The Third Degree

4 Chan Vet ‘Chelsea M.’ Says Author Cole Stryker Glossed Over Child Porn

13017542739081 4 Chan Vet Chelsea M. Says Author Cole Stryker Glossed Over Child Porn

This is the photo he sent us.

Shortly after publishing our interview with author Cole Stryker about his upcoming book, Epic Win for Anonymous: How 4chan’s Army Conquered the Web, Betabeat received messages — via Twitter, Facebook, our work email, our personal email, and in the comments — from a man who claimed to be part of the hacker group Anonymous requesting to speak on the phone.

The source, who goes by the pseudonym Chelsea M. and tweets under the handle IJournalismBlog, emailed us both the home address of Mr. Stryker and this reporter. “No threat to you, just a demonstration,” he wrote.

In our interview, Mr. Stryker mentioned being unsettled that IBJ tweeted out his apartment number. After our interview went live, Mr. M tweeted Mr. Stryker’s full home address.

We spoke to Mr. M., on the phone yesterday afternoon about his qualms with Mr. Stryker’s book, which won’t be released until next week, and why he believes it will not accurately reflect Anonymous or 4chan. After we got off the phone, we asked Mr. M. to demonstrate his Anonymous bona fides by tweeting from an established account, he emailed back, “Anon twitter accounts do not represent the views of Anonymous any more than a man chalking his inane ramblings on the street.”

If nothing else, our conversation will make you rethink your Facebook settings.

Nitasha Tiku: Before we get started, can I ask how you got my address?

Chelsea M.: Which one? Gmail?

NT: No, my apartment.

CM: Oh, ok, the same way that we get everyone’s.

NT: And how is that?

CM: Why would I tell you that? Like I said in the message, it wasn’t a threat. It was a demonstration.

NT: So, who are you? Who are you speaking for?

CM: Oh, no one can speak on behalf of Anonymous, and that’s what we don’t like about Cole, you know. He speaks on behalf of people that he can’t speak on behalf of. He’s misrepresenting and compromising everything we do.

NT: So you are a member of Anonymous?

CM: Yes. If that’s how you want to put it, then yes.

NT: Is Chelsea Meader your real name?

CM: No, Chelsea Meader’s not my real name. [laughs]

NT: You wanted to speak to me. So what is your issue with Cole?

CM: What annoys me so much is this unstoppable determination in the media to define Anonymous on terms fit for the public. It can never just be “This is how they do it and why, according to them”… it has to be a censored look at what we do and a one-sided explanation of why. Writers have the story in their head before they get to work. They choose their angle and find the evidence to back it up, just like any cheap YouTube whore pushing his 9/11 conspiracies or whatever. If he knew a thing about us, he would have a private Facebook. While it may not be an overly publicized route to success for us, a small amount of research would have showed him that we rely heavily on social networking to dox [slang for exposing a user’s personal information online.]

I say no one can speak on behalf of Anonymous but I’ve spoken to a lot of people about Cole. And the consensus is fairly, sort of unanimous. People are generally pissed off at him in Anonymous.

NT: You seemed to disagree with how Cole portrayed Anonymous in the Betabeat interview.

CM: We are not all hacktivists. We are hackers, kids, adults, gays, straights, blacks, whites, furries, social engineers, comedians, writers, painters, pedophiles, rapists, racists, runners and all that lies in between. Like any other community, we are diverse, to sum us up in a short book on memes and hacktivism is like summing up Islam with a short book on terrorism.

NT: You object to the characterization that Anonymous is more politically-motivated and that different people are responsible for the hacktivism, versus the trolling?

CM: That’s just plain wrong. We do more of the political stuff and we do more of the personal stuff, it’s the papers know which makes the better story. 
I see more life-ruins in a night than I do corporations attacked in a month. And if he thinks that we’re gonna use our vigilantism to protect his freedom of speech or something, then that’s just not true. We’re still gonna do personal attacks. We always do personal attacks. Personal attacks happen dozens an hour and they will continue to. Especially when people deserve it, but sometimes when they don’t, you know.

NT: I take it you didn’t like Cole’s tweet about ordering Chinese and watching Chocolat with 4chan?

CM: He said “Anon”, but more importantly this little joke shows a severe error of judgement with regards to what we might find funny. Pretending, even as a joke, that Anon likes you is considered a pretty massive faux pas.

NT: So he’s not following protocol?

CM: Give to the community, take in moderation. Donate porn to the threads, submit original content in the way of memes and stories, offer to stream movies, offer your photoshop skills up for free, upload every cool wallpaper on your hard drive for your bros. Don’t write a book about us. Don’t talk about us outside of 4chan. Don’t attract newfags. Follow the rules to some degree.
 Never assume you understand.

NT: Cole tweeted out our interview with the words “u mad, 4chan?
”

CM: It’s a meme (“u mad, bro?”) used by trolls to irritate (known as flaming) others. It is a deliberate and stupid attempt to get on our bad side. He wants to call us out and test us? N**ger please, we eat hipsters like him for brunch.

 He also uses Tumblr
. We don’t like Tumblr, generally speaking.

NT: Is your issue with a 4chan book that somebody is exposing something about your community?

CM: No, I don’t think it is. No, I’ve spoken to journalists and writers and novelists and that kind of thing who’ve written or are in the process of writing books about us. And its no big deal as long as they tell the truth as they find it. And Cole may be telling it as he found it, but he was looking for it.

NT: The book isn’t even out yet, so what specifically are you taking issue with?

CM: There’s not much that we’re not taking issue with. He’s ignoring massive, massive sections of the community. Deliberately.

NT: What sections is he ignoring?

CM: Well, for example, he mentions how often he goes there for shock pictures. Did he tell you what those shock pictures were?

NT: Yes.

CM: What did he mention? I’d be curious to know what he mentioned here. Because if he’s thinking of what I’m thinking of, he belongs in prison.

NT: It was a Manga photo. It wasn’t anything that would send someone to prison.

A: No, no. If he’s been going on 4chan for the time that he said he has, he has definitely accessed child pornography. No question. It’s impossible to ignore.

NT: He never mentioned anything about child pornography.

CM: No, he really wouldn’t, would he?

NT: I’m not really sure where you’re getting that from.

CM: What, the child pornography?

NT: Yes.

CM: Because I’m a member of Anonymous. Every single member of Anonymous has seen those things. It’s–there’s not choice in it.

NT: Okay.

CM: I’m not saying that he willingly accessed it and masturbated to it or anything like that. I’m not saying he enjoyed it even. But he will have seen it. And he is choosing not to make that public because he knows that that’s not as lighthearted as the “memesphere.”

NT: So you would prefer that he make that public?

CM: I’d prefer that if he’s gonna talk about Anonymous, that he talks about the whole of Anonymous. He can’t pick and choose which segments he wants. He seems to be saying we’re almost part of this Tumblr/Reddit kind of meme bollocks. Yeah that’s fine because a big part of us are, but a big part of us aren’t. And then he talks about LulzSec as if… I can’t remember. I haven’t got the quote in front of me. He said something along the lines of “I don’t think the same people who are ruining lives are the same people who are going and taking down Mastercard.” Bullshit.

What does he know about that? He’s been there since March. You know there’s actually a name for him, for people like him, who arrive in March. It’s called a “summer fag.” Because he arrives in summer and he fags up the place.

NT: Well, I don’t understand why you want him to expose the child pornography. I’m assuming you’re talking about the /b/ board, right?

CM: Yes, yeah, of course.

NT: Well, what is your issue with him not exposing the fact that there is child pornography or the—

CM: The negative?

NT: Yeah.

CM: Well, because he’s decided that they’re negatives. We haven’t. We’ve decided that everything’s neutral. You know there’s no… the pictures—

NT: Child pornography is neutral?

CM: Yes. There is no good or bad. It’s just favoritism. It’s opinion. I understand this is a hard thing to explain, but please take the time to read up on the chans’ history with regards to illegal content. I’m not saying it is neutral to me, I’m saying that it will often be met with as much acceptance and abhorrence. Y’know, if someone hates it, they can block it. They’re welcome to block it and not look at it. But if others want to, then they will. And, you know, I’m not gonna hate on someone for that.

NT: But you’re hating on him.

CM: Yeah, because what he does affects me. I need to do my job within Anonymous. And if he’s—

NT: What is your job within Anonymous?

CM: It depends. Other people have described it as social engineer. I don’t know what –

NT: What does that mean?

CM: It means I talk to people like you or like Cole or like Cole’s sister who I’ve been speaking to today. And other people like that.

NT: I really wouldn’t know anything about that. But I guess I’m perplexed. Oftentimes a book is not going to encompass the entirety of a particular thing and I don’t think that he purports to. It’s not out yet, so I haven’t read it. But I think he’s just examining one aspect of it. In fact he/you said in the interview that it’s impossible for any one person to speak for anonymous.

CM: He’s new to the boards, he’s new to Anonymous. He doesn’t understand it. And yet he’s written a whole book about it. I don’t understand what’s perplexing about that. I don’t understand why that wouldn’t bother you if you were in the same position.

NT: As a reporter, you oftentimes have to do as much research you can in the time you’re allotted.

CM: Can I just say- I’m a writer, I’m a journalist. That’s not important but I do it. And I’ve gotten published and all of that. I go through the same processes that I’d imagine you do, and I can see that Cole doesn’t. He’s not the victim of this. Anonymous is. And that’s not fair.

NT: How are you victimized by this?

CM: Because when he misrepresents us in his book, our jobs get harder. If people start outing our message, people start tightening up security. And you can extrapolate that further, you know, if people know how we talk, then they can infiltrate. That kind of thing, you know. He’s just spreading assumptions and lies.

NT: Well if they’re assumptions and lies they shouldn’t be able to affect you in terms of tightening up security.

CM: Oh no. The security thing was an example of stuff that happened before with Facebook and things like that. But what he’s doing especially touches a nerve with me. Because he’s talking about how we talk, how we communicate. Things like that, like the kind of people we are. How we speak, even. And that, that bothers me.

NT: Can you give a specific example?

CM: Well when he starts quoting thing about which board to go to for example. He mentions /b/ and he mentioned that we don’t like talking about /b/. That’s enough already. Some little bloke could read that and then write to me and say you know remember rules 1 and 2. And I might be fooled into thinking “Oh, well, he knows his business. I better get on with it,” when really I’m taking on some idiot who’s never done it in his life.

NT: But that quote is accurate then? What Cole said?

CM: Oh, yeah yeah yaeh.

NT: So he does know something.

CM: [laughs] He knows the things that are published. I mean, those rules of the internet, you can Google them. This, that’s no secret—

NT: So if they’re Google-able, then they’re already out there. Then you should have no issue with him.

CM: Oh those rules are already out there. No, I’m not disputing that.

NT: My question is, in reading about, say, the people who at least identified themselves publicly as Anonymous, around the time that Wikileaks was making headlines, they said in the Guardian that the reason they were supporting Julian Assange was not because they supported him, but because they supported the right of the free flow of information.

CM: No. one person said that. Anonymous didn’t say that. One person said that. That, that represents one individual who, for all the Guardian knows, was speaking on behalf of only himself.

NT: So how do I know you’re speaking on behalf of—

CM: You don’t. You don’t. You can say whatever you like about me. You can say I’m just some nut who got you to phone up. It’s fine. If anyone purports to be speaking on behalf of Anonymous then they are wrong. And that’s what I believe.

Betabeat reached out to Mr. Stryker about about how he dealt with issues of child pornography. He responded by phone:

I don’t know why he would say I avoided the topic of child porn, when there is a whole section of my book on that. Yes, having spent many years on 4chan, I have seen child pornography. But I never posted, shared or linked to any. It seems to me that child pornography is used on 4chan mostly as a means to shock others, and not for sexual gratification.

Follow Nitasha Tiku on Twitter or via RSS. ntiku@observer.com

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    OMG, Nitasha, Pulitzer.

    “Chelsea”, you are nuttier than a fruitcake.  Unabomber nutty.  You made Stryker’s points better than he could have possibly made them, but I’m tempted to buy his book anyway to find out more.  I particularly like the delicious irony of how no one can speak for 4chan or anon, but yet you do.  hahaha.

  2. Anonymous says:

    So nobody wants to talk about this?

    1. Nitasha Tiku says:

      I’m in San Francisco! I trust you to hold down the fort.

  3. Anonymous says:

    So nobody wants to talk about this?

  4. IJB says:

    I notice you ignored the list of specifics I forwarded, instead opting to publish my inadequate and inarticulate ramblings from the phone. Still, that’s my fault more than yours I guess.

    Mostly anyway.

    1. 123 says:

      Exactly, you’re the one who insisted upon phoning up.  You should stick to the internet and the written word, sounds like you can’t quite hack it in the physical world.   

      1. IJB says:

        I’ve never claimed to be a public speaker. When I do speak in public though, especially for the purpose of a Q&A, I expect to be quoted verbatim or not at all. Selective quoting is unhelpful for everyone.

    2. Craig Smith says:

      Yeah, your fault for being a fucking moron. 

  5. Habeeb says:

    Is it me or was NT deliberately being dense as soon as CP was mentioned?

  6. Anon says:

    the point which doesnt seems clear by NT interview is that we dont refrain anyone from accessing 4chan or becoming Anonymous but these things are there to be found, to be heard between whispers otherwise their “pure state” will be lost…  and he is not only exposing these communities innacurately but also assuring false statements… starting by the cover: Anonymous is not an army and certainly not 4chan’s army.

    but if you still dont get it think of it as a public building even if its for public access theres a door, a counter and some manners to be followed within it. so when you start spreading the word that this building exist and it is full of this and that the place will get filled with hobos, retards and all the unwanted attention making management and former users life harder and an annoyance. 
    …and even worst  he is getting payed for advertising incorrectly a place that does not want  advertisement.

    False advertisement  I think you can get sued for that…

  7. Craig Smith says:

    Namefags should speak for Anonymous. After all, anyone who has the guts to namefag truly has no fear, nothing to lose, and thus no identity. People with nothing to lose are dangerous people. Who the fuck is this schmuck ‘anon’ you interviewed?  Underage B& IMO. 

  8. Craig Smith says:

    Case in point… an interview with anyone except moot nee Chris Poole is fucking dog shit, as is this article.  ‘Social Engineer?’ My ass. Morons like the guy in this article are what is fucking up anon, at least Cole had the sense to write a book and make something of his life, I bet this moron in this article is shit scared of the REAL anonymous, he’s probably never been in so much as a fist fight in his motherfucking life.