Deconstructing the Jeremy Becker troll network


The former Twitter account @JbJabroni10 has a long history of harassment on Twitter against people involved in the net freedom movement, and notably against myself (@puellavulnerata) and Tor developer Runa Sandvik (@runasand). Over the last four and a half months, some 'journalists' from Pando have been whipping up a harassment campaign against us, relying heavily on getting a cluster of associated trolls to make the most unsupportable accusations they are unwilling to make themselves, and then retweeting them. The target of this doxxing, @JbJabroni10, was a prominent member of that network, and has been frequently retweeted by the Goebbelsesque propagandist @YashaLevine in recent weeks. Since he has deleted all his accounts and certain other members of the Pando mob have been pretending he is some sort of fallen hero (see fig. 1, 2), this is being written to document the evidence against him, all his known sockpuppets and as much of his history as it has been possible to recover. In addition to the @JbJabroni10 account, he also operated, at minimum, @JbGelasius, @SnowdenNoffect, @LimitYoHangout, @HaileSelassieYo, @PsyOpSnowden and @thxsnowman . He openly confesses to having "more sockpuppets than socks" (fig. 3) and to deriving "Twitter tactics" from "battered wife syndrome" (fig. 4). In addition, he has a YouTube channel featuring weird racist comments on sports figures (mirrored here), and reacts to an article about unpaid interns and sexual harassment by expressing the desire for an unpaid intern (fig. 5).

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Identification of @JbJabroni10, and gross failures of TROLLSEC

On the evening of 2014-11-27, @JbJabroni10 tweeted screencaps of a photo of me from elsewhere on my personal web site and my LinkedIn profile, with dubious mockery (figs. 6, 7). The IP address belonging to Atlantic Health from which the accesses to that image had come minutes earlier, combined with the self-description in his Twitter bio as a pharmacist, provided a route to identification (fig. 8).

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Furthermore, LinkedIn offers a feature to see who has viewed your profile recently, and in this case it revealed a "Pharmacist at Atlantic Health" (fig. 9); in combination with the accesses to this server from the network of the same organization, this seemed unlikely to be coincidental. A search of pharmacists at Atlantic Health found 17 results, only two of which exactly matched the descriptive text 'Pharmacist at Atlantic Health'; one was a low-activity (only five connections and no photo) account, and the other was Jeremy Becker (figs. 10, 11).

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A probable, but not quite certain identification being obtained, I turned to Atlantic Health's web site and learned they offer pharmacy services in only one location, in Morristown, New Jersey. I then searched New Jersey pharmacy license records, and found Mr. Becker's pharmacy license (fig. 12), which provided a middle initial 'T' and a home town of Princeton, New Jersey sufficient to disambiguate the subsequent Spokeo search, which found nine Jeremy Beckers in New Jersey but only one consistent with those details (fig. 13). Spokeo also provided the names of his parents, who he lives with, Edward (born 1951) and Joyce (born 1952) (fig. 14); these match another moderately active Twitter account @ebecker, which followed the late @JbJabroni10, as well as the inactive @JoyBecker52. I concluded this confirmed the identification of @JbJabroni10 with Jeremy Becker at a high enough confidence level to go public.

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Mapping the sockpuppets

Upon learning the name Jeremy Becker, I suspected the fool had used his initials in some of his accounts, and immediately became suspicious of @JbGelasius, which I already had blocked for drive-by trolling.

Linking @JbGelasius to @JbJabroni10 (confidence: certain)

@JbGelasius admitted to being a sock of @JbJabroni10 (fig. 15, and cf. @JbJabroni10's display name 'Geronimo'), and after the initial doxxing of @JbJabroni10 tried to defend him by claiming some of the people he had harassed were friendly with him (fig. 16). Recall that @JbGelasius had also boasted of how many sockpuppets he controlled (fig. 3).

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Linking @SnowdenNoffect to @JbJabroni10 (confidence: certain)

@SnowdenNoffect also admitted to being a sock of @JbJabroni10 (fig. 17). He used a photo of Bob Marley for his avatar (fig. 18 and cf. the background of @JbJabroni10's account). In fig. 19, he is seen talking to @drkneethyself, the same person he discussed "battered wife syndrome" with in fig. 4, his main account, and @thepoettrap, the Pandobot troll seen in fig. 1. He begs someone to be unblocked from his sockpuppet (fig. 20).

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Linking @LimitYoHangout to @JbJabroni10 (confidence: nearly certain)

I am certain of this due to information conveyed to me in a DM about a photo posted to this account, but should not repeat that without permission. A full archive of @LimitYoHangout is available. @LimitYoHangout can be seen citing the main account @JbJabroni10 (fig. 21), talking to certain sockpuppet @JbGelasius (fig. 22), talking to main account @JbJabroni10 (fig. 23) and talking about @JbJabroni10 to Pandobot troll @RancidTarzie (fig. 24). @LimitYoHangout refers to Edward Snowden as 'Snowman', also seen in the username of @thxsnowman (fig. 25) and piled on with other Becker sockpuppet @HaileSelassieYo against Thomas Drake and Jesselyn Radack (fig. 26).

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Linking @HaileSelassieYo to @JbJabroni10 (confidence: medium-high)

This account continues the Rasta theme we have seen with the Bob Marley imagery on @JbJabroni10 and @SnowdenNoffect, and also makes various 'Jah' references (figs. 27 and 28); compare an identically-worded reference seen on @SnowdenNoffect a few hours before it was deleted, but after the main account @JbJabroni10 was locked (fig. 29).

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Linking @PsyOpSnowden to @JbJabroni10 (confidence: medium)

Only a small amount of information about this account could be obtained before it was deleted, so as with @thxsnowman the main evidence linking it to JbJabroni10 is simultaneous deletion and similar language and themes, to be exhibited later.

Linking @thxsnowman to @JbJabroni10 (confidence: medium)

This account was suggested to me as a probable sockpuppet of Mr. Becker's to investigate, but deleted before I had the chance to look at it. According to my notes I had already blocked it on 2014-09-15 for drive-by trolling. It was deleted simultaneously with the other Becker sockpuppet accounts on the evening of 2014-11-28. No other information is available at this time.

Final note

All seven of these accounts were deleted nearly simultaneously on 2014-11-28. That, together with the obvious similarities in the language, conceptual structure and choice of targets which will become evident in the next section, makes me confident enough in the identification to enumerate them here and use their tweets as evidence of Mr. Becker's history of harassment in the next section.

History of harassment

Mr. Becker has an extensive history of targeting people in the net freedom community, with a fixation on conspiracy theories about limited hangouts (in fig. 30 he descends into utter self-parody), accusing people of being 'shills' or 'fake', and frequent descents into garden-variety misogynist assholery. I and fellow Tor hacker Runa Sandvik (@RunaSand) have been major targets, but there are numerous others. Examining his timelines before he deleted all his sockpuppets revealed a bewildering variety of obnoxiousness, much of it to people I hadn't even heard of, but I was taken aback by how many people I know he'd been after. What follows should be taken as only a small sample of the full corpus that came to my attention to be screencapped before he fled in disgrace.

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Targeting me

The original tweets that both provided the requisite information and provided the last straw to spur action were shown above, and are reproduced in figs. 31 and 32. After the Pandobots harassed me into locking my account, in which yet another drive-by troll from Mr. Becker played a partial triggering role (fig. 33), he emitted fig. 34, referencing an incident in January he had also alluded to in yet another series of harassing tweets from yet another sockpuppet (fig. 35), and which he later referred to from another of his sockpuppet accounts (fig. 36).

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Under various sockpuppets, Mr. Becker has engaged in drive-by trolling to support Pando's attempted Fedjacketing (fig. 37) and, bizarrely, accused me of murdering Aaron Swartz (fig. 38). Using @LimitYoHangout, he once again harassed me over my appearance (fig. 39, and cf. the GamerGate-produced image macro in fig. 40 and @MarkAmesExiled's repeated invocation of the same trope as in figs. 41, 42 - ironically accusing me of being an 'unhinged sockpuppet theorist' in a conflict involving the sockpuppetry extensively documented here) while invoking Pando propaganda, all in a response to something I tweeted referencing one of his other sockpuppets. See also the view of the same exchange in fig. 43, which shows him mocking my suggestion of organized sockpuppetry while responding to my complaint about one of his sockpuppets (@SnowdenNoffect) from another (@LimitYoHangout).

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Also in the same period of September and October, he deployed @PsyOpSnowden against me (fig. 44), and made an extensive attempt to discredit me to a third party using @SnowdenNoffect to disseminate Pando propaganda (figs. 45 through 47) including private financial information.

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Finally, I will note that I blocked @thxsnowman on 2014-09-15 for something I don't remember the specifics of, and in fact I had all seven of Mr. Becker's known accounts blocked before I realized any of them were connected. Looking back over which accounts I blocked for disseminating Pando noise during the relevant period and which have since been deleted, @GGsBoyToy seems suggestive of his style as a possible eighth sockpuppet.

Targeting Runa Sandvik

Mr. Becker began targeting Runa before me (figs. 48 through 51); I recall hearing complaints from her about the @JbJabroni10 account back in 2013, but did not recover any tweets from that far back. He seems obsessed with a conspiracy theory about attendees at Jacob Appelbaum's 30th birthday celebration in Oahu which was pioneered by notorious authoritarian lunatic @catfitz, and repeats the same pattern he showed with me of both comments about her appearance (fig. 48, and note retweet by current lunatic Pandobot @thepoettrap visible) and even bizarre murder accusations (cf. fig 38). He even goes as far as to imply romantic involvement with her and allude to in-person meetings with trolls in an obviously threatening way. (figs. 50 and 51)

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He has also conducting drive-by harassment of Runa from several of his sockpuppets (figs. 52, 53), along with other hackers of my acquaintance @bcrypt and @legind. From the @SnowdenNoffect sockpuppet, he responded to a tweet from her about visiting the Washington monument by commanding her to jump (fig. 54).

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Other targets

Mr. Becker has harassed numerous other people, surprisingly many of them people I know. I can think of no less than five people he has trolled who I've met IRL, and there are many others I know on Twitter. He seems to have a special hate for anyone actually trying to do anything about internet liberty and fighting surveillance, instead of just hurling his feces from the sidelines like he does. Here he is going after EFF activist Jillian York (@jilliancyork) in fig. 55. In fig. 56, he instructs, ambiguously, either Jillian or Jacob Appelbaum to commit suicide. In fig. 57, he hopes Australian activist and Crypto-Party creator Asher Wolf (@Asher_Wolf) "dies in a ditch".

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The @PsyOpSnowden sockpuppet went after writer Molly Crabapple ( @mollycrabapple) and Boston-based activist @caulkthewagon in fig. 58. A month later he goes after @caulkthewagon again from a different sockpuppet in fig. 59. The same account also trolls Jacob Appelbaum with bizarre accusations of 'sheepdipping' in fig. 60, and then exclaims against him in fig. 61. In fig. 62 he goes after cryptography professer Matthew D. Green (@matthew_d_green) and NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake (@Thomas_Drake1). In fig. 63 he makes a frankly baffling but ominous 'joke' at Danish activist Peter Kofod (@peterkofod); perhaps he means that he perceives himself as a good guy and has told people to kill themselves on multiple occasions - creepy.

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In fig. 64, he harasses Boston-based ACLU staffer Kade Crockford (@onekade ). In fig. 65, he goes after writer Sarah Jeong (@sarahjeong). In fig. 66 he makes bizarre sexual remarks to Sarah Jeong and @CassandraRules. In fig. 67 he goes after Sarah Jeong's hair (fetish much?). In fig. 68 he askes Matthew D. Green if he would suck Snowden's dick.

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In fig. 69 he addresses journalist Jeremy Scahill (@jeremyscahill) as a 'fake punk loser'. In fig. 70 he calls @OaklandElle 'old and worthless'. Finally, in fig. 71, in what surely must qualify for an Internet Darwin Award or at least an honorable mention, he attempts to troll *weev*, poorly.

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The full target list I've exposed here has been myself, Runa Sandvik, Asher Wolf, Jillian York, Jacob Appelbaum, Molly Crabapple, @bcrypt, @caulkthewagon, @legind, Matthew D. Green, Thomas Drake, Peter Kofod, Sarah Jeong, @CassandraRules, @OaklandElle, Jeremy Scahill, and weev. It is 59% female despite men being substantially overrepresented relative to population average in the communities he targets, and it is at least 18% lesbian; note that most of his most vitriolic or sexualized remarks were directed at women, the only male recipient of a sexual remark being Matthew D. Green, unless I missed one. His most heavily targeted victims were myself and Runa; Runa and either Jillian York or Jacob Appelbaum received instructions to commit suicide, and Asher Wolf was wished to 'die in a ditch'. I believe I am the only person he harassed from all seven accounts, but limited information available on @PsyOpSnowden and @thxsnowman makes that difficult to confirm. Again, this should not be taken as a complete list - I didn't have the opportunity to completely document all the content in the seven accounts I found, and it's possible he has or had more sockpuppets that were never discovered.