DashEquals, call out, toxic behaviour, harassment | really long post
This is a copy of https://eliotberriot.com/2019/07/11/we-need-to-talk-about-dashequals.html meant for reading/sharing on fedi.
However, I'd recommend reading it on the blog if you can, because it's lengthy and may be updated in the future. The blog version also has proper markup and is more readable.
*Content warning: call-out, harasser, violent language.*
I didn't wanted to do this but there's a limit to what people should be able to do and say without consequences. And DashEquals went far, far beyond.
He's also using a short notation for his name, `-=` (dash and equals signs) on other platforms, like Matrix.
Now that the most basic presentation is done, let me formerly introduce you.
## The creepy archivist
DashEquals was the person who archived the now down Berries.Space Mastodon instance. Without user consent. Thousands of post made by teenagers, lots of them from LGBTQI groups.
He never apologized, despite being repeated over and over than doing so was creepy, dangerous, unethical, borderline illegal and formerly rejected by the Archive.org team itself.
He just doesn't see the issue and use other people/company bad actions as a justification <https://ap.torlipen.net/notice/9kWpvMl6psJjqCn1EW>
It was documented better than I could do by other people, so check <https://fanlore.org/wiki/Berries.space> and <https://bune.city/2019/05/archive-team-and-the-fediverse/> for more info.
## The toxic techbro
Unsollicited advice, elitism, bad faith, mansplaining, just pick your poison.
> It looks like I didn't respond to their post because they were right.
So he's concerned by people blocking him because it could make it look like he's wrong.
> ze/zem pronouns are stupid because they undermine the point of pronouns.
## The nazi and fascist enabler (at best)
To quote his words:
> Therefore, it's best to assume good faith, and NO MATTER WHAT, do not treat someone badly.
The caps are from the original post.
> Let's do a test: I'll make a profile claiming to be in one of the groups that Nazis often target, and see how many Nazis actually target me (cause I see the argument "if you're in one of their targeted groups you'd see more of them" but I kind of doubt it).
Not going to comment on this one. This is sick.
He regularly boost this kind of content:
## The oppressor
Because why not? This has been running for a while. Against women, obviously, but also against every marginalized group in general:
He want to be able to use the n-word.
He's not happy about blocks, because it prevents him from harassing whoever he wants.
> Blocks on Mastodon shouldn't exist, mutes and forced unfollows are enough. Blocking someone at all is a total dick move and I lose all respect for anyone who does it.
Of course that means that blocking Gab is bad somehow and we should just welcome those nazis for the sake of free speech or whatever. Cf previous part.
More recently, he also shared a huge list of filters he's applying to his timeline, to ensure he's not bothered with unwanted discourse. Sexism, violence, minorities, nazis…
It would be funny, coming from someone who constantly assimilates blocking and censorship, but it also reduce the chance he'll ever be confronted to the consequences of his actions.
He's constantly discussing and mocking moderation choices of other people that are trying to protect themselves.
## The harasser
I have to elaborate a little bit about this one, and things will get personal, because DashEquals was a member of the Funkwhale community.
On June 24th, we wrote together with the Funkwhale core team a statement to formerly support people blocking Gab (a nazi server) on the fediverse (<https://mastodon.eliotberriot.com/@funkwhale/102326269307126709>).
We explicitely stated that this wasn't up to discussion and debate in the comments, yet, he just couldn't help it (<https://linuxrocks.online/@DashEquals/102326804453476748>).
So he end up being blocked on fedi by the Funkwhale account for this reason. It could've end up here, but the day later, he asked on Matrix if he was still welcome in the community.
At the time, he was also targeting one of our mods, Ginny, and when put all the pieces together, including some mentioned in that post, we decided we wanted him gone.
I talked to him in private, in an attempt to prevent some unwanted discourse, both for him and for us. Obviously, it was a mistake, because it mainly protected him. I'm deeply sorry about that.
## Why today?
Of course, harassment against Ginny continued after he was kicked, and DashEquals even contacted me today because she was supposedly infringing our Code of Conduct. Read below, I'm speechless:
> I’m not trying to appeal my ban from the Funkwhale project, as it is ultimately your choice whether I’m allowed to be part of it, and I understand that the behavior that I have exhibited could reasonably be considered unacceptable.
> However, I encourage you to check this out: <https://kitty.town/@GinnyMcQueen/102411860344968494>
> I feel like the behavior exhibited there is definitely a violation of the Code of Conduct, in particular:
> Continuing to engage in conversation or inciting users to engage another user in continued interaction or discussion after a user has requested for said engagement to cease may be considered harassment, regardless of platform-specific privacy tools employed.
> (I requested that she stop talking about me here: <https://ap.torlipen.net/notice/9kgTjJF5eJXa7EP2HY>, she mocked my request)
> Intentionally posting or disseminating libel, slander, or other disinformation.
> Claiming I’m “obsessed” with her, I won’t stop harassing women, and that I “lost my absolute shit”
> Thank you for reviewing
What's going on is that DashEquals is trying to make Ginny looks like she's crazy. He's referring to a thread by her, posted yesterday: <https://kitty.town/@GinnyMcQueen/102411860344968494>. He says that, by doing so, she's not respecting his boundaries, blocks, etc.
What's going on is that DashEquals has been spreading lies and slander about her *for months*. Have a look at <https://ap.torlipen.net/notice/9kUFt1oqnrFDPZcITI>. Everything that DashEquals blames Ginny for, he's been doing *for months*.
What's going on is that DashEquals wants to isolate Ginny, and cut her from her friends. At the same time, by posting about her in public, he's making her a target for harassment and worse. This is disgusting.
Ironically, what's going on is that this person, who didn't care about user privacy when archiving berries.space, who can't live knowing someone blocked him, who don't care about nazis being there, now want to be protected from the consequences of his actions.
## So, what now?
This person is never wrong and never apologizes. He won't stop harassing Ginny, he's spreading dangerous ideas, he's acting as an enabler for even more toxic people and behaviours…
Ginny is in danger because of him. I assume this is possibly also the case for other marginalized people.
Telling him to stop didn't work. Kicking him out didn't work.
At this point, the only recourse we have is to cut *him* from his community, friends and networks. This is just damage control, to reduce his impact:
If he can't spread his shit, he'll be less harmful.
The only actual way to solve the issue would be for him to do some introspection and change, but I have a feeling this is not going to happen anytime soon.
If you want to help with this, here is a couple of ideas.
Are you working with him? Interacting with him? Following him? Is he a member of your communities?
Then please, confront him. Kick him from your communities if you can, or report him to mods and project managers otherwise. Ensure he's not welcome in your spaces. Report him.
Ensure he's blocked by you or, better, by your instance. This will protect you from him, reduce his visibility and make the fediverse a worse place for him.
Please, do this, and spread the word.
*Oh and, DashEquals, if you read this: don't bother contacting me, or Ginny. We're way past this point. You know what to do, and not to do.*
DashEquals, call out, toxic behaviour, harassment
So, we need to talk about DashEquals.
His behaviour is ranging from creepy to dangerous and abusive, with all the shitty variations in the middle.
One could write a book on him, but I lacked the time and will, so what I will share instead is a blog post documenting some known issues with him:
I'm sure you can share more.
Some people already called him out in the past, fought him, dealt with him and the consequences of his actions. Gathering evidences of his behaviour. Thanks, to all of you, because it made writing this easier.
In the next message, I'll include a full copy of the blog post linked above, so you can read/share it on fedi.
Thank you for spreading the word, and please, please, do not let this person (or anyone like him) in your communities.
I need to call out someone for their arm length history of shitty and toxic behaviour.
The thread will be under CW, but it may generate some discourse outside my control.
So, if you're fragile, tired, if this kind of topics is draining for you, you may want to add a filter for the terms "DashEquals", to avoid being exposed to this.
List of gab instances
Do boost and block.
Nazi dont need a platform and certainly not ours
@ Trans boys + men!
A casting call for a lead in a Netflix animated feature
video essay re: being nice to nazis, youtube
"Why Don't We Just Be Nice to the Nazis?"
A Steve Shives piece. Not going to tl;dr. Watch the whole thing.
TERF game dev warning
turns out this is the same guy who more recently was all "blocking gab violates freedom 0". so yeah he's arguing for nazi tolerance out of self interest because he knows it puts his terf beliefs in the same garbage pail.
common traits of this kind of response:
- sees naivete about how white supremacist patriarchy wields power as a kind of idealism
- harbors a view they know is hurtful enough they wouldn't want to air it in daylight without special protections