Nothing is sacred: How trust works online and how @Kingofpol fooled me

On the 18th of September 2014, 4chan staff began deleting GamerGate threads from 4chan. He later published with his Admin capcode a post on 4chan which would change my life. He wrote that GamerGate fell under 4chan’s precarious “raiding/doxxing” rule and was therefore being banned. He failed to mention he was also seeing Mallory Blair, a freelancer who works with Gawker, and his staff started banning all mentions of the same from 4chan.

I had a virus when Kingofpol’s followers first came to me, and was tweeting in between vomiting into a pink bedpan. Apparently, the 8chan.co/burgers/ (now 8chan.co/gg) board, a board anyone someone had made on my site where anyone can make imageboards for free, was being promoted by a hashtag campaign called #GamerGate. I read what moot had done and decided to support the people fleeing and request financial help in running 8chan so that it would be able to support the influx of new traffic.

Why bring this up? It’s why I trusted @Kingofpol. Trust online works in networks because everything online can be forged. The #bitcoin-otc Web of Trust project (http://bitcoin-otc.com/trust.php) is an excellent example of how we can trust things in a very untrustworthy world.

However, sometimes the people we trust aren’t really trustworthy. In fact, sometimes even people high up on the Web of Trust lie.

This has happened time and time again in the Bitcoin world which I have followed since 2011, and people have lost millions of dollars because of it. TradeFortress stole hundreds of Bitcoin when he took down his CoinLenders and inputs.io services. Aethero, at one time one of the most trusted lenders in #bitcoin-otc, did similar when he mysteriously disappeared along with his Ziggap service.

I personally have lost money when previously trustworthy people disappear: when BitVegas and BitAds disappeared, I lost around 0.1BTC, which at the time when Bitcoin was over $1,000 each, was ~$100.

Time to cut to the chase: @Kingofpol’s leak is a fraud.

I will explain why I trusted it, and then you can draw your own conclusions. I am releasing this information because I believe that it is more important that people know that this is a fraud than my own personal trustworthiness.

@Kingofpol told me about the leak on Skype. He showed it to me, and told me that it was Stephen Totilo, editor and chief at Kotaku who was the source. He told me that he had been speaking to Totilo for weeks, and that this was a confirmed leak from Denton. He told me how hard he worked for this leak, and I decided to help him out with a confirmation. He said that he was passing the information off to Milo, and that there would soon be a Breitbart story.

I had some initial doubts: why release anything at first, why not just wait for the Breitbart story?

However, I decided to trust Kingofpol and didn’t think he would come up with such a Große Lüge. As far as trust networks go, I had Kingofpol at the top level, with @Nero and @AdamBaldwin.

Anything online can be forged, and online communication all comes down to trust. Screenshots are easily forged using the developer tools in every browser.

Last night I pushed Kingofpol about the source. If the source was Totilo and he had proof, why wouldn’t he just release the proof?

Up until the very end of our conversation, Kingofpol kept using male pronouns to refer to the source. “The guy’s job”, “his”…until he saw I was actually serious about this.

Then, Kingofpol admitted he lied to me in a call, and the source was in fact an email. He had a fifteen minute Skype call in which he and his girlfriend @cindianimation ranted incoherently to me about a shill conspiracy to create a “round table” of GamerGate and to create “secret leaders” via Skype groups, saying that the owners of r/KotakuInAction were behind it. Something like that wouldn’t surprise me, since Reddit is inherently cancerous and based on identity and unbearable faggots attempt to ruin everything good, but it’s completely unrelated to the fact that Kingofpol lied about his source.

Kingofpol eventually did send me the email of his source: it’s fake. The email doesn’t exist and returns an SMTP error.

Kingofpol broke his trust with me. He was previously my most trusted voice in GamerGate, a movement I am not very active in. I will never trust anything he says again because he blatantly lied to me to get me to confirm something on Twitter. I encourage everyone else to do the same based on the evidence here.

If this situation were to come up again, I would never verify anything unless I spoke on the phone to Totilo myself and confirmed it to what he sounds like in interviews. Too much is at stake here and there are too many e-celebs who will say anything for retweets.

Remember: TRUST, but VERIFY.