James Billingham

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James Billingham @ool0n harasses women and feminists online with @The_Block_Bot.

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The Block Bot (The_Block_Bot) on Twitter.

Finally @Oolon Admits The BlockBot is Ideological (with tweets) · Freshverbal · Storify.

The Block Bot…. Internet Fascism _ Alan vs.

You can REPORT the Block Bot here.

A sample complaint:

The Block Bot application is an abuse of the Twitter API’s block function to implement a shared block list – anybody who authorises this app gives it power to block hundreds of twitter users who have been added to its list for no good reason. The developer claims it is to block trolls/abusers but, in reality, the members of the list can be added for a variety of reasons – even as simple as disagreeing with somebody the developer, or his friends, don’t like.

In this sense, the app’s purpose is entirely misrepresented. People added to the list by this arbitrary criteria will then be blocked by anybody who authorises the app.

This has also resulted in mass spam-flagging on certain accounts, triggering the automatic suspension system.

Many good people are being blocked by the users of this application, simply because their name was added to it by one person. This is not in keeping with the spirit of twitter.

The app essentially gives power to specific individuals, to add names to it and have all of it’s users block that person (without the app users even knowing).

Links to the app here: http://www.theblockbot.com/sign_up/connect.php

33 thoughts on “James Billingham

  1. Jeff

    Wait, I think you might have this backwards. This guy set up a thing so you can block racist and misogynist trolls on twitter. He seems like one of the good guys, and everything you linked seems to support that.

    1. bugbrennan

      No. A “good guy” doesn’t tell Women what we should prioritise. He uses his “tool” to harass lesbians and feminists, like many other men featured on this blog.

      1. Matilda

        But he never told women what to prioritise in that video.
        I am a lesbian feminsit so if he realy is harrassing people like me, I´d like to know so I can stay safe. But that video isnt proof of that.

  2. oolon

    Not entirely sure I could be said to be someone who “harasses women and feminists online” … But I guess everyone to their own definitions. Given this seems to be primarily about the block bot, does this mean by creating a service that ignores some women I am harassing them? Because that is what blocking on Twitter does, ignores you.

    That storify you quote is by someone complaining that I don’t agree with his assessment that Patriarchy/Kyriarchy is made up by feminists. So the ideological difference is accepting a pretty basic tenet of feminism vs his view that its all leftist bollocks created by professional victim feminists. I’m fairly sure that while we don’t agree on sex positivity and trans* issues we probably do agree that he is a dipshit. You’ll also notice that @ElevatorGATE, the notorious anti-feminist stalker, is also very appreciative of that message. Not sure what you are trying for there, seems to make me look good and that doesn’t appear to be the aim…

    As for Alan’s post it’s pretty much a regulation “freeze peach” argument that many feminists get over and over. Block the MRAs and you are a “professional victim” who is censoring and going against the principles of free speech!!11!! The bot was created as part of the atheismplus aim of creating safe spaces for marginalised folk, where sexism, racism, transphobia, ableism etc are not allowed. Obviously hard to manage that on Twitter, but it helps as you can see from the thanks in the TL from many feminists, trans* and queer activists/tweeps.

    As a rebuttal to Alan’s argument I suggest reading M.A.Melby’s post: SPAMMED

    1. bugbrennan

      You are taking a men’s rights position, sir, when you block lesbians and feminists who have a critical anlysis of gender. That’s “your right.” It’s our right to name what you are doing, sir.

      1. oolon

        Haha, I notice you “SPAMMED” the rebuttal to the “Internet fascist” blog post from Alan, written by a razor sharp feminist woman… Now do I complain about free speech or censorship? Or maybe let you manage your private space as you see fit?

        I’ll go for the second option as its entirely up to you how you manage your own space. The people who sign up to the block bot also want to manage their private space, Twitter. And since they are trans* inclusionary, sex positive feminists the TERF and SWERF views are not welcome. Same as anti-feminist views are not welcome in other feminist safe spaces.

        Sorry, but you need to get over this as people (women, men, trans*, genderqueer etc) have the right to sign up to a shared blocklist if they wish. Unlike Alan’s view that ignoring is “fascist”, if it is then so are other feminist safe spaces and I doubt you want to go down that road.

      2. bugbrennan

        Go link on your own blog, sir. Your agenda here is clear – you are a men’s rights activist who believes in silencing lesbians and feminists. Have a nice day.

      3. oolon

        I guess I am a “men’s” rights activist by your definition. I doubt I’ll be featuring on manboobz any time soon however as they are also trans* inclusive. I have to disagree on one bit though as “activist” is a stretch given my piss-poor support of trans* folk merely extends to creating a service on Twitter and arguing with a few people, hardly worthy of being called an activist.

        You and the other TERFs do far more to convert people such as myself to being real trans* activists, and I’ll be thinking hard about how I can better support trans* folks rights in the future.

    2. Alan Dempsey

      I do not claim in my article, in any way, that the block bot violated free speech. My main point is that the block bot, while it does block users who are obvious harassers, also sets out to block anyone who merely opposes the views of its adherents. It prevents rational discourse between those who have differing viewpoints. It claims to want to eliminate misogynist threats but also blocks other feminists, LGBT activists, atheists and other social justice activists who have even the slightest opposition to the bot’s creator’s own views or the bot itself.

  3. Matilda

    Same Matilda. Just now noticed the other links. I am almost blind so sorry for not noticing. I still say there is nothing there that proves he is the bad guy.

    1. oolon

      I’m often very silly on Twitter, and sometimes rude. But mainly to people like Alan who call me “fascist” for creating a shared block list on Twitter. He is, to my knowledge, not a woman or a lesbian so my rude comments to him cannot really count to the harassment charge. So I doubt I’d be much nuisance to you Matilda, thanks for your fair and skeptical analysis of the evidence on this page!

      BTW bugbrennan etc are free to create their own block bot as the code is all open sourced. Ours matches the principles of the atheismplus safe space, so won’t be for everyone. Hence I opened it up as I assumed more people might want to make use of it.

      1. bugbrennan

        It is fascist to deem a viewpoint you don’t like as unworthy of public discussion. Do you believe penis is female? Because you are blocking hundreds of women who understand the importance of biological sex.

      2. bugbrennan

        PS – I don’t need some manly tech bullshit to know who to avoid. And I don’t need manly tech bullshit to “sanction” viewpoints. Your views speak for themselves – and they tell us you are a man who engages in online harassment of women. If that upsets you, stop doing it.

      3. jose

        You publicize the block bot as just something to ignore trolls, spammers, etc. that casual bystanders might be aware of. What you don’t make a big fuss about is who else you’re blocking. What you don’t say is that your blockers have a vested interest in not letting people learn about the radical feminist perspective. Be honest, oloon, the bot is not only for your A+ friends over there in the forum. It was never meant to be a small thing. It is designed to reach to the general public.

        Many people subscribe to the block bot unknowing that they are blocking fresh, sound arguments they have never heard before because they’re not in the mainstream of online feminism. They believe they’re getting rid of trolls, but actually they’re getting rid of everything that doesn’t match your particular political inclinations. You deceive them.

        You are blocking survivors of human trafficking who are now activists helping women escape a life of trafficking because they disagree with your opinions on prostitution, oolon, and you’re on TV telling the general public your bot is about “trolls and fools”.

      4. oolon

        I know you are hung up on biological sex and have some very wrong ideas about that, IMO. You are free to express those however you want, people signing up to the block bot are free to protect themselves from you and your supporters. I often see them call trans women “dude”, “men” other such macro/microaggressions designed to demean them. Given they get this day in day out I don’t blame them for wanting to be free of it on Twitter.

        To be clear it is not everyone, many people will engage with you and other TERFs. It’s important your views are challenged and I’d be just as horrified as you if I thought the block bot would lead to your views being left unchallenged. It just means those that want to will challenge you and those that don’t can be free of it. Although if you use Tweetdeck you can have people blocked and still interact anyway!

      5. Alan Dempsey

        http://www.thefreedictionary.com/harassment

        There is nothing gender specific about harassment. Anyone can harass, anyone can be harassed. You were rude and insulting. My gender and race do not justify your insults. Stop trying to use feminism as a scapegoat to be a douchebag to people who don’t agree with you.

        You were rude to me before I ever used the word fascist or wrote that blog post. Anyone who reads the post will know that it was written partially in response to your insults. You called me an atheist white male dipshit dudebro because I asked why you blocked an MRA when his bio clearly stated he supported gender neutrality. It was only after you flamed me for asking a reasonable question that I called the block bot fascism.

        What this is really about is a narcissist programmer who cannot take criticism of his program.

  4. Kim

    I’d like to add, please join me in reporting @The_Block_Bot for violation of the twitter terms of service. The mass blocking by this bot triggers twitter’s automatic anti spam measure and suspends your account (here is a description of how it works if you’re interested). Basically, it’s equivalent to creating multiple accounts to flag someone as a spammer and get them banned from twitter. I recommend everyone file a report here, and mention how this bot breaks the rules on automation.

  5. metaburbia

    Oolon – James Billingham – touts the BlockBot as a shared list of abusers and harassers. Very few on the list could reasonably be described as that. Some, of course, but few.

    Jeff, you say: ‘This guy set up a thing so you can block racist and misogynist trolls on twitter’ Well, Twitter already allows you to block such trolls and Twitter suspends their accounts when they know about them The vaunted attraction of the BlockBot is that the list is shared and automatically manages blocks without your bothering.

    For that to work you have to rely on the admins who add Twitter accounts to the BlockBot’s lists, and trust them not to abuse it: not to add people to it because they disagree with them, because they represent other points of view, because they’ve annoyed a friend on some blog or forum somewhere. Of course there’s no reason why Ool0n and his chums over at Atheism+ shouldn’t share a list like that – but not while claiming it’s a list of abusers and misogynist trolls.

    There are many feminists, many women, many women feminists, and many other reasonable people who’ve been added to the lists; and quite a few people who are frequently abusive who haven’t been, because they’re chums of Ool0n and his comrades.

    Until a BlockBot comes out that is managed sensibly I’d steer well clear of this one and block whoever you want to block under your own steam. It’s more reliable.

    You might like to ask EllenBeth Wachs, Abbie Smith, Sara Mayhew, Maria Maltseva, Paula Kirby and many others if they think James Billingham has abused them online..

  6. metaburbia

    By the way, if you’d like to understand how Ool0n reacts to anyone not 100% behind him and his admins. take a look at James Billingham suggesting I’m a Nazi sympathiser or something because of what I wrote above

    Judge for yourselves – novel thought – and then decide if you’d like to trust automated blocking to Billingham.

  7. Pingback: @bugbrennan on Twitter | Gender Identity Watch

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