So last week after two solid weeks of intensive griefing, with effigies of my RL self from this picture of me in Wired in 2008 (!), and needing to go do a job and also help an ill friend, I took my account offline and asked my son to take care of my tenants -- and also a few tenants who help out sometimes.
There are a variety of ways to hide yourself from the People list in SL, and yes, I'm aware that some don't seem to work until Search catches up after a few days.
In any event, after two weeks of intensive prim litter and harassment, idiots dogging my every step and banging and bumping me (they found me either by my regular blog of SL about where I'm exploring or shopping, or used God mode), I thought this would be an opportune time to shake them loose, while I had to do other things.
My son had to return their crap for a few days, but they went away. It's not the dozens of ARs that I and my helpful tenants filed on them -- because the Lindens left many of the alts in the People List and they kept returning. (They use fake names like "RavenglassRentalsConcierge2" which I NEVER use in my business or "RadioFreeLucy" or SovietAdmiral etc.)
It's just that they couldn't immediately get a reaction out of me so they gave up. These people have harassed me for something like 10 years. They haven't been so active in the last year as the Lindens have repeatedly taken their islands away from them -- but not very thoroughly.
There's a simple thing the Lindens could do -- take these 63-prim or 124-prim or X-number-prim complex items and remove them for good from the asset server. Why would an effigy of a person in RL (!) be legitimate or creative? It's a violation of several TOS rules. Yet they never do this. When I provided Patch Linden with a list of all the objects and their names, hoping perhaps this new customer-service chief at LL might function where others had only laughed, I found that in the next grief raid, all the items had new names. Well, there you go. They're in on it. I won't belabor this point.
While I was away, I checked my email or account now and then and sent my son lists of things to do. He is not at all interested in SL and doesn't want to be involved again, after his days on the teen grid. But I can pay him to do the minimum. And it truly isn't much, as these are SELF-SERVICE rentals. Indeed, their openness is one of the reasons why they can be griefed -- but I don't care. They're determined to make a hysterically rigid and crazy totalitarian society under the name of "Internet anarchy" and not allow any one the freedom to do what they want on the Internet not consistent with their extremist ideology (they're like jihadists) -- which notably includes attempting to run a business or make a community -- which they ridicule and think is wrong. I have to find the manifesto one of them once wrote -- so telling. They are the most rigidly ideological people on the Internet I've ever seen outside of ISIS.
In any event, things quieted down, everyone got their upgrade to resident role or their other requests to remove things etc met, and I only heard one person out of hundreds ask if he should pay a rental box attached to an avatar who was offline. I sent the message that he could indeed, and refund from it as well if desired.
During this week, I've only had one incident with a tenant moving out -- not because I was "gone from the People List" -- which is the ultimate horror for some -- but because my son three times sent notices about a person overprimming double what they paid for, and also having commercial activity in a residential zone, and she kept ignoring it, even invoking her status as an autistic (!) for her reason of overprimming -- then ignoring direct, real-time requests to remove the prims -- oh, and stop relabelling all the parcels around her with her store name. She also insisted it "wasn't a store" despite everything set to sale in it. In any event, if I had been able to handle this, I might have been able to "tenant-whisper" this person down from her crazy and her belligerence - my son just sent her prims back because he had no time. I should be more like this. Six days had gone by...
So what happens next? The other night I get a friendship request from the odious SLHamlet, who I call "Shamlet," Wagner James Au, blogger at New World Notes. I've had a long-standing loathing for this asshole, ever since he did a very prejudicial interview of me calling me a "Chomsky" -- because he's stupid, doesn't understand what Chomsky means, and couldn't stand my role as critic of his beloved Linden Lab (for whom he worked at the time) or his little friends in what I dubbed "the Feted Inner Core". I remember trying to speak reason to this not-very-bright ideologue, who is something of a techno-commie or tech-lib or not even as defined as that, but just a pathetic opportunistic, but found him trying to play "Mr. Logical Positivist with the Falsifiable Proposition". He's truly insufferable. PS I wonder how he can possibly make a living off this blog, which has a super lame nag message "do you want to leave this site" *just to go to the next page and finish reading the article (!). Or his books on SL. Or any of his articles. He must come from money, have a wealthy partner, or do some sort of side gig to actually make a living. Blogging does not make you a living; even writing as a journalist does not.
What Hamlet has done all these years has banned me from his blog UNLESS I put my real-life name on the comment. He believes that I will be "tamed" into not making critical comments if I do that. This is ridiculous as there is no secret about my identity or my linkage between Prokofy and my RL name. But I refuse to have separate drinking fountains just for me -- no one else has to put their real name on his blog, including multiple idiots who grief me. So only about once every 10 years do I post anything there, if truly urgent.
So sure enough, precisely because I'm the only one called to account for my "wrong-doing" but no one else is, soon enough this assholery appeared:
No doubt this name is related to that Fitty or Fatty or variations therein, one of the 4 chan/Patriotic Nigras/Woodburies/Whatever who is among the nastiest griefers in SL.
Of course, I'm not dead, and I don't have cancer. (What I do have is a rare immune disease which has been debilitating at times, especially last summer when I injured my leg and it wouldn't heal for 6 months, but I work and go out and do everything with it so I'm hardly a shut-in, and it's not a fatal disease, it's manageable if not curable.)
Now, what a normal person might have done is ANSWER this is the comments, AFTER they contacted me on Facebook and determined that I was a) alive and b) didn't have terminal cancer, as Hamlet did.
But instead, he deleted it and did nothing. He said "it was libelous". What a douche. What's libelous is leaving it unanswered, then deleting it leading only to more speculation. So soon enough, the spandex-clad one appeared, who is only a hair's breadth away from being a griefer himself. Again, not my real tenants or real friends and acquaintances are contacting me like this, because they either already know where I am or don't care (many of my tenants are actually fairly new and even the oldbies don't really follow all the FIC and Woodbury things that so endlessly fascinate the Herald or Hamlet.
So, predictably, there was this:
@Prokofy Why is your name no longer found in SL Search?— Hal Jordan (@GLExcelsior) March 4, 2017
- GreenLantern Excelsior
@GLExcelsior I've been abducted by space aliens.— Prokofy Neva (@Prokofy) March 5, 2017
@Prokofy If you see Shia Labeouf out there, tell him not to come back. :)— Hal Jordan (@GLExcelsior) March 5, 2017
I have no idea who Shia Labeouf is, forgive me, I bet he's a famous movie star in a space show, but I don't have TV and just don't follow popular culture like movies hardly at all. I save such bandwidth as I have for other things more important to me.
I should point out that when he contacted me, Hamlet started a whole interview. I said I don't censor the press, and he can write whatever he wants -- obviously he'll do that anyway, although being scared stiff to allow a "libelous" comment on his site that in fact he could have neutralized BY ANSWERING IT which I've SEEN HIM DO many times. That way you see the sort of douche leaving this comment, and its correction. But no.
In the course of this conversation, I explained the Wired story again, the griefing, I gave him pictures, and I mentioned that I actually came to the conclusion when the war in Ukraine started that these griefers were in fact attacking me not for SL-related reasons but for my writings critical of Putin and the Kremlin. The timing always seemed to go together. An article comes out, then they attack in SL -- and BTW, attack in other ways with the same medley of harassment on Twitter and Facebook, and even calls to the house and creepy emails. This is a very old story. Some of my articles have been in highly-visible publications and it seems to track.
That is, these griefers of the "LulzSec" or "Patriotic Nigras" era are different than the Woodburies (although possibly related) and I actually think they do hook up to Russia, not as a spoof but as a real thing. Nobody but a griefer tied to a state would bother to grief someone for 8 or 10 years. The original Woodburies would have hopefully moved on with their lives.
Always the skeptical investigative journalist *cough*, Hamlet demanded to see time-stamps and proof of this correlation between griefing episodes and my more visible articles. Of course, this is what people like him in general say about the Kremlin's hacking of the DNC. They say "there's no proof" like they say today "there's no proof" about Trump's claim of wire-tapping (and I think the way to understand THAT has been laid out brilliantly by Eli Lake). This binary "lie/truth" or "proof/no proof" is very, very geeky and authoritarian, the worst of the Scrum-type mindset and a bane on our culture, as I've been saying for years.
Note that I personally did not blog about this theory -- tying SL griefing to my RL writing -- because I didn't think the case could be established adequately. I had a hunch about it, and even some evidence, such as Russian words on some of the prims (and not fake Woodbury play-acting Soviet words but real Russian). But honestly, I don't have time for this!
Hamlet said he would pitch this article on this griefing and such to Wired -- but of course either they'd be uninterested, as there isn't a story her (in the journalistic sense) OR they'd like to take another swipe at someone who thinks griefers are like terrorists. Indeed they are, although believe me, I get the difference between someone who crashes my sim in SL with too many self-rezzing prims, and somebody who has killed the father of my son's school friend as in 9/11. Truly I do. So fuck you, if you don't get the parallels and can't accept reason by analogy. The reality is, terrorists attack people with whom they don't have a direct beef, and so do griefers. It's my tenants who are griefed really, with ugly crap in their houses that shocks or disgusts them, not me, who doesn't care.
I knew that Hamlet's strategy was merely to let me talk, and then see if he could fish something out he could distort or weld to his effort to ridicule or discredit me -- exactly as Julian Dibbel did -- and I want to write more on him later as he is now an over-educated credentialed menace engaged in lawfare, whereas before he was just a plain menace as a gamer.
I've often wondered if Dibble himself was Mr. Bungle -- there are some tell-tale signs. He ensured that I was ridiculed in his piece for Wired that had no seriousness in it, and he also had his photographer take as ridiculous and fearful a picture of me fitting a stereotype as he could muster (I guess the pose where he had me peer through a chain in the door didn't come out as well). That hit the mark, as that's precisely the picture and scene the griefers have made over and over again for 8 long years to harass me and my tenants. Amazing, eh? The banality of evil.
I could tell then the next time Hamlet IM'd me that he hadn't paid any attention to what I was saying, and didn't look at even the emails with time-stamps and links to articles and such, because he came and asked THE SAME DAMN THING. He said "rumor had it" that my account was cancelled and that Random Unsung was gone too.
I patiently told him that I had retired Random Unsung and some other alts years ago, and that my account was not cancelled just because I was not in the People List -- I had already explained that at length but he ignored it. It's at moments like that you realize SL Hamlet is not very bright.
But then I said fuck it, and blocked him. He's truly a douche.
Next thing I get an email asking me if I had sent out a notice to Ravenglass tenants that I was away and they could contact my son.
And that was truly annoying because SL Hamlet implied that there was some sort of "civic responsibility" to do this, and he, Mr. Crusading Investigative Journalist, was going to expose me in the Public's Right to Know, as a shifty landlord who would skip out on his tenants. That in SL, it's the tenants that screw landlords way more of the time than reverse, despite what you hear, that my rentals are pennies and even subsidized in quite a few places, doesn't matter. The "story" is something that fits his banal, narrow brain pan as "a thing" and he will try to wrest whatever thing he can get out of it -- God knows he is always hurting for copy over there.
And it's doubly annoying because I suspect Hamlet just doesn't log into SL and never really grasps what griefing is anyway because he thinks griefers are is his cool friends, can't seem to understand that the last thing anyone who is in a grief storm is going to do is announce that they'll be away so that people can grief them more. Oh, and so squatters can come in.
And why do that, when you have someone to take care of requests?! Which are fairly minor and infrequent given that this is a SELF-SERVICE rentals operation.
OK, I've spent WAY more time on this given ALL the other things I have to do. I should be back by next weekend and tenants know who to contact. Most have used common sense and figured this out the normal way.
I will say that those who "helpfully" theorize that you shouldn't publicize griefers, or react to them, or do anything, because they are "just trying to get a rise out of you" have never dealt with griefers as I have. Nothing you do matters. Not publicizing them works no better than publicizing them. It's fiction to pretend otherwise. One thing I can be sure of, however, is that Hamlet's post, coming soon, will start a new round. And as I told him, I don't censor the press. But if he writes deliberate falsehoods that cause me material loss (the libel test) I will indeed sue him.