A Case Study in Trolling

Like one of those aerial shots of the trail of wreckage left in the path of a tornado, Laura J. Mixon has documented several dozen examples of the damage done to writers and members of online communities by 2014 John W. Campbell nominee Benjanun Sriduangkaew aka Requires Hate, aka Winterfox, pyrofennec, acrackedmoon, and others. (Indeed, even Sriduangkaew may eventually prove to be another person or combination of people altogether.)

After the Benjanun Sriduangkaew/Requires Hate connection was made public both personas posted apologies mixed with justification and the blaming of some material on impostors – see Requires Hate’s apology and Benjanun Sriduangkaew’s apology.

Mixon’s report contains many examples of the prolonged, vicious attacks that Requires Hate and the other identities made online. The comments on her post contain many more statements from past victims about the emotional damage they experienced and how in the face of these attacks they tried to survive professionally as sf writers – or in a few instances failed to do so.

The report also illustrates how these kinds of attacks became a regular feature in the sf community because they were enabled by people with various motivations, ranging from a desire to encourage the oppressed to be more outspoken to those who simply like to see anger being colorfully vented.

Liz Bourke, who last year endorsed Requires Hate for a Best Fan Writer Hugo (“Requires Hate. A vicious, insightful, and provocative critic.”) before gaining her own nomination, denies knowing RH’s history of trolling or abusive behavior.

Mixon is an American sf novelist who also writes under the name M. J. Locke. She also works in engineering. She’s married to SF writer and current SFWA president Steven Gould.