Zach Attack: Social Justice Twitter Attempts to Dox #gamergate Supporter, Fails
In yet another crazy story within the world of Gamergate, numerous individuals associated with what is commonly referred to as "social justice Twitter" have been implicated in an attempt to dox a prominent female Gamergate supporter. It was all a ruse.
They were infiltrated and fed the false, private information of an enemy and they ran with it in order to silence someone they consider to be their opposition.
One of the people implicated allegedly has ties to Crash Override Network, a Twitter "trusted source" for its anti-harassment assistance.
The Two Sides
Twitter user mombot is the account of an anonymous person who claims to be a mother with Japanese origins. She has been active within Gamergate, her translations widely used in Gamergate's campaign against politicized or censored video game translations when they are brought from Japan to western markets.
Some within social justice Twitter - a nebulous group of people often referred to as anti-Gamergate for their highly active and dedicated opposition to the movement - blame mombot for what they argue was a harassment campaign that resulted in the firing of former Nintendo employee Alison Rapp.
According to mombot, back in April a person with the Twitter account rudderhouse played the part of her public enemy, exchanging combative tweets. "For my part, I acted along and gave his anti-Gamergate persona legitimacy by 'arguing' with him and receiving threats from him," mombot told me in private messages. "He spent 4 months, since last April, setting up social media accounts and making them look convincing."
The goal was to see if anti-Gamergate people would use doxing (the act of making someone's private information public) against their enemies, a practice they allege is rampant within the Gamergate movement.
The person with the rudderhouse account provided mombot's purported non-Japanese name and picture to several anti-Gamergate people through direct messaging (DM) on Twitter. Eventually around a dozen people were involved in group DM's, talking about the veracity of mombot's private information. You can view a lengthy log of that conversation here.
(Chat log. PACER stands for Public Access to Court Electronic Records.)
(A list of accounts involved.)
They tweeted "Zach" to mombot who played along and immediately made her tweets private. That made the group certain that mombot was Zach Harris. They went after her, posting "Zach Attack" memes (which refers to Zack Morris, a character on Saved By The Bell) and even the supposed picture of "him".
Several hours later, mombot revealed the hoax and published a pastebin with scores of sometimes shockingly callous reactions from people discussing the doxing.
Israel Gavez and Crash Override Network
Most notable among those implicated in the doxing attempt is Israel Galvez, a self-described "Internet Abuse Specialist" for Amazon Web Services. Galvez is well known for his claim that Gamergate doxed, harassed, and SWATted him, including a video interview where he said that people involved in such activities are "domestic terrorists."
Galvez reportedly has ties with Crash Override Network, an anti-abuse organization and one of Twitter's "Trusted Sources" for dealing with harassment.
Days before this ruse, mombot wrote an article on Medium where she discusses ties between Crash Override and Robert Marmolejo, who allegedly sexually harassed up to 20 women. In that Medium article is a chat log with several people, including Marmolejo and Crash Override co-founder Alex Lifschitz. Israel Galvez was included in this chat log. I have independently verified that this chat log is genuine. No one has denied its veracity.
I sent an email to Crash Override to talk about their involvement with Galvez. They replied, "Izzy Galvez is not affiliated" with an unsigned response. When I asked if they would confirm whether or not the chat logs were genuine they did not reply.
Israel Galvez did not respond to several requests for comment. He was caught lying about not knowing why mombot made her Twitter account private in the following tweet.
A Tangled Web
Others involved in the doxing attempt did respond, however. Twitter user FUIWORK, previously known as the 2dAmMuslim account, evaded most of my questions. He claims that the whole event was "a troll that turned out to be a troll within a troll." He says he was "owned by mombot". He claimed that he is just a troll and is affiliated with GNAA. He then sent several accounts to tweet at me and send me direct messages.
"The Captain" (jiveassbaloney) was also involved in the doxing. He was adamant that the people involved were not part of social justice Twitter, but instead a group he called the Thirst Police. There are "too many horny idiots online," he wrote, "and we aim to [do] something about it." He claimed that Galvez was merely a spectator, even though the chat logs indicate otherwise. "The Captain" claimed to be 36 years old.
Matt Myers, who has me blocked, made his position clear in a couple tweets.
Welcome to the ridiculousness of the culture wars on Twitter.