Twittergate Reality Check Part 4: Dangerous Paranoia

Let’s get this on the public record, plain as day, and please — read the next paragraph carefully and consider the implications.

Brook Bayne has told several people that he believes Brandon Darby, Mandy Nagy and I are leftist plants who were put in place by the FBI in order to spy on conservatives. 

He’s actually said that and as far I know, he actually believes it. If you look at what he’s saying in his increasingly bizarre twitter stream, it’a all consistent with that crazy, paranoid theory.

Here’s Brooks last night, claiming that Brandon Darby told him that Andrew Breitbart had 100 sock puppet accounts; by the way, this is a claim Bayne never made until I published this article a couple days ago.

 Fellow Twitter-gater Greg W. Howard and Michelle @ZAPEM are equally unhinged.  Here they are apparently discussing sending me to jail — you can’t see Michelle’s end of the conversation because her account is protected but look at what Greg is saying in public; he’s accusing me of working with Neal Rauhauser.

 This is all disturbing stuff. And in the light of the Aurora shooting, it’s even more disturbing. The Boston Phoenix had an interesting article about the mentality that may have given rise to that shooting and it certainly seems to apply here to Brook, Greg, Michelle and Patrick.

There is something truly awful going on here: an entitled fanboy mentality, enabled by the anonymity of screen names, that moves and thinks as a mob and that reacts to any deviation from unanimous praise with the fury of a spoiled child.

Ty Burr, An uncertain line between fantasy’s lure, nightmare

But the Twitter-gaters aren’t THAT crazy, right?

Honestly, I have no idea how crazy they are. They seem pretty crazy. Let’s recap : Brooks has told people that Brandon, Mandy and I were planted by the FBI to spy on conservatives like Brooks. Greg, Brooks and Michelle have all contacted my employer to try and get me fired. They are obsessed.

If you think this is some Twitter battle, understand that they do not. They see this as a literal war against literal traitors and they see me, Brandon, Mandy, Patterico, Malkin, Erickson, Breitbart and many many others as part of that treason. That’s not metaphor for them They mean it.

Here’s an exchange between Greg and someone who was attacked by Twittergater account @TheCypressGang — Greg states once again that I’m not conservative.

This next part is frightening in its clear implications — Greg, who claims to be a Christian, rejects any notion of Christian ethics applying to this situation because it’s ‘war’. In Greg’s mind people disagreeing on Twitter is WAR. He and Brooks and their small group of Twitter-gaters believes that. And it’s the kind of war that allows the suspension of ethics. 

Again — they literally believe Brandon, Mandy and I are FBI plants.

Therefore, anything they do — any tactic — is okay because in their minds, it’s just self defense. They are defending themselves against a greater threat and they are the ‘real conservatives’ — and apparently, they are the arbiters of who those real conservatives are.

So, maybe to you reading this it’s a Twitter fight. To them, it’s not. And to the people being targeted here, it’s definitely not.



  1. Lee, there certainly are some people I would consider having serious mental issues on twitter. A prime example would be OccupyRebellion. I see some of the same traits with others on Twitter, too. They can take just about anything and twist it or rationalize it or otherwise mold it into fitting their desired scenario. If that can’t easily be done, some new overarching scenario is fabricated out of whole cloth that makes everything “fit”. It really is absolutely crazy. The only saving grace is that these people devote a lot of time to Twitter so they aren’t out in the real world bothering the rest of the population in real life. They live in their own little fantasy matrix online and generally don’t have a life other than the personae they portray on the Internet. Their entire life revolves around their computer world. Take the computer away, and they wouldn’t have much of a life at all. They probably have no real friends within a 20 mile radius of them.

    What I can’t understand is why Twitter “means” all that much to so many people.

  2. This insanity confirms my suspicions once again. Let me put it this way – why would any so-called ‘conservative’ fear the FBI, police, DEA or any branch of law enforcement? Hell, we overwhelmingly support LE – many of us ARE LE! It’s only the bad guys (progs, occupiers, et al) who disrespect the good guys doing their jobs. So these blanket accusations show what these guys are all about. ‘Nuff said. They’re all crazy, and they are NOT conservatives.

  3. ” why would any so-called ‘conservative’ fear the FBI, police, DEA or any branch of law enforcement?”

    Considering how politicized the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security have become, might you want to reconsider that question? Our law enforcement in some areas are becoming little more than agents of politics. Allowing guns across the border to further a gun control agenda? Looking the other way as armed thugs intimidate voters in Pennsylvania? IRS being used to harass political opponents. Over 100 agencies allowed to use drones against the domestic population.

    I would say that people at any level have reason to fear law enforcement that is under a Democrat executive.

  4. George, you’re absolutely right. I hadn’t thought of it like that.

  5. As an outsider I questioned what this ‘infighting’ was about. @ZAPEM, jumped on me immediately. Giving me half a dozen reasons why the Breitbart team was wrong. When I mentioned defeating Obama and that this was a distraction she stepped back a little, but not much…

    BB, is self-absorbed and attacks anyone questioning him. Greg originally acted fine when I discussed this with him, but later acted shady. They have an organized team of people who focus on attacking people. They find a small amount of truth about the account they attack, then misconstrue it and try to ruin that person’s reputation.

    They say Breitbart had a hundred or hundreds of socks? I find that laughable. They in truth are the people that have many accounts which are used for bullying (and probably suspension as well). To paraphrase Greg’s tweets, ‘You’ve got to fight back.’ He has admitted to recommending people use ‘B&R’ (I assume to suspend people he doesn’t like).

    The goal of this #WAR is to defeat Obama!

  6. “They say Breitbart had a hundred or hundreds of socks? I find that laughable. ”

    Most people don’t have time to manage crap like that. It would take a (smart) loser of Rauhauser’s ilk to do something like that. You need someone who really has a lot of time on their hands but does have some skill and have access to a computer or two with a good connection to the Internet that is not a consumer grade connection (can’t servers on those address ranges as a general rule). It can be automated but again, that takes paying someone with some skill and requires resources that might best be used addressing real problems and not tilting at windmills.

  7. Ok, here’s the thing. People are getting WAY bent out of shape about twitter. The number of twitter accounts is about equal to 8% of the US population. We know a good number of those are spambots, companies, and sock puppets. I’ll be generous and say that 6% of the US has a twitter account. According to Twitter, about half of users are “active” meaning they have logged in the past month. The “average” twitter user sends 1 tweet every 2 days but that is skewed by a small group of “hyperactive” twitter users. 0.05% of twitter users account for 50% of twitter traffic. So basically what you have on twitter are a very few very active tweeters and the vast majority never really paying much attention to it.

    People like to get into their heads that twitter is some “important” social media thing, it isn’t. except for a very tiny number of people. MOST people who have a twitter account either rarely look at it or don’t use it at all. The reason why is noise. Try following the #syria hashtag, for example with something like tweetdeck. You have a bazillion people around the world all re-tweeting the exact same posts and the content is all repetitive. Once in a while you get a new tweet but picking that out of the stream of noise is practically impossible. You will see someone tweet something with the tag and a bazillion people instantly retweet it and neglect to remove the tags and so it is like getting the microphone too close to the speaker. You end up in a feedback mode where the entire channel gets swamped with the same content repeated over and over.

    It is good for having a circle of friends and keeping in touch about things. It isn’t good for chatting. That’s why they have IM with group chat rooms. But some people think it is “important” that their chat be public because they think somebody cares. By far the vast majority don’t give a rat’s ass. It is basically people preaching to various choirs.

    I don’t go back and look at all the messages I missed from everyone I follow when I log in to twitter. I will look at stuff sent directly to me, but I don’t go back and look at stuff that was sent when I was logged out. So if Romney or Obama or anyone else sent a tweet when I was not logged in, I’m never going to even know it was sent. When you tweet, you are ONLY tweeting to those who are logged in to twitter at that moment and even then less than half of them are paying any attention.

    I would NOT classify twitter into the same “social media” class with Facebook or previous iterations of that sort (MySpace, Friendster, etc). Twitter is an odd sort of public IM. I live in silicon valley and people who work at many of these companies. Very few people I know here even use twitter. They all have facebook, though. The reason is the same. Twitter is pretty much either just a bunch of inane traffic informing you of when some acquaintance has to take a dump or it is drinking from a firehose of tweets that are mostly just a bunch of people retweeting the same thing ad nauseum.

    I can not “get” this fascination with twitter for political purposes. Hardly anyone uses it and those who do read only a portion of the tweets sent by people they follow. It IS nice for checking on a specific friend to see what they have been up to if you haven’t heard from them in a while by checking their timelines but it sucks as a real time chat mechanism that some try to use it for. Lee, I saw you complaining tonight about the difference between the number of followers Obama has vs Romney. Have you ever actually LOOKED at Obama’s followers and notice how many are spambots and how many are people who themselves have no followers and have never tweeted, etc.? Obama has a lot of bogus followers.

    But if you do the math I think you will find that if Romney convinced EVERY US twitter user who was eligible to vote to vote for him, it would mean 1 or 2 points in the overall popular vote and might make NO difference in electoral votes. Twitter is a waste of time for politicians. Nobody pays any attention to it except for a core group of “hyperusers”.


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