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Randi Harper Creates Breitbart Twitter Blocklist

In a series of tweets sent out Thursday evening, Randi Lee Harper, an “anti-abuse” activist with a notorious reputation for abusing people on social media, declared that she was setting up a Twitter blocklist for anyone who followed a “Breitbart related” account.

This is not an unprecedented move for Harper, who often blocks people who disagree with her. She first created the autoblocklist for opponents of GamerGate to use – again the primary purpose was to shut out anyone who went against the anti-GamerGate narrative.

Harper claimed that the blocklist was to stop misogyny and abuse on Twitter, but peer-reviewed research found that only 0.66% (65) out of 9,779 accounts on the list could actually be classed as “harassers.” Everyone else was thrown in as they followed the wrong people – guilt by association. However, it is safe to say that this is the first time that a specific news organisation has been targeted.

Harper goes on to detail that verified Twitter accounts will be removed from the blocklist “for the purpose of the rest of the press that follows them,” — i.e. any verified journalist or media account that follows Breitbart won’t be added. It is unclear whether Harper will do this automatically or manually.

It is also relevant to mention that no Breitbart Twitter accounts or the accounts of journalists who work for Breitbart are verified – with around 320,000 followers at the time of writing, the main Breitbart account is one of the biggest media outlets to not have the checkmark next to their account name, despite the fact that much smaller journalists and outlets are afforded that privilege by Jack Dorsey and his staff at Twitter.

The targeting of Breitbart News comes following the publication of an article detailing accusations by anti-abuse activist Candace Owens that Harper and fellow anti-GamerGate figurehead Zoe Quinn conducted a harassment campaign against her over her Social Autopsy project. Breitbart News has also covered extensively how Harper claims to be an anti-abuse activist but has doxed and harassed opponents in the past.

Breitbart has also covered the criticism Harper receives from other anti-abuse and anti-trolling activists. These include Anne Rice, an author who campaigns against “review trolls” on Amazon and Goodreads, and Candace Owens, a former Wall Street VP who now runs an anti-cyberbullying organization. Both individuals drew attention to the extraordinary mismatch between Harper’s claims to oppose online abuse and her long track record of engaging in the practice herself.

Jack Hadfield is a student at Warwick Univeristy and a regular contributor to Breitbart Tech. You can follow him on Twitter here: @ToryBastard_.

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