Disturbing allegations of online death and rape threats

There’s been quite a bit of online comment lately about females getting serious threats of harm.

1 News: James Shaw ‘really furious’ female colleagues Marama Davidson and Golriz Ghahraman are subjected to threats online – ‘I don’t face that as a white male’

Mr Shaw told TVNZ 1’s Q+A current affairs programme he was “really furious” that his colleagues are subjected to “constant sustained attack” from people making threats against them.

“I don’t face that as a white male – certainly not nearly to the same extent,” Mr Shaw said.

Apart from a spate of attacks and threats over a few months in 2015 and 2016 I don’t get attacked on Twitter, but I don’t tweet very much, and I’m not well known like an MP is.

Ms Davidson tweeted in July that she had received “death threats towards me and my kids from supporters of those two who Goff refused to hire a venue to”.

Ms Ghahraman said in May she has also been subjected to threats online, including threats of sexual violence, and said social media networks like Facebook need to take more responsibility.

I don’t venture much into political stuff on Facebook either. I have seen some examples of threats, and also of more general attacks, so have no reason to doubt their claims. It is an insidious problem that females in particular seem to suffer from.

On Twitter today:

From my perspective, this is an extremely well-timed piece. It’s fast becoming mostly madness on here. So why do we keep doing it? Are we masochists?

During the last 24 hours, I’ve received well over a dozen death and rape threats.

That’s an alarming claim.

I haven’t counted them all. I’m not worried or frightened or scared. Or even angry. I’m just completely inured to it. And that’s not a healthy way to be.

It’s extremely unhealthy for online discussions and socialising.

Now, some will argue that I poked the viper with *that* tweet so what did I expect? That’s one (strange) way of looking at it. The other is that an online world where this stuff is par for the course, is very sick indeed. Do I need to be part of it? Something I need to consider.

The fact that I feel absolutely nothing/zero/zilch about being threatened and called every name under the sun, is a sure sign I’ve stayed too long at the online party. Might be time to call a cab and go home. Before the sun comes up.

That would be an unfortunate response, because that would appear to be the aim of those gutless nameless pricks (I think they are mostly men), to drive off voices they disagree with.

Well, it’s been an eye-opener. That’s for sure. I never really paid the whole issue much attention before. But now I see what the all the fuss is about. Politicians, journalists, and the public should be very concerned about what is happening. But, they’re not.

There are multiple herds that take intolerance to intolerable levels.

Perhaps there’s some way some of the online community can get together and brainstorm ways of trying to deal with this, without shutting up, and trying a counter shut down of voices.

 

MP claims death threats against her and children

It appears to have been on Facebook.

I’ve got no reason to doubt this claim from Davidson. It is extremely concerning that anyone gets threatened online, let alone an MP and her children.

I hope the police get involved in this and hold those responsible to account.

Protection from extreme threats must take precedence over so called ‘free speech’.

Death threats over pit bulls

This may be a good example of the sort of people who should be prevented from having dangerous dogs – death threats have been made against Duncan Garner after dissing pit bulls.

Garner had posted DUNCAN GARNER: I hate pitbulls – ban them

I’m not a huge dog lover, but there are dogs and then there are these horrible pitbulls.

I hate them. We must ban them. We don’t need them. What’s the good bit?

I’m sick of politicians saying this is all too hard.

He has presumably also talked about this on RadioLive.

Now Newshub reports: I got death threats over pit bulls so we called the police

I was sent revolting and vile threats via private message on Facebook.

They read:

death_threats

Mediaworks took the issue seriously so we contacted the New Zealand Police who have since acted.

They have given one person a warning.

This is nasty stuff and Garner is justified in reporting this to the police.

It may have been some stupid dipstick who didn’t feel so brave when the police contacted him, but online threats of this nature need to be confronted and strongly deterred.

Lauda Finem death threat?

Lauda Finem have a record of playing dirty, but this time they have lowered themselves to what appears to be an implied death threat.

Lauda Finem share a common trait with Whale Oil – a lot of merit and potential in some of what they have done, but crapping on their own credibility by overestimating and overusing their power, and attacking abusing anyone who criticises them. Neither seem to have woken up to the fact that if you keep shitting on people you end up flushing yourself down the toilet.

Yesterday on Open Forum there was a discussion on Cameron Slater (as is common here) that led to some comments critical of Lauda Finem as well. I added a couple of fairly vague comments.

LF have a poor record of how they deal with criticism, and they took to attacking the messengers again.

LF have previously posted these comments:

Other than a few Twitter jibes following Pete Georges decision to allow his own blog to be splattered with anti Lauda Finem graffiti, team LF have had very little to do with the man.

They seem to have become obsessed with me. They don’t like their dirty behaviour exposed.

LF find Pete George’s online games boring. That’s in large part why we confine any comment we do make to twitter, so if Pete George does publish any stories unflattering of team LF then readers are unlikely to see a response on this website, Laudafinem.com. Team members are far more likely to post any response, if one is even required, via LF’s twitter feed.

I presume this refers to @LaudaFinem and @[Deleted as per court order] tag teaming on Twitter. And that’s how they responded last night.

LFdeaththreat

The implication of that is getting low, even by their standards.

They added this tweet:

LFSalaciousCrumbTweetThey seem to have an obsession that everyone conspires against them in their ongoing feud with Blomfield. And in any case what Salacious P Crumb said was quite reasonable expression of opinion, whoever uses the pseudonym (I don’t know and it’s not my business to know).

They don’t seem to understand how things work on an open blog, where any individual can discuss topics they want to discuss without censorship and without taking sides.

Lauda Finem seem to think that Your NZ should have no criticism of them at all but should allow them to expand their shitty fight against Blomfield here under multiple monikers – that accusation against Blomfield is very ironic.

I’m not going to censor comment on Lauda Finem here despite their stalking, attacks and threats.

They claim they are ‘justice campaigners’ – but justice should be open and honest. Lauda Finem seem to have problems understanding law and justice principles – they intimidate and threaten and try and gag anyone exposing their dodgy practices and think they have impunity from the law themselves.

Their delusions are likely to catch up on them.

Obviously exposing them again stands a high chance of resulting in another lengthy, misleading, dishonest (or ignorant, it can’t be ruled out that they believe their nonsense) avalanche of accusations and attacks on their blog, that’s how they operate. So be it.

They seem to be nuts but that shouldn’t exempt their dirty tactics from exposure.

UPDATE: not surprisingly they are now trying to play down their tweet:

You’ll have to try harder than that @PeteDGeorge, claiming metaphor as a death threat is desperate you tragic fuck –

Who is tragic? Their understanding of what a metaphor is seems as dodgy as their understanding of many things.

Fear of death for blogging

There are risks blogging but surely there’s very little chance violence or death. Cameron Slater posts at Whale Oil: THE POWER OF WORDS, AND THE DANGER OF A BLOGGER

I’m just some guy, you know?

Why would what I write be anything more (or less) important than the next person?   Yet it seems so.  I write on my blog.  And people just want me to go away.  Die even.

Slate has written about death wishes directed at him before. My inclination had been to think he has overstated the threats but I wasn’t on the receiving end of attacks directed at him. However in the past I have see how vicious people can be online when they don’t like what you say or what you highlight that others have said.

Slater the referred to another death of a blogger in Bangla Desh as reported by Ruma Paul and Reuters (from Blogger hacked to death in Bangladesh, fourth this year).

Attackers armed with machetes killed a blogger in Bangladesh, the fourth such killing of an online critic of religious extremism in six months, prompting calls by human rights groups for a swift and thorough investigation.

Militants have targeted secularist writers in Bangladesh in recent years.

He comments:

We live in a world where someone having ideas and a platform to share them is dangerous enough to trigger crime, criminal conspiracy and murder.

An overseas world, surely. Reuters :

“We are speechless. He was demanding justice for the killing of other bloggers,” said Imran Sarker, head of a network of activists and bloggers.

“The violent killing of another critical voice in Bangladesh shows that serious threats to freedom of expression persist in the country,” UN special rapporteur on freedom of expression David Kaye and the special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings Christof Heyns said in a joint statement issued in Geneva.

Amnesty International urged Bangladesh to send a strong message that killings aimed at silencing dissenting voices were despicable and would not be tolerated.

Slater ponders:

Sometimes I wonder:  will I be the first?

Slater has been on the receiving end of a lot of online, media, author and legal attention. If he feels there may be threats to his well-being and life then those fears are real and are a major concern.

Whether you like what bloggers say or not, whether you wish them silent or not, in New Zealand at least you would expect that the protection of speech is a high priority in a decent democracy.

Intimidation to try and shut people up, whether there are threats of violence or other types of threat, should be strongly resisted.

Slater has been ground breaking in New Zealand blogging. Whale Oil has been at the forefront of some of the best and the worst of blogging here. I’ve applauded some of what he has done and been strongly critical of some of his behaviour that at times can be seen as intimidating and threatening to those he targets.

So there are some ironies in Slater’s situation.

But if Slater feels sometimes that he is at physical risk due to what he says, and even he feels that at times his life could be at risk, then the state of our online discussion is seriously threatened.

No one should be afraid to speak, or write, because of the threats of others who don’t like what they are saying or what they might say.

Disturbing threats against Slater

Cameron Slater has a post at Whale Oil that details death threats – SUNDAY AFTERNOON MAILBAG [RAW AND UNEDITED*] –  I won’t repeate them fully raw and unedited here but this is the content from ‘Sam the Man’:

Date: Sun, Feb 1, 2015 at 1:15 PM

Message: Bro, you’re the fattest, ugliest motherfucker in New Zealand
and I’d love to shoot a Blue Taliban faggot like you right in the guts

1:28 PM

I want to shoot the Police too why don’t you tell them I wrote that so they can bring the Armed Offenders squad? I’ve got two rifles and a decent BB pistol and I don’t mind looking for a target like you in Auckland because you’d stand out so well being a fat guy after all

1:50 PM

Cmon fat guy I’ll fucking slit your throat and fucking film it you piece of fucking shit you’re gonna get what’s coming to you fucking pussy look my name and check my face out real good cause that’s the face of the guy that’s going to murder you

This is very over the top and disturbing, even if it’s just online ‘bravado’. Slater has referred it to the police, which I think is the right thing to do.

This particular person may or may not be serious but it’s a seriously bad thing he’s doing.

Slater pushes more provocative buttons than most but there is no justification or excuse at all for this. This goes way beyond ‘reap what you sow’.