[TW, NSFW: all links in this post reference tweets which use harshly bigoted foul language.]
TBogg has the details, but here’s the short story: George Tierney Jr of Greenville SC aka @geotie2323 on Twitter decided to call Sandra Fluke some vile misogynist names, and she retweeted his tweets. People including TBogg took screencaps and blogged his tweets. Now those tweets are the top results for a search on his name on Google. George Tierney Jr of Greenville SC wanted that fixed, and he sent letters threatening litigation against people for accurately repeating what he published on the internet, and demanding that they “take it off Google”.
Good luck with that tactic, George Tierney Jr of Greenville SC.
TBogg’s original post: The Ladies Man
The George Tierney of Greenville, South Carolina Kerfuffle: For Teh Google, Sandra Fluke, and Glory!
George Tierney Jr of Greenville SC briefly suspended his Twitter account after people started screencapping more of his jawdroppingly bigoted tweets, but now it’s back up with a new avatar. When you view his avatar pic at full size, this is it:
Latest from TBogg: Angry Boo Radley Is Angry – George Tierney Jr of Greenville SC is working hard on exponential expansion of his arsehattery now that he’s realised that the internet is forever and he’s fallen into the Streisand-Effect. Is anybody surprised that George Tierney Jr of Greenville SC appears to have never heard a conspiracy theory about President Obama that he doesn’t like?
As I have been writing this post, George Tierney Jr of Greenville SC aka @geotie2323 has been tweeting every few minutes in response to various tweets from others, most of which are probably bored people poking him with a stick to see him splutter, but some are public figures soberly asking him to rethink his positions. It’s not a pretty sight.
Categories: culture wars, ethics & philosophy, gender & feminism, Life, media
If he’s worried that the stuff he says makes him look bad, I’m pretty sure the solution was a ship that sailed before Google.
*reads through everything*
Okay, part of me wants to join in the whole “point and laugh” thing at the schadenfreude of it all – not only is this guy hoist on his own petard, he’s actually pulling hard on the rope. But part of me feels vaguely queasy about it all too, because really, it stopped being funny fairly quickly. He isn’t changing his perspective, he isn’t learning anything – instead, we have someone who’s basically a wounded animal at bay, and he’s striking out at everyone who gets close. So in a way, what’s happening here is the internet equivalent of bear-baiting.
Yes, he was daft. Yes, in some ways he deserved a smackdown for being so impolite and unmannerly online. Yes, he’s basically brought a lot of it on himself, possibly through ignorance and a lack of understanding. And yes, the ultimate cure (shutting up and staying shut) is largely in his hands.
But it’s still not a comfortable thing to watch.
@Megpie71, I agree that it’s not a comfortable thing to watch. Before he started doubling down with the tweets today I was on the point of deleting the post, but I ended up deciding to add the last paragraph and hit the publish button. I’m still on the fence about that decision.
I would be inclined to let it stand. I share your discomfort with this story on a lot of levels and yet it did happen. It has a touch of Greek tragedy about it with Google the dues et machina. And yet the outcome is unknown; fate may yet lay a hand any concerned. A modern tale.
And the screen capture of the Godwin moment isn’t archived anywhere else that I can see, it has become a little scrap of Internet history in its own way now.
He’s changed his avatar picture now. Twitter doesn’t have a mechanism for deleting previously uploaded profile pics though, so the Women For Obama pic is still in their archive.
dues et machina
Is that the mechanism that dishes up what is due to people? Because I like that idea.
“impolite and unmannerly”? He was blatantly racist and misogynist. I have no sympathy for him whatsoever. (tigtog, I think that your decision to run this post was a correct one, for what its worth.)
UPDATE: his Twitter account appears to have been deactivated again. Will he stick the flounce this time?
Anyway, here’s the screencap I prepared earlier, of his profile page with the Women for Obama pic as the chosen avatar. He responded to my auto-tweet of this post, and very soon after changed the pic, so maybe he hadn’t previously realised that if people used their right-click menu they could see/read the full caption on the pic.
IMAGE DESCRIPTION: Screen cap of geotie2323 profile (George Tierney Jr of Greenville SC) – his self-description goes
The caption on his chosen avatar picture says:
Also, that photo? I bet he’s never even heard of the League of German Girls/Maidens (Bund Deutscher Mädel or BDM), which was the female arm of the Hitler Youth, and to which all girls aged 10-18 and deemed of pure German descent were REQUIRED to belong. The girls in that photo had no choice about being there and waving those flags, if they didn’t attend their whole family would be penalised.
(O/T Although equally there were plenty of women who were happily part of the Nazi party and knowingly did horrible things, as well as women who were taken in by the rhetoric and promises of a charismatic leader. Just exactly like German men.)
Back on topic, while he is clearly a horrible twit who doesn’t understand how google works, whether a tweet and especially a series of tweets captured and displayed in a screenshot is copyrightable offence is a topic of healthy debate! (Although on what grounds he would argue those particular words would bring him financial gain/ loss perhaps makes this a null point; maybe he was planning on publishing a book of handy slurs for the uninspired misogynist). We might doubt that he was thinking with this level of sophistication.
Good work Tigtog.
A genuine piece of nasty cracker madness that needed exposing.
Bain capital and Limbaugh finally went one step far with their Alan Jones/Rupert Murdoch style of journalism. This time they unaccountably failed to pick their victim from the Great Unwashed.
Instead, a dignified and strong law student with an obscured capacity and will to fight back has put their heads through a brick wall and am just glad I had the wit to come here to read this, because despite the redneck behaviour the response to it strikes a chord with me, like a soothing balm.. better than sex.
@ Feminist Avatar: (Continuing O/T) Exactly, the nation of Germany did not all react to Hitler/Nazism in exactly the same way! Nor did all men react one way and all women react another way!
My point was merely that pointing to any photo of members of the Nazi-mandated youth organisations smiling and cheering etc (look at how young all those girls are in the large version of the photo in the post – how many of them even had the vote?) is not proof of anything about what those children were really thinking about Hitler/Nazis etc. This is exactly the same reason that I don’t go on about the current pope’s time in the Hitler Youth – membership was mandatory, and there’s plenty of things he’s done since he turned 18 to criticise him for without Godwinning his CV.
@paul walter (on topic) Yes, they badly underestimated Sandra Fluke, who has handled all the shit flung at her with great poise and dignity.
Oh, I didn’t mean to imply you didn’t know this; it just annoys me that so often people in bad regimes are so often framed as either naive or coerced, as if there aren’t other options. As another tedious historical tidbit, by the time the BDM was compulsary (1936), there was only one legal political party in Germany, so voting was rather irrelevant!
Dammit, how did I turn this into a conversation about Nazis. My apologies.
No need to apologise, comparing Obama to Hitler is part of George Tierney Jr of Greenville SC’s schtick: looks like he might be a LaRoucheite. It’s part of his whole messy bag of anti-Obama talking points.
I loudly berated a LaRouchite outside Melbourne Central a couple of years ago who had a poster of Obama with a Hitler moustache.
It (the berating, not the poster) drew quite a crowd.
I feel I may need to expand on my position a little. While I don’t agree with Mr Tierney’s views in any way, shape or form, I can see resemblances between what he’s going through at present and experiences I underwent in primary school and high school. I found those experiences deeply hurtful, and this does influence my reaction to seeing someone else (no matter how much of a fool they’re making of themselves) basically turned into an internet punching bag.
Yes, George Tierney Jnr has said some stupid things. Yes, he holds some rather objectionable opinions. But if any of us can truthfully say that we’ve never said anything stupid in our lives, or that none of our opinions have ever been found to be objectionable by anyone, I’ll be very surprised. I know it’s very, very tempting to say “hey, he did it to himself” and join in the pointing and laughing because, hey, he isn’t One of Us. But one of the things I get a bit wary about is the whole “one of Us” and “one of Them” dichotomy. Mr Tierney’s brought in the Nazi imagery, but it’s useful to remember that this is where it all starts – separating our fellow humans into “us” and “them”, and then saying that “they” are less human than “us”.
George Tierney Jnr is a fool. I’m not denying this. But he’s still another human being, and he probably has some kind of reason (political, personal, whatever) behind his sudden explosion of viciousness. When we start treating him like a bear to be baited, or a ball to be kicked, we deny his humanity, and we become less.
Before he deactivated his Twitter account, folks went back through his 2000+ tweet timeline. There’s nothing sudden about the viciousness.
I agree entirely. I’ve tried to walk a line of not baiting or kicking him here, while still supplying plenty of Google juice to hold him accountable for what he has said. I’m pleased that regular commentors here have known better than to post his contact details (which happened at some other blogs) because that harassing bullshit is seriously uncool, and as you say, diminishes us if we engage in it.
I’m in a similar position to Megpie. I have no argument that he’s a racist, misogynist, unpleasant human being and is utterly hung by his own words so why do the posts criticising him need to add juvenile commentary? e.g. the last TBogg post:
Yeah, I know you can’t change George Tierney Jr of Greenville SC’s mind at this point, and this is all playing to the audience, but it’s really unattractive playing to the audience to me (as with Megpie, I’m also reminded of when I was bullied as a child). I find this off-putting behaviour from the social justice side, and I say that as someone who considers themself on the social justice side. I think we can do better, and ought to.
One of the few bright point about the affair? George Tierney has turned into a teaching moment for schoolchildren. Once it’s online, it never goes off, with real-life consequences in store. I hope they take the lesson to heart.
I disagree quite fundamentally with the idea that because we can’t change the minds of racist idiots, we should sit by and say nothing.
The audience is the point. Human beings are inherently social animals who have a strong need to conform to the boundaries of what’s socially acceptable within their social group.
Publicly telling these people that what they’re doing is not socially acceptable tells their audience that this sort of behaviour is not tolerated by the wider social group and that they should not follow that person’s example.
Megpie, on the same track as you, but you’d agree there is a difference between questioning his odd ideas or challenging them when they take offensive and unfair form. It’s not making a punching bag of him.
He has been ruined, but by culture, not his critics.
The event and his own stupidity have made a punching bag of him, not his critics, yet you can’t argue that he hasn’t brought this lot down on himself.
But in that there is justice, too. Let’s not forget his vile attack trying to bring down Sandra Fluke or the fact that he would likely himself gladly use others (black, female, left, gay) as punching bags.
If I see a kid in the house about to say, lumber the dog in the ribs because it’s sleeping in the hallway blocking him, in calling out to him a loud, disapproving “no”, that’s not making a punching bag of him, just letting him know others know what he’s up to and that he needs to govern or rein in his mood or outlook, a bit.
The same with someone like Tierney. It might deter him from attending the next Klan rally and save another black person from being lynched.
Veering slightly off-topic , It strikes me from the responses here that due to the specific complexities of US society and politics, many are not familiar with the background that has had tigtog post this.
People imagine the poor fellow is some sort of misunderstood yokel speared by intellectuals and snobs.
But those who follow US politics with the help of US friends on FB, for example realise that the valorisation of this fellow has much to do with election year politics there and the sorts of significant and symbolic cultural memes being invoked (eg, the”good wife”, on this occasion) by different parties, when the trillion dollar prize of defacto world government lures all sorts of liars and lies out of the woodwork.
Basically, Mitt Romney, the Gordon Gecko assett-stripper, owns or has a huge share in Bain Capital, the people who run Rush Limbaugh and a number of other Tierney-type media bigots-Alan Jones types-which means it operates on the same level of dishonesty as the Murdoch press.
These people are the people responsible for bringing, amongst other plagues, climate change denialism, austerity neoliberalism, sexual warfare against women and libertarians, and Dinosaurs being ridden by Fred Flintstone (Christian fundy museums), as well as some of the most idiot wars fought in the short history of the species.
Thus, with the prospect of power being handed over to Goldman Sachs, Koch bros and other gangsters on the basis of palpably nonsensical ideas, others have stepped forth to challenge and quickly dismember their nonsenses.
And that’s NOT making a punching bag out of Tierney, just pointing out the obvious to others who haven’t seen the farce for what it is yet.
We’re a long time locked out in the cold if the door of Democracy if finally closed on us and it pays to keep informed.
Maybe they do. Tierney describes himself as a former “club pro” golfer – you don’t get to have the points handicap required for that job unless you grew up spending many hours every week playing golf. Unless South Carolina is very different from the way that most of the rest of the world sets up golf clubs, this means he most likely grew up in an upper middle class family with better than average educational opportunities (whether he took advantage of them is another question).
Rebekka, Paul Walter, are you even reading what Megpie (and I) is saying? Of course it’s okay to criticise him for what he said. But comments about how George Tierney Jr scares racoons and also that golf is a gay sport? (responding to sexism and racism with homophobic slurs? really?) – how is this telling him or the audience that his words are unacceptable? How is it challenging his offensive ideas? What does the fact that he play golf (or caddies for it, whatever) have to do with his bigotry? This is basic schoolyard “you’re bad, so everything to do with you is bad” stuff, that the social justice movement ought to have risen above a long time ago.
I don’t know if it’s because I was particularly traumatised by bullying when I was a child, but it’s really not that hard to call out offensive opinions without a side order order of bullying that’s upsetting to people on your own side. TBogg is partly telling me she doesn’t approve of George Tierney Jr, and partly telling me I can expect her to bully me if I screw up, about things completely unrelated to my mistake, thereby making it harder for me to figure out what I’ve done wrong, partly because of all the irrelevancies, partly because of my higher level of emotional distress.
On the basis of #24, I’d say you’re the only one who wastes time and effort producing stuff that others don’t even read, not by a long shot, Aqua.
Lets go back to my dog example. The kid is about boot the dog in the ribs, do we call out loudly, out of necessity, disturbing the peace of others also contemplative by nature?
Perhaps we go down on bended knees and ask little Johnny politely, not to kick the dog? If he ignores us, we can always ask him not to kick the dog in the ribs next time, instead, coz its painful for her. Or we just give up, lest any intervention is considered “rude” by more faint hearted types?
When the dogs ribs finally crack we can always get another, after all…
Paul, point out to me where I said we shouldn’t criticise George Tierney Jr for the offensive, hateful things he’s tweeted, please? Or where I imply he’s a yokel, or that I have any problem with the criticism of him for being intellectual or snobbish? (saying that someone scares racoons is intellectual? Calling golf a gay sport is snobbish?)
I find your comments that we don’t understand the US context patronising, frankly. It’s not like the Hoydens haven’t been following the Republican misogyny or the treatment of Sandra Fluke. George Tierney Jr is yet another in a long line who’ve been spilling out misogynistic hate at her, and he deserves everything he’s getting in that respect. I’m not asking anyone to stop criticising what he’s said, or retweeting. I’m saying that we can do better than throw in schoolyard taunts.
If a kid is about to kick a dog, how is calling the kid ugly going to help, exactly?
AotQ, I fully agree that TBogg (who is a he, btw – just another error by George) was out of line with the cracks about raccoons and golf being gay (and his response to being called out on the last one was all sorts of fauxgressive meandering along a river in Egypt).
I probably should have addressed that specifically in the post, but that was Not Cool with me.
I tend to agree with Aqua and Megpie. We won’t get anywhere if we make personal attacks on the guy. What exactly does the raccoon comment buy us, and how does that make us look? Petty, that’s how. And the “golf is gay” b.s. is homophobic. Damn, how I hate it when folks invoke *isms to attack *isms.
Folks, attack his positions, statements, and actions. Retweet his tweets, call out his misogyny and racism again and again. But knock off the personal attacks. I’m also saying this as someone who was bullied in school.
Paul Walter@24, your personal ad hominem attack on Aqua is totally unwarranted, and is exactly the kind of personal attack that I’m talking about.
Your strawman, my alleged adhominem. is untidy, unimaginative and transparently obvious and that, like others, you are are too unimaginative to read others posts open mindedly.
Typical: Aqua,” …how is calling the kid ugly going to help”.
What I actually said was, “The kid is about to boot the dog in the ribs…do we call out loudly… disturbing the peace of others also contemplative by nature”.
In calling a woman, any woman, let alone a woman like Sandra Fluke, “a slut”, out of no better than malice and the prospect of a narrow personal gain, these people for feited too much rights to glad handling and as to US politics, the pure rear stench of it is what you are smelling now.
Paul, in my opinion, you are the one who is missing multiple points made by others and making this thread needlessly combative.
Aqua was modifying your scenario with a reference to the post by TBogg where TBogg used irrelevant slurs when calling George Tierney out. She was not claiming that you had proposed calling the kid names, she was adding elements to make your scenario more closely align with how the call-outs actually went down.
In response, you lectured us all further on US politics and actually proposed that people have forfeited rights by being arsehats! On a social justice blog, you proposed that.
Please pause for reflection, dial your defensiveness back several notches and read (and post!) with more care, please.
Once more with feeling:
I have no problems with people saying to Mr Tierney “I find your opinions to be offensive”. I have no problems with people saying to Mr Tierney “I find your behaviour to be offensive and impolite”. I have absolutely no problems with people saying to Mr Tierney “Do you realise you’re making yourself look like a fool to people who don’t know you?”. These all address Mr Tierney’s behaviour, and they’re all statements of personal opinion about that behaviour. As such, they’re not readily contestable, and they’re all justifiable.
Where I start having problems is where the comments veer from responses to behaviour and opinion to offensive labels of the person in question. I start having problems when people tell other people that their opinions are wrong. I start having problems at this point, because what’s starting to happen there is the person who is applying the labels, or saying the opinion is “wrong” is denying at least some of the humanity of the person they’re labelling. We know where the road of denying another person’s humanity leads. Why start down it?
 The feeling in question being a sort of semi-patient, “please to stop prodding at that last nerve” near-exasperation.
 This is because I tend to think of an opinion as being a statement about what the individual in question thinks – and if we’re telling a person they’re fundamentally incorrect about their own mental processes, we’re denying them expert status about the contents of their own heads – and thus denying them their essential humanity.
 Yes, I do have a dog in this particular fight – I’m mentally ill, and this tactic is one which has been used against mentally ill people for a long time now.
Good catch Orlando (#6). I like your explanation better.
TigTog: thank you so much, both for pointing out TBogg’s correct pronoun, and for making me feel understood. I was coming here this morning to admit defeat, that I simply do not understand what point Paul is trying to make. I’m now content to let it rest.
Megpie: please take care of yourself. I’ve merely been frustrated in this particular discussion, but I think I’ve experienced what you’re describing in your footnotes, and it is not pleasant.
I was merely pointing out a (wilful) error or misrepresentation in a previous writer that might have others have those who think woman shouldnt be called sluts because they use contraception, kid haters.
As for “defensive”, little wonder I’m “defensive” given the quality of adjudication here.
Paul, I’m not following your line of argument at all, and I’m more used to your quirky writing style than most from years of seeing it over at LP.
What is however abundantly clear is that you are imputing motives to other posters and insulting them when they disagree with you, instead of simply addressing the points in dispute directly. That’s multiple breaches of the comments policy, and is not acceptable.
Absolutely false. We must live in different multiversus.
Motives were and continue to be ascribed to me and for taking the time to correct the obvious error, more “Stockholm”stuff?
I’ve known you as long as you’ve known me, perhaps you should consider your own objectivity also?
Paul, I still have absolutely no idea what “obvious error” you think you are correcting.
WTF does that mean?
tigtog: I’m finding it hard to interpret it as anything other than us little ladies being all deluded by our misogynist captors with whom we are secretly in love, so paul’s here to rescue us from the right-wing sexism which he has so patiently explained to us. And if only we’d thank him more appropriately, things would be all tickety-boo, but since we’re not, we only have ourselves to blame.
But if not exactly that? There’s no way it’s anything other than mind-blowingly insulting and rude.
I’m finding it hard to see it as anything other than insulting either, Lauredhel.
I’m about to sit down and eat and relax with my family for the evening. This thread is being put on full moderation until tomorrow morning, when I shall re-evaluate the situation depending on what I find in the moderation queue.