On the manufacturing of outrage

Disclaimer: This is not meant as an attack against the person (Alison Rapp) but against the methods they employ. My intention is only to inform not to incite.

TLDR

Alison Rapp presented herself as the victim of online harassment with a list of 52 comments she labeled gendered hate back in October 2015. By digging into them I was able to uncover that:

  • the comments she had collected were from 6 different instances which were 4 months apart (not 6 as she claimed)
  • the sites she browsed to find the comments are 4chan, 8chan and sheekyforums
  • none of these comments were actually ever directed at her
  • she’s actually changed 2 of the comments to make them meaner than stated
  • she split 1 comment into 4 independent comments, so the actual sum total is 49
  • the sum total of all of the remaining comments in the threads she visited is 2039 (97.7%)
  • many of the comments aren’t either gendered or hateful

Gendered hatred

On October 20th 2015 Alison Rapp tweeted out a google document with a list of what she described as gendered hate: https://archive.is/RFiUb

She also announced that she was on a mission to help women speak out by compiling this list: https://archive.is/SBG3z

And she knows for a fact that these aren’t trolls or children: https://archive.is/qp4hK

The list consist of 52 comments and no indication was given where these came from aside from this comment: https://archive.is/1dWKn

Data analysis

Full data is linked at the bottom

I was able to successfully backtrack all of the comments she has put on her list to 6 threads in chronological order.

15th of June 4chan /v/ https://archive.is/vki4W (338 comments)

17th of June 8chan /v/ https://archive.is/k2wju (145 comments)

5th of September 4chan /vg/ https://archive.is/phn2e (783 comments)

13th of October 4chan /v/ https://archive.is/sMmgk (520 comments)

16th of October 4chan /v/ https://archive.is/sMmgk (189 comments)

?? of October sheekyforums https://archive.is/xoTUR (113 comments)

All of the threads combined have a total of 2088 comments. From those comments she has picked out 49 she considers hateful. Which amounts to following graph:

I have also done further analysis into the actual content and while these comments are obviously mostly insulting in nature, to say that all of them are gendered is false:

Less than half of the comments are in fact gendered and many of them are simple assertions of people disliking her voice/appearance or stances on Polyamory, Social Justice and Feminism (which are controversial subjects).

Forgery

There’s something to be said about the validity of your claim to gender based harassment when even 4chan comments need to be taken out of context to make them appear worse but she went there. I could only find 2 examples of this happening but it still does make this look even more pathetic than it already is.

This

Became

And this

became this

According to her the data she presented that day is indicative of what men really believe: https://archive.is/047oT

But I believe I have conclusively shown that not only does she not know the gender, let alone the age of the people who put these messages on these anonymous boards, she seems to think that she is surrounded by “Men like this” and they are all just hiding their hate for women offline.

She actively went on chan-boards which are known for their edgy content and struggled to find even 49 comments out of literally thousands but thinks that she has a solid case to be made.

If your data was good I would’ve supported your plight, what you present is simply the bottom of the barrel and you should be ashamed for trying to create outrage over less than nothing.

Sources

All of the data is available here:

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