Mark Bernstein’s behaviour has always been … eccentric, even before his recent formal topic ban from #GamerGate and indeed, any gender related controversy on Wikipedia (archive here). As far as I can understand his latest rant, he has been escalated beyond complaining that criticising individuals to their employers or about their employment is ‘harassment’. Bernstein now describes it as ‘extortion’, the US equivalent of the UK crime of Blackmail contrary to s21 Theft Act 1978.
Based on his various ramblings on Wikipedia (archive here) and elsewhere, Mark thinks that controversial Wikipedia arbitrator Gamaliel asked to be banned form enforcement related to the GamerGate article and related matters in order to signal GamerGate to leave him alone.
By chance, Gamaliel was a person mentioned in a draft article about the unjust ban of editor The Devil’s Advocate (TDA) from Wikipedia some months ago. I sent it for comment to everyone mentioned in accordance with ethical practice, but then postponed it due to the arbitration case. For background on TDA’s ban, there is an excellent article by Allum Bokhari here on Breitbart.
Mark has recently accused GamerGate of being responsible for a series of murder and rape threats, but proven hard to pin down when asked to identify any such incidents or victims. Instead he moves on to complaining about ‘opposition research’ or, to put it another way, courteous and legitimate criticism. Mark then (in my view bordering on libel) conflates this with the alleged rape and murder threats. Who is responsible? Tweets here ,  and archived here [A1], [A2].
Mark does not want to say, and wisely so. Perhaps he fears another sinister email. Bernstein’s ability to construe criticism as criminality is exceptional. As a matter of interest, I feel sorry for Gamaliel. I have always seen him as a bumbling librarian in over his head.
After his recent request to be restricted from arbitration enforcement in the GamerGate topic I emailed Gamaliel. I explained sympathetically that I could understand how unpleasant online conflicts can be and that if he sincerely wanted out of the controversy (and kept out of it) I would remove mention of him from my article and encourage others to let him move on. It was a sincere offer but to Bernstein’s mind perhaps it was a crime.
Of course this is Mark. Demonstrating his total lack of self awareness, he immediately carried out that which he condemns. A Twitter user durst criticise Mark, who immediately of course … writes to his employer , archive [A3].
In case anyone was unclear, Mark then doubled down.
For the sake of his sanity and his health (and that of everybody else) Mark needs an indefinite block, and soon.