Milo Yiannopoulos: In His Own Words

Actual Poems written by Milo Yiannopoulous ca. 2007

Actual chapbook of Milo Yiannopoulos poetry, written 2007

 

The hardest part about reading Milo Yiannopoulos lately is figuring out if he actually means what he says. His Breitbart persona is so trolly that it’s easy for Yiannopoulos to characterize anything he writes as a joke, and his critics as fools who can’t distinguish between reality and hyperbole. And because of this, it’s easy for Yiannopoulos to wash his hands of any individual thing he writes, even if it results in his subjects getting harassed or stalked by his readership.

But from what I can tell, Yiannopoulos sincerely means the repulsive stuff he writes. If you go back to Yiannopoulos posts written when he was writing for The Catholic Herald, he says the same things in a more serious-faced tone, befitting of the reputable media networks who used to give him column space. Having burned all his professional bridges back in 2013, Yiannopoulos paints himself ever deeper into his extremist corner, pandering to an increasingly cloistered audience of 18-to-34 year old white nationalists, #Gamergaters, and MRAs. Quality Yiannopoulos quotes are usually beyond parody.

So then, the best way to get to know what Yiannopoulos believes is to read his writings. But this too presents a problem, since Milo Yiannopoulos has racked up dozens if not hundreds of posts, and I want to sample this river of bile in a fair and balanced manner. To cover it all will take several stories, each episode covering a different chapter in Yiannopoulos’s life, dealings, and public statements. This initial release is the first two acts of what I expect to be a five-part retrospective about Yiannopoulos as he presents himself in his own words.

 

Part 1 – Catholic Guilt

 

Milo Yiannopoulos, growing up in Kent.

“Railway Toilets III”, by Milo Yiannopoulos

In a recent interview for Sky News about anti-gay hate crime in rural English villages, Yiannopoulos brought up his own childhood as a defense against the existence of gay hate crime in Britian. Yiannopoulos had this to say of his growing up:

“Well, I grew up in a very small village in Kent. And actually you know people who live in the country and who grow up in rural places in England are some of the most tolerant and some of the most welcoming, some of the loveliest people in the country… I’ve lived in a small community and I was noticeably different. I remain noticeably different… I was the only gay in the village, and as I said to you, my experience of rural English life has been delightful. The people of this country are some of the most tolerant, welcoming, open, wonderful people in the world.”

Rambling a mile a minute over the bamboozled host, who clearly wasn’t expecting to debate the existence of homophobia in Britian, Yiannopoulos insists “a vast ecosystem of largely publicly funded organizations” contribute to the appearance of homophobia where there is none. But in reality, Yiannopoulos seems to have experienced homophobia firsthand, both from his community and from within his own family.

Milo Yiannopoulos was born Milo Hanrahan on October 18, 1984. By Milo’s own accounts, his childhood was not a very happy one. In a Breitbart piece titled “I’m Glad my Mum Drank While Pregnant… I Might Not Be Here Otherwise“, Yiannopoulos states that his mother and father were “splitting up” around the time he was conceived, but stayed together because of the pregnancy. According to Milo, they separated when he was six.

Yiannopoulos’s mother appears to have rejected him when he came out, causing him to change his surname to “Yiannopoulos” around that time. Although Milo occasionally claims some Jewish ancestry, he was in fact “brought up Catholic” by his paternal grandmother. Indeed, Yiannopoulos still describes himself  in an AMA as “Basically mostly Catholic, though a terrible one.”

This grandmother appears to have been more supportive of Milo than either of his parents, allowing him to live with her in his teens and willing him money from her estate. In a 2012 obituary he wrote for his Nana Petra, Yiannopoulos relates what this was like:

Nana had spooky levels of intuition about people, which made her a fearsome adversary. Her annual feuds with my mother were spectacular – as, on occasion, was her language when my mother’s name came up. Needless to say, it was she who emerged victorious from the skirmishes, dusting off her velvet cuffs and muttering “uppity cow” under her breath. (This was to become a favourite expression of mine.) As a child, I remember Nana sweeping magisterially through the house in layers of silk and brocade, archly passing judgment on the issues of the day.

But she was a deeply tender woman, too, who loved unquestioningly and unconditionally, and enjoyed expressing her affection through matriarchy. I can’t imagine what trouble I must have put her through in my late teens, when I lived with her after finding it impossible to co-exist with either of my then-separated parents. She was there, looking on with mild astonishment but never disapproval, when I dressed up as Cleopatra and rolled myself up in her carpet, drunkenly sobbing and yelling “Where’s my Rex Harrison?” (I was 19.) …

Above all else, Nana enjoyed keeping an eye on things. Not just because she enjoyed a good snoop – though she certainly did – but because she was a woman for whom duty and care were the pre-eminent virtues. Without her, I would not have developed much of a sense of right and wrong. “You can be a catty little queen at times,” she’d say. “But your heart’s in the right place.” If she was right, it was thanks to her own instinctive sense of morality and her uncanny ability to suss people out.

She was by far the first person to twig that I was gay. My mother was awful about it, my father was surprisingly understanding, but Nana showed just the right amount of acceptance and concern. “It’s not a happy life,” she would say. “But if you stay safe and away from drugs, you’ll be alright.” Dad and I always laughed at that. “Just look at your bloody cupboards,” he’d say. “You’re the biggest junkie I know!” She’d allow herself a smirk at this, now and again, in between puffs of the Nebuliser.

Despite the support, Yiannopoulos has a pretty dim view of gay people and gay rights, including his own. In a piece written by Yiannopoulos in 2011 titled “Why I’ll Probably Never Be a Parent”, he relates his “horribly lonely, miserable experience”  of being a gay man, while forswearing the possibility of ever having children (which he very much seems to want):

But the thought that I might influence my child towards a lifestyle choice guaranteed to bring them pain and unhappiness – however remote that chance may be – is horrifying to me. That’s why, quite simply, I wouldn’t bring a child up in a gay household and, if by some chance I were to end up having a child with a woman, I would seek to insulate that child from inappropriate situations and influences until they were old enough to understand the principles, ramifications and, yes, the mechanics surrounding such an enormous decision. …

I’d describe myself as 90-95% gay. I would never have chosen to be this way. No one would choose it. You’d have to be mad. …

But everything isn’t OK. And, ceteris paribus, no one would choose to have a gay child rather than a straight one. It would be like wishing that they were born disabled – not just because homosexuality is aberrant, but because that child will suffer unnecessarily. Again, you’d have to be mad. Or evil. …

Is being homosexual “wrong”? Something somewhere inside of me says Yes. You probably don’t agree. But I think we can all agree that, unless you live in the cosseted bubble of a liberal metropolis, the reality of growing up gay for most people is a horribly lonely, miserable experience. (If you don’t know, take it from me: it is.) 

The feelings of alienation and rejection it engenders are responsible for the sorts of repugnant tribal posturing you see on the streets of Soho on a Friday night, as bitterly unhappy queers engage in degrading and repulsive behaviour, simply because they want to feel a part of something after a lifetime of marginalisation. …

Ironically, it’s precisely that profound feeling of being somehow broken that means a gay man’s sexuality often comes to be the defining characteristic of his personality. Who wouldn’t want to protect a child from a path that leads to such destructive self-loathing? …

But the battle for gay rights has been won. All these preening poofs in public life do is make life more difficult for regular young gay people by reinforcing the stereotypes about gay behaviour: reminding a struggling child’s myopic dad that queers are uppity, in-your-face, camp-as-tits faggots who’ll rape you as soon as look at you. …

Recently, a good friend of mine became pregnant. She’s a sassy chick with what the glossies call “a fabulous international lifestyle” and lots of metropolitan friends. But if the gags about fairy godmothers become more than a joke, I’ll probably, no doubt inappropriately, transgress the tested limits of our friendship and tell her so. Because her child deserves to be protected from the seedier aspects of life until properly equipped to cope with them.

And that’s why I’ll probably never have a child of my own – which isn’t a statement I make with any pleasure.

I think I’d have made a great dad. I mean, aside from being clever and charming and witty and fantastically good looking, I’d spoil them rotten while being fastidiously attentive to their academic performance and career aspirations. But it’s wrong to expose an innocent child to the possibility of gay influence.

I don’t hate myself and I don’t hate my sexuality. (Granted, I have a complicated relationship with the latter.) Nor do I hate other gay men. (Where would fat girls be without them?) But if my beliefs about raising kids get me branded a homophobic homo… well, so be it.

It’s hard to dismiss a post like this one as hyperbole: Yiannopoulos genuinely seems to believe being gay leads to “destructive self-loathing”, describes other gay people as “preening poofs” and “camp-as-tits faggots who’ll rape you as soon as look at you”, and believes that his friend’s baby-to-be “deserves to be protected” from gay men such as himself, because it’d be “wrong to expose an innocent child to the possibility of gay influence.” This suggests Milo is serious when he says “Kids need a Mum and a Dad” on Breitbart, or that “Gay Rights Have Made Us Dumber, It’s Time To Get Back in the Closet” or, “Gays! If you want to start giving blood, stop being sluts.” And when Milo’s sex partners post photographic proof of Yiannopoulos’s one-night stands, he looks kind of annoyed and depressed with the proceedings.

In fact, it appears Milo has tried to get back in the closet at least once. In a bizarre 2011 blog post titled “Engaged”, Yiannopoulos announced:

Yesterday I proposed to a woman I do not yet know intimately, but with whom I wish to share the next chapter of my life. She accepted.

It will be an unconventional marriage, to say the least, but I am confident we will make each other very happy. I hope you will join me in celebrating soon.

I don’t know which is sadder: for this announcement to be genuine, or just made up for appearance’s sake. At any rate, Yiannopoulos never mentions the engagement, or this unnamed woman, ever again.

 

Part 2 – Ambition and Failure

"April Friends Graph" By Milo Yiannopoulous

“April 2014 Friends Graph” By Milo Yiannopoulous. (Note “Number of Friends Made by Year”.)

 

Milo Yiannopoulos has fallen pretty far since Forbes called him “Digital Media’s Citizen Kane.” Posts from this stratum read like the first 1/3rd of Jurassic Park, with Yiannopoulos insisting The Kernel is a safe and worthy investment, as it became increasingly evident that everything was falling apart at the seams. By the end of his run as a media mogul, Yiannopoulos was blackmailing his employees in response to their lawsuit regarding Yiannopoulos’s nonpayment of wages. This 2012 interview, which I’m going to reprint in its entirety, marks Yiannopoulos’s zenith; his 15 minutes of fame as a controversial techno-conservative. But even at this moment of triumph, you can see the cracks in his story:

Out of the London tech scene comes a 28-year-old journalist/entrepreneur surrounded by controversy whereever he goes. Whether it was the publishing of his private dispute between himself and the tech editor of The Guardian or numerous public arguments on Twitter with start ups founders, editors and the self-proclaimed technorati — this is one man who isn’t afraid to say what he thinks.

Milo Yiannopoulos however is doing one thing that most media have become afraid to do. Speak up and out about hypocrisy and well, the white-washed news that colors the UK and European tech start up scene.  In 2011 and 2012, Yiannopoulos was named one of the 100 most influential people in the UK’s digital economy by Wired UK. He hosted the Young Rewired State competition in 2010 to showcase the tech talents of 15–18 year olds. He’s also an outspoken gay Catholic who writes for the Catholic Herald.

In 2011 his raison d’etre, the Kernel, was born. Today, December 19, The Kernel celebrates its first year in existence and proves it’s possible to bring back old school journalism, with some serious edge in the digital age.

The Kernel is a mash-up of Gawker meets Vanity Fair topped with technology, politics and media news and commentary the way you wish media would write about such things. Today, the Kernel has about 140,000 unique readers a month; 40% from the UK, 40% from the US and 20% from the rest of the world.

In honor of The Kernel’s first anniversary, Forbes caught up with bold Yiannopoulos to find out what makes him tick. (Answers in British English)

Forbes: Let’s start with something dark, what’s your addiction?

Milo Yiannopoulos: Seeing the wicked suffer. That sounds a bit psychologically disturbed, I know, but it’s the reason I went into journalism and I think it’s the reason most people do. I’m probably a bit more forthright about my opinions and prejudices than most journalists, but then I’m a columnist by nature, not a reporter. At the Kernel we very much see ourselves as crusaders for truth and justice, as daft as that sounds. Some people might find that sinister, but a strong editorial line has been a crucial part of our proposition from day one.

“A bit psychologically disturbed”? It sounds a lot psychologically disturbed – and it’s more disturbing when you consider how many times Yiannopoulos has launched full-on smear campaigns against individuals throughout his journalistic career. “Seeing the wicked suffer” is how Yiannopoulos justifies trying to smear his ideological enemies; “truth” and “justice” according to him are functionally indistinguishable from “malice” and “revenge”.

Forbes: Truth and justice –  admirable, but where does journalism fall between those pillars?

MY: The only publications that will make money are focused, high-quality publications with a ruthless attention to detail, publishing comment and analysis you can’t get anywhere else. Everyday news will just have to be subsidised by other things, because it will never make money.

Forbes: That’s a tall order, so why did you decide to take on the daunting task of digital publishing?

MY: I was, shall we say, invited to take a break from the national newspaper at which I cut my teeth – about four times. Mostly, it wasn’t my fault. But after the last incident I realised I was probably unemployable and that I should go freelance. I started looking around for a magazine or newspaper to approach for a column and realised there was really no one out there I wanted to write for. So, for the past year, I’ve been trying to create the magazine I always wanted to read: a blend of gossip, news, authoritative comment and analysis, with a healthy dose of mischief.

Forbes: You’re the harbinger of controversy. How do you reconcile your personal opinions with your knowledge of the facts versus the gossip you hear in the industry?

MY: I’m in a slightly odd position in that, as a journalist, I don’t have that many friends in the media.My friends are the entrepreneurs. It’s ironic, really, because it’s the entrepreneurs I give a hard time. As a result, I know the people and businesses in the technology industry intimately, and a lot better than my colleagues, but it can be difficult knowing so much more than you can ever publish. If I ever felt like burning all my bridges, I could have three months of riotous daily exclusives. It would probably bring down the industry.

Forbes: Well on that note, and this gives us a chance to see what you’re made of, what’s your biggest failure?

MY:I dropped out of university twice. I try to tell myself I’m in good company, but ultimately it doesn’t say great things about you unless you go on to terrific success in your own right – which, in my case, remains to to be seen. I may go back to Cambridge at some point. I know I should.But it’s hard when you’re approaching 30 and building a company and traveling all over the world and doing TV and all the other stuff people say you get your degree to be in with a chance of achieving to pull the plug and go back to writing essays about representations of addiction in Marlovian anti-heroes.

Talk about privileged. Some people don’t even get to attend university once, let alone drop out of it twice.

Forbes: What aspects of the character Charles Foster Kane, do you identify with the most?

MY: Inasmuch as I’m a publisher who ought never, ever to run for public office, yeah, maybe there are some similarities! Beyond that, I don’t know. As a side note, The Kernel’s version of “rosebud” is probably “mooncup”. Only long-time subscribers will know what that means.

Forbes: Is it safe to assume that Nick Denton influenced you?

MY:Absolutely. Gawker’s politics and business model are very different to ours, but I admire Nick enormously. He’s managed to build a profitable new media property from scratch, which is just extraordinary. And, more than that, Gawker is a powerful editorial force and a cultural icon.That’s what I’m most in awe of. I try not to pay too much attention to his legendarily bad-ass management style, though, because I’m not the best manager of people myself and I have a tendency to expect way too much from people. It’s hard but you have to accept that not everyone is going to be as invested in the project as you are.

Forbes: Since we’re on the topic of Gawker, let’s talk money. Denton had a lot of cash to start Gawker, you didn’t. What did it take to get investors to open their wallets for the Kernel? The funding of digital media outlets isn’t top of the heap.

MY: We’re engaged in the long process of another round of financing at the moment, after bootstrapping the company to this point. Of the five co-founders, three put in money a year ago when we launched. I’ve sunk about £50,000 into the Kernel so far, I think, most of which has gone on lawyers. But that’s just the cost of doing business, particularly doing a media business that publishes punchy editorial. I don’t know whether I should be proud of the fact that we spend double on lawyers what we do on editorial, but there you go. It’s an expensive business and I’m just trying to keep the company above water while we grow. Not drawing a salary for a year is no fun, though, let me tell you.

Remember, this is the interview listed #3 in the citations for Milo Yiannopoulos’s Wikipedia page; it’s his big claim to fame. But even here he admits he’s “boot-strapping the company”, and twice mentions the need for “another round of financing”, or “a bit more financial security.” He even says “Not drawing a salary for a year is no fun, though, let me tell you”, foreshadowing the very problem that ended up sinking the Kernel. In hindsight, is it any surprise this guy failed to pay his contributors?

But the real reason it’s difficult to get investment into media companies is that they just don’t make money. They never have. There are newspapers that have been run at a loss for almost their entire lives. The truth is, owning a media company is a luxury and it’s something that people do because they believe in a set of values and want to propagate their morals and their opinions. Only fools go into media to get rich, because a vanishingly small number of editorial products are profitable in their own right.

Forbes: Ok got it, no fools, only truth and justice. One year later, what’s missing now with the Kernel?

MY: We’ve just expanded into Germany, which is really exciting. What I need to do over the next six months is close enough money and grow revenues enough for us to open a New York office. I don’t see anyone in New York doing what Gawker used to do so brilliantly with Valleywag on the west coast, and I think our brand of journalism would go down very well there. But we need a bit more financial security before we make that leap, not least because I’ll then need to shuttle between London, Berlin and New York every month. Yuck.

Forbes: What do you want people to say about you? About the Kernel?

MY: I didn’t hate it when the Observer called me a pit bull, which I guess compared to other tech journalists I am. As for The Kernel, people sometimes say it’s the publication they hate, but they’re glad exists. I can live with that. I’ll admit I do get a kick out of rubbing humourless people’s noses in it sometimes. When we do silly, fun features like the “best butts in London tech”, other journalists go ape shit but the readers love it. That gets me off.

Forbes:  Why do you think you get people’s ire up so quickly? 

MY: It’s simple really. People get upset because we do something relatively unique in technology journalism: we tell the truth.

Forbes: Since you are crusader for journalistic integrity, what gets YOUR ire up? 

MY: I despise what the technology industry has done to language and the creep of words like “disruptive” into everyday speech. And it makes me mad that every idiot with a laptop is now a “CEO”. The Kernel’s style guide has an impressively long list of banned words. But that’s just nitpicking really. What matters is what people do. Great writing has no rules. It’s about telling a story with sharp language, a rampant imagination and a wicked sense humour.

Forbes: Even Hearst had an end game, what’s yours?

MY: I want The Kernel to be the Spectator of tech: a publication that commands respect and authority within its own industry, even if it’s occasionally purposefully reactionary, controversial or even childish,and a publication that translates the world it writes about for the educated layman, telling him what he needs to know and what to think about it. All things considered, we’ve made great strides in that direction already.

I’m unclear on why Forbes thought Yiannopoulos’s product was so valuable. Clearly, the market itself didn’t place a very high premium on “purposefully reactionary, controversial or even childish” news stories that told readers “what to think”. I know this because Yiannopoulos’s paid newsletter, the Nutshell, didn’t get enough subscriptions to cover the Kernel’s costs. What’s more, those who did subscribe to The Nutshell quickly unsubscribed, complaining that the paid newsletter arrived too infrequently to be worth the money.

To cope with the lack of funding, Yiannopoulos stopped paying his contributors, who were forced to make legal injuctions against him just to collect their salaries. He’s even on the record for threatening one of his contributors (former associate editor Margot Huysman) per email. She widely circulated these messages from Yiannopoulos during the 2012-2013 scandal:

On Friday, 14 December 2012, Milo Yiannopoulos <yiannopoulos@kernelmag.com> wrote:

You’ve already made yourself permanently unemployable in London with your hysterical, brainless tweeting, by behaving like a common prostitute and after starting a war with me, as perhaps you are now discovering.

On 17 Dec 2012, at 12:39, Milo Yiannopoulos <yiannopoulos@kernelmag.com> wrote:

You’ve not only torpedoed your chances of ever having a career in journalism in London, but you’re rapidly losing my sympathy as well.

The more I hear of your feverish gossiping, the more I’m moved to publish the real story. The shameless, disgusting, drunken sluttishness, about which the entirety of [redacted] was sniggering on a daily basis. Your reputation on the start-up scene, propagated by your ‘friends’. That *delightful* photograph from the [redacted] party.

Obviously, this attempt to silence Huysman backfired- she circulated these emails to pretty much anyone with an interest in the growing scandal, and Yiannopoulos found himself the subject of some pretty unflattering news stories from other technology journalists. Even in 2014, Milo held a pretty vicious grudge against Huysman:

I’m amazed Margot could form words to complain, she had so many dicks in her mouth at the time. Not that I’m judging: her lust for cock is second only to my own. But when someone alludes to me as a slattern I don’t go squealing to the papers. I accept it for the fact it is.

By March 2013 the Kernel went offline, and a high court ordered Yiannopoulos to pay back nearly 17,000 pounds he owed in back wages. Former Kernel Editor Jason Hesse had this to say of his boss Yiannopoulos:

Milo never paid me a penny for the work I did as editor, nor for the three months of hosting bills I paid for The Kernel, nor for the money I lent to him personally. Why he thinks he can just get away with it is beyond me. I hope that the high court’s order will help him finally understand that it isn’t his choice to decide whether or not he wants to pay me; it’s the law.” …

“His refusal to pay those people that he’d hired is simply unacceptable, though in hindsight, I don’t believe he ever had the money to pay me or Margot. It certainly would be interesting to see the company’s accounts.”

The Kernel also seems to have failed at ethical journalism. Investor & actual entrepreneur Steve Karmeinsky had this to say of Yiannopoulos’s startup:

“The Kernel had the opportunity to write about real issues in the London tech scene, which is one of the most vibrant and exciting technology development spaces globally, unfortunately, rather than that, it morphed into a celebrity/gossip magazine; rather than being the Economist of the sector, it was very much the ‘National Enquirer’. Further, it became just a mouthpiece for Milo Yiannopoulos to write nice things about his friends.”

The Kernel’s spectacular failure and Milo’s resultant Twitter slap-fights lost him still more friends & contributors. According to yet another Guardian article regarding the scandal: 

David Rosenberg, a university friend of Yiannopoulos’s – who co-founded the Kernel, but left day-to-day operations in January to work for location company FourSquare, remaining on the editorial board – told the Guardian: “I don’t like the way [Yiannopoulos] picks [virtual] fights with people … I tried to extricate myself from his fight-picking.”

He had not received a salary from the site, Rosenberg said.

It was next rumoured that [Yiannopoulos] would start a venture capital company, Hipster Ventures, that would take European startups and launch them on the US west coast. But Hipster Ventures, formed with university friend David Rosenberg, filed for dissolution on 26 July 2012, the day after Rosenberg resigned from the company leaving Yiannopoulos as the sole director.

Rosenberg told the Guardian he had been annoyed to discover that Yiannopoulos had included him as a director of Hipster Ventures “without really discussing it” and resigned his position as soon as he discovered it. He said he had made it plain to Yiannopoulos that it “won’t happen again”.

Ultimately, Yiannopoulos made arrangements with a German venture capital company (despite having derided venture capital as “a middle class dole queue” in the past) in order to pay off his debts and re-launch the Kernel. Reading this article about the buyout, it’s apparent how far Yiannopoulos has fallen in the eyes of his colleagues:

An infamous online magazine forced to close over unpaid wages is set to be re-launched with its divisive founder in charge after paying off debts of over £24,000. …

The site mixed bitchy gossip about the London tech scene, such as an article asking why one German entrepreneur is so sexy, with more considered think pieces. The site led The Observer to dub Yiannopoulos the “pitbull of tech media” while Forbes called him “digital media’s Citizen Kane”.

But the publication was dogged by complaints from employees and contributors of unpaid wages.

Yiannopoulos’s acerbic and often offensive tone – with articles such as “Put a sock in it you dickless wonders” about the number of women at tech conferences – also attracted numerous critics, including The Guardian‘s technology editor Charles Arthur whom Yiannopoulos claims led a “campaign” against the site.

The Independent on Sunday can reveal that The Kernel will be relaunched in August, backed by German venture capitalist firm Berlin42 and with Mr Yiannopoulos remaining as editor-in-chief.

Berlin42 has acquired the domain for an undisclosed amount, and founding partner Aydogan Ali Schosswald will join its newly formed publishing company, Kernel Media, as chief executive. Yiannopoulos, who has been based in Berlin since April, privately settled debts owed to six former employees and freelancers amounting to around £24,000 in April. He stresses he would not repeat the financial mistakes he made, saying Berlin42 was providing a “runway” to fund the relaunch.

This relaunch proved short-lived. Within six months, The Kernel was sold again, this time to The Daily Dot, and Yiannopoulos was demoted to the position of columnist at the publication he used to own. He only held this post for a few months. Reading articles of his from this time, such as “Why I think wearable tech is for creeps”, it’s not hard to to see why the Kernel let him go. At this point, Yiannopoulos seems to hold his own beat in contempt:

Well, first of all, the watches, headsets and assorted wearable paraphernalia released to the public so far are desperately unappealing. Ugly as all hell, in fact, as I put it last night when asked to speak to Sky News about this predictable industry failure.

Second, they are probably the creepiest set of products ever to come out of Silicon Valley—which is saying something.

That’s why celebrities have been reluctant to endorse them or be seen with them in public: They are too odd to appeal to normal people. I’ve got nothing against geeks, with their radical transparency agendas and horrible dress sense, but here in the real world being a geek is not and never will be cool. Sorry, but it’s true. …

So hideously weird are Google’s glasses that there’s even a name for people with the lack of manners and taste it takes to sport them: “glassholes.” And geeks who venture onto the street wearing Glass are being routinely assaulted by members of the public.

What’s mystifying are not the assaults but the brains of people who think it’s OK to wear surveillance cameras on their faces as they go about their daily lives. I hate to be rude, but is there something a bit…wrong with these people?

Leaving your office with a camera strapped to your face that could, at any moment, be secretly photographing women on the subway, or taking covert footage of private citizens, is a grotesque social provocation.

No civilised person would condone theft or physical assault, but I reckon most regular punters would agree that these glasshole provocateurs are getting exactly what they deserve.

Writing apologia for assault if the victim is wearing Google Glass a pretty extreme position for a tech journalist to take about the beat he covers. It almost seems Yiannopoulos grew to hate tech journalism after his failures at The Kernel. It also seems that #Gamergate found Yiannopoulos at just the right moment: Yiannopoulos hasn’t written anything for the Kernel or Business Insider since getting involved with #Gamergate.

Having destroyed his professional relationships, it would appear Yiannopoulos’s match with #Gamergate is one made out of necessity. He lacks the funding to create another start-up, and he lacks the professional cache to write for anywhere more substantial than Breitbart.com. Other failed journalists seem to hold him in contempt. Truthfully, he’s not an ideal candidate to be writing about ethics in games journalism – given Yiannopoulos’s personal history of stiffing his employees and blackmailing them to cover it up, it’s questionable whether Yiannopoulos actually knows what ethics are.

Thankfully, #Gamergate is not about ethics in games journalism, or at least not in any meaningful way. Functionally, it’s an online hate group dedicated to stalking a handful of women in tech, whose connections to white supremacists, illegal hackers, and other hateful losers has been pretty well documented. Since Yiannopoulos despises women in tech almost as much as his #Gamergate fans do, he sticks with them, willing to overlook their contradictory demands if they’ll overlook his personal hypocrisies.

In my next installment, I’m going to go discuss where Yiannopoulos went next with his career – namely, to internet stardom in a little hate group named #Gamergate. I do hope you’ll join me for that, and thanks for reading.

 

 

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Eron Gjoni, Hateful Boyfriend

Eron Gjoni, your number is up.

Eron Gjoni in a rapidly descending elevator, I presume. (Artist: Sarah M.)

So, there’s this indie game I bought recently, called “Hatoful Boyfriend”. It’s a Japanese PG-13 dating simulator, except that the rest of the student body besides you are man-sized birds with human characteristics. The player spends the entire game building romantic relationships with pigeons, doves, quails and one demented partridge. The player character, seemingly the only human woman left on earth, lives in paleolithic conditions in a cave in the middle of the countryside, like some kind of outcast from bird society.

Spoiler Alert: as you might have guessed, the special new game + ending gave me the idea for the title of this article.

I’ve covered Eron Gjoni and his ugly breakup before; starting with Gjoni’s tell-all AMA in #burgersandfries. I’ve also written of the dishonest blog post he published downplaying his involvement in harassing Zoe Quinn, and Eron’s successful efforts to get the #gamergate rage mob to pay his legal fees, because he keeps violating his restraining order. I’ve even written about his unusual and timely friendship with Mike Cernovich, part-time attorney and full time juice bro.

But somehow in writing about this duplicitous 24-year-old from Massachusetts I’ve failed to capture the forest by describing the trees. There are still people who think that Quinn abused Eron, instead of the other way around; who think he engaged with #gamergate in the interest of quelling the harassment against Quinn instead of using it as his personal army/fan club. Granted, many of those people are his stalwart allies and I don’t think I can change their minds. Those tools would rather not contemplate the hand which wields them.

But to those who assume Eron wouldn’t lie about being abused, or that there are two sides to every story; I would like to present the side the evidence is on. Because this story is not a he-said, she-said. It’s not even about Zoe Quinn. This story is about a hateful boyfriend, who, once denied a relationship with Quinn committed himself to ruining her life. And today, I’m going to publish the pictures of him doing it, going all the way back to August. I’ll put a summary at the end of this post, supported by the evidence I’m about to present.

Part 1/5: “Set Odds of Harassment at 80%”

Eron filled his zoepost with salacious details about Quinn’s sex life because he knew it would be the best way to get 4chan’s attention. He admitted that Quinn was likely to be harassed as a result of these postings.

oddsofharassment

Eron Gjoni, admitting that his retribution fanfiction was banned from two of the three communities in which he promoted it.

From the very beginning, Gjoni wanted to make sure his zoepost would connect with a large base of people. Here, he shares a screencap of him workshopping thezoepost on Facebook with his friend, Rachel. (Note the date, August 6, about a week before he published it.) He posted this screengrab in October, well after Quinn filed a restraining order to try and shut him the fuck up.

Here is is with his friend Rachel, dicussing how to make the post entertaining.

Here he is with his friend Rachel, dicussing how to make the post entertaining, like a Tucker Max story or a Penthouse Letter.

He spent weeks crafting it and sharing drafts with close friends of his, weighing the pros and cons of this course of action. His mom even told him not to post it, although Eron didn’t take her advice.

Gjoni knowingly shared the so-called “zoepost” with 4chan hours after it went live. I know this because the post originally contained this welcome message for 4chan traffic. Eron’s since changed his TL;DR; this is the original header to his tell-all post.

The original header for thezoepost. Note the welcome message for readers linked from /r9k/.

TL;DR welcome 4channers, if you’re coming here from the thread I made on /r9k/

This directly contradicts Eron’s later narrative that 4chan simply happened to find his postings. He promoted them on the site; I know how this works because I own a blog myself. To be clear, this is the OP of the 4chan thread Gjoni’s talking about:

TLDR Zoe Quinn, a rabid feminist SJW GAMUR GIRL who made a shitty non-game called Depression Quest, just got outed for BRIBING THE MEDIA INTO LIKING HER SHITTY NON-GAME WITH HER VAGINA BY cheating on her boyfriend with 5 other guys, including Kotaku staff members who defended her online and reviewed her game and HER MARRIED BOSS. She is a manipulative liar and a sociopath.

At this point, 4channers were digging into every aspect of Quinn’s life, to see if they could shake loose another humiliating detail to add to the thread, for example, nude photos of Quinn, or the name of the wife of one of the men with whom Quinn allegedly had sex.

As if a post welcoming 4channers to his site wasn’t enough, Eron also joined the 4chan discussion to give the mob more material about his ex-girlfriend’s sex life and whereabouts. Here’s a picture of him entering the 4chan thread:

Eron Gjoni, discussing Zoe Quinn's sex life and whereabouts in one post on 4chan.

“Eron here: Yes she was in Virginia during January… still though, super shitty if she fucked you in January, because that would mean [ZQ] fucked you two weeks before confessing she was in love with me.”

To prove he was the real Eron Gjoni, he posted this note on his blog, linking to his 4chan post number. The only reason I can see why Eron would so definitively prove his identity was to certify to the fomenting mob that his ZQ gossip was the straight poop, so that he could obtain control of the harassment he had engendered against Quinn.

It’s important to note that Zoe Quinn had been harassed by channers in the past. Eron knew this had happened, which encouraged him to seek out this community as an audience for his writings. His intent with thezoepost seems to have been to destroy Quinn personally and professionally as an act of revenge. This next message (which Eron posted on Twitter and later deleted) suggests he even wanted to break her psychologically.

"No. Has been in correct proportion to meet all goals. Except the goal of getting Zoe into therapy." - Eron Gjoni

Harassing ZQ over the internet is how Eron shows how deeply he cares about her mental health.

Part 2/5: “I’m Zoe Quinn’s Ex, Ask Me Anything!”

Once it was clear that thezoepost had hit its mark, Eron began to bask in the sweet e-fame and e-sympathies of other angry, entitled men on 4chan, Reddit, and the IRC channel #burgersandfries. At the time, he was confident he would never face serious blowback for his actions.

eingj3

To keep his readers coming back for more, Eron made sure to lay on the cheesecake in his AMAs: details about Zoe Quinn’s sex life made available for public consumption. He began calling around at hotels Quinn had stayed at, trying to gather proof she had stayed there to commit infidelities, and wasn’t simply traveling for business. He didn’t find any proof of that, but he kept saying she slept with folks while travelling anyway.

Eron Gjoni, inquiring about his ex-girlfriend's whereabouts with certain hotels for 4chan's benefit

Eron Gjoni, inquiring about his ex-girlfriend’s whereabouts with certain hotels for 4chan’s benefit

Eron, unable to confirm that ZQ cheated with some rando in a Comfort Inn but keeping 4chan entertained

Eron, unable to confirm that ZQ slept with some guy at Comfort Inn, but keeping 4chan entertained

It didn’t even matter if the stuff Eron was telling them turned out to be false in the end. So long as he was stirring the pot (and maintaining a veneer of “plausible deniability”) he was getting positive attention while Quinn was being pilloried. It seems like Eron wanted to reassert control over her life by using 4chan like a hundred cats-paws; puppets whose reward in this was a voyeuristic intimacy in Zoe Quinn’s life. That would explain all the porn about her.

Eron started using anon accounts for “plausible denaibility.” He didn’t find any evidence that Quinn stayed at Comfort Inn on the day he thought.

 

Note that Gjoni doesn’t condemn harassment of Quinn at all at this point. Throughout August he was basically just giving them information, without comment on the harassment he knew was taking place. (Those are my 4chan source threads, which are misogynist as fuck.) As late as September 7 he was harassing Quinn over Twitter directly.

Look what I found! A vengeful asshole!

Look what I found! It’s Eron harassing Quinn directly on Twitter.

The veracity of Gjoni’s claims were irrelevant because the purpose of these accusations were to keep up return traffic to Eron’s threads. Splashing specific details and innuendo about Quinn’s sex life around was how Eron kept people interested and convinced 4chan that this battle was worth fighting for him. Essentially, it was a price paid to get #gamergate to rally to Gjoni’s cause. The more details he could release, the better. For the people he was aggregating, violating Quinn’s privacy was part of the thrill.

Naming her friends, sex partners.

Naming her friends, sex partners during an AMA on #burgersandfries.

The anons on /r9k/ were 0nly too willing to humor Eron, and act as his tools. They hated Quinn already, and went out of their way to follow the trail he marked for them, straight to her nude pictures and identities of her friends. Gjoni laid it out like a trail of breadcrumbs; like he does here with Lawfag. Eron does this so he can skirt responsibility for his actions.

eingj2

Basically Eron used the anons on 4chan as cat-paws, to harass Quinn for him. He maintained an illusion of control over the mob by sending them tips, like this one publishing an old username of hers or this one, about her history in the adult entertainment industry. Here is is on Reddit doing just that: (qrios is his screenname, by the way)

It is known that the best way to quell an angry mob called together against one's ex is to discuss how to obtain erotic photographs of her she made for money.

Confidential to the tool who spent $10 on Zoe’s nudes: Eron should reimburse you for the expense.

As you can see in the sceencap above, Eron was lavished with sympathy by the mob; and he still is. His claims that he was walking into a “hatebox” to calm the harassment against Quinn is just so much lies. They treated this guy like a prince and were hanging off his every word, which undoubtedly stoked Eron’s ego. If anything #gamergate is a mirror which, to paraphrase Virginia Woolf, reflects Eron at twice his natural size.

Lesbian Innuendo

Eron Gjoni, discussing Zoe Quinn’s alleged sex partners with Camera Lady, certified lesbian and internet stalker.

What was in it for these anons was a chance to enjoy watching Quinn be pilloried for a variety of transgressions; which range from infidelity, to ‘sleeping her way to the top’ of her industry, to dyeing her hair the wrong color. Eron was only too willing to encourage & embolden them, because he desperately wanted to restore his control over Quinn’s life, even if that meant harassing her into killing herself. He was willing to engage with the literal scum of the Internet to get his way.

Here, he’s chatting with indefatigable internet detective and serial catcaller Camera_Lady, one of Quinn’s most tireless stalkers. As recently as last Tuesday Camera_Lady was stalking Quinn, discussing her “infidelities” on a new Twitter account (CL’s evading a Twitter suspension for harassment, but she and Eron are still in contact.)

"Okay, so, since she left the indie scene [Zoe] has slept with 90+ people" - Eron Gjoni entertaining his mob

“Okay, so, since she left the indie scene [Zoe] has slept with 90+ people” – Eron Gjoni entertaining his mob

This is like one of those big fish stories. C’mon Eron, how many was it, five guys or ninety people? From August 11- September 5 the number kept increasing, like you couldn’t keep your story straight or started embellishing it for the crowd. You’ve even admitted that some of the alleged infidelities occured when you two were broken up.

Of course in Eron’s mind, Zoe deserves this, his revenge quest to obtain control over her life by any means necessary. He’s even equated the harassment he engendered with the income on Quinn’s Patreon, as if it’s some perverse gift he’s giving her, instead of a seemingly never-ending and very dangerous situation.

"It's okay that I did this because Zoe's making money on Patreon"

“Professional Victimhood” logic at its tersest.

Part 3/5: Coaching the Mob, Denying Personal Involvement

I doubt Eron thought anybody outside of 4chan’s /r9k/ would ever know he was involved in shaping the harassment campaign which eventually named itself #gamergate. So when Zoe Quinn published some of her own screengrabs in the first week of September, he began to distance himself from the harassment campaign, writing mealy-mouthed tracts on his blog about how these people harassing ZQ were only “human” and he was basically still a nice guy, and also that Zoe was a public danger, like a runaway truck.

Excuses, excuses.

“It’s not revenge, she’s a danger to all of videogames!” Yeah I really believe you, Eron.

Even so, Gjoni couldn’t really stand to be separated from the movement which lavished him with so much sympathy and attention, and his ex with the harassment he believes Quinn deserves. So Eron moved his involvement behind the scenes, searching for a way to still be in control of his ex’s harassment without appearing that way.

I mean he is the "pope" of #gamergate (no offense, @Popehat)

I mean he is the “pope” of #gamergate (no offense, @Popehat)

To better conceal the reality of the harassment he engendered, Gjoni began coaching those following him so that their harassment of Quinn was as “plausibly deniable” as his own, to use Eron’s words for it. For example, he shared his derailing tactics with the #gamergate mob on reddit and in #burgersandfries. That’s why they’re known for rattling off “it’s about ethics in games journalism” like Catholics say Hail Mary, even though Gjoni’s post had nothing to do with journalism, and Gjoni’s admitted as much. 

Eron Gjoni, offering pointers on "ethics in games journalism."

Eron Gjoni, coaching people on Reddit to talk about “journalism” when confronted with criticism about the movement’s focus on Quinn.

When he thinks women can see what he writes, Eron’s strategy has been to paint himself as a poor nice guy whose personal blog post somehow fell into 4chan’s hands, so that Gjoni really had no choice but to involve himself in their discussions. It’s very important to Eron that he not appear like an angry stalker, so he peddles this tale of trying to de-escalate the harassment of Quinn once it begun; giving any reason but the truth about why he was in those threads, doing those AMAs.

They just listen to me, I'm not their leader or anything

They just listen to me, I’m not their ‘leader’ or anything

In Gjoni’s twisted reasoning he kept back just enough information to protect ZQ from “undue harassment”, and all the specific details he did release about her (like her weight) were fair game. According to Eron and his reality-distortion field, Quinn should be thanking him right now for his discretion. But in reality he gave 4chan all the information they needed to dox her, dropping hints when he was afraid that just coming out and stating the facts would leave him legally responsible for incitement.

"Heck -- Zoe Quinn isn't even her real name."  Eron's idea of "protecting" ZQ from an angry doxxing mob

“Heck — Zoe Quinn isn’t even her real name.” Eron’s idea of “protecting” ZQ.

I’ve said this before, but if Eron tried to draw a line here with regards to how much information was too much to release, he missed it by a country mile. I suspect that Eron’s desire to “protect” his ex from harassers extends only as far as he might be legally culpable for what happens to her; and that the more pressing reason he represents himself as a “victim of abuse” on Twitter is because he’s the kind of guy who wants revenge without appearing in public like a vengeful asshole. He certainly seems to bristle at any depictions of himself in the media which are less than flattering.

Eron Gjoni

Apparently this is a contest for “pity points”

At times it almost sounds like Eron’s jealous of Quinn for taking up so much of #gamergate’s attention; and angry that his plan to shame her out of the industry backfired. (Eron’s currently unemployed, having been asked to resign after his employers learned about thezoepost.) He seems bitter that he’s consistently portrayed by the media as a hateful boyfriend, whereas Zoe gets invited to interview with the BBC about #gamergate. Gjoni even blames 4chan for ruining this for him, since the average anon is not nearly as clever as he:

"I didn't fan the flames! I only gave them information  with which Zoe *couldn't* be hurt!"

Eron Gjoni expected 4chan wouldn’t be so harebrained with their conspiracy theories; which tells us a lot about Gjoni.

Part 4/5: Eron Gjoni vs. The Restraining Order

Courtroom illustration of Zoe Quinn (Credit: Scott Pilgrim)

Courtroom illustration of Zoe Quinn, evil ex-girlfriend (Source: Scott Pilgrim)

On September 23, Eron Gjoni began crowdfunding a legal defense to combat a restraining order Quinn filed against him, which included a gag clause to prevent him from discussing her online. He sourced these monies from the same people who tried to get Quinn investigated for tax fraud because of her previous success with crowdfunding.

Eron Gjoni, begging for money so he can continue talking shit about his ex online.

Eron Gjoni, begging for money so he can continue talking shit about his ex online.

Eron promised to post everything in the court case if he should win, as a reward for his backers. He was going to make it “amusing”, just like he did for thezoepost.

I will publish the affidavit, as well as the evidence in my defense [this will be public record, after all] in an amusing write-up or heavily auto-tuned whatever. And if that doesn’t convince you just how terribly low LW is willing to stoop, or just how much she doesn’t at all believe in the values she claims to uphold — then I give up. – Eron Gjoni, Sept 23

Oh, to be sure, he asked for nobody to harass “LW” Literally Who, a.k.a. Quinn; but only so he wouldn’t find himself legally imperiled by said harassment, which he knew was continuing apace. These weak denunciations of the harassment he knowingly engendered read like an effort of Gjoni’s to cover own his ass while he violates his RO.

The second is that no one harass LW over this…. In this particular case, harassment on anyone’s part would basically allow LW to claim that my simply asking for help with legal fees constitutes a violation of the order. She might claim that it constitutes a violation even if no one harasses her, but whatever. (I’ve already gotten a call from a concerned and sympathetic police officer for supposedly violating the order presumably for just doing a podcast interview, because as worded, I guess it just means LW is god and can call whatever she wants a violation). The lawyer I intend to hire disagrees, and says I shouldn’t worry about it, because of like, the constitution or whatever, but I won’t get into that.  – Eron Gjoni, calling his ex “Literally Who” while violating his new RO.

Obnoxious double standard aside, Gjoni raised about $2500 on GoFundMe in a matter of hours, violating his restraining order on the GoFundMe page and also by appearing on a podcast hosted by KingofPol a few days later. In that podcast, Eron discusses Quinn’s new relationship and shares tons of details about the new guy, Alex Lifschitz. Listen here, Eron enters the discussion around the 39:00 mark.

Eron also had a friend, Ben Hitov, write about his court hearings on Reddit; to prove to his backers their money was well-spent. I covered this back in October, and Eron admitted to me he’d instructed this person to act as his cat’s paw:

Using 3rd parties to violate his restraining order is a common Gjoni tactic.

Using 3rd parties to violate his restraining order is a common Gjoni tactic.

Eron, or maybe his friend Ben, also posted a picture of his RO to 8chan. I can say that because Hitov offered to share that same RO with Mike Cernovich. Does that sound crazy and stupid to you, too? Well, here’s Hitov telling Cernovich he would do just that on Twitter.

using his friends as tools

Juice Bro Lawyer & Hitov, who Gjoni’s been using a a tool. Some friends you got, Ben.

And do you remember that time I doxed Cernovich back in October, and he responded by screaming Zoe Quinn’s legal name from the rooftops of the internet? Well, Eron RTed that too.

B1Rg8UeCcAEx127

Eron has violated his restraining order repeatedly, showing a callous indifference to the law as well as Quinn’s safety. I imagine it gives his realspace lawyer migraines, even as Mike Cernovich (part-time lawyer, full-time stalker) assures Eron he’s in the right. However I think Eron will find he’s writing his own ticket to unemployment and criminal indictment, just like Mike’s dealt with.

 

Part 5/5: Eron Gjoni, Self-Made Man

"... you loved me, did you not?" > Yes     > Yes     Yes

Writer’s conception of Eron Gjoni’s endgame

Despite all of this, Eron Gjoni would desperately like to believe he is a nice guy. And he wants us to believe he’s a nice guy, too. That’s why he goes on these extended, reality-bending PR campaigns, that’s why he claims he’s a feminist on his Tumblr. As the chances of his triumphing over Quinn grow increasingly remote, Eron would like to distract us with anything he can, so that he don’t see him as he really is. Unfortunately, the evidence is everywhere.

He’s not even sorry for causing all this trouble for his ex; Eron thinks Quinn’s been adequately compensated.

""Professional victim" implies I profit from my victimhood. I don’t. In fact, my victimhood costs me quite a bit of money. For professional victim — see ZQ. Who is literally making $4k a month for getting harassed. " - Eron Gjoni

“”Professional victim” implies I profit from my victimhood. I don’t. In fact, my victimhood costs me quite a bit of money. For professional victim — see ZQ. Who is literally making $4k a month for getting harassed. ” – Eron Gjoni

In the classic logic of someone backed into a corner, he even claims this is somehow good for him, even though his revenge quest has backfired in most of its objectives.

No regrets, no remorse.

No regrets, no remorse.

One of the weirdest things about following this whole scandal is how many times I’ve told Gjoni what he’s doing is a bad idea and that he should stop. And I’m not the only one, yet Gjoni continues. Here, he curtly rebuffs the advice of one of my readers:

"It's not too late to avoid your destiny as a r/mensrights all-star." Except, sadly, when it is.

“It’s not too late to avoid your destiny as a r/mensrights all-star.” Eron was told this in October, but persisted anyway.

What kind of abused person would continue on a self-destructive warpath to destroy the person abusing them? What kind of person needs to reserve the right to harass their ex online for months at all? Why put himself through more grief, now that the news is out and everyone knows the ‘truth’ he wants us to believe? What more could he possibly have to say about this breakup?

Indeed, Eron’s compulsion to talk about Quinn is telling. In his own mind, it’s like some titanic conflict; as if his love life is literally the most important thing on the internet.

In Eron's mind, Zoe's the face which sent a thousand angry emails to Gawker.

In Eron’s mind, Zoe’s the face which sent a thousand angry emails to Gawker.

I think Eron would like the endgame of this saga to play out with him somehow triumphing over Quinn. As that becomes increasingly unlikely he has become desperate to prove his revenge quest was justified. Instead, Eron’s reduced to writing increasingly psychotic blog posts on his Tumblr, blaming everyone but himself for his current situation while waiting for his next hearing date to come around. He’s a quote wherein he quite literally he wishes death on SJWs via surgical accidents as a result of his being dismissed over thezoepost.

Here’s a tip though. next time you go to the ER, make really fucking sure the surgeon has grey hairs.
Or better yet. Don’t do that, and let that surgeon go work on someone who actually deserves to live. Eron Gjoni, c. Nov 7 2014

The stuff I’m publishing now is just the tip of the iceberg; I could probably write five more articles with the material I’m sitting on.

I suppose I should detail one personal prejudice which disposes me against Eron. Over the course of writing about him in this space for the last three months, Eron has hit on me about five times; accusing me of liking him or offering to take me on a date. It’s gross, and he admits to doing that for that effect.

And of course he was doing it to gross me out, the tease.

And of course he was “doing it to creep me out.” What a card.

He also does it to other people, like Greenduch, a Reddit moderator.

And I'm not the only one. Eron also does it to mod who are critical of him.

“So you wanna go on a date?” – Eron Gjoni, hitting on a Reddit moderator right after a ban.

I have to say that being hit on when I back Eron into a corner logically doesn’t help me believe he’s not willing to lie through his teeth to save his hide. But that’s just an impression I get, as someone totally grossed out with his narcissistic, manipulative behavior.

 

Summary

1. Eron knowingly promoted his tell-all blog post about Quinn on 4chan, knowing it was likely to cause harassment.

2. Rather than try to quell the harassment (As he might have you believe), Gjoni actually basked in the attention, to try and stir up even more agita against his ex.

3. Once confronted with his actions, Eron tried to distance himself from #gamergate, and move his involvement of Quinn behind the scenes. Unfortunately we have evidence of this string-pulling.

4. Eron’s fight against his restraining order is merely a continuation of the harassment he was already engaging in. If he wins his legal battle he’s likely to post even more private info about Quinn as a reward for his backers.

5. Gjoni has essentially ruined his good name in pursuit of this revenge quest. He knows this, and it makes him bitter that his plans to sideline Quinn in her own industry have backfired so spectacularly.

6. Gjoni sexually harasses women critical of him; especially when caught in a lie or backed into a corner logically. I find this a telling clue about his real attitude about women, although Gjoni claims to be a feminist.

Five Ridiculous #GamerGater Myths about Zoe Quinn

Zoe Quinn, moments before forcibly shipping 20,000 #Gamergaters to Dubai

Zoe Quinn, moments before exporting 20,000 #Gamergaters to Dubai in shipping containers. (credit: Eden of the East Wikia)

What’s happening, friends? Ah, nothin’; just browsing the internet about this latest trending thing called “#gamergate.” These dudes really seem to hate this woman I’ve never met, they make her sound like a camp monster. I made a list of some of the dumbest things #gamergaters actually believe about her.

5. Zoe Quinn slept her way to prominence in indie gaming. 

According to #gamergate canon, allegations about Quinn’s sex life were the straw that broke the gamer’s back. Way back when Gjoni published thezoepost in August, the putative #gamergate read about Quinn’s relationship with Nathan Grayson, a Kotaku journalist and they all just flipped.

#gamergaters somehow believed Quinn’s relations with Grayson was tantamount to her sleeping with him to obtain a favorable review of Depression Quest. However Grayson never reviewed Depression Quest, and never published anything about Quinn in Kotaku once their relationship began. If Grayson had written anything about Zoe Quinn after beginning their relationship, the ethically culpable party would have been Grayson. But Grayson never reviewed Depression Quest, so no ethical breach occured.

Still, this spun out to create the wider myth that Zoe slept with more people (the “Five Guys” of which Eron wrote, and then even more people) as if each liason earned her Video Game Industry Points or something. I probably shouldn’t have written that though; in case someone makes a flash game.

4. Zoe Quinn exploits her supporters for personal gain. 

This one is a favorite of Lawfag’s and was a popular mission in the #burgersandfries chat room back in mid-August. The primary evidence cited in the logs (as I covered here) was some successful crowdfunding campaigns conducted by Quinn, some about games and others not (one was to replace a stolen pocketbook.)

Suspicious of her success at raising money, #gamergaters were eager to prove Quinn had embezzled donations… so they tried to get her audited by the IRS. But during his extended Q&A Gjoni didn’t have any evidence of financial misconduct on Quinn’s part, and was reduced to criticizing her for doing things like negotiating contracts and having industry friends I mean, arrogance and rank nepotism.

To date I’ve found no evidence that Zoe Quinn is somehow stealing the funds people give to her as donations. The semantics of that are essentially weird. And as Save the Queen noted on We Hunted the Mammoth, Depression Quest costs nothing on Steam. (You may donate money if you choose.) This is hard to reconcile with #gamergater’s conception of Quinn as greedy.

And it’s not just about money. According to this reddit thread from yesterday about my most recent exploits, Zoe Quinn is a manipulator and I’m her thrall.

Dammit, I knew I should have trademarked that one.

Dammit, I knew I should have trademarked that one.

Triple Score: reddit user Hells-Drunkard goes directly from calling me “easily manipulatable” to grousing about Zoe Quinn’s Patreon Account and “playing the victim.”

hmm

She is good at manipulating easily manipulatable people. Don’t give her so much credit.

All she has to do is tell her followers who to hate and they jump. They pay her 3k a month for playing the victim and making nothing of any quality.

 

3. Zoe Quinn fakes the threats she receives, thus playing the victim.

This is probably definitely not true, unless the entire 2,500-page, 10-point type bulk of the IRC chatroom #burgersandfries (which was dedicated to harassing the holy hell out of Quinn) is fiction.

Which it’s not; the entire log was posted by pro-#gamergate folks to try and exonerate them, or prove that these comments were cherry-picking when the whole damn log was like that. The interview Eron Gjoni gave for #burgersandfries shows that they thought ZQ made shit up even then; e.g. about being mugged or with regards to past cases of harassment.

For a few days after #burgersandfries broke, #gamergate also tried to pass off the screencaps Quinn published as fake; as if she’d fabricated them herself in IRC using confederates. #gamergaters believe Quinn is capable of such devious cover-ups because #gamergaters themselves use the exact same tactics to cover their own asses.

2. #gamergate isn’t about Zoe Quinn (anymore)

Even today in 8chan, everybody’s happy to start a bandwagon hating on Zoe Quinn. Here’s a thread from 8chan about a blog post written by part-time internet attorney, full-time beserker MRA Mike Cernovich; where he screams Quinn’s legal name from the rooftops of the internet in response to my posting a photograph of his house on the internet yesterday; so this is very recent.

Cernovich and the rest of #gamergate immediately attack ZQ for something I did; Cernovich by publishing more court documents, like I expected he might and #gamergate by discussing all the reasons they never liked Zoe Quinn anyhow.

meaculpa2

“purple haired landwhale”… “She looks photoshopped, I know she isn’t but damn girl u fat” – Anons (Source: 8chan/gg)

"This is why the nude photos of her younger and slimmer self were a favor to her. Was it worth it, Nathan?" - Anon, being a real creep (Source: 8chan)

“This is why the nude photos of her younger and slimmer self were a favor to her. Was it worth it, Nathan?” – Anon, being a real creep (Source: 8chan)

And lest you think I’m cherrypicking, or that hating Quinn is somehow unusual for #gamergate, the thread goes on in this vein. Posting pictures of Zoe Quinn, unflattering photoshops of the same, discussing her appearance, weight, how ZQ makes one 8chan anon want to “blunt a kitten with a sledgehammer.”; it’s all in there! But #gamergate lacks this self-awareness, and would like to think Quinn is so over, even as they spout bile about her at that very moment.

"Nobody cares about you anymore" except this guy, and all the other people in this thread and hundreds of others

“fuck off zoe. no-one fucking cares about you anymore. choke on my sage” – Anon, not caring about ZQ at all (Source:8chan)

 

1. Zoe Quinn killed a man

According to a photographer on Facebook, Zoe Quinn hired her to take pictures for a “softcore/ alt erotica” photo shoot in 2007. According to the photographer, whose name is Malorie Nasrallah, Quinn and she chatted; and during that conversation Quinn said she was attacked by a man and stabbed him in the face. There’s even a smoking gun:

The smoking gun: a redacted, undated email exchange. Allegedly Locke = Zoe Quinn

The smoking gun: a redacted, undated email exchange. Allegedly, Locke = Zoe Quinn (Source: Mallorie Nasrallah)

You’ll notice that I summed it up pretty quickly, although Malorie’s piece is 1,350 words long. That’s because most of what she wrote is actually Malorie grousing about Zoe Quinn as a client.

By time I arrived in Albany, Zoe had cancelled one of the three shoots we had planned. She lived in a tiny apartment with her boyfriend / spouse / lover (I did not ask personal questions) and her roommate. I had been assured I could over night with them, and that they had room to accommodate a guest, and room to shoot in. They had neither. We ended up doing an impromptu shoot in the extremely crowded apartment, in the middle of the night, to try to save the shoot.

– Malorie Nasrallah, grousing

I understand why this might be frustrating. That certainly does sound unprofessional. But it sounds like Nasrallah’s poisoning the well: because Quinn did not perform to her professional standards at a photoshoot, this is supposed to lend credence to the claim Quinn stabbed someone.

While we tried to plan a shoot for the next day Zoe, and Co. chatted with me. She claimed to have stabbed a man – attempted rapist – in the face, who had grabbed her. She relayed to me no less than three other accounts of alleged violent assault. I will not share the details here, I feel that would be fundamentally indecent. I was alarmed at this, and I admit, by the time she made the claim that she stabbed a man in the face with a knife* and ran away, I was skeptical as well. Two claims involved alleged workplace incidents, and were her prime explanation for why she could not hold a job. I was mildly disconcerted, because true or false, these stories have good cause to make one uneasy. She also claimed to have reported nothing to police, or management at her work.

That was not all we discussed, we talked about modeling, the websites, and erotica/porn in general. It was what we both did for a living, and candid conversation on the subject was not unusual.

I believe that being told by someone that they stabbed a man (who shall remain nameless) at some point in the unspecified past is hearsay. But there are other reasons the story bugs me.

For example, I try to beware of excessive details. They usually imply that someone is lying, adding more and more details so that their story seems credible. And 80% of this account is about Zoe’s softcore porn shoot (what is this, fanfiction?); complaints of how totally unprofessional she was, it’s mostly excessive details designed to make one think ill of Zoe Quinn.

Nasrallah even writes that Quinn still owes her money for the services rendered & clearly dislikes her. You might call that a “conflicting interest”; she seems to care more about her own interactions with Quinn than anything about this proposed murder. Still she offers herself up as a “character witness”; because people who hate Zoe Quinn will obviously only tell the truth about her.

Then are the factual things. According to Nasrallah, ZQ went by the name “Valentine Locke”, so in reality all the facts here are about someone who called themselves “Locke” at the time. Nasrallah came into contact with ZQ after the fact; (“When I realized Locke was Zoe”) and only comes out with the story now, post-#gamergate.

The smoking gun is a mostly censored email exchange between Nasrallah and Locke/Zoe. These weren’t the first messages exchanged between the two, and Nasrallah gives us no sense of context to Locke’s/Zoe’s words because most of her prompting message is censored. So when Locke responds by discussing killing someone in self-defense we have no context for this message, save the one Nasrallah is telling us.

So basically this is a rumor, with no evidence, no dead body and no time frame. Just an undated email written by ZQ under an alias, allegedly boasting about having stabbed a rapist in the face (in self defense.) I wonder what Malorie is leaving out when she blacks out text that says “here am I allegedly saying I should have let her be murdered? etc.” I kind of wonder if it isn’t some rape-apologetic handwaving about that poor nameless, mysterious man she wants to protect.

Eron Gjoni was promoting this libel on October 8, directly linking to Malorie’s accusations in this series of tweets.

Eron Gjoni, promoting the myth that Zoe Quinn is a murderer, false rape accuser. This is libel.

Eron Gjoni, endorsing the myth that Zoe Quinn is a murderer, false rape accuser.

This might be libel, since he’s CCing some of the popular names of #gamergate in these Tweets. And did Eron Gjoni just say Zoe Quinn makes false rape claims? Gross. Don’t let this guy into your social justice club; whatever he thinks theoretically, this is who he is when the rubber meets the road.

But hey, Mike Cernovich believes it. On Oct 18 he asked #gamergate if Zoe Quinn admitted to killing someone on Twitter.

#gamergaters reposting the facebook photo ad nauseam

#gamergaters repost the facebook photo ad nauseam

More on Mike Cernovich as he screams Zoe Quinn’s legal name from the rooftops like it’s a magic word. – ID