I’ve started this blog just to document a run-in I’ve recently had on The Independent newspapers comments section. I’ve been posting there for the past six months under the username ‘previousdenial’, and under no other profile. In a later post I’ll add more background, and explain why I post under a pseudonym – if that isn’t obvious by then.
The Independent has deleted some of the comments, and indeed entire threads, that I’ll be referring to so I don’t have copies of everything. Someone will and I hope they feel free to add them as comments. However I’ve kept the copies of replies to me that Disqus and have copied – in front of credible witnesses – the record of comments for each user made that Disqus makes public. This is because this ‘spat’ is going legal. Disqus has a Unique Identifier for each comment, so I’ll add them where I can as footnotes.
Here is my overview of this ‘spat’.
A poster called ‘Chris’ responded to one of my posts on the Indie article ‘Two Nato troops killed in Afghanistan‘, (Thursday 01 March 2012).
Someone under the pseudonym ‘Iris Arum’ responded that ‘Chris’ had already talked to me under a different username. I told ‘Iris Arum’ that I’d “Never noticed him before. I’ll judge him by what he makes of me.”
‘Chris’ responded to Iris in the third person, talking to me. ‘Chris’ claimed that Chris was an antifascist revolutionary who had painted Aung San Suu Kyi, had worked with refugees and school-children for Amnesty and Unison. He asked to be googled to prove his claims of being a great guy.
I googled ‘Chris’ to see if what he said was true, as he’d requested. As far as I can tell it was. However I also noticed his Flickr account was a member of the EDL (English Defence League) Flickr group and other dodgy far-right groups. The same account had posted self-portraits by Scottish primary school children at a school near to me. Googling him also showed he did use various accounts to post on the same thread, plus his home address and a whole host of stuff – he has been self-publicising quite a bit. Still, his EDL Flickr group and his “anti-Islam” posts (his description) were at odds with his claims of being an anti-fascist who did great charity work for Christians.
On the Independent Iris Arum said that it was probably a case of identity theft, so I kept googling and confirmed beyond reasonable doubt that ‘Chris’ is who he claimed to be. He is quite a self-publicist and so it wasn’t hard to find out virtually everything about him. Yet it was all at odds with his “anti-islam” posts and his Flickr account being in dodgy right-wing groups. 192.com brought up the only address that fits his age range and online biography, which I mentioned. Chris said I was bluffing and to post his address to prove what I’d said. I refused on the grounds it could be dangerous for him, there could be the risk of psychos or identity theft. Plus, even with his permission, I doubted if it would be legal and I didn’t care if he believed me or not.
Chris later pretended that my saying I knew his address was a threat to come around and attack him and his mother and wife. I repeatedly told him I would not and I was no physical threat to him. He supports his claim that I threatened him due to one of his Telegraph posters, Black Melancholy, saying he thought he recalled a threat. A screenshot or a quote or a link to the disqus comment number would be nice. It’s just a smear though, I never threatened Chris.
Chris refused to confirm or deny that that was his Flickr account or that he used sock-puppets, saying only “my ID sunshine is my business not yours”. Which would be fair enough if he hadn’t just asked me to google him to verify his ID. He started to post under all my comments using his various sock-puppets. To begin with he called me ‘young’, ‘inexperienced’ and ‘wet behind the ears’. Then he moved on to calling me an ‘islamofascist’ and a member of Muslims Against Crusades ( a proscribed organisation in the UK so a serious smear) who put out anti-gay leaflets. Then hypocritically he started labeling me as a homosexual with comments such as “You must be Galloway’s lover. A cosy littler cottage for two in Bradford friday nights study fairy fairytails” after I didn’t criticise George Galloway vehemently enough for Chris.
I posted his Flickr account, and other regular posters read it and saw Chris was in the EDL and other dodgy right=wing groups. Some of them mocked him and were later hounded by him for that, but he still didn’t admit it was his.
His inaccurate homophobic and islamophobic smears coupled with his sock-puppetry and inarticulate rage, on top of his EDL links, all convinced me that Chris is not someone who should have access to school children or refugees, especially Muslim school children. His Flickr account linked to both the EDL Flickr group and to portraits of local school children – and yet Chris was just denying or ignoring this.
I had to get him to admit that was his Flickr account so I downloaded and posted a picture of Mohammed that Chris had linked to. Not the prophet, a young Edinburgh school child who Chris had worked with. Chris immediately confirmed that was his Flickr account and I had abused him and the child, and that he’d called the police on me.
I may have indeed broken Mohammed’s copyright but not identifiably, and I bet his parents would be more worried by his image being linked to the EDL online, or that an EDL member was given access to their boy in the first place. I asked Chris for the police incident number so that I could contact them but he insisted they knew how to track me down, meaning he was lying about contacting the police.
I said I’d pass on the link to the various groups he claims to represent, like Amnesty and Unison. At that point, Chris started harassing anyone who ‘liked’ any of my comments. Only then did he change his Flickr account so it was no longer a member of the EDL group. He then started denying it had ever been in the EDL group, even though plenty of people had already witnessed it. He forgot that Google maintains a cache, or memory of previous searchs. Even today, if you google Chris Robinson Breadon + EDL it returns
Chris Robinson Breadon’s buddy icon … People Against Terrorism 262 photos, 58 members; EDL 18 photos, 20 members; Gravura em arte 895 photos, 128 …
On the 6th of April, Chris set up a new Flickr account under my username, previousdenial, and posted photographs of the EDL in it, and posted the link on the Independent. That is illegal because although I post under a pseudonym many people know my true identity. I reported it to the Independent, and asked them to preserve their IP logs until my lawyer could request them, so as to establish his sock-puppetry harassment, ID theft and libel. I also politely asked him to remove the account and apologise for the libel.
His response the next day was to set-up yet another account, again under my username Previousdenial (capital P as opposed to my previousdenial). He used this account to harass and mock other posters. Some of them noticed the subterfuge and challenged him, some of them naturally reacted angrily until it was explained to them. I was furious so I posted his Facebook profile photo with the caption Chris Robinson, EDL member. I then thought better of that and deleted the post 30 minutes later because his wife was visible in the photo. Of course, he know uses this to claim I abused his wife and labelled her EDL and the police are after me. Like most bullies he pretends to be a victim.
I contacted the school. Chris claimed he was in regular contact with the headmistress, that she was a personal friend and that she’d pass my details onto him. The threat was implicit since he posts things like “If I have the bad luck to ever get your details I will ****** your thick face for you.” to other people. In reality, the headmistress had never met Chris, and thanked me for the warning. Chris and his threats are froth- he is a Walter Mitty without the redeeming charm.
I was advised by a lawyer to document this, which is what I’ve done. I’ve downloaded in front of a credible witness all his Disqus comments under all his guises, and a copy of my own too – so that he can’t go back and edit them out of existence. He’s had many threads deleted but Disqus emails me a copy of all his responses to me.
He came close to admitting he was part of the EDL group saying “He got this impression from one single group against terrorism that had accepted as slink but never participated in that was not known to me since I never use any”.
Chris later backed off and again denied having been a member of the group. I posted the second page of Chris’ Flicker contacts. Chris confirmed these were his Flickr contacts, and even reposted them:
“previousdenial “Muddy Funkster, N A Y E E M , ninichin, Jeannette Chin, Niso30, Okinawa Soba, Qamar*, shahazadkm, silaturrahim, Sonja Mada, jon, t i m o, The_Fizzy, Uzi-DoesIt [Happy Passover!], vivreay, wcher, Igor ™, Zenith Phuong, Zero-X”
I repost here should previousdenial delete this or change it …what ascream !!!! he has listed these friends as EDL members”
I never claimed any of his Flickr contacts were EDL members. Except Uzi-DoesIt [Happy Passover!] – he is an american Jew from San Diego who is one of the two administrators of the EDL Flickr group that Chris left last week. Funny that, that the admin of the EDL group is one of Chris’ 49 contacts, just weeks after he left the group and claimed never to have been part of it.