When Bullying Becomes Acceptable

Note: This post was written at a time I was defending someone I should not have defended. I must own the content, but I do wish to point out that the people contained herein have been misrepresented by me. I sincerely apologize to each of them, because they did not deserve my hurtful words.


Skip the words and jump straight to the bullfuckery.

While it’s not a new topic, there has been renewed talk about bullying in the #p2 community on Twitter recently. Why? Because there’s a group of people hyper focused on “exposing” a very dear friend of mine, @Shoq. Shoq is a name many in the Twitter political community are familiar with, and I’m sure the mere publication of this post will bring about cries of “SHOQ PUPPET!” “TROLL!” “MANSON GIRL!” “FLYING MONKEY!” “CULTIST!!”, etc. A small, but dedicated, group of Shoq haters will launch into action to make sure everybody understands that I’m ONLY writing this because I’m one of Shoq’s minions and you should totally write off anything I say forever and ever because only Fox News they know the *real* truth.

Seriously. Wait for it. You think I’m kidding? Just RT this and see what happens. Oh, this post will set them off for DAYS (at least).

The Shoq Deranged have been pushing the narrative that Shoq is a ZOMG BULLY WHO TARGETS WOMEN!!!!! for at least the last year. Some of them have been doing it for even longer. I’m very aware of the reasons why, and while the details will be available elsewhere soon, my focus is on talking about the behavior of these people and how what they’re doing has become acceptable to many. Apparently if you’re Shoq and you get into a heated argument with someone on Twitter, or you call out the Shoq Deranged on their behavior, you are automatically labeled a bully. But if you’re Shoq Deranged, and spend a substantial amount of time talking negatively about Shoq, harassing his followers and people he engages with, spreading rumors of unsubstantiated claims of bullying and harassment, trying to misrepresent his criticisms of dishonest and hyperbolic media coverage as “proof” that he’s a Super Secret Republican Operative, or madly retweeting creepy websites that have been set up to “expose” him, well…that’s just a public service!

You know what this tells me? So long as you don’t like the target, most are willing to turn a blind eye to the people engaging in this behavior. Let’s take a moment to get an idea of what bullying, and specifically cyberbullying, actually is.

From StopBullying.gov:

Although definitions of bullying vary, most agree that bullying involves:

  • Imbalance of Power: people who bully use their power to control or harm and the people being bullied may have a hard time defending themselves
  • Intent to Cause Harm: actions done by accident are not bullying; the person bullying has a goal to cause harm
  • Repetition: incidents of bullying happen to the same the person over and over by the same person or group

Cyberbullying, instead of happening face-to-face, happens through the use of technology such as computers, cell phones and other electronic devices.

Examples of cyberbullying include:

  • Sending hurtful, rude, or mean text messages to others
  • Spreading rumors or lies about others by e-mail or on social networks
  • Creating websites, videos or social media profiles that embarrass, humiliate, or make fun of others

Bullying online is very different from face-to-face bullying because messages and images can be: 

  • Sent 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year
  • Shared be shared to a very wide audience
  • Sent anonymously


The Bullfuckery

OHAI! Crazy, huh? Naturally, the Shoq Deranged will cherry-pick some tweets or other artifacts from Shoq as PROOOOOOOOF!!!!!!!! that Shoq is a cyberbully. Color me psychic, this will happen. In response, I offer the following:

Or how about all the anonymous sockpuppet accounts that are set up just to harass Shoq and his followers? Like Shmuq, or Croq_, or ShoqAnon? Or conspiracy theories about deliberately circumventing Twitter’s block feature?

Or the baseless accusations of Shoq’s bullying, never accompanied by any proof:

  • WTF did Shoq “do” to GottaLaff…exactly? (and Manyko2 later admitted to me in DMs that he’s never seen the evidence of this bullying. I don’t make a habit of publishing DMs, but if he ever denies the conversation I’ll take it as permission to publish the evidence.)
  • And the same crap from Beccay2 (formerly Rebeccay):

Evidence? Pffft! Who needs that?!?!

Or what about allegations that Shoq is a pedophile? Tweeted and retweeted here, here, and here. Notice ShoqAnon’s threats to harass people who follow Shoq in that first link?

This shit is not normal. What if it were happening to YOU? Would that be okay?

I ask you, who is doing the cyberbullying? If your answer is “Oh, it’s still Shoq”, then I can’t help you. You’re Shoq Deranged. To others who are rational and can see beyond to the bigger picture, I say this: You don’t have to like the guy – I’m not trying to change your mind – but I’m trying to point out that there is some truly fucked up stuff going on here, and you’re probably sitting back with popcorn. Everybody has the right to dislike someone. People talk smack, and that’s okay too. But what’s going on here is not okay. Not in the slightest. There are thousands of people who don’t see Shoq the way the Shoq Deranged see him – his follower count supports that. A majority of Shoq’s followers have been following him on Twitter (and many of them pre-Twitter) for years, and have never witnessed the type of behavior claimed by the Shoq Deranged. So who to believe? I can’t make up your mind for you, but I know who I’m standing by.

Why do I care about this so much? Because my life is affected by these assholes too. These same people have harassed me, they’ve harassed my friends, spread rumors about me, questioned my very existence, and generally just pissed me the fuck off. There are days when I ignore it, days when I laugh about it, days when I can’t even believe what I’m seeing, and days when I pity those involved because only people with truly empty lives and low self-esteem would engage and encourage this harassment. But mostly, I’m just not going to sit back and watch them push this false narrative about my friends, all the while ignoring their hypocrisy and making their fake proclamations of “kindness” and “peace” and “unity”. The Shoq Deranged keep this shit going, and when Shoq or those affected respond, we’re accused of bullying. Fuck that mess.

ALL of this shit involves the same players. You go through the chirpstories and the followers and retweeters of these anonymous sockpuppet accounts, and you see the same faces. The same connections between certain people. It’s not a coincidence, it’s a deliberate and concentrated smear campaign.

There is so much more I could add to this post. There are so many other issues I could discuss. But others have covered it, or are in the process of covering it. I will probably include additional chirpstories and screenshots over time, but right now I don’t see the need.

What the Shoq Deranged are doing is not normal.

Let me say that again.

What the Shoq Deranged are doing is not fucking normal.

If you don’t like Shoq (or anyone who compels you to behave this way, for that matter): don’t follow, block, ignore. It’s really that simple.


18 Responses to “When Bullying Becomes Acceptable”

  1. Jim Wright/Stonekettle Station Says:

    Welcome to my goddamned world. A while back I cracked wise on a popular blog written by a famous science fiction writer. The post was about a couple of misogynistic idiots who thought that the genre of modern science fiction was being ruined by girls. The blog author pointed this out and engaged in ridicule of said jackassery and invited his readers to join in. So I made a comment poking fun at the idiots – and was subsequently labelled not only a male chauvinistic pig and a cultivator of white male privilege, but also a homophobe as well. I got hate mail for weeks from the GenderFail crowd full of rabid outrage and death threats. It was utterly insane, especially given my fervent support of civil rights for every damned body.

    Some of the folks going after Shoq are from the same crowd. These people militant haters.

  2. Butterose Says:

    It gets old, doesn’t it?

    I started following Shoq sometime in March, because I don’t have the time to spend reading blogs that say the same things over and over. He seemed to have the best links to issues that I wanted info on. Along with using him as something akin to an aggregator I also started reading his tweets. I saw, right from the beginning, that he had people trying to drive him out of Twitter.

    He argues, he gets arrogant, and I can understand why someone on the receiving end of some of the things he says might get mad. However, that isn’t bullying people. What he is receiving from all of those you’ve included in this post is bullying. Only, they aren’t going to see that, since they will state that they have freedom of speech, the right to an opinion, etc. It says a great deal to me about who they are and how empty their real lives must be. After all, all this bullying is getting them attention.

    They need to get over themselves, understand what bullying really is and just get past it. Twitter is big enough. I mean people, a blogsite whose only purpose is to embarrass Shoq? And I’m supposed to believe that HE’s doing the bullying? Sorry, it isn’t going to work with anyone who has half a brain and uses it.

  3. Kelly Says:

    What? I hope you are not getting paid to write because you are a terrible writer and old and ugly, too. Add that to your bullying examples.

  4. vdaze Says:

    Gosh, thanks “Kelly” – what an entirely unexpected comment. *eye roll*

  5. 60th Street Says:

    As far as I can tell, and I don’t know if this applies to all of the Shoq Deranged, but it sure seems to apply to a lot of them, the campaign against Shoq and friends is the result of petty morons disliking the fact that he targets their progressive heroes in his political critiques and that he supports Obama. That he’s very proficient in his criticisms and relentless in voicing them amounts to nothing less than a frontal assault on the frail identities these insecure lefties have concocted for themselves, so they do whatever they have to in order to defend them, including harassment.

    It’s projection. They know their M.O. of daily negativity, melodrama and outrage depresses Democratic voter turnout and they’ve learned to repress the guilt. But Shoq is always there reminding them, so they lash out violently.

    Also, too, they have no sense of humor. They think they do, but they don’t. They take themselves way too seriously.

  6. txvoodoo Says:

    See, they act like they’re the “nice girls” (and boys). That gives them cover later with those who only look at the surface. Talking about love & light, and being passive-aggressive. Denying their own bitter invective.

    This is the modus operandi of the Cult of Nice.

    And, as 60th Street says, they attach themselves and their identities to certain “leaders”, mostly pundits.

    Theirs is not a reality-based worldspace. And when someone, anyone, starts saying that it might not be so, it endangers their view of themselves and their world.

    They also crave attention. They go on and on and on about Shoq, and you, and then say “but look how much they talk about us!”, ignoring that it’s only after they’ve gone hogwild with it.

    And they lie. Lie and lie and lie. It’s so obvious, just reading their streams. They’re Palin-esque in their lies – it’s like they forget there’s a record, like she forgot there was video.

  7. Lysana Says:

    I had an argument with Shoq once. I walked away when it was clear we weren’t going to agree (wasn’t over politics; we’re both pretty firmly pro-Obama). BUT. That was it. I can’t live my life poking someone like the haters do.

    One of the haters thought I would be best friends with her after that exchange, though. Not even close; I saw what she was within two minutes and she landed on my block list.

    That’s the difference between me and the haters. I’m not going to haunt and hover and troll the guy. I have better things to do. They need the same. Perhaps a good therapy visit.

  8. Why yes, I AM writing about bullying. Again. These things must be said. Says:

    [...] anything, but are certainly more than willing to spread the meme via retweets and conversation. Via VDaze: Apparently if you’re Shoq and you get into a heated argument with someone on Twitter, or you [...]

  9. Jeni Burns Says:

    ‘Tis the season, I guess. I’ve been working on a post about liberal bullies who’s focus is liberals for the better part of a month since writing about it for an essay for my (Now finished, yay!) English class. After way too much psychoanalysis (seriously), it’s like…remember the kids in high school, who always insisted they were being bullied, but, in fact, they were the ones overreacting to damn near everything said to them? This is who we’re dealing with. They don’t live in our reality. Disagreeing IS bullying to them. Because, if there isn’t happy-unicorn-fart-agreement-love-fest, it’s all-out war.
    Back when I first started twitter, I figured it’d just be like a virtual hipster hangout. Kind of like The Globe was when I first started on the internets. (if you remember The Globe, congratulations, LOL, you’re old, and have been on the internet forever.) Then, I started following a couple people I liked and respected. Then, someone RT’d something Shoq said that I agreed with, so I replied and followed back. Then there was this other guy (don’t remember him, LOL), who started arguing with Shoq about..gah, I think it was CodyK? Or someone like that? I dunno. Anyway, apparently the guy was getting a bit too friendly, and no one liked it. I didn’t know the whole story then, I still don’t, so my only input on the situation was that whatever the problem was, could they both take it off stream, because, seriously, they were both being stupid. I think Shoq and I had an argument, then he blocked me for maybe a week, and then re-subbed. I resubbed, and, since then, all has been well. Guess what, he wasn’t being a bully! Neither was I! The other dude has fallen into obscurity, and I did stop following his FB page (after his overly dramatic twitter retirement) after he *did* start getting seriously weird with some of his female fans, but, well, ugh. Hindsight = 20/20.
    My point is, (other than I need caffeine) well, Shoq isn’t a bully. I’ve seen him try. He doesn’t know how to just be mean. He would suck as a bully. But, what I HAVE seen him do is lash back at people who hurt him. I will admit, that, other than making a few comments like “I don’t understand the obsession with unmasking Shoq”, I have tried not to get involved. I don’t spend nearly enough time on twitter to get involved. But, you can be damn sure that the second someone in my stream slams him, I’ll defend him the best I can. He’s NOT a bully, he’s not a creep, and he’s generally a good goddamn guy. This shit is too common, and if people don’t stand up to the ACTUAL bullies, we’re all fucked.

  10. vdaze Says:

    Thanks Jeni – that’s pretty much how I see it too. Heated interactions and misunderstands don’t mean bullying. It’s absolutely a case of people being overly sensitive, and rather than just ignoring it and moving on, they’ve become paranoid and see any kind of criticism as bullying. It’s absurd. And to watch them justify their actions because they think Shoq is an asshole or whatever, is just sickening.

    Oh…and I totally remember The Globe *lol*

  11. Shoq’s ordeal with #serialliar Jason Leopold creepily similar to mine with Mariana and Chris « Maria Technosux Says:

    [...] http://www.virtualdaze.com/2011/12/11/when-bullying-becomes-acceptable/ [...]

  12. Chris Says:

    Who is this Shoq guy anyway? If he used his real name like most journalists/bloggers then the bullying would probably plummet to zero. Anyway, I finally had to unfollow him recently as every other post now is him responding to some hater. He just clogs up my feed. Internet cat fights are 13 year olds. Damn.

  13. vdaze Says:

    People have the right to respond when they are falsely accused of a crime. In Shoq’s case, GottaLaff (who is also anonymous, by the way) has been lobbing false accusations at Shoq for a long time. I have no problem with anonymity, and don’t agree with your theory that if he just used his real name the bullying would stop. I do have a problem with people falsely accusing others of doing things they didn’t do. As for you unfollowing him – to each his own *shrugs*

  14. mandm Says:

    Wow. I don’t use twitter much anymore because there is too much Crazy in the kool-aid…every time I drop in, I see some new level of it. I did see a TON of attacking towards vdaze going on during one of my drop-ins, which didn’t make any sense to me. (I guess that’s what happens when you start watching a movie in the middle.)

    I wondered how she (you) could take it, but you seemed to be handling it a lot better than anyone else I’ve seen under attack on twitter…it had to get to you at some point, and I guess this was it. I can understand ultimately being driven over the edge…but I just can’t get around the question yelling for attention in my head – this is a lot of effort to defend Shoq. Why? Shoq is more than capable of defending himself and you’re perfectly capable of defending yourself – so I think it’s weird and a little creepy that this is 90+% about defending Shoq.

    Whatever, whether I think it’s weird or not, it’s your right just as much as anything else, and I agree about the bullying. I don’t even know what the sides or the fights are anyway and am fine with that. Good luck, and I hope things are calmed down and stay that way.

    Parting advice: These people aren’t going to change. If you want to keep from getting burned, just stay out of the fire. You can express your support to your friends in DMs but you don’t have to jump in. If they expect you to jump in, I’d say they’re not your friends because they should know you’d come under attack as well.

  15. My1BlueEye Says:

    For the love of fuckall! Is this bullshit *still* continuing? The psychopath compulsive liar crowd (read beccay et al) seriously have no life if, after all this time, they *still* can’t just STFU. Amusing to see the same accusations of “being hacked” (as if they even understand what that means, and what would *really* be happening to their lives if they actually *were* hacked — Hint: no hacker gives a shit about what some drug-addled hypersensitive hypochondriac half-wit says on twitter).

    My decision to leave twitter, Fecesbook and the rest of anti-social media is, yet again, confirmed when I see those with no life, no hope of having a life, continue to pretend they have one by flailing about like fish in a boat as if the more noise they make the more important they are.

    What a Complete. Bunch. Of. Utter. Fuckwits.

    You have more intestinal fortitude than I, daze, for sticking it out with these ‘people’ (and I use that term *very* loosely).

  16. vdaze Says:

    What’s “creepy” is the group of trolls constantly attacking Shoq.

    I prefer the type of friends who speak up. Loudly. To each his / her own.

  17. mandm Says:

    Oh, my bad – of course you do. And that’s why you’re in this protracted mess.

    Psycho-social behavior 0.001: The more people involved in a situation having vastly differing opinions, without an impartial moderator, the more the fracas grows, along with the deranged behavior. All of you who want, expect and even ask for your “friends” to publicly side with you are escalating the problem exponentially.

    The drama takes on a life of it’s own. People – even otherwise smart and sensible people – feed off of it, and feed into it.

    As I said – my bad. Obviously the drama is what you want. That explains a a lot, including this post (in some measure, at least).

  18. Jack Burton Says:

    I guess the people who watch “Faux News” were right after all.

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