[Important Update 09/05/2015] – The claim against the Block Bot is being discontinued because the UK authorities are taking action. As the Defendant ignored the costs rules there is negligible risk of costs against us so you may continue to donate, but only the second goal of the campaign, funding entertainment etcetera at a KiA meetup is now active. Supporters may donate to that if they wish. I will produce accounts of how the money was used.
It is time to put up or shut up. Your author has decided to put up.
I have started a Small Claim against the Block Bot creator James Billingham in the County Court. I ought not to comment further in order to comply with Court rules however, I would like to blatantly fundraise to defray any costs. Whilst I am representing myself and costs are not awarded in Small Claims usually there are risks in any litigation and an enormous slush fund would help.
If there is any money left over it will be spent on a London meet for KiA members, specifically (subject to funds) hiring a venue, food, drink and entertainment. The priority shall be drink. 🙂
Litigation is never certain but you guys know what I have done in the past and I took three second opinions before issuing the claim. If successful, any UK based person who was added to the Block Bot previously may be able to sue the existing team, even if they move it abroad.
Your author has been very impressed with the diligence and professionalism of Cambridge Police and also with its Professional Standards Team. The Block Bot team have recently boasted online, using my real name, that I have been served with a Police Information Notice. The police have now completed a thorough internal investigation and revoked it. I have therefore decided to publish the rescinding letter to set the record straight. Screenshots below. (NOTE – the police were informed I was publishing this article and have not objected).
Your author is a Christian. Every so often there is something so good it restores your faith and requires thanks. This is one such occasion.
You would think that if you run an online database like the Atheism Plus Block Bot that describes people as ‘racists’ or ‘child abuse apologists’ you would expect to be sued. But no, on 05/03/2015 having received pre-action correspondence from me (checked by awesome solicitor Stefano Lucatello), former Block Bot administrator / blocker @AuntySarah turned up at a police station in Cambridge in tears claiming she was being harassed.
Recently the beautiful and persuasive @Shoe0nhead of YouTube fame shared a pastebin with information and statistics about the alleged male / female pay gap. Your author thought it might be useful to collect the documents in a more accessible page and the video for context is below.
The essence of the debate is that some on the left say there is an unjust gap between male and female earnings. The counter argument is that in fact these figures only arise from contentious studies that do not adjust for occupation and that male and female earnings differ because of different life paths whereas women and men in the same jobs have similar earnings. As Shoe points out, there is … a lot … of evidence for her point of view –
“[…]this study leads to the unambiguous conclusion that the differences in the compensation of men and women are the result of a multitude of factors and that the raw wage gap should not be used as the basis to justify corrective action. Indeed, there may be nothing to correct. The differences in raw wages may be almost entirely the result of the individual choices being made by both male and female workers.”
Articles Wall Street Journal – “There Is No Male-Female Wage Gap” New York Times – “Fair Pay Isn’t Always Equal Pay” New York Times – “Women Now a Majority in American Workplaces” New York Times – “For Young Earners in Big City, a Gap in Women’s Favor ” New York Times / Economix Blog – “Share of Men in Labor Force at All-Time Low” Time Magazine – “Workplace Salaries: At Last, Women on Top” Bloomberg – “Don’t Blame Discrimination for Gender Wage Gap” Forbes – “It’s Time That We End the Equal Pay Myth” Reuters – “Female U.S. corporate directors out-earn men: study” Telegraph – “The gender pay gap does not exist” Telegraph – “Sorry ladies, I’m not worried about wage gaps” USA Today – “More parents share the workload when mom learns to let go” ABC News – “Women CEOs Beat Men in Pay in 2009” CBS News – “The Gender Pay Gap is a Complete Myth” CNN – “Survey: Working dads want more family time” CNN – “Women ‘opt out’ of career success” MSNBC – “‘Sea change’ seen in spouses’ financial roles” Business Insider – “8 Reasons Why The “Gender Pay Gap” Is A Total Sham” Huffington Post – “Wage Gap Myth Exposed — By Feminists” Examiner – “Gender pay gap is not what activists claim” Marketwatch – “The gender wage gap is a myth” American Thinker – “The Wage Gap Myth” Zero Hedge – “The Biggest Shock From This Friday’s Payroll Report (Sorry Men)” Payscale – “Majors by Gender: Is It Bias or the Major that Determines Future Pay?” Science 2.0 – “Women In Science: No Discrimination, Says Cornell Study” How Stuff Works – “Is there a gender gap in the workplace?”
Your author was actually going to issue Court proceedings today in the County Court for a Small Claim against James Billingham. I have no idea why he thinks I have dropped matters as I said the exact reverse. Before issuing the claim form I had contacted the police and offered the opportunity to object but they had not done so. In fact they have been very reasonable.
UPDATE – 11/04/2015 – So last night a DS from Hampshire phoned me. She said that Mr Billingham had never, in fact, made a statement – so his claims about an ongoing investigation and the police agreeing with him or whatever up until now are in fact factually incorrect. Mr Billingham has been invited to make a statement so the police can then investigate or alternatively, decide there is no case to answer.
But then … chasing the Information Commissioners Office … I discovered that the wheels of bureaucracy have been turning and the ICO have now allocated an officer to investigate 🙂 . I was able to get hold of them for a brief chat and to provide some further information.
We also briefly discussed the various defences advanced by the Block Bot. Obviously, the officer is quite rightly still forming a view but I can say I am very happy with what I was told and that they have moved other things aside to ensure this is looked into properly. So I think now things are moving I can wait a few weeks more. This, I suspect, will be amusing …
The left wing crusade against the Big Hat continues. The fearsome SJW armies are winning! The Big Hat has failed to block a single Twitter user!
Earlier this year the Witchfinder spent a little time on a parody project called the Big Hat (@BigFriendlyHat). Aside from the obviousness of the parody in the context of the Block Bot controversy, the description of the account begins … “This is a parody account[…]”. The statement was there from the date of its creation.
So … I was astonished to hear from a Twitter user called @IdleDilatente . Initially, looking down her timeline I was amused that she trashed the Atheism Plus Block Bot and preferred BlockTogether to GGAutoBlocker so I decided to be friendly.
Although she is a factually challenged member of the hard left, some of her gibes were amusing. Our unemployed dilettante apparently believes it was all real and has written an article about my evil plan. She saw some sample code I wrote and perhaps did not realise it was a parody of the Atheism Plus Block Bot, which was actually suspended for filing mass spam reports. As she has only 9 followers on KOS I was initially going to ignore it but I thought it might be worth reaching out.
In some ways, our heroine reminds me of me at that age. Many years ago I was a member of the Left – a fully paid up member of the UK Labour Party. I idolised some older lefties just as @IdleDilatente is clearly impressed by Zoe Quinn. I was also prone to taking things way too far. I wish her well and hope in time she will come to a different path – in her own way and her own time. I sent her a link to a book by Tammy Bruce I thought she might enjoy.
If nothing else, this leftist has picked a battle she might actually win. The Big Friendly Hat, despite being a GamerGate ploy so eeeevil it is actually in the shape of black hat, has failed to suspend a single user from Twitter! By that standard she is the left’s greatest champion and our most deadly opponent.
Our Technical Analysis Reveals that the Block Bot is Fundamentally Flawed and Also May be Ban Evading. Picture via Dreamstime.
The Witchfinder analyses Block Bot performance and finds the Bot is unable to process data promptly, partly due to API limits and partly due to further restrictions imposed after their Twitter ban. Worse it is not clear that ban was ever lifted.
In the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy there is a robot called Marvin the Paranoid Android. Watching the BBC as a child I remember collapsing in paroxysms of giggles as Arthur Dent called it an ‘electronic sulking machine’.
The joke was eerily prescient as the Atheism Plus Block Bot could easily be an online version of Marvin. Created, supposedly, to block ‘harassers’ on Twitter it has become a bizarre institution where random individuals are blocked with wildly accusatory hashtags for trivial reasons or none – often simply for politely disagreeing with the strange group of people that runs it.
Interested parties have asked me to perform a numeric analysis of the bot, using (of course) only publicly available data. The results reveal it is barely functional, possible grounds of complaint to Twitter for breach of the Terms of Service and apparently admitted ban evasion.
The Witchfinder received a taunting email via an anonymous email provider with a Point of Presence in Bulgaria on Tuesday. The email (in rhyme) appears to claim they did penetrate my laptop over easter weekend and used it for nefarious purposes. This may or may not be true – they might be taunting me based on my previous tweeted comments. However, having purged said laptop and restored to an earlier backup reveals no current security issues.
Your author has had an eventful week or two. On 29-03-2015 I detected a virus (which is more than 10 years old) sent by email from an unknown source. A few days later over the bank holiday weekend your author encountered unusual equipment behaviour once more. The mouse on my laptop seemed to move by itself and do … unusual … things. Fortunately that laptop contains no sensitive data. After appropriate purges and updates all viruses and strangeness are gone. Perhaps the mouse issues were merely a hardware error … perhaps not. No great shakes but it does shed light on the character of some people involved in the great GamerGate controversy.