On Doxing and Anonymity


I have always found that the most effective way to stay anonymous on social media is to be completely open about who you are. That way people will assume you want their attention, and make a point of ignoring you. “Be as invisible as a homeless man on Wall Street,” the Ku Fu master once said. “Extend your begging bowl, and they will avert their eyes.”

Not everybody on the Internet is an unemployed bum, however, a wannabe Charles Bukowski whose every other blog entry is “me, me, look at me.”  There are perfectly legitimate reasons why you might want to post to Facebook or Twitter under a pseudonym, to broadcast your ideas to the world while keeping your identity a secret. Some people have jobs, friends, families, a place of honor in this great stinking pile of corruption we call the United States of America. The Internet has allowed us all to express ourselves in a way that was unknown, even in the very recent past, even within my adult lifetime. It has also empowered bullies and gossips, people who are interested, not in expressing their own ideas, but in silencing others with the threat to reveal their real-world identities to the public.

One of these bullies and gossips is Molly Crabapple, about whom I have written previously.

Like me, Molly Crabapple seeks your attention. Unlike me, she’s good at it, her memoir Drawing Blood having become a semi-official account of Occupy Wall Street among the liberal elites. While I would rather have you read Daniel Levine’s excellent Every Time I Check My Messages Someone Thinks I’m Dead, I have nothing against self-promotion. The problem is self-promotion at any price. What compromises has she done to get that book review in the New York Times, that big platform with with to sell her artwork? There have always been rumors that Molly Crabapple, whose real name is Jennifer Caban, has had some sort of involvement with the military–industrial complex, that like the Partisan Review or The New Leader, she’s a left-wing Trojan horse, a rat propped up by the CIA to distract your attention from genuinely revolutionaries. To be honest, I’ve always discounted them. You can accuse anybody of just about anything on the Internet. Without proof, your accusations are worthless.

I also think that a person’s behavior reveals his or her connections. If you’re acting like a snitch, then you’re probably a snitch. I am not a “political ally” of the pseudonymous Tweeter “Emma Quangel.” Although she has commented on this blog in a civil manner, she also belongs to a group of people commonly known as “tankies,” authoritarian leftists with a reductionist view of Marxism that usually amounts to nothing more than supporting Russia, or Assad, against the United States. Nevertheless, unlike me, the woman who posts to Twitter under the name Emma Quangel, has real knowledge of the Middle East. As we have seen many times many times in the past, like the manufactured “evidence” of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, or the story about Saddam Hussein’s troops removing babies from incubators, most of what we read in the American corporate media about the Middle East is propaganda put out by the United States government with little or no basis in reality.

I have no betting interest in the race between the Russian and the United States government in Syria. My official line on the matter is that I’m an ignorant American who should probably avoid commenting on issues I know nothing about. But I do think its worth asking why Molly Crabapple has chosen to “dox” a minor press officer at the United Nations for nothing other than her stridently pro-Assad views. There are thousands of people on Twitter who believe the same things “Emma Quangel” does, and yet aren’t as vulnerable to violent retribution as a woman who actually lives and works in the Middle East. Logic, therefore, would seem to indicate that Molly Crabapple is acting in the interests of the American military industrial complex, that she’s firing a shot across the bow of a low-level employee at the United Nations as a warning to anybody else who might object to American foreign policy in Syria. We’ve all seen this before, the media blitzkrieg against the Dixie Chicks, the firing of Phil Donahue by MSNBC for his views about the invasion of Iraq, the sting operation against former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter, the trumped-up rape charges against Julian Assange. If you object to anything about American foreign policy, and are likely to have some influence over public opinion, the United States government, and the corporate media, will either find a weakness, or make one up. They will destroy you.

Molly Crabapple, as we’ve already seen, has a soft-spot for celebrity hackers like Andrew Auernheimer. She’s willing to overlook toxic, white supremacist views in exchange for whatever publicity it can get her. For many people on the Internet, a well-known neo-Nazi hacker with enough clout to get an early release from prison, and a ticket to Lebanon, a country without an extradition treaty to the United States, can be an intimidating presence. What’s more, in addition to being a United Nations press officer, the pseudonymous Tweeter “Emma Quangel” made the headlines over the Summer after she discovered the white supremacist mass murderer Dylann Roof’s manifesto, something the corporate media could have done, easily, but chose not to. “Emma Quangel” not only upended the corporate media’s pro-cooked narrative — that white mass murderers act out of mental illness, not political ideology — she undoubtedly made enemies in the white nationalist community. Molly Crabapple has not only threatened Emma Quangel’s employment. She’s exposed her to violent retribution.

I wouldn’t touch Molly Crabapple with a ten-foot pole.

4 thoughts on “On Doxing and Anonymity”

  1. For the record, Emma Q is not a unthinking pro Assad supporter. You’re correct about Crabapple…but not about emma Q and her positions. Just to clarify.

    1. I believe I said “strident” not “unthinking” but point taken. I was not a regular reader of her blog before she locked it down, and should probably familiarize myself more with her positions.

  2. Just wanna say re: Partisan Review — by the time it started getting CIA funding in the 1950s it was already largely a journal in decline. During its golden age — in the 30s and 40s — it was the key independent journal of the ant-Stalinist Left and had a strongly anti-capitalistic and ant-establishment line.

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