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April 14, 2012 10:32 AM   Subscribe

It is really hard for me to make this post. For a while I stayed silent because I did not want to put myself in the range of fire. Everybody loves Kickstarter. They have, after all, revolutionized the economy. Kickstarter is the number one crowdfunding site in the world and the talk of the startup scene across the globe. Unfortunately Kickstarter recently banned me for circumstances beyond my control. - Is Kickstarter banning users for being the victim of stalking?
posted by Artw (164 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Seems like the simple solution would be to make commenting optional. Is there a reason that wouldn't work?
posted by Bookhouse at 10:40 AM on April 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


"If there is any chance that Rachel will receive spam from a stalker on her project, she should not create one. We simply cannot allow a project to become a forum for rampant spam, as her past project became. If this happens again, we will need to discard the project and permanently suspend Rachel’s account."

I don't mean to pass judgment without hearing other sides to the story, but wow...that seems like a ridiculous and indefensible way to respond to a user regardless of what all the details may be. Forget about whether that accurately represents their policy (which it may not, who knows maybe this support drone is just a tool) but damn, that's just really piss poor customer service. Doesn't seem at all in line with the brand image typically associated with Kickstarter.
posted by trackofalljades at 10:40 AM on April 14, 2012 [16 favorites]


Translation: We want to host public internet forums, but avoid the responsibility to properly moderate them. (Also, we won't provide moderation tools to project owners.)
posted by knave at 10:41 AM on April 14, 2012 [46 favorites]


This seems an incredibly ill-conceived response on the part of Kickstarter, and the fact that they don't seem to have any spam filters, but to punish the projects that are victimized by it, is astonishing. 300 posts from one spammer? Really, you can't ban his IP address?
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:41 AM on April 14, 2012 [12 favorites]


I'm not sure, but I think if you have a stalker leaving 300 comments on everything you do, being (conditionally) banned from Kickstarter might be the least of your worries.

But, yeah. Disable comments.
posted by starman at 10:43 AM on April 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, if this is actual policy, any project could get suspended or removed if someone out there has a grudge and either a little time or a little cash to bomb it.
posted by dejah420 at 10:43 AM on April 14, 2012 [9 favorites]


Hey, skimming 5% off the top of charitable contributions shouldn't take more effort than keeping your CMS server running and occasionally clicking an update button. If you also have to moderate or do any other kind of work you need to rethink your business model.
posted by clarknova at 10:45 AM on April 14, 2012 [6 favorites]


Really, you can't ban his IP address?

Because this is single handedly the most useless way to solve the problem. Not only because it doesn't actually solve the problem but because people keep thinking it's a simple way to solve the problem.
posted by Talez at 10:45 AM on April 14, 2012 [7 favorites]


I personally know three women who are being stalked, both virtually and in-person. This problem is far more pervasive than some might like to think and it's absolutely not okay to victim-blame: this is giving the stalker what he or she wants.

I'm sure developing tools for project owners to moderate comments won't be cheap to develop and implement into the platform, but neither is it impossible. ...Maybe they should do a Kickstarter to fund it.
posted by smirkette at 10:46 AM on April 14, 2012 [12 favorites]


Not only because it doesn't actually solve the problem but because people keep thinking it's a simple way to solve the problem.

Well, that was just one example. Instead of just jumping down my throat, you might offer some alternatives.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:47 AM on April 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


>Really, you can't ban his IP address?

Because this is single handedly the most useless way to solve the problem.


It is the solution to some problems. There are IP ban lists by country, so you can block all traffic from China or Nigeria. I had to block China on my blog due to spam. Obviously this is not the spam problem being referred to here.. yet. But just wait until Chinese spammers decide they want to hit Kickstarter comments. It will happen eventually, and they better be ready for it with a better policy than this.
posted by charlie don't surf at 10:51 AM on April 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


Surely having your Kickstarter project removed because of the actions of a stalker gives one legal grounds to show material damages and civil or even criminal court could be pursued against the stalker.
posted by hippybear at 10:52 AM on April 14, 2012 [9 favorites]


Best,
Daniella


...is entirely the wrong closing for such an unhelpful, discouraging, uncooperative response providing absolutely no assistance. That is, unless Daniella is also just plain thoughtless. "Regrettably" would have been a more sensitive choice of words, perhaps. It's a small thing to pick on, because of course, this is outrageous - but I'm always a little sensitive to little twists of the knife like that.
posted by peagood at 10:58 AM on April 14, 2012 [21 favorites]


The comments over at slashdot imply that our strings are being pulled, here.
posted by Leon at 11:02 AM on April 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


Checking IPs is certainly a usable method for identifying socks and banning them. Of course, this works best when there's an actual person doing it, and I think what Kickstarter really wants to do here is minimise having actual people involved.

Another possible course of action would be to provide some kind of approval-by-user for comments on a project.
posted by Artw at 11:02 AM on April 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


So in a practical sense Kickstarter has just announced that all projects have an easy and obvious Denial Of Service attack. That seems like something that should be fixed.

Really, you can't ban his IP address?

The only reason you think this problem is easy is that you don't understand it.
posted by mhoye at 11:05 AM on April 14, 2012 [6 favorites]


The comments over at slashdot imply that our strings are being pulled, here.

A misogynistic userbase always suspects a self-professed stalking victim as a phony. They really shouldn't be considered any sort of authority on determining if the victim is serious or some overdramatic lolcow.
posted by Talez at 11:06 AM on April 14, 2012 [37 favorites]


This policy means that you cannot do anything even remotely controversial on Kickstarter without a high probability of being Kickstartered to the curb.

Sheer contemptible gutlessness on the part of Kickstarter.
posted by jamjam at 11:06 AM on April 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


How so, Leon?
posted by maryr at 11:07 AM on April 14, 2012


This sort of thing sucks, and it can be a huge drain on resources. We had a similar situation with a user on Chowhound who was being stalked, and it took a huge chunk of moderator time to deal with it. We did offer to help the user set up a different, more anonymous account (which wouldn't make sense on Kickstarter, since she'd still have to use her real name), but I don't think it ever occurred to us that we should tell the user she couldn't post if her jerk stalker was going to reply to her posts with creepy crap that we'd have to clean up.
posted by jacquilynne at 11:07 AM on April 14, 2012 [11 favorites]


I'm a little uncomfortable with the lack of corroborating sources here, and a lack of anything official directly from Kickstarter. If this is true it's beyond ridiculous, but doesn't it feel like there's something missing here?
posted by vohk at 11:10 AM on April 14, 2012


The comments over at slashdot imply that our strings are being pulled, here.

Eeep. A few of the comments there appear to be quoting from comments in which Rachel did publicly engage with the stalker in a way that violates pretty much every tenet of The Gift of Fear. Not sure what to think in light of that. ♪♫ Un-com-fortable now... ♫♪
posted by Gator at 11:10 AM on April 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Everybody loves Kickstarter. They have, after all, revolutionized the economy.

I love the smell of hyperbole in the morning.
posted by adamdschneider at 11:11 AM on April 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Biggest funder of the arts in the United States.
posted by Artw at 11:13 AM on April 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, some of what Slashdot turns the tiny tingle triggered by you have engaged in conversation with the spammer into more of a flashing red light. I suspect I am going to feel a little foolish having posted this.
posted by Artw at 11:17 AM on April 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


maryr: ugh, here's some links. You guys sort through it. 1, 2, 3

Talez: I don't know where to begin.

Artw: I wouldn't feel foolish, but maybe a few background links could have balanced things up a bit.
posted by Leon at 11:18 AM on April 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Several people have (rightly) pointed out that banning an IP address is a piss-poor way of dealing with an online stalker. Suggesting that Kickstarter should just offer comment moderation is equally simplistic.

Kickstarter has likely made the decision not to offer comment moderation in order to ensure that critical comments remain visible. This is generally a good thing. In some edge cases it becomes a bad thing when some asshat breaks the social contract.

Waxpancake is pretty close with the Kickstarter founders so maybe he has some light to share on why it wasn't possible for the company to police the spam themselves; maybe not. It certainly didn't help that the victim engaged in the comments herself. By participating, she likely became part of the problem in the eyes of the company.

Maybe Kickstarter doesn't deserve a complete pass on their decisions, but given their pretty consistent desire to do awesome by the little guy, I think they deserve a bit more critical thinking on our part before we pillory them.
posted by bpm140 at 11:21 AM on April 14, 2012


Well, if Slashdot, Reddit, and the Hacker News forums all say that a woman is a lying attention whore, I think we can say case closed.
posted by Ralston McTodd at 11:22 AM on April 14, 2012 [37 favorites]


I have never seen a Kickstarter project that allowed comments from people other than backers. In order to be a backer, you have to have pledged money to the project through Amazon. So at some point, in order to spam the comments, her stalker must have left an actionable paper trail, yes?

I mean, yeah, Kickstarter should really have a way for project owners to moderate or disable comments, or ban certain backers, or _something_. But it seems like there's a silver lining here. If she didn't know who her stalker was before, she's finally got a way to subpoena his identity.
posted by hades at 11:24 AM on April 14, 2012


Eeep. A few of the comments there appear to be quoting from comments in which Rachel did publicly engage with the stalker in a way that violates pretty much every tenet of The Gift of Fear. Not sure what to think in light of that. ♪♫ Un-com-fortable now... ♫♪

Yeah. Pity most of the stuff I'm tracking down is on reddit and Slashdot. Talk about your all-time shittiest sources on victim histories.

Talez: I don't know where to begin.

I smell drama don't get me wrong. But going out on a limb with an opinion using slashdot and reddit as my sources for the complete history of a potential cyberstalking victim feels just as foolish as discarding her story completely just because my "this is bullshit, the truth always lies somewhere in the middle" red flag went up.

For instance, the message she apparently sent to backers that was circulated on reddit. It's so absolutely implausible that it has also tripped my "this part has got to be bullshit" circuit in my brain.
posted by Talez at 11:24 AM on April 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


They really shouldn't be considered any sort of authority

That's true. On the other hand, if the people on Slashdot are citing and linking to what appear to be relevant facts, well, those facts really shouldn't be ignored just because one MetaFilter user considers those people to be misogynistic.
posted by cribcage at 11:28 AM on April 14, 2012 [12 favorites]


Talez: I broadly agree. Calling an entire group misogynistic got my back up, and I apologise for being an ass. Sometimes MeFi can be a bit overly-eager to jump on narratives that suit it, too.
posted by Leon at 11:28 AM on April 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


On her Twitter feed she's calling for Daniella to be fired.
posted by Gator at 11:30 AM on April 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


The notion of Kickstarter closing down a project unfairly is one thing.

How ever, in this case it appears we are listening to the rantings of a mentally disturbed person.
posted by ShutterBun at 11:35 AM on April 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


At this point it looks like we're about 12-ply deep in transgressions of that simple and helpful rule: DON'T FEED THE TROLLS.
posted by 7segment at 11:38 AM on April 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


I haven't spotted a response from Kickstarter yet, but would very much like to. If her story is true, she made a small mistake (engaging in dialogue with a cyberstalker), but could certainly start another project Her statement that she couldn't start another project if stalked again seems inaccurate, since Kickstarter singled out her responses to the stalker as the reason for the project shutdown. But some of the links, if true (and that's a great big if) suggest that she was for using a Kickstarter page as a public forum for a flamewar. Not that anyone's waiting with baited breath for Metafilter's Response, but more information is definitely needed.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 11:39 AM on April 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Talez: I broadly agree. Calling an entire group misogynistic got my back up, and I apologise for being an ass. Sometimes MeFi can be a bit overly-eager to jump on narratives that suit it, too.

It's fine. It was a generalization on my part but on the whole after 13 years of reading through it you do get the general vibe of the place.

Most places will jump on the side of the narrative that most suits it. But I wouldn't jump into a global warming thread on MeFi saying "FOX NATION SEZ DIS IS BULLSHIT" unless the science behind it was unimpeachable.

On her Twitter feed she's calling for Daniella to be fired.

God dammit. Stupid shit like this helps no one.
posted by Talez at 11:41 AM on April 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


i feel like repeating something i said here months ago - it seems to relate -

abuse victims are imperfect - some would say it's why we were targeted (or bred to be that way). we are unreliable. we are "problem kids." we get into trouble, into drugs, into sex, into loud music and staying out late and our grades drop.
posted by nadawi at 11:43 AM on April 14, 2012 [30 favorites]


My default position was sympathetic to her, but publicly calling out the individual at Kickstarter she interacted with is not exactly the high ground here. Her issue is with Kickstarter, regardless of the messenger. She's got a toe over the stalking line herself now.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:54 AM on April 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Mob: (bearing torches) They only want the woman! Throw her out the gate and they'll leave us alone.

Hero: Um, maybe we could just tell them that they are being unreasonable.

Mob: Get the rope! ...the rope.....the rope...

Fade to black
posted by mule98J at 12:00 PM on April 14, 2012


Kickstarter doesn't want to deal with the problems that hosting her projects bring. Plenty of people manage to get by just fine without a Kickstarter project.
posted by planet at 12:03 PM on April 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


abuse victims are imperfect

The more I read of her posts in the music forums, the more it sounds like she's the stalker, not the stalkee. (Or maybe she responds in public while she's being tormented in private. None of us know, of course, which is why we end up leading with our emotions).

BTW, the stuff you wrote in that link about blackmail rings very true for me.
posted by Leon at 12:05 PM on April 14, 2012


I don't follow kickstarter, but my interest was tweaked because of stories of other online businesses with ridiculous arbitrary policies. That doesn't appear the be the case here though. I think kickstarter is probably just backing away from a no win situation involving mentally disturbed individuals. Well, who knows, that might be way overstating (or oversimplifying) things. To find out I'd have to delve deep into many threads of interpersonal bickering among strangers, and that is just not going to happen for many reasons.

This thread should probably just get deleted.. I don't like sweeping things under the carpet, but no good can come of MetaFilter hashing it out. Maybe when there is a more concise summary in a few weeks?
posted by Chuckles at 12:06 PM on April 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Kind of a shame that Reddit thread was deleted.

I'd vote to leave this one open, though, as a cautionary example of how easy it is to whip up a mob without doing a little fact-checking (seriously, check Twitter; there's quite a crowd of people retweeting and sharing and outraging this story all over the place). I think this woman should have to apologize to Kickstarter and Daniella personally for siccing the Internet on them unfairly.
posted by Gator at 12:10 PM on April 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


This thread should probably just get deleted.. I don't like sweeping things under the carpet, but no good can come of MetaFilter hashing it out. Maybe when there is a more concise summary in a few weeks?

You may be right, but that discussion should probably happen via email with the mods or in MetaTalk, instead of here.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:11 PM on April 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think kickstarter is probably just backing away from a no win situation involving mentally disturbed individuals.

Yes.
"I would imagine that some mod on kickstarter gets like 20 spam alerts from this one thread, pops in to see what's going on, and sees OP engaging with the spammer in ways that may qualify in some places as cyber bullying and takes down the entire kickstarter project in response."
Whatever kickstarter's moderation policy, they should not be in the position of figuring whose side to take in a situation where the account holder is demonstably one of the parties participating in the abusive behaviour.
posted by anazgnos at 12:15 PM on April 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


The line that stood out to me (from Slashdot):

>From her website:
>"In my How Facebook Deleted My Ass article I discussed how my account was deleted >because I was accused of impersonating myself."

To paraphrase Oscar Wilde: To be victimized by one social site may be regarded as a misfortune; to be victimized by two looks like attention seeking.
posted by EnterTheStory at 12:16 PM on April 14, 2012 [7 favorites]


This doesn't pass the smell test. I'm going to reserve passing judgement until more information is available.
posted by blue t-shirt at 12:18 PM on April 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would like it is Kickstarter, rather than simply identifying the circumstances in this case, instead clarified their policy. Because even if this woman is a mentally ill attention seeker -- which I am uncomfortable coming to a conclusion about based on what the Internet detective squad dredges up, and is a bit beside the point -- if this is a really a flaw in the system that might allow simply denial of service to any project that somebody disliked, well, that's a problem beyond whether it's a crazy woman who was first victimized by it.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:21 PM on April 14, 2012 [12 favorites]


That Kickstarter response, if accurate, is pretty terrible.

On the other hand, this may be like voter fraud - a demand for a solution to a problem that does not exist unless you fake it.
posted by Artw at 12:26 PM on April 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


I dunno. If these stories about Rachel's interaction/back-and-forth/taunting of her "stalker" are accurate, I can see Kickstarter's response being not a policy per se ("anyone who attracts a stalker cannot post"), but a response to her specifically ("your behavior is bad for Kickstarter and we don't want a repeat of last time"). The vibe I'm getting at this point is that Rachel feels that any publicity is good publicity, and Kickstarter doesn't agree.
posted by Gator at 12:32 PM on April 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Generally, if there is an exploitable security hole online, it's a good idea to plug it, whether people are abusing that hole or not. I suppose if people had a constitutional right to post online messages, this would be like voter fraud, in that the solutions to what really is not a problem might infringe on people. But, instead, it's just a moderation issue, and those are worth examining, whether or not the problem has really surfaced in a significant way.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:32 PM on April 14, 2012


Erm. While the facts of this story are far from clear (I wouldn't take one person's blog post on any matter as 'fact', unless it's written really convincingly), one thing is clear: we should base our judgements of the situation not on what we think Rachel Marone is but on what she and everyone else involved in this matter did. Did she violate the Kickstartes TOS? If she didn't (and at this point, whe have no idea if and what she did), then the Kicstarter people had no right to ban her (if they banned her at all, that is), no matter what the people on Slashdot or Hacker News say about her personality.
posted by daniel_charms at 12:32 PM on April 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


One of the biggest paradoxes with internet justice is just because things can happen swiftly doesn't mean they should.
posted by grog at 12:33 PM on April 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Kickstopped!
posted by blue_beetle at 12:39 PM on April 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Count me as very much with Gator on not deleting this thread. If her story is accurate, it's worth getting people writing angry letters to Kickstarter. If it's not accurate, then it's very worthwhile to keep a reminder up of how easily even the smart people here can be whipped up into an angry mob, or most positively, how quickly that mob mentality can be defused.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 12:41 PM on April 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


> Did she violate the Kickstartes TOS? If she didn't (and at this point, whe have no idea if and what she did), then the Kicstarter people had no right to ban her

A private company has no obligation to provide services to her. It is within their rights to deny her access to fundraiser using them
posted by mulligan at 12:42 PM on April 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


A policy like this is not sustainable. It would allow one nasty person to kill any kickstarter project. So either the Kickstarter folks are idiots, or there's more to this story.
posted by straight at 12:43 PM on April 14, 2012


On her Twitter feed she's calling for Daniella to be fired.

I hope the white knights on Rachel's side don't start stalking Daniella. From Rachel's side, this Kickstarter decision seems pretty bad. But I don't know if Daniella created the policy or is merely the messenger. Even if she was solely responsible for the decision, having stalkers like the one that has followed Rachel all this time isn't cool either.

Did she violate the Kickstartes TOS? If she didn't (and at this point, whe have no idea if and what she did), then the Kicstarter people had no right to ban her (if they banned her at all, that is), no matter what the people on Slashdot or Hacker News say about her personality.

From the kickstarter.com terms of use:
Termination
The Company may terminate your access to the Service, without cause or notice, which may result in the forfeiture and destruction of all information associated with your account. If you wish to terminate your account, you may do so by following the instructions on the Site. Any fees paid to the Company are non-refundable. All provisions of the Terms of Use that by their nature should survive termination shall survive termination, including, without limitation, ownership provisions, warranty disclaimers, indemnity, and limitations of liability.
This is pretty boilerplate.
posted by birdherder at 12:44 PM on April 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


The story was promoted by sources on teh twitters who are, to be frank, far more credible authorities w/r/t such stories than is Slashdot. That said, anyone can be fooled. That also said, whether the kickstartee in question was really being stalked may be less important than what Kickstarter reportedly wrote to her. Out of context, that shit sounds pretty fucking bad. If Daniella's note came at the end of a long string of weirdass behavior on the part of the kickstartee -- that is, if Daniella was not outlining Kickstarter policy so much as she was telling someone who was unjustly making her life difficult to just basically piss off -- that would be, obviously, very important to the story. I would be interested -- very, very interested indeed -- to hear Kickstarter's side of all this.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 12:46 PM on April 14, 2012


On her Twitter feed she's calling for Daniella to be fired.

I hope the white knights on Rachel's side don't start stalking Daniella.


I suspect that's when the massive "oh fuck" and feeling of regret at having anything to do with this kicks in, if my own trajectory is anything to go by.
posted by Artw at 12:53 PM on April 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


My instinct here is "I want to hear Kickstarter's side of this before making any decisions". This really, really tastes like the tail end of a very long and convoluted story I have no desire in unwinding.

It also sounds like it is one chock full of TEH DRAMA LOLZ, and man, that kinda shit? I stay as far away as possible from it these days.
posted by egypturnash at 1:00 PM on April 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


Mateafilter: chock full of TEH DRAMA LOLZ
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 1:01 PM on April 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I suspect that's when the massive "oh fuck" and feeling of regret at having anything to do with this kicks in, if my own trajectory is anything to go by.

I wouldn't sweat it.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:08 PM on April 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Just to be clear, Artw, I wasn't referring you or anyone else in this thread. I was referring to those "let's get 'em boys" types on the other sites. Thank you for posting this since I wouldn't have known about it otherwise.
posted by birdherder at 1:21 PM on April 14, 2012


Several people have (rightly) pointed out that banning an IP address is a piss-poor way of dealing with an online stalker.

But none have explained to us technically challenged why. And I'm genuinely curious.
posted by IndigoJones at 1:30 PM on April 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I am unsure if this is because of the possibility of splash damage or because mods should actually just be able to force-choke the offender rather than depending on technological terrors.
posted by Artw at 1:32 PM on April 14, 2012


meta
posted by desjardins at 1:32 PM on April 14, 2012


There is a greater risk of fraud if comments accusing posters of fraud get deleted. Isn't that obvious? We aren't simply talking voter fraud but accusations of a history of real financial fraud which bear on people's funding decisions. In short, moderation might create a financial liability for Kickstarter.
posted by jeffburdges at 1:34 PM on April 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


But none have explained to us technically challenged why. And I'm genuinely curious.

That's because it's really REALLY easy to simply do everything from any one of a ton of other IP addresses (if you know how). The operative word is "proxy."
posted by chimaera at 1:35 PM on April 14, 2012


But none have explained to us technically challenged why. And I'm genuinely curious.

The short, lay version is that a new IP is not hard to come by.

It's like locking a door when there are a billion different doors into a room. If your uninvited guest only ever tries that particular door again, great, but the other doors are all just standing there, waiting to be opened. A determined person will use another door rather quickly. Even a mildly determined clueless person will wander up to a different door by accident when they try to come in from a different computer or device or their ISP assigns them a new random IP (which happens regularly in consumer internet).

You can lock a whole lot more doors based on your best guesses about which ones the determined person will try, but the more of that you do the more likely it is that you'll be blocking legit users as well.

IP bans don't work for other than the most reductive of cases.
posted by cortex at 1:40 PM on April 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Right -- you can get a new IP, often, just by power-cycling your cable/DSL modem and router. If that doesn't work, you can usually change the external MAC address on your router to get a new IP. If THAT doesn't work, then you can get an unending stream of IPs through VPN services or proxies.... which are shared with good customers, so they can't block them without blocking people they want, as well.

IP addresses are not people, and thinking that they are is behind a lot of the regulatory, legislative, and legal problems surrounding the Net.
posted by Malor at 1:41 PM on April 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


But none have explained to us technically challenged why. And I'm genuinely curious.

Well, first most people have dynamically assigned IP addresses and they change over time. Sometimes getting a new IP address is as simple as restarting your modem. But a highly motivated stalker can just use a proxy or VPN and get a different IP address. My VPN has 30 points of presence around the world and hundreds of IPs to give out in each point. It is as easy as selecting a site from my Menu Bar and selecting connect. Viola I'm a different person from a different part of the world.

Now you could block a range of IP addresses, but that means you'd block all of the ISP's customers in a city or region. Everyone from Time Warner in NYC gets blocked because someone from their iP block is a spammer? Some people block IPs at the country level. A site like Kickstarter just can't block the US because they have spammers/stalkers from the US.
posted by birdherder at 1:43 PM on April 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Any two different internet hotspots have different IP addresses, IndigoJones, including almost every coffee shop in the U.S.

You create a new identity online by (a) deactivating you're laptops regular connections like IMAP, i.e. quit Mail under Mac OSX, (b) sign into coffee shop's wifi, (c) create a 10minutemail.com account, (d) create gmail.com account using that, and finally (e) create your new Kickstarter account. Use a prepaid credit card purchased in cash if you need to spend money.
posted by jeffburdges at 1:45 PM on April 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


And yet IP checks and bans remain a tool that, for instance, Wikipedia makes use of, and on occasions they've shut down sources of nuiscance edits entirely. Of course, Wikipedia being Wikipedia that happens in full view and with a lot of people on it, and all sorts of ways of getting it recinded if it's gone wrong. It's an area where having an army of socially challenged bureaucratic drones actually helps.
posted by Artw at 1:45 PM on April 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


In fact, wikiepdia's checkusers consider various pieces of information related to the IP to help them identify likely sock puppets. I've always read their actual IP bans as more establishing consensus that say Scientology isn't allowed to astroturf the Scientology article or whatever, that consensus then gets applied to shut down problematic editors outside the IP range too.
posted by jeffburdges at 1:52 PM on April 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


From her very own bio page:

"Experiment Haywire started out in late 2004 as an attempt to rebel against her Jewish heritage in which she was forced to take piano lessons."

Did I miss the part in the Torah about being forced to take piano lessons?

The narrative continues -- very, very consistently about Ms. Haywire breaking free of the forces keeping her down, holding her back, displaying a herd mentality, etc.

TL:DR? She's a freakin' loon.
posted by gsh at 2:08 PM on April 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Maybe Kickstarter could raise the minimum funding to $5.00 as a way to keep the spammers/stalkers away. As is the case with the occasional spammer on Metafilter, it wouldn't stop them, but it reduces it to a more manageable number.

If Rachel's cyberstalker was really able to get 300 comments into her project's comment section with just an investment of $1, that's not good. If he needed five accounts to get there, that's only $5. He'd have to spend $25 with a higher minimum to get the same effect. If her stalker has more money, it might not slow him down so much.

Kickstarter could add a "flag comment" to each comment (that could be made by anyone, not just the person that started the project) and have a mechanism to check for abuse. A flag or two might be noise but at a certain point, a human should look at it. For the minority of customers with a stalker hellbent fucking things up, it would require more work on behalf of Kickstarter. I think the big problem here is Kickstarter didn't imagine this scenario would exist. And when it came up, they probably didn't think it through. Or they did think it through and make the call that it would be easier to just not have customers w/stalkers and boot them, rather than change their commenting system. But if they're getting spammers (non-stalkers) in other projects, it means they're going to have to figure our some sort of way to manage it.
posted by birdherder at 2:14 PM on April 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Kickstopped!

I read that in the voice of Strongbad, narrating the demise of Cheerleader in an imaginary episode of Teen Girl Squad.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:26 PM on April 14, 2012 [9 favorites]


If Rachel's cyberstalker was really able to get 300 comments into her project's comment section with just an investment of $1, that's not good. If he needed five accounts to get there, that's only $5. He'd have to spend $25 with a higher minimum to get the same effect. If her stalker has more money, it might not slow him down so much.

Except said stalker is probably using stolen credit cards anyway.
posted by Talez at 2:30 PM on April 14, 2012


TBH That you can't comment on a project without funding it is one of the things that makes the story a little unlikely.
posted by Artw at 2:30 PM on April 14, 2012


Except said stalker is probably using stolen credit cards anyway.

I missed the part where she accused her stalker of that. Where did you get that information? I only read her blog post in the original link.

To me it would be easier to go down to the store and load up a few prepaid cards than to bother with stealing numbers. Yeah, it costs more than using stolen cards (depending on how you source them), but it is more reliable and almost as anonymous.
posted by birdherder at 2:45 PM on April 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


If she's participating in the 'stalking' in crazy ass ways, then that's a whole different story. I don't want to blame the victim if she's actually being stalked. But if, instead, she's an active participant in an ongoing feud across the internet, then that's a whole different kettle of fish, and after some escalation, we might well ban someone who was bringing that shit onto our site.
posted by jacquilynne at 2:45 PM on April 14, 2012


From her post "Is There a Solution to Cyberstalking?" on one of her many, many websites:
I once thought I was his only target until his other victims began contacting me. He was sending us child pornography and threatening to kill us along with impersonating our dead relatives. We started a support network and put all of our case numbers together to make this a federal matter. What now? The hunt for my stalker continues yet has been unsuccessful as of now. The FBI having bigger fish to fry. The police say that he is “good at what he does.”
If that doesn't redline your BS meter, I don't know what would.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:50 PM on April 14, 2012 [7 favorites]


I missed the part where she accused her stalker of that. Where did you get that information? I only read her blog post in the original link.

To me it would be easier to go down to the store and load up a few prepaid cards than to bother with stealing numbers. Yeah, it costs more than using stolen cards (depending on how you source them), but it is more reliable and almost as anonymous.


Well I am just speculating that's why I said probably. But if I'm already theoretically hiding behind multiple proxies to harass someone why pay for my harassment if the police already don't have the ability/jurisdiction to track me down?
posted by Talez at 2:51 PM on April 14, 2012


When did Kaycee Nicole join Kickstarter? Weird.
posted by Justinian at 2:58 PM on April 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Kickstarter has responded:
It is not Kickstarter policy to turn away projects that may attract spam or be subject to abuse. We were wrong to suggest that this was the case and we’re sorry for that. We welcome any project as long as it does not violate the Kickstarter project and community guidelines.

Abuse is never tolerated on Kickstarter. Kickstarter’s moderators review any comment flagged by project creators and take whatever action is necessary, including banning or suspending an abusive user’s account. In the past year we’ve also made adjustments to the site’s functionality to limit trolls, restricting the ability to comment on a project to only its backers.

We work very hard to look out for our project creators and our community, and part of that means taking abusive behavior very seriously. Our response in this particular situation implied the opposite. We take full responsibility for that and apologize.
posted by CCBC at 3:02 PM on April 14, 2012 [8 favorites]


From what I can gather, the 'stalking' complained of appears to consist of repeated postings of this text.

In response, Rachel keeps on posting stuff like this (from Kickstarter):

"As you all know I have a rockin' tight ass, a successful project on Kickstarter that you've all funded, and a cyberstalker that goes by the name of FrankSinatraDirtyTalker1915@comcast.net.

I originally met "Frank" back in College, where we dated for a bit. I should point out that he's not an old man, as his username might imply, but rather someone who is simply obsessed with Frank Sinatra and my gorgeous rockin hard ass.

Anyway, when I broke up with him he took it pretty badly. It was our Sophomore year at Rice University and I had just discovered gravity bongs and going down on another girl while blazed out of my gord. As I've admitted, these were confusing albeit fun times for me.

Meanwhile, "Frank" was raised as a Mormon but had recently converted to Scientology. I guess you might say he was experimenting with his own hallucinogenic homoerotic drug. This drug/sex/cult cocktail, combined with my round pulchritudinous derriere, and the sudden shock of losing his ability to play his daily role of dressing up as Dr. Parnassus while gently fondling my perky nipples and supple breasts that he had affectionately named the Merry Mammary Sisters of Nippopolis, and Queens of the Breastiary - led to Frank's complete mental breakdown.

I don't blame Frank for my rockin body, just as I don't blame you for being attracted to my intelligence and funding my project on Kickstarter. However, what I do not like is being stalked. I hope you all do what I do when you see Frank's messages on any thread related to my project. Just lick your index finger, point it at Frank's username and then say, "Ooooooooooooo ICE COLD! Mama thinks you're a BAAAAD BOYYYY! OOOOOO Ice Cold..." then point the same finger back at your left nipple and make a sizzling sound "SSSSSssssssssssss" and sing this little rap

Thank you all again for funding my project on Kickstarter. You're clearly invested in a winner!"

Looks like people are getting played to me.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:05 PM on April 14, 2012 [7 favorites]


While the facts of this story are far from clear

That`s why real, tangible, independently verified facts make such lovely accessories for any story so that no one in the peanut gallery becomes the jerk in knee-jerk...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 3:13 PM on April 14, 2012


PeterMcDermott - your link is broken. has that text actually been verified? i've only seen it quoted without the source in reddit (linked upthread).
posted by nadawi at 3:20 PM on April 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


What am I missing here? Will the skeptics help me out? What I see is that a year ago she started a Kickstarter project. Did this project have anything to do with this guy or was it her own thing? If the project had nothing to do with him, then if he shows up and starts spamming comments, he is the stalker. She "violated the Gift of Fear" and replied back very mockingly to him. That doesn't make her equally guilty, but I could understand if Kickstarter won't allow that sort of drama. So they removed her project, fine. I don't have a problem with Kickstarter so far, although I do have a problem if people think she's "crazy" because she replies back to him in a mocking way, which is what I saw in the Reddit link.

Nearly a year goes by and she wants to try Kickstarter again. This time she wants to know what will happen if the stalker starts spamming comments again, especially since she can't reply back without losing her project and account. The Kickstarter rep says if the spamming happens again she could be suspended. Now that just seems wrong to me. And that's just me going off of Kickstarter's response, which could apply to anyone and not just this "unsympathetic stalking victim". Kickstarter was wrong and the policy kind of frightening, which is why I'm glad they've apologized and clarified the policy.

But what I am missing is how she is in any way the bad guy???
posted by Danila at 3:27 PM on April 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Link pretty easy to fix.
posted by Cosine at 3:32 PM on April 14, 2012


My comment is aimed at stuff like this, posted by Gator:

I think this woman should have to apologize to Kickstarter and Daniella personally for siccing the Internet on them unfairly.

I don't get it. Are you saying she falsified the emails from "Daniella"? Because I do have a problem with this:

If there is any chance that Rachel will receive spam from a stalker on her project, she should not create one. We simply cannot allow a project to become a forum for rampant spam, as her past project became. If this happens again, we will need to discard the project and permanently suspend Rachel’s account.


I think that's an egregious policy and definitely deserves widespread calling-out because it could have widespread consequences. I'm happy to see Kickstarter's response though.
posted by Danila at 3:37 PM on April 14, 2012


So. There are a bunch of possible narratives that could be true, but the one Cosine's link implies is something like: I don't know if that's an accurate chronology, because a lot of it appears to be pretty scattered, but I've been party to enough bait-wars in online arts communities that I'm a bit skeptical of the clear-cut narrative she presents.
posted by verb at 3:39 PM on April 14, 2012 [24 favorites]


Danila - i agree with you, mostly, but i think the apology to daniella is about her twitter comments where she shares email addresses and such of the personal customer service rep. that's pretty bad form - fight the company, not the people making 8-15 bucks an hour manning the email queue.
posted by nadawi at 3:41 PM on April 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have no idea if the stalking is real, or if the stalker is even real. I do however have real ideas about how she comes across as after ten minutes on google. She sets off every gut/spidey-sense-hunch I have to STAY AWAY. That anyone would give this person one cent of their money for any reason is stunning.
posted by Cosine at 3:46 PM on April 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


Verb thanks for that outline.

Now she wants assurances from Kickstarter that if it happens again only he will be banned.

What does the Kickstarter project have to do with the alleged Nazi band?

i think the apology to daniella is about her twitter comments where she shares email addresses and such of the personal customer service rep.


I see in her Twitter Rachel says "I'm publicly calling out @Piztachio because she is the one who banned me for having a stalker. #Kickstarter should fire her."

That seems reasonable to me though. What the rep did certainly gave me a twitch. Was something deleted?
posted by Danila at 3:48 PM on April 14, 2012


I see in her Twitter Rachel says "I'm publicly calling out @Piztachio because she is the one who banned me for having a stalker. #Kickstarter should fire her."


Except that she was never actually banned, right? Or am I missing something?
posted by oneirodynia at 3:50 PM on April 14, 2012


She was banned last year and was threatened with being banned again. Last year she did reply back to him and I guess she should not have done that, although maybe she'd had it. I could understand if she was upset about being banned he was stalking her, and they they tell her not to bother with her project if she's going to be stalked. That's pretty bad.
posted by Danila at 3:53 PM on April 14, 2012


I wasn't able to tell from PeterMcDermott's text from kickstarter comment, but is Rachel saying she has a rockin' tight ass? Is that germane to her Kickstarter project? I think it is great she thinks so highly of her butt.

But if the text was actually what she did post on the Kickstarter comments for her project, she pretty clearly broke the TOS by attacking the Frank guy and airing his dirty laundry. He could be the biggest prick in the book, but the comment area of a crowd funding site is not the proper location for that. If I were Kickstarter, I'd bounce both of them.
posted by birdherder at 3:54 PM on April 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Her project from a couple of years ago got funded, but apparently they never followed through on the actual product.
posted by ShutterBun at 3:56 PM on April 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


What does the Kickstarter project have to do with the alleged Nazi band?
That's her band, I think?

The fact that she did one kickstarter and never followed through could be Germaine as well. The Kickstarter person clearly seems to have misstated the policy, though. They probably just wanted to get rid of someone who seemed crazy and made kickstarter as a whole seem unprofessional.
posted by delmoi at 3:59 PM on April 14, 2012


She was banned last year and was threatened with being banned again.

She wasn't banned though; she was suspended. At some point she was allowed to post projects again. At this point she can totally make another Kickstarter project.

I suppose one could argue about the semantics of suspended vs. banned, so I'll just say that suspended, IMO, is a different thing, especially since her posting privileges were never permanently revoked.
posted by oneirodynia at 4:01 PM on April 14, 2012


I think it was more of a "who can really blame him for stalking me, given what a rockin' tight ass I have" message, and she was touting the tight ass as part of her overall excellence in case her funders had any reason to doubt that.
posted by jayder at 4:03 PM on April 14, 2012


Wait a minute here. She had a PREVIOUS project that people funded and she didn't actually deliver anything, and now people are giving her money AGAIN for another project??? (I realize that isn't terribly germane here but wow)
posted by Cosine at 4:08 PM on April 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


I haven't seen anything that indicates her project had anything to do with him. From what I've pieced together (and I assume I must be missing a pretty big piece), he went to her Kickstarter project and started spamming comments. She replied with her boilerplate response revealing him to be a stalker who has bothered her before. Maybe she replied to every one of his hundreds of comments with the same response. They were both banned and I could understand Kickstarter just not wanting to deal with it. Although from her POV she was the victim and once again her stalker caused her trouble.

But it looks like she accepted the punishment and then came back 11 months later wanting to do a project. This time she asked ahead of time what would happen if he stalked her again. I would expect one of two responses:

1. There's nothing Kickstarter can do about it so the project founder has to take the responsibility of just not taking the bait and allowing the comments to be full of nonsense. I could understand this.

2. Kickstarter would moderate in the event of harassment, bullying, offensive statements, etc. Requires more of them but I personally think this would be correct.

Instead, she got this response:

3. If there is any chance that Rachel will receive spam from a stalker on her project, she should not create one. We simply cannot allow a project to become a forum for rampant spam, as her past project became. If this happens again, we will need to discard the project and permanently suspend Rachel’s account.

And that's just wrong and worth being majorly called out.

To me this seems like people are trying to find a way for the victim to be the wrong one, to have deserved the treatment. I think that's a very common response and if I hadn't read that horrible email from the Kickstarter rep I might write Rachel off as well. But what she said about Kickstarter seems true as far as I can see.
posted by Danila at 4:08 PM on April 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


This sort of thing sucks, and it can be a huge drain on resources. We had a similar situation with a user on Chowhound who was being stalked, and it took a huge chunk of moderator time to deal with it. We did offer to help the user set up a different, more anonymous account (which wouldn't make sense on Kickstarter, since she'd still have to use her real name), but I don't think it ever occurred to us that we should tell the user she couldn't post if her jerk stalker was going to reply to her posts with creepy crap that we'd have to clean up.

Different priorities for different sites. You see this IRL too. Plenty of establishments will simply ban both participants in an altercation rather than spend wildly disproportionate resources on a single customer or trying to proportion blame. Better to lose the minor business than have the rest of your business suffer.

straight writes "A policy like this is not sustainable. It would allow one nasty person to kill any kickstarter project. So either the Kickstarter folks are idiots, or there's more to this story."

Probably if this happens they'll change this policy; right now there doesn't appear that anyone is taking this approach to DOS the site.

Artw writes "And yet IP checks and bans remain a tool that, for instance, Wikipedia makes use of, and on occasions they've shut down sources of nuiscance edits entirely."

Yep, and it is plenty annoying if you happen to share an IP with those nuisance users I'll tell you what. This is the worst part of the ineffectiveness of IP bans, they invariably end up harming innocent users while not stopping the even halfways motivated asshat.
posted by Mitheral at 4:10 PM on April 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


It was pretty hilarious when it happened to Congress though.
posted by Artw at 4:18 PM on April 14, 2012


To me this seems like people are trying to find a way for the victim to be the wrong one, to have deserved the treatment. I think that's a very common response and if I hadn't read that horrible email from the Kickstarter rep I might write Rachel off as well. But what she said about Kickstarter seems true as far as I can see.

The way I read the Kickstarter rep's response is that it's a polite way of saying "we've figured out that you're fucking crazy, don't bring your drama to Kickstarter or you will be banned."

I suspect that they would be more supportive of a legitimate stalking victim, but for this woman who is online saying, basically, "my stalker just cannot get over my scrumptious tight ass" they've concluded she's nuts and not somebody whose drama they care to devote effort to.
posted by jayder at 4:20 PM on April 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


Crazy people get stalked too. The fact that she's a magnet for drama and expresses herself poorly doesn't mean she isn't legitimately being victimized by somebody. In fact, as somebody else mentioned in the thread, especially vicious people will deliberately select people that seem nutso as their victims because their own behavior makes them unsympathetic.

I'm not prepared to just say, well, she's barking mad, and what do you expect?
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 4:27 PM on April 14, 2012 [11 favorites]


Instead, she got this response:

3. If there is any chance that Rachel will receive spam from a stalker on her project, she should not create one. We simply cannot allow a project to become a forum for rampant spam, as her past project became. If this happens again, we will need to discard the project and permanently suspend Rachel’s account.

And that's just wrong and worth being majorly called out.


I suspect if the email had said this:

If there is any chance that Rachel will receive spam on her project, she should not create one. We simply cannot allow a project to become a forum for rampant spam, as her past project became. If this happens again, we will need to discard the project and permanently suspend Rachel’s account.

Kickstarter would not be looking so bad, because that actually fits in with their TOS and is not particularly out of line.

What does the Kickstarter project have to do with the alleged Nazi band?

That's her band, I think?


No, she accused another member of this band (EHC) of being a Nazi*. Apparently she was also threatened with a PFA by another band for harassing them (link is to her own MySpace post). It honestly sounds like she's part of a big bunch of people with poor impulse control that like to follow each other around the internet. Not that that 1) excuses Kickstarter for modging up their response (as reported by Rachel) 2) excuses anyone for harassing other people, especially in a forum that has nothing to do with anything. It all just seems sad and drama filled, and Kickstarter should have covered their arse by responding to her with boilerplate (and who knows, maybe they did, and we got the paraphrase in her blog post).

* this response to her has been posted all over the last several years, and is apparently some of the stalking spam she was receiving on KS. So it may not be true, but the email purportedly from Kinetik right below it does not look good, if actually legit.
posted by oneirodynia at 4:35 PM on April 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


The way I read the Kickstarter rep's response is that it's a polite way of saying "we've figured out that you're fucking crazy, don't bring your drama to Kickstarter or you will be banned."

I'm guessing this is probably how they saw it. But even if Marone actually were crazy or a liar (and we surely have no way to know at this point), it would still be a stupid thing to say. Lying about your reasons for not wanting to support someone isn't polite, it's idiotic, especially when the reasons given are plainly illegitimate.

As things stand it looks like someone made a mistake, and that it isn't Kickstarter policy to punish victims of harassment. If it turns out that this isn't the case, Kickstarter will presumably receive a well deserved kicking.
posted by howfar at 4:40 PM on April 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah, the kickstarter rep clearly made a mistake. Probably she should have something like "If you can't avoid engaging in epic flame wars on your projects, you should not create them".

Her responses to the "stalker" around the internet indicate she seems to prefer mocking this guy rather then actually asking him to stop. In this comment she says "I'd ask for him to get the banhammer if it wasn't so hilarious to watch this shit happen.". She seems to be egging him on for her own entertainment.

It's not surprising that Kickstarter wouldn't want the same stuff on their site.
posted by delmoi at 5:16 PM on April 14, 2012 [6 favorites]


Here's Rach' talking about her stalker:

He cleaned my shit, washed my dishes, licked my asshole, and let me pee all over him. It was epic.

Wow.
posted by jayder at 5:21 PM on April 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Once upon a time (more than a decade ago) another community I'm involved in got a visit from someone on the net.legends.FAQ list of kooks.

It was amazing. He went from "Hello" to "I hope you get raped, stabbed and die in a fire...of cancer!" in less time than it took me to make my first ten comments on MetaFilter. The interesting part of this, uh, let's call it a display, was that when he started to unload, he went after a young lady who was not particularly socially adept like a shark after a wounded fish.

I bring this up because of this comment:

>From her website:
>"In my How Facebook Deleted My Ass article I discussed how my account was deleted >because I was accused of impersonating myself."

To paraphrase Oscar Wilde: To be victimized by one social site may be regarded as a misfortune; to be victimized by two looks like attention seeking.


I don't know if she's being stalked or not, but if she is, and it's someone like the guy I encountered, I wouldn't be surprised if she was bounced from every other social site on the web.

On preview, what Bunny Ultramod said.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 5:35 PM on April 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Really, you can't ban his IP address?

Sure you can. You just create a GUI interface using Visual Basic.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 6:23 PM on April 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh my fucking goodness, Rachel Haywire drama has made MetaFilter.

I can't.

She has an Encyclopedia Dramatica page, though there isn't much there about the nazi accusations against Ben from Terrorfakt, or the various other dramae she seems to go around causing, both IRL and internet-wise. (Someone posted some links upthread)

I can't say I know her personally, but her track record indicates she's really good at getting banned from things.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 8:19 PM on April 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is very strange. Not only does she seem odd, and off, but so do the people she's feuding with. I couldn't even begin to sort out who was in the right, only that I wouldn't really want to hang out with any of them. Stranger still, the infection seems to have spread to Kickstarter itself, where their rep responded in a pretty odd way. A vortex I wouldn't want to sucked in to.
posted by tyllwin at 9:26 PM on April 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's like a social clique of antisocials.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:57 PM on April 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Wait a minute here. She had a PREVIOUS project that people funded and she didn't actually deliver anything, and now people are giving her money AGAIN for another project??? (I realize that isn't terribly germane here but wow)

You obviously haven't heard about her tight round rockin' ass!
posted by Meatbomb at 10:58 PM on April 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


She has an Encyclopedia Dramatica page

Oh wow, that's Rage from Barbelith.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 11:32 PM on April 14, 2012


Crazy people get stalked too. The fact that she's a magnet for drama and expresses herself poorly doesn't mean she isn't legitimately being victimized by somebody.

In order to comment on a Kickstarter project, you have to be a donor.

Donations are processed by Amazon and require the use of a credit card.

If someone really is victimizing a person with a Kickstarter project, they'd be pretty easy to identify and apprehend.

Not that the identity of this purported cyberstalker appears to be a mystery to her. Maybe it's just me, but if *I'd* been getting stalked online for ten years or more, and I knew who the stalker was, I'd have invoked some of that protective legislation by now.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:44 PM on April 14, 2012


Her main interest is "internet charisma."

That made me laugh because it's my interest too. Except without all the stalkers and OMGdrama.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 1:20 AM on April 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Crazy people get stalked too. The fact that she's a magnet for drama and expresses herself poorly doesn't mean she isn't legitimately being victimized by somebody.

That could very well be the case and it's unfortunate that it happens, but if it does turn out to be two crazy people going after each other it doesn't need to become everyone else's problem. These are private websites we're talking about here and not public services. If she can't conduct herself in a civilized manner, through mental illness or just being a drama queen, they have every right to ban her.

It's not the moderator's duty to figure out who is more wrong because it really doesn't matter. It's simply not their problem if she can't express herself appropriately. If she is actually stalked and she knows the accuser, there's legal recourse for that, but the place to handle it isn't on a public website.

Stirring up drama outside of the site and asking for someone to be fired undermined whatever flimsy case she had, even if she weren't a notable drama queen with a history of bullshit going back a decade.
posted by mikesch at 1:40 AM on April 15, 2012 [6 favorites]


So I see there's no disputing that this guy actually did stalk her Kickstarter project. I've read the links, including links to strongly misogynist sources like Encyclopedia Dramatica (she's bad because she deleted her Livejournal too much?). Nothing has changed. As in, the project had nothing to do with him but he chose to spam a lot of irrelevant comments on it anyway. Which he's clearly done before. In that case, she's the victim of stalking. That's all I need.

I don't believe in victims bringing it on themselves or having to be proper, polite "undramatic" victims. She didn't bring it on herself. She doesn't make him follow her and behave inappropriately. The only absolutely crazy behavior I see is the guy spamming hundreds of comments because he's been mad for..years apparently. And since we know he's the kind of person who would do that, he may very well also be the kind of person who'd do whacky things that get her in trouble with other websites because it's easier for sites to ignore or even punish victims than moderate the userbase and go after the actual perpetrators.

Unfortunately, her experience is typical for victims of stalking both online and off. From the Wikipedia page Peter Mcdermott linked: "Most stalking laws require that the perpetrator make a credible threat of violence against the victim; others include threats against the victim's immediate family; and still others require the alleged stalker's course of conduct constitute an implied threat." That leaves a LOT of leeway for the stalker. And that's assuming that in order to be a real victim you have to rely on law enforcement.

Jayder said: Here's Rach' talking about her stalker:

Once again, something seems obvious to me but looks crazy to other people. I may very well be crazy about this too, but it looks like she's mocking him. The infamous comment about her body reads like: "Ha ha you can't leave me alone because I'm so hot, look how pathetic you are with your spammed rants" and the reply Jayder linked reads like "You were pathetic as my boyfriend and you're pathetic now". I don't care if she's mocking him in an inappropriate way, these are replies. If he was not stalking her then it wouldn't happen.

How this is relevant to Kickstarter is this: if he breaks the TOS by spamming comments then he is the one who should be punished. She should not ever be punished because someone is harassing her and breaking the rules in the process. If she replies back to him that's one thing. But they threatened to ban her just for being the victim of a harasser. That's the problem I had with their response to her. It looks like she was trying to prevent drama by inquiring ahead of time and Kickstarter dropped the ball big time.
posted by Danila at 4:02 AM on April 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


Oh wow, that's Rage from Barbelith.

Okay, now THAT is some relevant information. Man, the more things change...!
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:57 AM on April 15, 2012


Sheer contemptible gutlessness on the part of Kickstarter.

Sounds like an opportunity for someone to start a competitor to Kickstarter
posted by rough ashlar at 5:15 AM on April 15, 2012


That said, Danila is right -- it actually does not matter whether you're Mother Theresa or Courtney Love, you shouldn't be punished for being stalked. Nothing that's coming to light about Rachel Marone really negates at all that Kickstarter's handling of this situation is worth questioning. I am still very eager to see their response to this story.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:26 AM on April 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


Based on their initial response, at the top of her blog post, she was punished for egging on and interacting with a spammer. They didn't know she was being stalked (or "stalked," as the case appears to be), they knew that there was a huge amount of comment spam that she herself was engaging in and that they had to clean up.

When she contacted KS one year later to ask about doing another project, they were basically like, "Oh yeah, that's the one who made all the extra work for us by interacting with spammers. We'd better warn her that we're not going to let that happen again." All this stuff about being "punished for having a stalker" is just a song and dance.
posted by Gator at 5:33 AM on April 15, 2012 [13 favorites]


I don't understand where people are getting those quotes from her ("rockin' tight ass," etc.); trying to look it up, all I see is people saying she said that... but where are they getting it from? What is the source of those comments?

At any rate, a central question to me is whether she did carry on a baiting back-and-forth with the person (or persons) spamming her original Kickstarter page, and if she was warned. If she was engaging, it seems to me that all those comments should have been deleted, and she should have been warned that more of this behavior would result in suspension, and then any further stalker/spammy comments deleted as rapidly as possible and action taken to cut off access to the person(s) responsible... but I don't know what the Kickstarter policy is/has been for comments.

If she was warned and ignored the warning, I could understand a particularly hard line now regarding a new project, but it should still be clear exactly what the conditions for a new project are. Going only by the Kickstarter responses published, her first project from 2011 was suspended because of the spam and her evident engagement with that (which seems understandable), but the more current response about a possible new project indicates that just receiving spam will mean removal of the project and permanent suspension. This seems weird to me, unless there are other relevant aspects that haven't been revealed. It seems more obvious to say "we can't have a repeat of the behavior that occurred last time, so in order to start a new project we'll need you to agree not to engage in off topic chat or spats (or whatever they require) on your page, and alert us immediately to any spam or harassment so we can deal with it." Odd.

I'm also not really clear on all the talk about getting kicked off other web sites. Aside from Facebook, what sites are involved? Facebook doesn't seem like a big deal to me since it looks like it was an account for her performance name, and hundreds of people have had similar problems proving their identity in order to get their Facebook accounts reinstated.

I don't have any particular point of view on this because too many things remain unclear, but I am curious how accurate the reported bad behavior by her really is. I haven't been following it all terribly closely, but I haven't noticed anything that's not (apparently?) hearsay yet.
posted by taz at 5:35 AM on April 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


All this stuff about being "punished for having a stalker" is just a song and dance.

I'm certainly not ruling that out as a possibility. But I'd like to hear their side and not just do some Law & Order: Internet thing.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:36 AM on April 15, 2012


birdherder, thank you for your clear and simple explanation, which you delivered without snark, judgment, or superiority.

Between economic realities, infrastructure constraints, and cultural barriers, the tech gap is much wider and deeper than what many MeFites appear to understand. It is possible to explain things to people without making them feel stupid.
posted by headnsouth at 5:44 AM on April 15, 2012


That said, Danila is right -- it actually does not matter whether you're Mother Theresa or Courtney Love, you shouldn't be punished for being stalked.

There's a point at which one's harassment of others, and repeated engagement in flame wars and public taunting of one's alleged "stalker," calls into question whether one can call oneself a stalking victim.

Some of the stuff I have read -- it's been linked in our MeFi threads -- shows HER to be a stalker and to act in a generally contemptible fashion toward others on the Internet in a repeated, public, obnoxious way.

I have been stalked. In fact, my stalker spent almost a year in jail for it. So I am not unsympathetic to people who are being stalked. But her claim to have been stalked is spurious; it looks more like a situation of "what's good for the goose is good for the gander."
posted by jayder at 6:28 AM on April 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


There's a point at which one's harassment of others, and repeated engagement in flame wars and public taunting of one's alleged "stalker," calls into question whether one can call oneself a stalking victim.

Maybe, but the truth is that once labels that have actual legal meanings get trotted out, I'm uncomfortable judging whether someone does or does not fit them. That's not my call, and I don't think it's a call we're qualified to make on the basis of what we have.

It's also not the point, because the question isn't whether she was stalked -- which is something that could only be arrived at definitively in a for real legal proceeding -- but how well Kickstarter handled the situation when she claimed to be having problems with a stalker that were affecting her dealings with Kickstarter.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:37 AM on April 15, 2012


That said, Danila is right -- it actually does not matter whether you're Mother Theresa or Courtney Love, you shouldn't be punished for being stalked.

And I (or my company) shouldn't be forced to enter a business relationship with an individual I don't want to deal with. Not being able to play silly buggers on Kickstarter isn't a punishment, it's a business decision.

I am still very eager to see their response to this story.

It was posted a while back, but it's a long thread. They did the standard PR mea culpa. That's probably the least-worst way of handling it, from their point of view.
posted by Leon at 7:36 AM on April 15, 2012


There's a point at which one's harassment of others, and repeated engagement in flame wars and public taunting of one's alleged "stalker," calls into question whether one can call oneself a stalking victim.

This is one of the differences between "she deserved to be stalked" and "this is really just a case of two people being jackholes to each other, across the internet." I've moderated a lot of smallish online communities, and way back in the day helped manage one of the midsized sections of AOL that included download libraries, chat rooms, and forums. We saw a lot of back and forth dicking around that fell under three basic categories: The first one is pretty unambiguous -- you ban the stalker and assure the stalkee that you've got their back.

The second one is annoying to deal with as a manager or moderator or customer service person. You have to continually explain to the aggrieved person that "I keep seeing that person and they keep disagreeing with me" is not really a bannable offense.

The third one, though? That's the real mess, because almost any place where those people hang out becomes a battlefield. As a moderator, it eventually becomes obvious that the "wounded party" in any given situation is usually attacking and harassing the other party in other forums, then running to yours and carefully positioning their halo for the inevitable backlash. Ignoring the context basically turns you into their personal henchman for winning scuffles, and it means that they will start dragging more and more shit into your forum so that you will "protect them."

Identifying this poisonous third scenario is not the same as dismissing the concerns of someone who's being harassed, any more than charging two people for brawling means that you're unsympathetic to victims of assault. "Who threw the first punch" in situations like the latter is usually something that goes back years and is surrounded by much-disputed complaints and grudges that, honestly, no one gives a shit about other than the parties involved.

Unless one of the parties considerably steps up the behavior involved (everybody's being assholes, then one starts making death threats for example), nuking them all from orbit is the only way to be sure. I don't know whether the situation outlined here is one of those situations, but if it is? Kickstarter's customer service rep could've worded the reply more carefully, but the essence of what they said was understandable: "If you can't avoid continually getting into scrapes, and you're so controversial that your projects turn into shitstorms, please don't let the door hit you on the way out." If that's what they were saying, they shouldn't have used the word 'stalking' because that's not what was occurring.

Calling for the firing of the CS rep who delivered the bad news, and publicly outing her name, is exactly the kind of shit-stirring the the folks in category 3 always start. It's frustrating to see it play out for the nth time.
posted by verb at 7:38 AM on April 15, 2012 [36 favorites]


And I (or my company) shouldn't be forced to enter a business relationship with an individual I don't want to deal with. Not being able to play silly buggers on Kickstarter isn't a punishment, it's a business decision.

This isn't really that hard to understand, but if the reason they decided not to deal with her was that she was being stalked, this is a very real problem on their end. You can decide not to do business with someone, but your rationale is important. I think it's likely that the situation is not that simple, but if the situation is that simple, then you (or your company) would if nothing else be inviting a huge shitstorm to deny service on those grounds.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:43 AM on April 15, 2012


I just can't imagine what possessed Kickstarter to reply as they did. It's so simple. You answer with either "No, she is banned for violating our terms of Service," or else with "Rachel is not under any sort of ban or suspension. Subject, of course, to our Terms of Service, she is welcome start a new project." And that's all you say.
posted by tyllwin at 7:47 AM on April 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Something I still don't understand - only backers can leave comments, and the minimum contribution is $1, so someone really spent $300 just to spam her? Especially since she's on other sites that allow free commenting?
posted by desjardins at 7:59 AM on April 15, 2012


You don't have to spend a dollar per comment. Somebody could conceivably stalk her 300 times for the same dollar, if that's what happened.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 8:12 AM on April 15, 2012


Drama queen is dramatic. Real stalkees don't leave a massive wake of spin and hyperbole in their wake.
posted by Meatbomb at 8:38 AM on April 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Jodie Foster reportedly used to accept phone calls from John Hinckley, Jr., so that she and her friends could listen to him and laugh about it. Sometimes, people who are stalked don't respond the way that we expect them to.

The woman in this instance is somebody who is a bit caught up in the self-manufacturing of celebrity that the web allows. There are a lot of young women like this. A lot of young men, too. Just because they have attention-seeking personalities, and the web has given them a mechanism for this, but not the maturity to do it smartly or well, doesn't mean that they may not also be targets of stalking, or that they deserve it.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 8:59 AM on April 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


Bunny Ultramod: this is absolutely true. I don't mean to imply that Haywire in particular is not being stalked or that she deserves to be stalked. Based on my relatively limited experience running online communities, I just think there's a difference between "stalking victim who responds sub-optimally" and "co-antagonist trying to establish 'their turf' on the Internet."

I don't much care about whether she displayed the proper level of "victimyness," but if she was the target in some forums but the aggressor in others, it's something else entirely. This is the Internet, not a dark alley, and "self-defense" is about ego, not survival.
posted by verb at 9:14 AM on April 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


I guess my point is that I don't get the sense that we know enough about this to make a definitive statement either way. Yes, she may be a loony and this is a case of loonies being lunatic to each other. Or maybe she's genuinely got some creep after her and has responded inappropriately.

I see this as part of a larger trend, and one I find troubling, as I discuss briefly in the MeTa thread on this. There are a lot of young women with sort of odd, attention-seeking personalities, and they have found the web given them tools to really -- and maybe foolishly -- indulge that. Some of them wind up attracting really vicious negative attention. Rebecca Black would be a recent example. Kiki Kannibal another.

When these young women start getting attention that's really disturbing or problematic, there has been a trend for online commenters to dig through their past and discover that they aren't all that great as human beings. Coupled with the fact that they are attention-seeking, this gives people license to just ignore them.

But I think this is a problem. I don't know whether or not the woman in our FPP is the victim or author of her problem, but I know this is something the web gets wrong more times than it gets right. And I think there is a gender issue here -- that we may especially respond badly to young women who are attention-seeking and have this strange, unappealing personalities.

I think some of it is that this is still an emerging phenomenon, and we haven't quite figured it out yet. This culture of online attention-seeking and microcelebrity is still very new to us, and we tend to be pretty ambivalent toward attention-seeking and celebrity anyway. And that's fair -- we don't have to like it, and certainly some of these attention-seekers are acting in a ay that we can be critical of.

But, then, we don't have to like how a woman dresses to feel that it is inappropriate to say that she has invited negative sexual attention because she wears a miniskirt. And we would likewise think it's pretty shitty if an online detective squad trawled through their web diaries to show how slutty they are.

This particular case may not be an exact analogue to that. But it's an example of a larger trend, and one that disturbs me.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 9:25 AM on April 15, 2012 [6 favorites]


Yeah, that's definitely problematic. On the other hand, I'm troubled by the idea that establishing context is unfair to victims. There's also a difference between "celebrity-seeking" and "fighting." Rebecca Black's haters were people who felt that the existence of a YouTube video gave them license to make a teenage girl a public laughingstock. They weren't people that Rebecca had (say) previously slandered in other situations, attacking her next project.

That's not a matter of gender - in the communities I ran, I saw more guys engaging in bait-and-cry maneuvering than women. There has to be some way of meaningfully distinguishing this from "stalking," or moderators just end up becoming the proxy enforcers for whoever is most clever.
posted by verb at 9:37 AM on April 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


There has to be some way of meaningfully distinguishing this from "stalking," or moderators just end up becoming the proxy enforcers for whoever is most clever.

I absolutely agree. I am not of the opinion that enough is known here, and there is an ethical and careful way to establish context. The web is not very good with that -- it's a machine that churns through information in a way that I think strips it of context. Just from my participation on MetaFilter, somebody could make the case that I have a mutiple-personality disorder, and be able to cherry pick a lot of posts that seem to prove the point. Especially as there are three Astro Zombies.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 9:42 AM on April 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


This comes to mind.

That doesn't mean she isn't a victim. But it almost seems like she doesn't mind having an online stalker, as long as the stalker doesn't interfere with her hustle.

I mean, it's completely obvious that victims will occasionally behave in non-ideal ways. But the consistency of it starts to look fishy. I can understand wanting to publish the "rocking hard ass" rant. But I can't understand not looking back and seeing that it was inappropriate and dumping it.

As for Kickstarter, I think they are being weasels. "Moderation" isn't a binary thing. Engaging in moderation doesn't mean cutting all the negative comments, it can easily mean just cutting all the off topic stuff. If a donor starts spamming, why not just give them their $0.35 back and ban them?
posted by gjc at 9:50 AM on April 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


I feel like the warning appended to the top of the linked Wikipedia piece

This article needs attention from an expert on the subject.

is basically what should be the tagline of this entire discussion, in particular the sidebar where I guess we now try to diagnose somebody's mental problems over the internet. I mean, come on, seriously.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:42 AM on April 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Kickstarter has apologized, and mentions that it has better tools for handling floods of comments.
posted by Pronoiac at 11:24 AM on April 15, 2012


I'd think a bell would have rung when there's 300 off-topic comments from the same person on a project. Most of the projects I click on at random only have a handful of comments and rarely are there more than one (except when they're thanking the project person for answering a question or something). But 300? I'm sure it wasn't at bot-like speeds, but I'm sure Kickstarter could figure out the average and max comments by a funder to a single project and get an alert to a moderator after it passes that threshold.

After rereading the TOS, and the allegation there were 300 off-topic stalker comments, and Rachel's alleged response to "frank" the stalker, I'm still thinking Kickstarter was correct in bouncing both parties on TOS grounds. Mother Teresa or Courtney Love broke the TOS by her personal attack on the stalker on the site. Kickstarter isn't in a place where it can determine the validity of the stalking claim or be able to give a pass to Rachel for calling out another user of their website based on the claim.

If it was happening in the comments of a Metafilter post, I would think at best both parties would get a time out, at worse the ban hammer would come out and smack them both. Just because she's the victim of a stalker doesn't give her a right to break the TOS either. Two wrongs don't make a right and all that.
posted by birdherder at 1:31 PM on April 15, 2012


I just read through the TOS and am curious as to which of these terms your think she broke.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 1:45 PM on April 15, 2012


Are you being obtuse? Even if she didn't break the letter of the TOS, do you not think she broke the norms of Internet communities? Or of polite society? If she was yelling at some guy in a restaurant, it's totally legal to kick them both out regardless of who started it.
posted by desjardins at 2:52 PM on April 15, 2012


I just read through the TOS and am curious as to which of these terms your think she broke.

Here, second bullet of the Rules and Conduct section:

* is unlawful, threatening, abusive, harassing, defamatory, libelous, deceptive, fraudulent, tortious, obscene, offensive, profane, or invasive of another's privacy;

Based on her alleged comment on Kickstarter in PeterMcdermott's comment above, a case for being defamatory against another user (his drug use and sexual kinks are not germane to the project), obscene/offensive/profane (I'm not prude and don't have a problem with her description of her time at Rice and her alleged great ass, but again, such is not germane to Kickstarter and could be a TOS violation), and she wrote out the stalker's (a Kickstarter user) private email address in the comment. And finally, as my original quote from the TOS above, Kickstarter can boot people from their site for any (or no) reason at all. Being a dick can be grounds for getting banned (that happens sometimes even in such wonderful places as Metafilter).

Rather than her responding to the stalker on Kickstarter's public facing commenting system, she should have ignored the troll and worked with Kickstarter to nuke the stalker's comments and his account. His TOS violation was crystal clear. Of course her choice to make the comment had more drama and was more public than working in the background (again analogous to Metafilter where some people will call people out in MeTa when the best thing to do would be to contact a mod).

I'm not trying to downplay or dismiss her claim of being a stalking victim here. But her response made it worse for Kickstarter -- which is why they made their initial decision to boot them both.
posted by birdherder at 2:52 PM on April 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Are you being obtuse?

No, the question was in earnest. And I'd still like an answer to it.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 2:56 PM on April 15, 2012


Thank you, birdherder. It seems to me their initial response should have said to her "These are the TOS that you violated last time. If you are having problems with somebody responding this time as they did last time, this is how we would prefer you respond this time, and this is how we will address the problem."
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 3:00 PM on April 15, 2012


Thank you, birdherder. It seems to me their initial response should have said to her "These are the TOS that you violated last time. If you are having problems with somebody responding this time as they did last time, this is how we would prefer you respond this time, and this is how we will address the problem."

Perhaps I'd be a terrible mod because I'd whip out the ban hammer rather than give another chance. I think what you'd do in response versus what kickstarter did shows that moderation is an art.
posted by birdherder at 3:28 PM on April 15, 2012


I am afraid that, as a KS mod, I would have nuked her and the stalker, especially considering her previous behaviour on KS and justified it as a strike to prevent current and future problems.

Call me unfair as you will, but, if you bait the bear as she apparently does, don't be surprised when the bear swipes you. (Not encouraging anything IRL, BTW).

Frankly, they bother strike me as a bit HPD and I do suspect that this behavior will continue regardless of the fora involved. Also, hate me as you will, but I think she rather enjoys this, as she has a follower that will spend great effort on interacting with her. I feel this is born out by the fact of their interaction.

OTOH, IANAD, and only a little college psych and I could be completely full of shit, so there's that too.

Take with a pinch of whatever sodium amalgam/sodium substitute you prefer.
posted by Samizdata at 8:51 PM on April 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


Interestingly, on her homepage under "Recent Posts" there is a post titled "Slashdot and Reddit – Pwned by Serial Stalker," but it looks like she deleted it. However, the Google cache is there. She whines about how she was initially receiving lots of wonderful support on those sites until her "stalker" started posting with sock puppets to defame her and everybody "fell for it."
posted by Gator at 6:12 AM on April 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Looks like Google will bring up a link to that but there is no cached version.

Ah well. I did puta questionmark at the end of the link. See everyone? There's a questionmark.

/sigh.
posted by Artw at 11:51 AM on April 16, 2012


I still see the cached version on my end. (I copied into Notepad, just for, you know, fun.)
posted by Gator at 1:39 PM on April 16, 2012


Google (for some reason) doesn't have a link to its cache, but the cache itself exists, at http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://rachelmarone.com/slashdot-and-reddit-pwned-by-serial-stalker/
posted by Bugbread at 4:47 PM on April 16, 2012


Gosh. Poor her. C'mon everyone! We need to gather around her and let her bask in the warmth of our collected pity!

Faugh.
posted by Samizdata at 5:30 PM on April 16, 2012


This Rachel Marone is crazy. It's pretty clear that she is the only stalker in this story.

Did you get a load of the Reddit link that SHE posted in that cached version of her blog entry? She apparently made multiple threads on Reddit within four hours of signing up, about her little personal drama, and was called on it by a Redditor.

And then she had the nerve to accuse her phantom stalker of turning the Reddit masses against her with his "hundreds of sock puppet accounts." That he just happened to have standing ready in case she should join and post four threads about him in four hours.
posted by jayder at 5:55 PM on April 16, 2012


That deleted blog post is pretty incredible. And I mean that in the literal sense of the word.
posted by hippybear at 6:03 PM on April 16, 2012


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