Regarding Weev, Let’s Not Equivocate
March 18, 2013 § 2 Comments
Today internet troll and all-around shit-stirrer Weev was sentenced to 41 months in prison for his role in 2010’s AT&T hack. The charges leveled against him were bullshit, but so is the outpouring of support lauding him as a great American hero. Yes he crossed The Man, and as usually happens when corporate interests are at stake, The Man crossed him back fifty times over. That part of the story is fairly straightforward.
What isn’t so straightforward is the fact that Weev’s politics are revolting. He is (at least claims to be) an avowed white supremacist, homophobe, and misogynist. Sitting next to him in a bar –as I did one night several months ago– is a profoundly disorienting and even embarrassing experience, given his fondness for bellowing the words “faggot” and “nigger” for apparently no other reason than to make everyone around him uncomfortable. This isn’t to make any claims about what Weev is “really” like, or what he “really” thinks about women and gay people and black people and Jewish people. Frankly I’m not that interested in what’s inside his heart of hearts. What I am interested in is the offline impact of his online exploits — see the unfortunate case of Kathy Sierra, whose fearful departure from the internet Weev wears like a feather in his cap.
So shake your head at Weev’s conviction, sure. But the fact that these particular charges are bullshit does not mean that the other charges one could level against him are not.