcow,” but that’s not it. What matters is the person’s online behavior, which is in some way dangerous, dishonest, annoying or merely ridiculous.

It is true that a lot of “lolcows” are transgender or pedophiles or “furries” or some combination of all three. But it’s only when such a person gets involved in some kind of drama on the Internet that they get themselves a thread in the Kiwi Farms “lolcow” forum. So the question is not, “Why does Kiwi Farms hate people who are mentally ill and/or sexually deviant?” Rather, the question should be: “Why do mentally ill sexual deviants cause such a disproportionate amount of Internet drama?”

The answer, I suggest, is narcissism. Anyone who has had the misfortune of dealing with a sociopath understands how DARVO (Deny, Attack, Reverse Victim and Offender) is such a predictable response whenever such a person is faced with consequences for their misconduct. When someone calls attention to the sociopath’s wrongdoing, and tries to hold them accountable for their actions, their response is always to claim victimhood. Oregon psychologist Jennifer Freyd coined the term DARVO to describe a tactic common among sex offenders: “I have observed that actual abusers threaten, bully and make a nightmare for anyone who holds them accountable or asks them to change their abusive behavior. This attack, intended to chill and terrify, typically includes threats of law suits, overt and covert attacks on the whistle-blower’s credibility, and so on. . . . The offender is on the offense and the person attempting to hold the offender accountable is put on the defense.” The witnesses are all liars, the cops are crooked, the district attorney is biased, the judge is corrupt — all through the criminal justice process, the offender keeps accusing others of wrongdoing. And he, the offender, is going to expose this wrongdoing and make them pay for putting him behind bars.

Perhaps this description sounds vaguely familiar.

My point is that, if you’re an unbiased observer who just happens to notice some kind of Internet flame war between two contending parties, it’s difficult to know who’s telling the truth. Both parties claim to be in the right, and each of them blames the other for the conflict, and you — the casual witness who stumbled onto the scene — don’t have time to trace the conflict back to its origins or investigate the character of the parties involved. And that’s where a resource like the “lolcow” forums at Kiwi Farms can be helpful. What typically brings a “lolcow” to the attention of the Kiwi Farm crew is the person’s efforts to silence those who criticize them or call attention to their wrongdoing. Take the case of John Paul Neumann, a/k/a “Chloe Sagal”:

Neumman/“Sagal” was a 30-ish videogame developer, originally from Illinois, whose mental illness was manifested in serious antisocial behavior. At some point, it seems, Neumman/“Sagal” ran a failed startup that left employees unpaid and wrecked Neumman’s/“Sagal’s” credit rating. In 2013, Neumman/“Sagal” launched an IndieGoGo crowdfunding scam. Claiming that a near-fatal auto accident had left toxic metal embedded in his/“her” body, resulting in chronic pain, Neumman/“Sagal” said he/“she” needed $30,000 for a “life saving surgery.” But there was no accident and no toxic metal; Neumman/“Sagal” used the money for sex-change surgery.
A videogame industry journalist named Allistair Pinsof discovered the deception, but Neumman/“Sagal” threatened to commit suicide if he reported the story. Pinsof consulted with his editors, who were hesitant to go with the story, and Pinsof ultimately decided to go public with the truth on his own social-media account. Pinsof was fired and blacklisted by the videogame journalism industry, accused of wrongfully “outing” a transgender person, for reporting the truth about someone perpetrating online fraud.

Do you see what I’m talking about here? This person became a “lolcow” because he/“she” retaliated against someone who was telling the truth about him/“her.” And then, in a final irony, when Neumman/“Sagal” committed suicide by setting himself/“herself” on fire in a public park, the media blamed it on “harassment” by the “hate mob Kiwi Farms”!

You wouldn’t be able to figure out the truth about such people were it not for the KiwiFarms forums keeping track of them, posting evidence — screencaps of social-media posts, etc. — all along the way.

Far be it from me to say that everything on Kiwi Farms is useful, or that there is no “problematic” content on the site. I simply don’t pay enough attention to the site to be able to evaluate it in toto. What I do say is that, in certain cases, Kiwi Farms supplies information that is very valuable in figuring out the facts behind online controversies — information that often is available from no other source.

So why is Kiwi Farms engaged in “harassment,” and Josh Moon is a financial pariah, while Taylor Lorenz gets paid to go after people like Pamela Geller’s daughters and LibsOfTikTok creator Chaya Raichik? How is Taylor Lorenz doing something better — more admirable, more socially responsible — than the unpaid contributors to Kiwi Farms forums who compile documentation about the shenanigans of obnoxious people like Canadian pervert Jonathan “Jessica” Yaniv?

(WARNING: That post includes a link to a photo showing the results of Yaniv’s sex-change surgery. DO NOT CLICK THAT LINK or you could be permanently traumatized. You have been warned.)

Readers may wonder, how did Kiwi Farms get a photo of Yaniv’s “gaping axe wound,” as they (quite accurately) describe it? The answer, of course, is that Yaniv posted that picture himself/“herself”! That’s how it is with narcissistic sociopaths — they’re forever calling attention to themselves, with predictably bad consequences, and then claiming to be victims.

Taylor Lorenz is just another example of this same tendency. She cannot seem to comprehend that there could be valid reasons to criticize her — she seems to think she is incapable of wrongdoing — and so she constantly doubles down on (a) the idea that the targets of her hit pieces deserve whatever harm she can inflict on them, and (b) the idea that she is a victim of wrongful “harassment.” Perhaps it is not necessary for me to point out how these two ideas are related. Taylor Lorenz is one of those liberals who thinks of conservatives as “Literally Hitler,” and because (a) the targets of her journalistic smears and (b) the people who complain about her work are all conservatives, everything they say and do is just more proof of how evil they are. And she is a saintly hero.

Let me just go on record with the prediction that this saga will end badly for her. Sooner or later, Taylor Lorenz will make the kind of grievous mistake that even her ideological comrades at the Washington Post won’t be able to explain away. She’ll wreck herself — it’s inevitable. And, just as inevitably, in the midst of her self-inflicted disaster, she’ll complain that she is an innocent victim of her malicious enemies.

I’ll bet the Kiwi Farm crowd can’t wait for that moment.

UPDATE: Welcome, Instapundit readers!



Comments are closed.