If you google the name of Model View Culture Founder and CEO Shanley Kane, quite a few headlines catch your eye. There’s “‘Yes, I was a Racist… and I’m Mentally Ill’: Shanley Kane in Shocking Social Media Meltdown”, or “The Madness of Queen Shanley”, or “I taught Shanley Kane how to Troll and I’m sincerely Sorry”.
In fact, Shanley Kane’s Google Search Results are mostly hot takes & smear pieces about her, many of which were written by just one guy: Milo Yiannopoulous. And of the smear pieces Yiannopoulous wrote, most of them rely heavily on just one inside source: Andrew Aurenheimer aka Weev, Internet Famous Neo-Nazi hacker and Shanley Kane’s ex-boyfriend. Although these guys accused Kane of being a former racist, the charge seems hypocritical to say the least. Weev and Yiannopoulous are active, continuing racists, who, (unlike Kane) have never publicly disavowed their racist beliefs.
Weev (real name Andrew Aurenheimer) has a fucking swastika tattooed on his chest. Weev got himself Internet Famous by hacking iPads, demanding ransoms, and by ruining his enemies’ credit scores. In 2005, weev doxed game developer Kathy Sierra, revealing her Social Security Number and home address. This semi-professional identity thief has been spouting neo-Nazi bullshit for years. In a 2008 interview with the New York Times, Weev said:
“Trolling is basically Internet eugenics,” he said, his voice pitching up like a jet engine on the runway. “I want everyone off the Internet. Bloggers are filth. They need to be destroyed. Blogging gives the illusion of participation to a bunch of retards. . . . We need to put these people in the oven!”
I listened for a few more minutes as Weev held forth on the Federal Reserve and about Jews. Unlike Fortuny, he made no attempt to reconcile his trolling with conventional social norms.
Weev never disavowed these beliefs. If anything, his love for white nationalism only intensified during his 2013-14 jail stint. A quick check of weev’s blog reveals he is just as proudly racist nowadays as he was in 2008.
Milo Yiannopoulous is also a racist, sexist, transphobic blowhard, whiling away his fading youth as #Gamergate’s pet journalist and resident gay man who hates gays on the Breitbart News team. When Yiannopoulous is not writing breathless smear pieces about women and minorities, he enjoys his degenerate British culture and the conspicuous consumption of luxury goods. Allegedly, Internet Draco Malfoy is writing a book about #Gamergate.
And yes, he too is a Neo-nazi. In his early twenties, Yiannopoulous published pictures of himself wearing Iron Crosses, and pictures of his favorite Hitler biographies. I’d ask Yiannopoulous how much Nazi costume jewelry a man can own before becoming a Neo-nazi himself, but I suspect the answer is “none whatsoever.”
These two Hitler-loving, women-hating, racist dudes are not what I would consider to be a credible source about anything, but their campaign to flood the Internet with bad press about Kane was taken seriously enough that Valleywag picked up the story. Even Kane’s former business partner jumped on the bandwagon, accusing Kane of mistreating the staff at Model View Culture. (Specifically, Kane’s ex-partner Amelia Greenhall denounces Kane for removing her name from Model View Culture’s founders, although Greenhall quit just four months after launch.)
It is a demonstration of sexism in action that Yiannopoulous’ accusations about Shanley Kane were uncritically repeated by mainstream tech news like Valleywag, without any discussion of Yiannopoulous’s own racist beliefs, or those of his source Weev. It is a demonstration of sexism in action that Yiannopoulous’s festering self-hatred and Weev’s batshit asshattery are disregarded so that Shanley Kane’s mental health can be dissected and opined about by people who never met her. It is a demonstration of sexism in action that Kane’s every move to re-establish & secure her own safety and privacy is seized upon by Yiannopoulous as an example of a paranoid feminist acting unreasonably.
Shanley Kane has been stalked by Yiannopoulous and her ex-boyfriend for months. If, in the end, Yiannopoulous’ campaign against Shanley causes more people to read Model View Culture (e.g. myself) it will be in spite of his attempts to discredit her, not because of them.
It annoys me that Yiannopoulous and Weev can put on 3-piece suits, appear on the TV news, and be listened to as professionals in their respective fields; while Kane is disregarded and minimized based on the Breitbart News articles written about her. Weev in particular is feared, even; other journalists tend to recite his various hacking achievements like a litany of conquered foes. But I’m not frightened of these guys, and I don’t take them seriously. Because once you strip away the hair bleach and nazi tattoos, Yiannopoulous and Weev are basically just two bullies nursing a grudge. And the worst thing you can do to a bully is mock them.
Edit: Added a photo of Weev and Milo.