Requires Hate redux

A couple of days ago a blog post appeared revealing the real identity of the troll known as Winterfox and Requires Hate who also wrote fiction under the name of  “Benjanun Sriduangkaew”.  Although rumours that she might actually be a white individual based in the UK turned out not to be true, she does, as was widely suspected, come from an extremely wealthy background, a scion of a powerful family with extensive political connections.

What’s more chilling is that at a time when she was writing racial revenge fantasies about killing white people she was actually implicated in multiple deaths due to criminal negligence at a hotel belonging to her family, an event for which nobody ever faced criminal charges, and for which incriminating evidence appears to have been covered up.

The post contains names and links to family members, so I won’t link to it here, but I am including this very telling quotation:

Privilege takes many forms. These can include

  • Being born into an extremely wealthy and politically connected family
  • A debt-free college education
  • A high-paying job given to you by your father or any other family member
  • Being responsible (whether as an individual or a corporate entity) for the deaths of multiple people and facing no legal consequences

Someone who benefits from all these things is neither marginalized nor systematically oppressed, and to claim as such is an insult to those who are.

I recognise why releasing personal information (known as “doxxing”) is a bad thing which exposes individuals to harm, and I can understand why people believe it’s still wrong in this case despite Benjanun Sriduangkaew’s long and well-documented history as an abuser.

But every strict ethical rule will eventually encounter a difficult edge-case, and this is one of these. I don’t think it’s a coincidence her identity has been revealed just at the time her author harassment has started up again. I don’t have a problem with those whose moral calculus leads them to conclude that outing her is the lesser of two evils, in that her priviledged situation means she’s at low risk of serious harm, and it in turn reduces the harm she can do.

Of course her sock-puppets, acolytes and useful idiots want to make the conversation about the outing rather than the harm she’d done and is continuing to do.

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11 Responses to Requires Hate redux

  1. James Worrad says:

    Doxxing is bad and, like you, I’ve some extremely conflicted views on all this. But now the genies out the bottle (and after the rage has died down) we’re faced with some difficult questions. And, yes, superficially very paranoid questions but they should at least be aired.

    We’re dealing with someone who’s seemingly never had to answer for the deaths of more than six people. All this occurred during the height of her fetishising over the very gory deaths of writers and others. Compound that with the fact that, if the individual identified in the doxx is BS, she has more wealth to hand than the entirety of fandom put together. Fandom, with its hordes of patreon appeals. With its constant need for cash.

    Why are there so many people, people typically straight down the line ethically speaking (indeed, some have built a blog reputation on that moral ***) have spent the last year or so equivocating and hand waving furiously about a clear-cut abuser who in her past has said some very nasty things about gays, transexuals, african americans and the world’s poor? Why do they fight so furiously for her and not anyone else? Why do they risk their reputations so?

    Crazy, paranoid observations on my part, perhaps. But the more we learn about this person the more the pit gets deeper. Corpses are a part of this story now it seems. Is buying people really that outré compared to all that? She’s endless wealth and little moral compunction. Not a good mix. Frankly, I’d like to see a lot of people’s financial comings and goings of the last couple years.

    There. I said it.

  2. James Worrad says:

    TBH, stalkers like the guy who did the doxxing need to get the heck out of the picture. We need professional, honest journalism to get involved. Not that that’s likely.

  3. Tim Hall says:

    Indeed, this story really needs thorough investigation by a proper journalist. Unfortunately the only media willing to touch this story is most likely the sensationalist rightwing outlets that aren’t trusted by anyone on the liberal left. Sadly I can’t imagine The Guardian wanting to touch it.

    I’m getting the impression that there are a lot of people who would rather see this stuff swept under the carpet. But as long as things fester below the surface, it benefits actual bigots like Vox Day. As I’ve said before, the Sad and Rabid puppies aren’t happening in a vacuum.

  4. James Worrad says:

    It feels like fandom right now is some kind of chew toy being pulled about by two super-affluent hounds, one right and one left. But neither are really in it for the politics, not deep down. They just enjoy manipulating the peasantry and kicking people around. Online Ramsey Boltons, crass as that metaphor is. Makes you wonder how many others there are out there on the web, listless bored super rich kids using their mounds of free time and money to live out their sadistic power fantasies on the masses. Chilling thought.
    If the Rabid puppies can be roundly defeated and Laura Mixon’s report wins the Hugos this year it’ll be a victory for the common fan. And a punch in the nose of Vox, BS and all their cronies. I try to keep optimistic.

  5. Tim Hall says:

    At risk of violating Godwin’s Law, the fate of Poland in 1944 works as a metaphor. But how do we get to the Poland of 1990?

  6. Colum Paget says:

    Guys, I think you should step back a bit from what is, effectively, a murder allegation.

    Someone I don’t know, who claims to be a long time ‘fremeny’ of RequiresHate, tweeted me a link to this blogpost some weeks ago. I read it, but otherwise ignored it. I’m increasingly not opposed to ‘doxing’ when there’s clear malfesance, in fact I think in those situations it’s likely a public service, but I don’t trust this blogpost.

    Even given that the identity put forward here is real, and I know that others who’ve conducted their own investigations agree it is, it’s still a bit of a leap to connect this person to the hotel deaths. RH’s “kill whitey” rhetoric and the some of the storylines of her writing does make one wonder BUT the fact she was in the vicinity, or even on the management of the hotel, doesn’t mean she had anything to do with the deaths there. What does ‘part of the management’ mean? She could have been doing any one of a number of functions completely unconnected with the guests and their rooms. The deaths are likely accidental (and not all those who died were whites, one Thai tour guide is also a victim) and this is all just a tragic co-incidence. We’ve no reason to think RH carries any real responsiblity for the wellbeing of people staying at the hotel: she might well have been doing the finances.

    This informantion has been served up to us by someone who probably does not have RH’s best interests at heart. We should treat it with extreme caution.

    As regards her not being ‘a white individual in the UK’, I don’t personally consider RH to be one person, but rather a group, some of whom are in the UK. Her latest online persona, “talking_hive” displays three bees joined as one in a kind of trinity, and I think this is a reference to her group identity. For all we know the Thai member is being hung out to dry by other group members, or maybe something else is going on, we really don’t know.

    However, whether we consider them parts of the requires_hate collective identity, or just acolytes, the other members are believed to be white. This implies to me that RH can actually manage to get along with white people (Country of Machine Gods nonwithstanding) and probably isn’t going around killing them off (if she were then insecticide poisioning would be an interesting statement, but I think that kind of ‘meaningful serial killer’ only exists in movies).

    Before we conclude that ‘corpses are now a part of this story’, let’s recall one of the principles that people used to agree on (though the new left now finds it inconvienient).

    Innocent until proven guilty.

  7. Colum Paget says:

    Tim Hall says:

    # Unfortunately the only media willing to touch this story is most likely the
    # sensationalist rightwing outlets that arent trusted by anyone on the liberal left.

    This is a thing I’m really noticing. Something has changed in the media, and for the first time in my life I’m seeing a really pervasive leftwing bias, at least in the online media. The sensationalist reporting around gamergate/sad puppies/reddit revolution being the major example of this. There seems to be little real centerist media (except perhaps ‘the economist’) and the only alternative seems to be the sensationalist right. I think this might be due to the fierce competitiveness of the internet leading people to assume ever more extreme positions to garner attention.

    # Sadly I cant imagine The Guardian wanting to touch it.

    These days I find the Guardian distinctly odd, and tend not to read it.

    # I’m getting the impression that there are a lot of people who would rather see
    # this stuff swept under the carpet.

    This is absolutely true, it’s a product of the same attitudes that allowed RH to happen in the first place. Do you notice that it’s the same people discussing RH as being a problem? You guys, me, Will Shetterly, Peter Watts, etc? Where’s everyone else? They’re all off building the ideological framework that will empower the next requires_hate (or the Return of the Queen herself).

    # But as long as things fester below the surface, it benefits actual bigots like Vox Day.

    Why do you think VD is any more, or less, of a bigot than RH? I think they just clothe their attitudes in different ideological language, and they’re both principally out to build up a presence and get attention. VD is frequently unclear about what he really means, he normally presents things in a manner that’s deniable, so that he can turn around and claim “I didn’t say that” later. On some points (mostly about race) he’s clearer, and he’s definitely a bigot, but I don’t see that he’s more ‘actual’ than RH.

    # As I’ve said before, the Sad and Rabid puppies arent happening in a vacuum.

    No, they aren’t, but if we went back in a time machine and pursuaded VD to focus on a musical career and stay out of writing, do you think that the Sad’s, or something like them, wouldn’t be happening?

  8. Colum Paget says:

    James Worrad says:
    # It feels like fandom right now is some kind of chew toy being pulled about by two
    # super-affluent hounds, one right and one left.

    Fandom is being chewed on by many actors right now. We just notice the big dogs most clearly. The cause is a problem with fandom, but fandom will likely never be prepared to consider that.

    # But neither are really in it for the politics, not deep down. They just enjoy manipulating
    # the peasantry and kicking people around.

    I agree, and there’s more where they came from.

    # Makes you wonder how many others there are out there on the web, listless bored
    # super rich kids using their mounds of free time and money to live out their sadistic
    # power fantasies on the masses. Chilling thought.

    Do you think it requires riches to do this? I don’t. All you need is an internet connection and a certain mindset.

    # If the Rabid puppies can be roundly defeated and Laura Mixons report wins
    # the Hugos this year itll be a victory for the common fan.

    I disagree. Although I want to see the rabids blocked, and Ms Mixion’s work recognized, I question who is the ‘common fan’. The sads are right about some things: fandom does not represent the ‘common fan’, it represents a middle-class leftist clique who’ve (unintentionally, I’m sure) created an environment that drives a lot of people away. Jonathon Ross (despite being very wealthy) is probably closer to being the “common fan” than most of the people one meets at cons. Fandom is deeply classist, and utterly unable to accept people of genuniely differing viewpoints, which is why we’ve not go the ‘Sad Puppies’ insurrection happening. It’s also fallen into the trap of thinking that the way to make fandom more welcoming to underrepresented groups, is to make it an uncomfortable place for white males (RH being just the most extreme expression of this so far) My feeling these days is that fandom needs to fragment, that it simply cannot crnow. an environment in which all it’s members feel they have equal citizenship: there’s too much ideological poison in the well now.

    # And a punch in the nose of Vox, BS and all their cronies. I try to keep optimistic.

    Again, I don’t think it will be any punch in the nose for anyone. The RH take down was a punch in the nose, becasue it’s degraded Ms Hate’s ability and infrastructure. But she’ll be back (if Blake’s 7 taught us anything, it’s that you can’t keep a bad girl down). Defeat in the Hugos will concern VD not at all, because his focus is not really on winning hugos, it’s on increasing his visiblity and market-share.

    VD and RH are fundamentally two different problems. RH drew her power from fandom itself, from the attitudes and prejudices prevelent in modern SF&F. She was within the stockade, and thus a much more serious threat, she could have done real serious harm to people’s reputations and the community. However, this did mean she was vulnerable: if fandom could be made to see her for what she was, then she would lost most of her power. VD, on the other hand, is despised by most of fandom. He’s outside the stockade, and he has no reputational standing that can be degraded. He is building a support base from those people whom fandom has no place for, and from casting himself in the role of “the resistance” to fandom’s imperial orthodoxy. In order to ‘show him for what he is’ fandom would have to speak to the people who give him some credit: but those are the people whom fandom has been calling ‘neo nazis’ in recent months, and it’s likely impossible to speak to them after that. It’s tough to see how one deals with someone like this: when you have no common ground with someone, no points of contact or commerce, then you have nothing to take away from them, and they have nothing to lose.

  9. Colum Paget says:

    # At risk of violating Godwins Law,

    Godwin’s needs violating more often. It’s just another thing that prevents people from admitting that something that looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck is a duck.

    # the fate of Poland in 1944 works as a metaphor.

    Not Spain 1935? But I think the real metaphor is the McCarthy witchhunts. Spain and Poland were being consumed by outside forces with much greater power than them. SF is being savaged by forces that only have the power that the community choses to give them.

    # But how do we get to the Poland of 1990?

    I think you don’t. Not everything is fixable to reversable. Any real solution would require a wide-ranging change of outlook, attitudes, belief and behavior among fandom, and particularly among its leading voices. That’s not going to happen.

    This is why I think the best solution is to create a split-off fandom, with its own constitution that states what it stands for, and a real intent to police ‘memetic hazards’.

  10. Tim Hall says:

    As regards her not being ‘a white individual in the UK’, I don’t personally consider RH to be one person, but rather a group, some of whom are in the UK. Her latest online persona, “talking_hive” displays three bees joined as one in a kind of trinity, and I think this is a reference to her group identity. For all we know the Thai member is being hung out to dry by other group members, or maybe something else is going on, we really don’t know.

    That’s a good point, and one I haven’t seen anyone consider.

    Something has changed in the media, and for the first time in my life I’m seeing a really pervasive leftwing bias, at least in the online media. The sensationalist reporting around gamergate/sad puppies/reddit revolution being the major example of this. There seems to be little real centerist media (except perhaps ‘the economist’) and the only alternative seems to be the sensationalist right. I think this might be due to the fierce competitiveness of the internet leading people to assume ever more extreme positions to garner attention. … These days I find the Guardian distinctly odd, and tend not to read it.

    I’m a bit conflicted here, since I do occasionally write for The Guardian in the music section. But I do find their coverage on a lot of socio-political issues getting repetitive and tiresome. Their coverage of the Tim Hunt affair has been especially bad, and they have failed to do any proper journalism.

    As for Gamergate, that’s become a massive sprawling train-wreck. I don’t trust any media, left or right, to report things remotely accurately. I also think that nobody (including me!) really understands what’s going on. All I will say is that there seem to be both good people and very dishonest bad actors on both sides. I don’t think anyone on either side is seeing the whole picture, and it looks very different depending on where you stand.

  11. Colum Paget says:

    ## or maybe something else is going on, we really dont know.
    # Thats a good point, and one I havent seen anyone consider.

    Whereever Ms Hate is concerned, I’m always looking for the hidden agenda, both hers and those of some of her enemies. Nothing is simple around her.

    # Im a bit conflicted here, since I do occasionally write for The Guardian in
    # the music section.

    That’s the worst bit! ;-)

    # But I do find their coverage on a lot of socio-political issues getting repetitive and
    # tiresome. Their coverage of the Tim Hunt affair has been especially bad, and they
    # have failed to do any proper journalism.

    Yep, but proper journalism doesn’t sell. Mr Hunt was a perfect sacrificial lamb to be slaughtered on the altar of left-wing prejudice. That’s what sells, on the left, and on the right. All the media outlets are now in a race-to-the-bottom to compete with the Daily Mail.

    # As for Gamergate, thats become a massive sprawling train-wreck.

    Yep. It’s very interesting to speculate why gamergate has gotten as extreme as it has.

    # I dont trust any media, left or right, to report things remotely accurately. I also
    # think that nobody (including me!) really understands whats going on.

    That’s a really good point. It’s entirely possible that there’s more than one thing going on too.

    # All I will say is that there seem to be both good people and very dishonest bad
    # actors on both sides.

    I agree with this, but the ‘good people’ seem to constantly get played by the bad actors, which raises some questions about their goodness. The bad actors, on both sides. play to people’s prejudice, and it works.

    # I dont think anyone on either side is seeing the whole picture, and it looks
    # very different depending on where you stand.

    Very much agree with this, and that’s very worrying. I fear this is a glimpse of the future of politics, a politics in which people are beyond disagreement, and into the realms of simply not being able to understand each other at all.