Bad TimesThe following is a succinct list of all the bad shit that's happened to me online. It also includes at least some of my thoughts regarding what happened, in a broader sense.
Fresh off of a another incidence of me getting kicked while I was already down, I've decided I'm in the mood to write an article that I've been wanting to write for a lot of years now. I always feared being bullied, and being made fun of. Because of that, I would always remain silent.
I am so fucking tired of this shit. I'm tired of my content being limited by people I do not know, who do not care about me, all because they're so miserable that they have to try to find someone to laugh at. I'm writing this for my own pleasure, to catalog all the major bad things that people have done to me, so that I can process it and stop letting it bother me.
Real-life bullying doesn't bother me. People tried to bully me as a kid, but I was too sturdy and honestly could not be easily hurt by other kids. So real-life bullying was never a problem. I was never in any physical danger; the only thing that anybody could hurt was my feelings. And when it comes to feelings, more than anything, I think about the bad shit that's happened to me when I was having fun online, and especially when I was sticking up for others.
We'll start from the beginning, in chronological order. The early Internet was pretty good, but a community devoted to getting an anime series translated was headed up by a person in their 30s who was not very kind. They enjoyed bullying other kids, and when I stood up for the bullied kids, they summarily banned me from the project. They never got the anime fully translated.
I thought this was very strange. After all, every other adult I had met up until this time had placed a premium on ensuring that children had a good childhood, free of adults abusing them. But, online, the adults were different. They were evil. They were broken people who clung to children's media, in some attempt to have something they could have some control over, as they didn't have much control in their actual, real lives.
After the very first time I had ever been banned from anywhere, I went to a video game community. This was filled with even older people, some in their 50s and even 60s, who were trying to keep children out of the community. This is a trend that I've noticed: loser adults love to try to control playspaces that children should have full say over. This particular group of people harassed a child to the point where their mother took them off the internet, because the harassment had leaked into the real world. That's right: old men were harassing a child, in real life, over a video game.
Time passed. I don't remember much. I remember playing World of Warcraft, and having the top guilds try to harass me, but by that age, that didn't particularly work on me. That will be another story for another time. What I'd like to focus on now is what happened with the Game Masters.
There were three pedophiles on the World of Warcraft server I was on who were grooming children. I reported this to the FBI, through NCMEC, and to the GMs. Eventually, a Game Master confronted me, and something insane happened.
A Blizzard Game Master informed me that, if I kept on reporting a pedophile who was grooming a child on the server I was on, that I would be permanently banned. This was after the GM banned and unbanned me twice in quick succession, just to 'show' me what would happen. I informed the GM that I had already told the FBI about the grooming, and the GM fucked off. I never had any trouble with the GMs after that.
Years later, on Twitter, I was banned for absolutely no reason for the period of a week. The moderators at the time then had a conversation that I was privy to, with one moderator defending me, and another moderator saying in no uncertain terms that they wanted to ban me simply because they did not like me. Sometime around there, when a person threatened to come to my home and shoot me, I was told by another Twitter moderator that this was not a threat, and my ticket was closed.
For years, Twitter did nothing about child pornography, even as I reported it. One child pornography picture remained up for a year, only being removed when I reported it again after a year. Thankfully, this issue seems to have been resolved.
The most recent issue is LinkedIn made me remove all mention of my charity work. If I wanted to keep it there, from what I understand of what I read, I would have had to contact a lawyer to be safe. I declined; it was and is too much trouble.
These are my grievances. The last one will not be discussed.
Now I'm going to talk about why I hate these things.
I'm not willing to go into a whole lot of detail about the first two, because I'm not going to re-open old wounds beyond saying that something happened. Most of the adults were old then, and they've passed from natural causes long ago. The matter is all but closed, and even back then, the police were contacted by someone, and that is how they were made to stop. But I do want to talk about why I hate adults who bully children in online fandom communities.
I hate it because it's the digital equivalent of an adult walking onto a playground and knocking children down. You take a thing that's supposed to be joyful, even joyous, and you ruin it. You shit it all up. Because you are a damaged person.
Adults are supposed to protect children, and provide an environment that nurtures their growth. They're not supposed to bully them, because they, the adults, think that they're owed control of a digital space that is better suited for children to enjoy and control.
It was similar on World of Warcraft, when I played it, with people in their 30s, 40s, and 50s thinking that children should 'respect their elders'; these were people who were failures, not because of any scholastic or vocational pitfalls, but because they devoted their lives to gatekeeping a playground.
This was recently brought to mind simply because one of the most egregious offenders has recently passed away. This man was in his 60s when he was sending death threats to children, on-line and off-. How fucking pathetic can you be?
In any case, it does my heart good to know that all record of his existence has been erased from the Internet. He wanted to be remembered forever, for what he perceived as his 'place' in the video game community.
Now you can't even search for him and find anything.
That makes me happy.
Perhaps the strangest thing I've seen is how people try to carve out their own digital niches. Everyone wants a Kingdom; even I did. But it never lasts. Everything fades on the Internet, despite how people claim that "The Internet never forgets". The Internet has forgotten more than it currently has on it, as we speak. Hundreds upon thousands of MegaUpload links are gone. Rapidshare is gone. Multiple 'file lockers' are gone. There are entire websites you and I have never been to that are now gone without a trace.
Think of it like this: try to remember a website that's now gone, that you really, really liked. Now realize that there are ten thousand just like it, in every conceivable human language. We have missed 99.999999% or more of the Internet, and it is now gone, forever.
When it comes to digital niches, though, in particular, I think about when I first arrived on Twitter. When I first arrived on Twitter, a group of people tried to harass me. This did not work, and it ended with hundreds of them getting permanently suspended, or otherwise losing their claims to fame. I occasionally check on the ones who sent me death threats, just to see if they intend me any harm now. Of the three that kept their accounts, the entire legacy that they tried to build themselves is gone. And that makes me feel good, too.
I try not to hold grudges. By that, I mean, I try to forget about how people wronged me. I try to forget how people have been mean to me. But how does one forget, or 'forgive', when someone tells you that they're coming to your house to rape and murder you? When I try so hard to be good, and every single action I take is directed by a specific desire to not only avoid causing harm, but to maximize and institute good— when somebody tries to hurt my feelings, or actually physically harm me? I don't forget that. Because it hurts my soul. It hurts to be shit on, when I'm trying to be kind to a person. That sort of thing, I can't forget it, no matter how hard I try.
What I have learned, though, is that there is no real permanency to the Internet. One day, you have one asshole trying to fuck with you, and the next, they're gone. I've had people who threatened to kill me in real life, who spent their entire waking lives stalking me, who eventually ran afoul of the law and were arrested, and imprisoned. And that makes me feel good. But, more than anything, let's just get straight to the fuckin' point: I want to get this shit the fuck out of my head.
That's why I'm writing this. I write to get things out of my head. Occasionally, this desire is paired with the intent to make something lasting and beautiful, but, mostly, I have learned to write as a method of coping with things that bother me. And I can, if I exert the proper effort, produce things that are beautiful.
But more than that, I want to express a series of ideas that I know are useful and worthwhile. I want to articulate a feeling. And those ideas, and that feeling?
Nothing lasts, and that's the beauty of it all. People will be mean to you, and they will hate you, and they will wrong you, and they will try to fuck you over, or make fun of you, or just plain ridicule you, but what they are trying to do has no permanence. Shit was tough and times were rough, but, more than anything, these times passed. And they're gone now. And they're never, ever coming back.
I am writing this to get it out of my head. I don't want to think of the times people wronged me. I don't want to see someone's face in my mind's eye as they're yelling at me. I don't want to remember how people told me they wanted to rape me, or kill me. I want that information gone. So I'm putting it here, so I can stop thinking about it.
And I want to do away with the knowledge that people libeled me, and tried to portray me as though I were a demon.
So let's do that.
The Worst Thing a Human Has Ever Done To Me
For years, I declined to speak on GamerGate, having been through it and had a lot of fun in it, but also having reaped a lot of sorrow from it, because of it. I think of not speaking of it as being akin to hiding, to avoid being hit.
Recently, someone implied that I was beneath them for my involvement in it.
I'm tired of that shit. During GamerGate, the news media implied that I was: a rapist; a regular, garden-variety all-around monster; someone who abuses women; and, outside of that, during at least THREE incidents, it was told to me that I was a monster who was trying to kill people when I tried to find a suicidal person's friends, so they could stop them from killing themselves, AND, a journalist libeled me, implying that, by posting a suicide hotline intended for LGBT individuals, that I was a murderer. That I had actually killed people. By their logic, if I recall correctly, dozens.
People with power have always tried to make me out as the bad guy. I would help people, and I would protect people whom they were abusing, and they would always claim that I was the monster. I am so fucking sick of this shit. For the longest, I didn't talk about my achievements, because I didn't like people who bragged. It's time for me to start bragging, because these people are fucking libeling my ass.
But I'm not bragging here, right now. No: because there's something relevant that I need to talk about here. Something that will encapsulate the point of the entire article. Something I've been meaning to say for twenty years now.
You ready? Here we go.
As a kid, I would always get blamed for shit I didn't do. Whether it was some racist saying I was bad, or it was an adult blaming me for something they did, it never stopped. I would do something good, and I would still be blamed for something. If I fixed a problem, I would be blamed for causing the problem. If I protected someone from bullying, the bully would say that I was bullying them, even though I would never touch them or even speak to them: I would merely stand between the bully and the person they were hitting, so that person could not be hurt.
My self-esteem, for years, took a great hit because of this, because I was always told that I was wrong. That I was bad. That I was bad because of my race, or my skin color, or because I was mixed-race, or because I had Jewish ancestry, or whatever. And back in 2014, when I was protecting people, reporting death threats, and getting child porn taken off of Twitter, people still said I was a monster.
Before, I wrote somewhere that these people were the monsters. But that's not exactly true. That's not the point of this. The point is, I've been used as a scapegoat for so long, and I am not willing to be that scapegoat. Or any scapegoat. Not any longer.
Even back when the adults in their 60s were bullying a child on-line and off-, they tried to pin it on me, when I was the only person there telling them to stop.
I have finally identified the trend of what happens when I help people, and prevent bad people from hurting others: The bad people blame me, saying that I'm the only bad guy in the room.
Looking back on my life, I finally realize that, as much as people said I was a bad person, I was often the only person in the room who cared about others. I was often the only person in the room who gave a shit about people, to the point where I would try my very best, and succeed, at never even hurting their feelings. Meanwhile, I was being called a monster by actual, self-admitted rapists.
I'm done being fooled by evil people. I've wasted too much of my life considering the 'opinions' of people who harm others.
That stops now.
💔 This article was created December 6th, 2018. It was written by Margaret Gel. It has never been updated.