Posts Tagged ‘community’

FTB wants Thunderf00t ‘drummed out of the community’ and ‘forever a pariah’

August 10, 2012

So Ed Brayton, thats the leader, or owner or something of freethoughtblogs is now referring to me in these terms:

“I want to do whatever it takes to make sure that he is essentially drummed out of this movement, never invited to speak anywhere again and is forever a pariah.”

Awwww, what did I do to be referred to in these terms you may ask?

Turns out freethoughtblogs has a secret mailing list which they use, among other things to conspire against people (indeed I laughed when they cooked up what they thought was the ‘least damaging story’ to FTB for my expulsion.  Boy did the truth take a backseat in that thread!). Now as with many top secret mailing lists of course FTB has some footer saying how everything on this mailing list is ultra-confidential (kinda a contradiction of terms in my books sending out ‘secret information’ to an entire mailing list) but that doesn’t stop FTB OPENLY disclosing/ leaking whatever they want on that list when it suits their purpose. For instance they were quite happy to openly talk about Greg Ladens ‘threats of violence’ on the mailing list and PZ was quite happy to discuss the happenings of this ‘ultra confidential’ list in his video (sorry too late to delete the evidence boys, I’ve got it all!). Oddly enough, freethoughtblogs did nothing to admonish this sickening and evil violation of trust, or write blog posts about how this could result in the exposing of peoples real identities, people losing jobs, getting turned into newts and burned at the stake or some shit. Nor do they seem to realize that their main beef that I ‘stole their personal details‘ is clearly stupid. I, and everyone else on that mailing list, would have had all of those details (whatever they actually are, I still have no idea) anyways from when they originally signed me up to the mailing list. So what exactly are these personal details they think I’ve ‘stolen’ here?

Secondly I DONT FUCKING DOC DROP.

Even if I actually knew what this personal information was (I seriously have no idea who most these people are) I wouldn’t care, because:

I DON’T DOC DROP. Never have done. Never will.

Honestly if I were in FTBs shoes I would worry about the other guy they expelled, Greg Laden, who also has access to all their personal data. He has a history of threatening people on FTB and stalking people elsewhere. Like tracking people down in real life and trying to get them fired (Abbie Smith of the blog ERV) etc etc. Notably this was all done while Greg was at FTBs.

Now I always found the behavior of the folks on freethoughblogs on this secret list to be kinda cliquish, where chinese whispers morph from rumors to facts within one or two emails. For instance, when I first joined I was accused of being an ‘rape culture apologist’ guilty of ablism, devaluing addicts, and not being careful between challenging islam and outright racism, all based on no evidence whatsoever! ya freethought at work!

Many emails on this list were on points on which “everyone” on FTBs agreed, simply for the applause of everyone who responded. There was a LOT of self-congratulation and self-re-enforcement (herding) behavior there. Conversely even modest disagreement was greeted with snide derision. The sad thing is that freethoughtblogs refer to themselves in humor as ‘the hive mind’ and as ‘free thought bullies’, when in reality both are actually fairly accurate descriptions. So why is any of that important?

So a week or so ago a guy called Michael Payton who works for CFI Canada  (Center for Inquiry) put up a tweet about finding FTB unreadable. Now it turns out ironically Michael is on FTBs side on the issue of harassment policies at conferences (well mostly), however that didn’t matter if he was going to speak ill of freethoughtblogs and this precipitated an angry torrent of twitters from at least one FTBer and another to write an entire blog post about it (promoted by PZ Myers of course), and as with all such posts on FTB he (Payton) was repeatedly branded in the comments section with pejorative terms such as misogynist and MRA (the irony being that he posted an article on skepchick ‘speaking out against hate against women‘ FACEPALM). Indeed it turned out that merely hours after this tweet, CFI Canada had been contacted with calls for his dismissal. Yes his real life job was being threatened because of one tweet about FTBs!

That was a pretty disturbing turn of events having someones job targeted so quickly after a single tweet about FTBs, and after a brief chat with Michael, and knowing that FTB were going ballistic about this on their secret backchannel with some THIRTY messages being circulated on the backchannel about his single tweet, let him know what they were saying about him (naturally no personal details were passed on). Michael did not want to know, he did not need to know that personal info.

This is some of the chatter I passed on to Michael.

Just an early warning, I’m strongly leaning towards publicly making a minor deal of this – not focusing on Payton exclusively, but just as an example of the general attitude of dismissing all of FTB despite not being familiar with hardly any of us – *unless* there’s either an  actual apology to us or some kind of sufficient reason for why it would be a bad idea to draw attention to his remarks at this time, such as a relevant illness.

WTF is it with FTBs and skepchick always wanting people to apologize for stuff? Anyways they continue:

I’m usually not one to get involved in internal disputes in the movement, but if a national leader of the SCA or American Atheists had been so openly dismissive of FTB as a whole, I imagine we wouldn’t just let that pass unnoticed. So I’d just like to know if there’s any good reason why I shouldn’t do this, even if I can’t necessarily be privy to the details of it.

Translation: is it safe to do a knife job on this guy?

and

“But his statement was so broad, so casually dismissive of some of the smartest people in this movement (me among them, I’d like to think), that he can’t really be surprised that one of them took offense at it and criticized him for it, can he?”

What sort of person actually writes shit like that? (well Ed Brayton as it turns out). I’m guessing you can see at this point why they are so terrified of this stuff becoming public. Personal details my ass!

Well FTB found out that I had given Michael Payton access to this information, I then became the subject of the secret societies wrath. This is just one example of MANY. This is Ed Brayton (the head/ owner or similar of FTB) talking about what he wants done to me.

“I want to do whatever it takes to make sure that he (thunderf00t) is essentially drummed out of this movement, never invited to speak anywhere again and is forever a pariah.”

That’s right, all I did was clued someone in whose job was being threatened as to FTBs little conspiring (some THIRTY emails over his single tweet!) against him and for this heinous crime FTB now wants me ‘drummed out of the community’ as ‘a pariah’.  And now this whistle blowing action is being reported on FTBs as:

 It is clear now that he is a cruel man out to destroy anyone he thinks he can, either out of spite or out of a total disregard for collateral damage in his hatred for PZ.   -Ashley F. Miller

This was is not a surgical strike. It was a firebombing. And it seems to have been done for no reason other than to pursue a personal vendetta.

This is a gross violation of basic human decency. There is no possible spin that can make it into anything else. -Greta Christina

Yes, we want to make Thunderf00t/Phil Mason a pariah in the atheist movement, and for good reason: he’s a dishonest scumbag. The nice thing for us is that he’s making it easy: Phil Mason is destroying his own reputation with his sleazy behavior. Who in their right mind would ever trust that guy with any confidence at all? -PZ Myers

He is a vile hypocrite who has lost whatever shred of credibility he may have had left. -Jen McCreight

 

Advertisements

Thunderf00t 2012: The Aspirations.

April 13, 2012

The Priorities :

Why Do People Laugh at Creationists.

Of the people I talked to at The Reason Rally, (of the stuff I’d done) this was mentioned more than anything else as the key factor in ‘saving the saved’.   Two more episodes were meant to be put out before the Reason Rally (they are all scripted, just need a couple of weeks to put them together), just all the distractions that WLCs DMCA abuse and Dawahfilms flagging harassment took up all my spare time.  The Reason Rally, above all else convinced me that this is an area to focus on.   I am hoping to get 1/3 to ½ the time devoted to this (probably means somewhat under half the videos will be WDPLAC).

 

“OMG, The Bible says WHAT?!”

The bible is batshit crazy.  Most Christian have never read it, and so Im going to make the media.  I may even start this up as a guest spot for people read their favorite crazy bible verses.  This may take the form of a ‘mid-week short’.

 

SCIENCE BITCHES, IT WORKS

I’ve already got permission to get the footage from within a nuclear reactor for an experiment (~June).  Last year I showed you how close the edge of the unknown was and even demonstrated, for the first time as far as I can tell, that gaseous potassium is evolved when the metal is thrown into water, and its GREEN!  This year I’m going to show you the REAL face of the unknown, and how it could affect your life.  Yup going to go inside a nuclear reactor to look at something a billion times smaller that your typical human!

 

Nailing the religious types in the 2012 elections.

I would have liked to have been more active here, but regrettably I got sidetracked into DMCA and flagging complaints.

 

Build the community. 

The secular atheist community on YT emerged strongly, quickly overtaking all the religious communities.  In order to maintain and take full advantage of this position we need to increase the number of people producing good media regularly. I will be moving towards facilitating that goal.  There will be two mechanisms, 1) A (biyearly?) competition for people who have produced at least 3 good videos in three months.  This way promotional effort is focused on those who are both committed to, and capable of producing the goods 2) donation of equipment (green screen, cameras, sound equipment etc) to active folks who are making quality content videos, but that have the amateur-ish look that doesn’t fly so well on youtube these days.  Basically, imagine if someone had supplied ZOMGitscriss with a camera, green screen and other kit early on how much this would have helped.

-Deploy the resources where they will have greatest benefit for the community.

 

Create a DVD.

This is another project I’ve been trying to get done for about a year, to create a dvd of the work, if not for sale, then simply so it can be hosted and torrented.  Indeed I had wanted to get a thousand or so pressed (several kgs) to give away at the Reason Rally.  Sadly again event overtook the aspirations.

This year I’m not going to get enough time to go touring, so sadly no touring or dark sky astro video.   I might yet be able to get a good timelapse of Mars though!  Hope for clear skies 🙂

Yup, it’s going to be a busy year!

 

-=Support via Paypal=-

 

RE: Youtube starts banning ‘religiously offensive’ videos

February 27, 2012

   To be honest when I first got the take down notices, about 6 of them in an hour or so (4 content inappropriate with no chance of appeal, and two privacy complaints) I thought,

‘another harassing and minor annoyance in running the channel.  A quick email to YT should sort it out.’

   I was then simply stunned when youtube claimed these videos had been reviewed by professional and impartial moderators and were removed for either hate speech or privacy violation.  The more so as some of these videos constituted some of the milder things I’ve said about religion.  The bottom line was, if this really was the new bar for hate speech, not only would it in an instant render the Thunderf00t channel unviable, it would render virtually every rationalist channel unviable.  Youtubes actions were simply unintelligible.  Indeed if someone had told me these were youtube actions, I simply wouldn’t have believed them.  But there were the words on the screen in black and white.

   I had no option but to make the video “Youtube starts banning ‘religiously offensive’ videos“.  There were simply no other alternatives.  A fairly high stakes game given that youtube could easily have said my action violated the terms of service and just killed the account.  But then again, if the words I had in black and white on the screen were correct, then channel was already dead, and the only thing left to do was give a good accounting of itself before the inevitable banhammer.

    By coincidence this happened about one week after the Hamza Kashgari incident.

Kashgari made about 3 vanilla tweets mildly critical of Islam only to find himself in fear for his life.  He fled Saudi, only to be arrested in Malaysia.  There he was deported back to Saudi with no due process to face a potential death sentence over three tweets.  That’s fucked up beyond ALL recognition.  But it really underscores the problem that religions find arbitrary things offensive.  Given this simple observation, having a clause in the Terms of Service about not offending religions is simply incoherent.

   If youtube really is willing to give religion this latitude of freedom, and to further scale what they consider ‘hate speech’ by how offended people are, then youtube would inevitably find itself in thrall to the Imams.  Many of them find anything that is not Islam offensive beyond comprehension, as was demonstrated by the Imam crying over the three tweets of Kashgari calling them ‘the worst thing he’d ever read’.

   So it was that I wrote potentially my last email to youtube asking them to apply whatever policy they had uniformly, which, taking ‘The Best emotional PORN‘ as the benchmark, would mean either about 7/10 of my videos would be hate speech, and they should delete them and ban my account, or reinstate the videos (which are vanilla compared to some of the videos on my channel).

The BEST emotional PORN, the new bar for ‘hate speech’,  Really?

   Thankfully, some 48 hrs later, with over 17000 thumbs up, well over a thousand mirrors and ~160k hits Youtube had a change of heart over what constituted hate speech.

   Now I have mixed feelings about this.  The Churchill quote about ‘The United States will always do the right thing…. once all other options have been exhausted’ kept coming to mind.

   Sure Youtube had done the right thing, and had the humility and plasticity to correct their previous mistake (a fairly honorable and humble act), but only once all other options had been exhausted.  You then look at what other options youtube had on the table (banhammer, ignore or stick to original judgment), and this is BY FAR the most dignified thing they could have done.

   So all things considered, I think this is as happy an outcome as could have been hoped for.  For the strong response of the community (and yes, it was the communal action that made this possible, for I as an individual had tried to take this to a sensible resolution and failed (I have the gut feeling it was not my email that swung the balance here)) ensured that free speech is maintained on this forum.

Many Thanks to all who made this outcome possible!