Bonum Certa Men Certa

Operation Mole — Part VII — From 'Be Nice!' to Threats of Violence

Series parts:

  1. Operation Mole — Part I — The Person Working to Kill GNU and to Kill Linux From the Inside
  2. Operation Mole — Part II — The Evolution of Matthew J Garrett's Vast Army of Online Sockpuppets, Hiding Criminal Activities Behind the Tor Network
  3. Operation Mole — Part III — Sabotaging Communities and Defaming People, Just Like the Sabotage of Linux and Deliberate Distortion of 'Security' (Giving Control to Microsoft)
  4. Operation Mole — Part IV — Does Matthew J. Garrett's Antisemitism Tell Us Anything About His Motivation in Trying to Cancel Richard Stallman?
  5. Operation Mole — Part V — The Fall of a Man is a Woman (Matthew J Garrett Foolishly Unmasks Himself, Tying Himself to Crimes)
  6. who are (or were) connected to Microsoft
  7. YOU ARE HERE ☞ From 'Be Nice!' to Threats of Violence

Lucifer Axe: protect me from my own sockpuppets or I'll kill you

Summary: Beware the Microsoft-connected catspaw; Free/Open Source software (FOSS) projects and FOSS-oriented groups/sites are being targeted by very toxic people who are (or were) connected to Microsoft and who resort to criminal activities in an effort to undermine established, productive, and well-connected communities

TODAY we focus on the people whom we alluded to last month. It's a group of people and they are connected. This series is expected to last about 3-4 months longer and it will focus on the tactics, the targets, and how to confront this kind of online abuse. The first half dozen parts dealt with one person (primarily mentioned because he is more prominent and because he attacked BSD and GNU/Linux users, protecting Microsoft's monopoly).

"This series is expected last about 3-4 months longer and it will focus on the tactics, the targets, and how to confront this kind of online abuse."Today we take a step back and explain the broader context. Others appear to have had similar experiences and they spoke about how a Code of Conduct (CoC) was imposed on them -- or nearly imposed on them -- by actual threats of violence. In practice, those who assert they need protection often inflict abuse upon others or, in some cases, manufacture (fake) abuse as a pretext/ruse.

There will be many videos in this series and we'll try to reduce mentions of names (like the last video) though we'll use descriptive nicknames that explain the roles of people. Someone suggested that we "throw in the term 'catspaw' or equivalent, to at least imply that they are either working for and/or being exploited by Microsoft to tear into FOSS communities and sabotage FOSS leaders and celebrities. In short, they are not your average griefers."

This afternoon I started a new wiki page (additional new page, to grow over time, populated with information) that better serves as an umbrella for this series -- a long series that concerns not a single person but a malicious collective which disregards the law and misuses Tor (sometimes VPNs too) to hide the crimes.

To keep the record very unambiguous we must occasionally demonstrate what abuse we were subjected to since last year. So over the next few weeks we'll give examples of intolerance, violence and even worse things from the provocateurs and saboteurs. They cannot possibly paint themselves as victims and the harm done is vastly worse than time-wasting; they want distraction and are willing to use human sacrifices as collaterals towards their twisted goals. These aren't acts of tolerance; these are aggressive rioters. In a perfect world they will be handled by cops within days, not months, and victims will receive justice. But we don't live in a perfect world, so we must constantly present evidence to the public, relying on public opinion and online scrutiny.

"To keep the record very unambiguous we must occasionally demonstrate what abuse we were subjected to since last year."The most profound escalation began in 2022. The IRC network of Techrights (created 2021) never had chronic issues of abuse, intimidation and racism (with very rare exceptions) until self-described "social justice warriors" infiltrated it and used sockpuppets to push abuse into the network, in turn demanding censorship (of their very own sockpuppets!) while demanding a Code of Conduct and issuing violent threats to longtime regulars. Many who call themselves "social justice warriors" are aggressive extremists. There are nice people out there who don't need to use such labels (to describe themselves) and rely on personal charm and charisma, not threats, blackmail, and sabotage. Many of the self-described "social justice warriors" whom we've dealt with are clinically insane and they try to scare, even traumatise, sane people. How can we tolerate this? In the name of free speech we've refrained from banning them for nearly a year.

In the words of one reader, who prefers to remain anonymous: "if the social justice warriors and CoC-pushers' attacks can be documented and concisely as what happened with SELF (S E LinuxFest), it can be a useful case study to point to for many."

We covered this years ago.

"A big concern now would be to document who around the various FOSS communities were pushing CoCs and whether the meant it or were just following along. Neither behavior is good but the latter is less bad. The former are real trouble and will cause trouble again once they figure out how to do so," the longtime reader continued. "I would guess so but the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) has been gamed in recent decades and edited to fit political goals rather than follow medical science."

Notice that we've not named anyone this time around. There are technical issues to discuss, there are behavioural patterns to spot, and we'd rather explain things to watch out for, in order to make the series seem less personal.

As one reader notes, "CoCs have no value aside from being used to tear down development communities and active projects or to expel key technical leaders from the project under false pretences unrelated to tech. Again comparisons to SELF (S E LinuxFest) are apt. He got all kinds of threats of violence and threats of attempts to frame him all to try to push a CoC into the project."

"The CoC is a smokescreen; it's devised to divide, not to protect or incorporate stability."While it's important if not critical to name some of the principal culprits (think of it as a warning label), a lot of it can be framed as a case of psychological abuse and threats, public shaming, false accusations, impersonation, and attack on loved ones (usually family) when it's deemed insufficient to just attack a person directly. This is what those toxic people and "CoC" fanatics do to your healthy community, project etc. The CoC is a smokescreen; it's devised to divide, not to protect or incorporate stability. There are many examples to that effect.

Speaking of communities being torn apart from corporations, one contributing factor to the irrelevance of Slashdot is that there is so little news that a site like that does not make any sense in most ways, aside from the community fostered. But since the newest owners of Slashdot have done their absolute best to diminish or eradicate a sense of community, even that is not relevant.

In IRC we still have people who have been with the site since the beginning. The 'CoC brigade', however, resorted to impersonations in IRC, with the goal of us mistakenly banning our own people (e.g. nicknames that have unicode in them and thus look very similar to the real people). In addition, fake sites (blogs for fictional people) and fake social control media accounts (impersonations) were set up to defame and flame. Parody/satire isn't a crime, but these accounts/sites aren't satire; they're more like identity theft.

"We have a good picture of how they collaborated behind the scenes."Thankfully, as of this week, the signal-to-noise (s/n) ratio in IRC is good again. Many of the attackers have fled (after they got unmasked and tied to their crimes), but we've agreed not to make the series personal for now. We really need to focus on the patterns, assuming a new catspaw may be just around the corner (respawned like "drpizza" [1, 2, 3], who used the same methods in our IRC channels in the past), inheriting the same strategy against unwitting, unaware "targets".

Over the next few weeks we intend to show examples of what obscene people (who have the audacity to promote CoC provisions while breaking all the rules of a CoC) have been saying in IRC. We'll use screenshots, not text, as we don't want search engines to index really bad words.

We'll come back to the why, who and how at a later stage as we continue to receive information and leaks along the way. We have a good picture of how they collaborated behind the scenes. They have nothing to offer to collaborative Free software projects, so instead they conspire to take them down. Almost all of them are non-coders (no relevant background).

Peter Bright
Peter Bright, aka "drpizza", habitually trolled us in IRC, demanded that we censor our own people, and meanwhile he was grooming and promoting UEFI secure boot's "shim guy" in his articles (while chatting a great deal with him online); "drpizza" is now in prison for child rape. As he was a Microsoft mule (catspaw), now thrown under the bus, we still recall his role in undermining FOSS communities. He was a very disposable, yet extremely harmful, catspaw. Ars Technica and Wired still have all of his "articles" online (Wired even keeps his full name, crediting him for the Microsoft puff pieces that likely came from Microsoft itself).

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