Several weeks ago I heard about an interesting case raising First Amendment issue. In that case, Zoe Quinn, an online agitator and professional panhandler sought to silence her ex-boyfriend for sharing his tale of emotional abuse.
Although relationship drama is nonsense I don't care about, something interesting happened. Zoe Quinn obtained a protective order against Eron Gjoni that prevented him from talking about her. At all.
The protective order seemed clearly unconstitutional. I obtained the court records to learn more. Since then my life has been permanently altered.
I have had:
- The State Bar called on me.
- The police have been called on me.
- My home address and pictures of my home posted.
- Threats about hacking my site were made.
- False accusations that I have threatened women with rape were made.
How Doxing Leads to Swatting.
Although it's easy to dismiss the campaign of harassment against me as drama, Zoe Quinn and her co-conspirator Margaret Pless, a graduate student in New York, upped the ante.
Margaret Pless posted pictures of my home address. Zoe Quinn, who had talked to Margaret Pless before posting the address, retweeted my home address and detailed pictures of my home to her over 30,000 Twitter followers.
Zoe Quinn knew of the dox in advance.
After retweeted that "best journalism" to her 30,000+ plus followers, Zoe Quinn backtracked. She claimed she had no idea Margaret Pless doxed me. This is a lie.
On October 21, Margaret Pless posted the following comment to a blog dedicated to cyberstalking me. The comment read:
"I'm preparing an article about Cernovich for my own site....I'm holding it because Zoe Quinn says she wants to talk to me."
Why did Zoe Quinn and Margaret Pless post pictures of my home as well as my home address?
What good reason exists for posting not only the exact address where I reside but also pictures of my home? There is a good reason.
Zoe Quinn and Margaret Pless were trying to get me Swatted.
Oh, sure, they will say, "No way!"
They will act as if they are precious little snowflake who would do such a thing. What do the experts have to say?
What is Swatting?
Swatting is the act of tricking an emergency service (via such means as hoaxing a 9-1-1 dispatcher) into dispatching an emergency response based on the false report of an on-going critical incident. Episodes range from large to small, from the deployment of bomb squads, SWAT units and other police units and the concurrent evacuations of schools and businesses to a single fabricated police report meant to discredit an individual as a prank or personal vendetta. While it is a misdemeanor or a felony in the USA in and of itself to report any untruth to law enforcement, swatting can cause massive disruption to the civil order and the public peace by the hoaxed deployment of police and other civic resources such as ambulances and fire departments. The term derives from SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics), a highly specialized type of police unit.
How do I know Zoe Quinn and Margaret Pless wanted to get me Swatted?
I was able to avoid the Swatting because I saw something far worse happened to a Los Angeles District Attorney who writes under the name "Patterico."
Patterico almost lost his life after a Swatting incident, and he began researching Swatting. His research revealed the following:
I met personally with the nationwide experts on swatting in December 2011: the FBI office in Dallas, Texas. They told me that swatting is an extreme form of harassment — and that swatters typically combine swatting with other forms of harassment, including: complaining to the victim’s workplace, defaming the victim online, “Googlebombing” the victim, publishing the victim’s address online, filing phony reports of criminal activity by the victim, and so forth.
Does that sound familiar? If not, let me refresh your memory:
Margaret Caroline Pless posted my information online. This included my personal home address as well as pictures of my home.
Zoe Quinn has encouraged her followers to report me to the State Bar, which is their only way to complain to my workplace, as I am self-employed.
Before publishing the article, Margaret Pless spoke to Zoe Quinn. ("I'm holding it because Zoe Quinn says she wants to talk to me.")
Zoe Quinn a/k/a Chelsea Van Valkenburg called this "good journalism," and shared my address and pictures of my home with her 30,000+ Twitter followers.
Margaret Pless encouraged her blog readers to call the LAPD on me, even though I have not committed any crimes.
Margaret Pless called the police on me.
Randi Harper, a drug addict who has been in jail, falsely accused me of making rape threats.
There has been a non-stop campaign of harassment against me, including calling me a stalker, harasser of women, and a rapist.
Zoe Quinn's harassment and doxing of me is verifiable.
The abuse I faced is real and verifiable.
Unlike the threats Zoe Quinn claims to have faced, I have been falsely accused of crimes and doxed by the actual account of Zoe Quinn, Margaret Pless, and Randi Harper.
This doesn't make me a helpless victim. It is what it is.
Yet when the media refuses to acknowlege that I have been a victim (by their standards) of harassment, doxing, and a potential Swatting, we know that there is a serious problem with ethics in journalism.