Typically when you hear someone like me talk about fake allies you might assume I mean someone who claims to be an ally to a specific cause but does not actually believe in said cause. If you assumed that this time you would be wrong.
This time i’m talking about the sockpuppeting being done by some of the TERF’s
You all might have noticed that if you are arguing/debating with them online often times they will have some “ally” who says they are trans and agree with everything the terf is saying. Turns out some of these people aren’t even real people.
If you look at the now suspended acccount Transurrections on twitter (http://topsy.com/twitter/Transurrections) you will see one of their former allies making a rather interesting confession to @sophiaphotos, who alerted me to this.
Turns out they were controlling multiple accounts reinforce their apparently now old ideals, literally sockpuppeting.
This sort of revelation on its own is disturbing enough but the truly troubling part of this is wondering just how prevalent this really is online. How many more TERF “allies” are just fabrications of someones imagination? I wonder how many of our opponents are actual people and how many are literally constructs intended to absorb our time and energy. How do we know that others aren’t using those multiple accounts to mass report people?
Using this tactic tells me a few things, first of all the TERF’s are losing popularity. Sockpuppeting like this is a force multiplier tactic used generally when you lack a numerical advantage, by doing this you make your numbers appear larger and it makes it more likely that neutral bystanders will adopt your cause by popularity. However its a tactic used in desperation due to the high chances of getting caught and backfiring as it has now and that losses are multiplied as well, For example if you lose one person (say they leave your group or get sick ect..) controlling 5 accounts, thats 5 accounts silent from one person leaving.
The fact that they feel they have to do this tells me they know that they don’t have the real numbers to gain any traction in social media so they are attempting to create a false reality where they do have said traction. Don’t fall for this mirage. Live with the awareness that their ideology is so untenable that they have to have fake personas agree with them online so they don’t look like they are the only ones.
Having said all of this, I do have a caveat. I cannot tell if all of their allies are fake and who is and isn’t a real person and for the most part its best to take people at their words as to who they are and what axes of oppression they lie on. Just understand that is a terf tactic and that there aren’t as many as they want us to think and you don’t have to give anyone your time. This is by no means the end of the TERF’s or their ideology, but it certainly a sign of times to come.
I for one take comfort in the fact that the people attempting to spread hate and misinformation about the trans community cant even find enough real people to try to engage us on social media. Though it does make me wonder who else is using these tactics in online spaces, speculation on the matter is pointless since we don’t have convenient confessions like this every day and we have no other evidence one way or the other. Though if you are reading this and you operate multiple accounts in the name of an ideology I urge you to come forward. I cant speak for anyone but me on this next point but I would rather forgive the people running those accounts and know the truth fully than play this game any longer. We are approaching a point where cyber warfare will become the norm in any online ideological battle and thats something I do not want. As the technology to engage in most forms of cyber warfare is freely available to anyone online and becoming simpler and simpler to use the temptation to use these tools to “even the playing field” becomes strong on all sides. Today its sockpuppets and trolling and then you are doxing people and when that doesn’t work you learn about this thing called ddos…you get my point. Ive seen it happen too so dont come yelling slippery slope at me ok? The terfs already dox people and do this stuff , we don’t need to resort to their tactics.
Everyone take a deep breath and repeat after me.
The ends do not justify the means.
Now if you know anything about me, you know me saying “you don’t want to go there” has some weight to it. When it comes to this sort of stuff, its a never ending cycle of pain and retaliation and nothing good can come from it. And I say this to all sides involved. This is me saying you are about to stare into the abyss.
That does not mean you can’t be angry, anger is perfectly valid here and i’m angry too, you all know this. I’m saying we have to draw clear lines we will not cross and stick to them when it comes to this and make sure our tactics are measured and ethical while allowing us a way to express our anger. There are lots of valid tools to use that express anger, borderline cyber warfare tactics don’t need to be included.
As our opponents grow weaker in reality they will become more desperate in order to hide that weakness and TERF’s have a lot of ego and very little real facts invested in their point of view this is a recipe for poor human behavior so don’t expect them to go quietly.
Another thing id like to mention that can help limit the range of hate that TERF’s can spread on twitter is a service known as block bot (@The_Block_Bot on twitter), level one will block doxers and cyber bullies, level 2 blocks anti-feminists, MRAs and the like so if you want to prevent most interactions with terf’s just set yourself up with the level 2 blocklist . While not a perfect solution it seems to work well enough in practice since all the trolls are trying to destroy it. It doesn’t block people you are already following so you can still hate follow TERF’s if you so choose.