Twitter has been in our lives for 13 years. But its practice of suspending and banning upright citizens for no other reason than holding incorrect views only got underway about four years ago. Today, the practice is so frequent and widespread that I daresay anyone reading this can point to someone they know, or follow on Twitter, who has suffered punishment by Jack Dorsey in this way.
Most of the people who are forced to sit on Big Twitter Nanny’s ‘naughty stool’ for a day or a week—or forever—hold conservative views. Or rather what is now considered conservative views, even in the mouths of otherwise progressive people (like normative feminist Meghan Murphy).
On January 11th, popular anonymous Twitter user @neontaster was doxed by former Young Turks reporter Michael Tracey.
Addressing his followers, @neontaster explained that Tracey’s threat to reveal his identity first began last February, with Tracey sending him an email stating, “I believe I have ascertained your identity … I believe it would be journalistically valid to reveal it given the platform you have accrued.”
The doxing comes after @neontaster asked Tracey to stop following him on Twitter—a reaction prompted by Tracey openly insulting him. Tracey began to leak details about @neontaster’s identity immediately, and within an hour of their interaction, the former TYT reporter published a thread revealing the identity of the then-anonymous user.
The recent spat between Tracey and @neontaster stems in-part from a disagreement over Tracey’s outspoken support for the Iranian regime. In the wake of the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Iraq by Iranian-backed militia in December, Tracey took it upon himself to become an ardent defender of the Iranian regime, which only a day ago admitted to shooting down a civilian airliner amidst its brief bombing campaign of U.S. bases in Iraq following President Trump’s removal of its top general, Qasem Soleimani, from the battlefield.
@neontaster took a contrasting position, not advocating for war or regime change, but speaking in favour of punitive action against the Iranian regime for its repeated attacks on American military personnel stationed in the Middle East.
The disagreement came to a head as Tracey first threatened to unmask @neontaster, followed up by a tweet purportedly revealing the pseudonymous commentator’s personal identity and that of his uncle.
Following Tracey’s doxing of @neontaster, the former TYT contributor remained unapologetic in the face of widespread condemnation. He wrote: “I will always feel great about seeking to identify the influence of prominent neoconservatives in DC and media power structure. If you are offended by that, I am glad. Cry about it.”
In subsequent responses, @neontaster highlighted what he felt was an anti-Semitic current below the surface of Tracey’s actions. The term “neocon” has been weaponized by white nationalists to refer to Jewish people engaged in politics. White supremacist academic Kevin MacDonald published a thesis outlining “Neoconservatism as a Jewish movement.” As a result, the use of the term, especially when directed at Jewish people, remains sensitive.
Disturbingly, white nationalists on Twitter have taken to celebrate Tracey’s exposé and labelling of @neontaster as supposed “neocon.”
Among the first to signal his support for Tracey’s doxing efforts of @neontaster was alt-right figurehead Richard Spencer, who notably added an Iranian flag to his Twitter profile and publicly “regretted” supporting Donald Trump in 2016.
Other anti-Semitic and white nationalist Twitter users chimed in, even those who admitted to never having heard of @neontaster’s account before the doxing.
Efforts to unmask @neontaster’s private identity are not new. White nationalists belonging to the “Groyper” movement—allies and followers of self-described “paleoconservative” Nicholas J. Fuentes, notable for his anti-Semitic views, were previously responsible for outing @neontaster’s identity following his outspoken criticism of their involuntarily celibate messiah.
When reached for comment about his efforts to chill @neontaster’s presence and speech on social media by outing him publicly, Tracey denied that his actions were inappropriate, claiming “journalistic validity” because of the other user’s familial ties. Tracey’s comments in full are provided here, with redaction of @neontaster’s personal information:
When asked for his comments on the ordeal, @neontaster encouraged people read the interactions that lead to the doxing before forming an opinion.
“I think the facts speak for themselves, and people are welcome to go read his tweets and decide whether he was acting in good faith or not.”
Twitter user Ben Johnson discovered an interesting thing about Iranian Ayatollah Khamenei’s Twitter account. The supreme leader of Iran seems to have left his Twitter DMs open.
McDonald asked his Twitter followers to submit their best efforts in a thread. The internet did its thing and followed up with some seriously pointed and often hilarious DMs for the Ayatollah. People sent him everything from Trump memes to jokes about Soleimani to explicit adult content.
As of press time, Khamenei’s Twitter DMs are still open. So if you have a query or a friendly meme to send the supreme leader’s way, now’s your chance.
80s icon Boy George has joined the ranks of Morrissey and Kanye West by rejecting woke ideology and advocating for common sense. As a result, he has come under fire for speaking truth to trans. He expressed himself over a few days, saying that regardless of his own inclinations to costume, radical trans ideology is basically a crazy trend.
He got heaps of hate for saying “leave your pronouns at the door.”
And instead of backing down, he continued the growing trend of celebs actually sticking to their guns.
New fans see this as a betrayal.
While old fans applaud his willingness to actually say what we all know to be true.
But Boy George is anything but transphobic.
And he poked fun at his detractors.
He also has messages of body positivity for everyone, saying that you don’t need to surgically alter yourself to be your best self.
None of this matters to the serious trans advocates, like Dr. Veronica Ivey (nee Rachel McKinnon), a biologically male trans woman who became famous for beating women at cycling and then calling them losers.
Fans called him disappointing, but he knows that most of life is to be truly disappointed.
Boy George pushed the boundaries of what it meant to express gender and was scandalized for doing it. His femme look and strong makeup game made parents nervous, but it was in the spirit of self-expression, not redefining reality and erasing biological sex.
Boy George was not only a cultural icon, but a hero to many young people in the 80s for being himself and promoting individuality and personal freedom. He was out front with David Bowie and George Michael, making art and crafting a persona that was unashamed, forthright, and not beholden to any social expectations.
Boy George knows that a person can present themselves as anything they want to be, they can costume and parade, and society may or may not catch up. Learning to be your own creation no matter what the haters say is a lesson radical trans activists should learn—because strength is in not caring what people think—instead of forcing them to agree with your beliefs.
Tim Hortons boldly went where no company has gone before—offering free coffee for life to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Harry and Meghan have announced that they are walking away from their senior roles due to splitting their time between their native U.K. and North America.
Tim Hortons was quick to jump to Twitter to give an “enticing” offer to get the couple to reside in Canada tweeting, “No pressure, Meghan and Harry, but if you do choose to move to Canada, free coffee for life. Think about it.”
The tweet has seemed to backfire however amongst Canadians who appear dissatisfied with the gesture. Twitter users saw the publicity stunt as a prime opportunity to call out the corporation for its hiring practices as well as other unsavoury business strategies.
“How about letting the homeless get warm?” one person wrote, posting a photo they took from an Ottawa location describing trespassing laws which was clearly a nod to the cities homeless. “I will never buy anything from Tim Hortons again ever, due to this sign.”
Some 2000 people have shared the original tweet from Tim Hortons with added comments of their own, “Pay your employees a living wage,” writer Kait Kucy tweeted.
“Tim Hortons can afford to give free coffee to royalty but a ten-cent raise for workers is too much?” wrote another Twitter user. That particular tweet is a reference to an ongoing strike at a Tim Hortons in Winnipeg in which the franchisee owner locked the employees out and hired an all-new staff.
“Wow, talk about tone-deaf. Sort out paying your workers a living wage before you start giving freebies to the rich.” wrote another user.
Perhaps they could have tweeted something along the lines of, “We welcome you to Canada with a free coffee,” or “You can’t have the true Canadian experience without a cup of Tim Hortons coffee,” Instead of fawning over them with a desperate offer.