The Witchfinder General notes with amusement the increasingly frightened spinning from the owners of the @TheBlockBot project. Recently, James Billingham’s Block Bot has come in for criticism from feminists, Conservatives and trans-people alike for excluding people who have plainly done nothing wrong.
In November 2012 Sally Bercow, wife to the Speaker of the House of Commons, tweeted this – “Why is Lord McAlpine trending? *innocent face*”
It was plainly a joke, but in 2013 the High Court ruled it was also a defamatory allegation that Lord McAlpine was a paedophile. The ‘joke’ left Bercow with a bill in the region of £100,000 and forced to make a humiliating public apology, despite having the support of the best libel lawyers in the County, Carter-Ruck. [Personal interest note – Carter-Ruck once provided your author with free legal advice pro-bono, before he began legal training]
After being criticised in one of our recent videos, The Block Bot tweeted this –
Just because something is a joke does not stop it being a threat. The amusing thing about the Block Bot’s clarification is a few tweets below are tweets about their successful exclusion of a trans-woman from an equalities project because they disagree with her ideological views –
Who or what is @TWkLGBTQ ? And why did the Block Bot place them on Level 1? From the Block Bot’s website, Level 1, is reserved for not merely for trolls, but to use their words, “Level 1 is sparsely populated with “worst of the worst” trolls, plus impersonators and stalkers.”
The Block Bot project’s choice of definitions for Level 1 was refined on their brief moment of BBC fame in the context of people who send rape and death threats to women. (Shortly afterwards the BBC ‘clarified’ their story being much more cautious about The Block Bot, after receiving numerous complaints from people feeling unfairly blocked.) So placing someone on Level 1 is a very serious allegation essentially of criminal conduct. Not merely harassment but ‘the worst of the worst’.
On investigating further, it turns out that far from being a nightmarish cyber-criminal @TWkLGBTQ is a curated project for various minorities to share experiences.
Further investigating the tweet history it emerged that the Block Bot administrators were aggrieved with the choice of curator, a person some of their supporters claim is a ‘transphobe’.
So who is the terrorizing @TerrorizerMir, the unsuitable curator? A criminal? A #GamerGate member from 4Chan or * gasps * 8Chan? A rapist? Nope.
@TerrorizerMir is the twitter account of ‘Gender Critical Transwoman Miranda Yardley’ . She is personally blocked at ‘Level 1’. Why? Well, many of the Block Bot administrators are trans-women but they disagree ideologically with her views. Miranda Yardley is hardly extreme. Hopefully one area of common ground is that she is cautious about internet pictures of men holding knives whilst saying, ‘fetch me a TERF’ (a TERF is a type of feminist, so Yardley was being against death threats to feminists).
Whatever you think of Yardley’s views the Witchfinder has been through every single one of the supposed ‘evidence’ posts added by The Block Bot administrators to justify her blocking and none of them justify the allegation of being ‘the worst of the worst’ or criminality of any kind. Saying, “all my special snowflakes have melted”, may be many things but it is NOT CRIMINAL HARASSMENT.
Unfortunately, because many people in the Block Bot list are in fact involved in the LGBTQI+ movement, the temporary add to the Block Bot list put huge pressure on the administrators of LGBTQI+ to the extent they removed Yardley.
Hilariously, whilst all this was going on Block Bot administrator @MAMelby was whining about my describing a tweet that read “[…]I end careers[…]” as in some way a threat to people’s careers. She then quoted an American legal expression, “[…]showing of knowledge of falsity or reckless disregard for the truth.”
Why does @MAMelby care so much about the opinion of someone she has blocked? Who cares? Administrators of the Block Bot might be advised to think carefully about Sally Bercow’s case instead of misquoting American law.
What does matter is the outpouring of support from Yardley’s supporters in the feminist and trans movement. @TheBlockBot is losing credibility by the day.
At the same time seriously unsavoury facts have started to emerge about the Block Bot administration team. Aggrieved feminists and trans-people might enjoy my video, Atheism Plus Fear, which exposes straight white male James Billingham, the creator of the Bot as being an admitted ‘troll’ who had previously ‘trolled’ over what he describes as ‘kiddy porn’.
The video also mentions @Intechnica, James’ employers. Recently your author contacted Intechnica CEO Jeremy Gidlow asking for a media comment on whether he agreed with Mr Billingham’s conduct. No reply was received. Unless Gidlow responds soon perhaps a formal boycott campaign is in order. When #GamerGate was aggrieved with a website it recently dissuaded an estimated 7 figures worth of advertisers to pull out.
Why not organise a campaign confronting Intechnica’s customers with Billingham and his friends’ conduct and asking if they want to be associated with a company that supports his actions? Let me know your thoughts. (Opposing views will most likely be censored Block Bot style for irony).