Some of you out there have been familiar with my research since 2012 when I started writing about the Colorado theater shooting and then when I started covering the Boston bombing the following year. After Boston, the trolls were out in full force but it never appeared to be in direct response to anything I had written, rather, just a general overall troll patrol against those us of who questioned the narrative. More importantly, most of them came across as government accounts or those being paid to shill.
It wasn’t until I started writing about WikiLeaks and Julian Assange that some people told me, “Be careful, the trolls are going to come after you,” and you know what they always say as if it’s etched in stone, right? If the trolls are attacking you, that means you’re “getting close” and “onto something.” Well, here’s the thing. In the big scheme of things, I’m not attacked that often and it’s fairly infrequent that I have to fend them off or block them. Does this mean my most current research is fake news? A crock of shiz? Phony bologna? As well-sourced as I try to be, I certainly don’t think so. With that said, what I can say about the most serious trolling I’ve experienced in the last year is that it didn’t come from the government, it came from an account that claims to be an activist: @Pizzaital.
I have spent the last year dealing with this account’s bizarre behavior, attacks, and allegations that I run a number of sock accounts. Things started out friendly enough with them pointing out my blog’s reporting on Vault 7 (the blog is now defunct and my Vault 7 posts can now be found on this website).
However, on April 26, 2017, I posted this tweet which resulted in a flurry of tweets from @Pizzaital after which they blocked me.
And no, I have no idea what it was about my tweet that sent them over the edge. And even though they blocked me in April of last year, I continued to give them the benefit of the doubt until I stopped giving them the benefit of the doubt at the beginning of October 2017. That’s when I returned the favor of blocking them and when the fun really started.
Within days of blocking them, on October 5, 2017, I received some strange DMs.
And yes, it appears @Pizzaital or someone on their behalf wanted me to believe that @Pizzaital was/is behind the @AnonScan account and that she’s wonderfully bright and intelligent. She’s apparently also a “professional on Twitter,” whatever that means.
Two days after my last message to the above account, I received more DMs from yet another sock account,
So that’s fun, right? And notice how @AnonScan is now either a lesbian or a male (and singular) who may or may not have an (unhinged) girlfriend that I blocked. Oh, and look at that. They mentioned my Proton email account. Keep that in mind. Moving on….
The next day, @Pizzaital posted these tweets,
And after more accusations on October 13, 2017, naturally, I reached out to return the pleasantries.
As a side note, if someone could get me the handles and login information for my other fake accounts that would be great. I seemed to have misplaced them.
On the same day, October 13, 2017, @Pizzaital also wrote that I wasn’t a journalist but rather a “great troll.” Oh, the honor! The thing of it is is that I’ve never claimed to be a journalist and, in fact, have never put my writing in league with any level of professional journalism—although I’m always grateful when someone likes what I’ve written. Bottom line, I’m a researcher who happens to write about what I find. Apparently, @Pizzaital didn’t get the memo.
As for the “she wrote with me on DM,” consider this an open invitation for @Pizzaital to post these alleged DMs I had with her because I know that she knows that there’s only been one DM between the two of us (I sent one to her back in February 2017, she never responded). But please, prove me wrong, @Pizzaital.
My explanation at the time for this account’s shenanigans,
Oh, and look at that. Is that @FrancisJeffrey7 that liked this tweet? Yeah. It is.
Later that very same day, October 21, 2017, another sock account was opened and it posted screenshots that I had privately sent to someone via protonmail. The screenshots were sent due to my concerns that @francisjeffrey7 was scamming people for money and trust me, I would know. I was scammed twice, almost three times. Mmm. Let me rephrase that. If his cause to raise money for someone named “Janine” who allegedly needs surgery was legit, after donating twice and not being able to afford to donate a third time, this individual became increasingly aggressive. After convincing me to donate a third time I backed out at the last minute because the way he wanted me to send the money, who I had to talk to, and the fact that I had to lie to someone in order to send the money, was obviously sketchy as f*ck. After declining to help with a third donation, Jeffrey became downright nasty and insulting towards me. If you know what I’m talking about then you’ll notice they don’t solicit for donations anymore. There’s a reason for that. Here’s the sock account.
The @LiveItsLive account that had sent me previous DMs calling me a bitch, whore, slut and mentioning my Proton account, promoted what @AnonsBigWorld had posted. Another account tried to help by asking them to take it down.
And how exactly did they obtain my Proton emails? Great question. And no, they didn’t come from Francis Jeffrey (at least not all of them) because some of my emailed screenshots that they posted were not DMs between me and Jeffrey. They were between me and a third party (who knows I sent them) which tells me that @Pizzaital or someone else had access to either my protonmail account or the individual’s email box where I sent them. So there’s that.
@AnonsBigWorld also posted this. Is this some sort of threat? And for what exactly? And look at that llama. Funny, I don’t even like llamas that much but my handle is another story.
And apparently, I’m not the only one @pizzaital tried to dox although I do have my own reservations about @MassSpies and the whole Qanon thing.
And yes, after approximately eight months you’d think that this account would have sought therapy or at least come to terms with their obsession with me but no. After Julian Assange retweeted some of my posts on February 20, 2018, @Pizzaital had this to say because this isn’t weird.
And no quotes here but I’m assuming this one is also about me. And again, if someone could send me the login information to my twelve fake accounts, I would be much obliged.
And even after the WL/JA comment in February, things still didn’t let up. On April 18, 2018, another sock account @RealAnonymous05 (which has since changed its name), told another account that I had previously blocked that I was, in fact, the account I had previously blocked (@redappledew). Yes, it’s become that absurd and I would just like to point out that sure, of course, I’m “Mrs. Apple” and the weather in Scandinavia has been wonderful, thanks for asking. Insert eye roll.
And how did they find out I only use Wikipedia as my source for my posts?? I mean, isn’t that the real scandal here?
And here’s something that’s weird. I had mentioned to someone the @redappledew account because of my concerns that the following sock accounts might also be theirs,
…and by May 26, 2018, all of those accounts were suspended. But whatever, I’m not sure if that means anything. Days after @RealAnonymous05 told the Apple account I was a married Scandinavian woman who really, really likes Wikipedia, they posted this,
And more threats…
Notice again the weird obsession with telling me that @Anonscan might have a girlfriend and/or might be a woman. Naturally, I reached out again. Notice how quickly they changed their name and photo.
And here we are, almost two months after the last episode and it appears this account still can’t let go. This from two nights ago after which they quickly deleted it (along with the entire account),
Again, the girlfriend bit. So listen, of course all of this could be a strange coincidence and I welcome @Pizzaital to respond to this post, make his/her denials, and explain why their own account has been attacking me, calling me a troll, and accusing me of having multiple sock accounts. I mean, sure, if under the influence of illegal street drugs, it’s absolutely possible to believe that multiple sock accounts, all completely unrelated to each other, have contacted me to tell me the exact same random thing: @AnonScan has a girlfriend, they might be a woman, and I need to back off.
Threatening and discrediting someone’s work because @Pizzaital believes my articles about @AnonScan’s videos and tweets mean that their alleged boyfriend, lesbian lover, imaginary friend, family member, or whatever their deal is with @AnonScan is having some sort of secret Skype sex with my account is absurd.
And is this really just about a woman who is so obsessed with @AnonScan that they’re willing to dox an anonymous researcher (which they already did once when they posted my emailed screenshots because of the information that was contained in some of those screenshots) because said researcher (me) has written about @AnonScan? This kind of behavior is dangerous to anyone who writes about things that powerful people don’t want you to write about and the fact that she doesn’t care about my safety or perhaps anyone else’s speaks volumes.
If this account isn’t backed by a government agency and they’re behind all of these attacks, they need to seek some serious professional help.
And yes, I’ve tried to straighten this out privately, all to no avail. The attacks continue.
And after reading this, if your first inclination is to ignore the fact that this individual potentially puts people in harm’s way and that I’m “dividing the community,” don’t bother because if this is the kind of community you want, no thank you. The bottom line is if you come after me (for eight months, no less), if you threaten me, and if your actions are no better than, say, the government’s, I won’t be silent about it. And shame on anyone who asks me to be.