Public transportation

Unsuck DC Metro Called Out Public Transportation's Failings, So Local Media Doxed Him

"When you bow to these woke scolds, they accept it as weakness."

|

For those of us who live in Washington, D.C. and rely on public transportation, Unsuck DC Metro has been a dose of sanity in a world gone mad. The beloved Twitter account has long spotlighted train delays, broken escalators (of which there are many), false promises, and other problems.

For daring to bring a measure of accountability to an embarrassingly dysfunctional transit system, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, or Metro, Unsuck DC Metro has now been doxed by a local media reporter for DCist.

The account's owner was not happy. He had always valued his privacy.

"The whole anonymity thing started way back when this project started to get some traction," Unsuck DC Metro told Reason in an interview. "I've always been generous with the press. If my anonymity bothers people, they don't have to follow me."

The formerly anonymous proprietor of the account mostly retweets other users' pictures and comments about Metro malfeasance. Unsuck DC Metro has also called out specific Metro employees for bad behavior; two weeks ago, it posted a picture of an employee, a black woman, eating lunch on the train, which is a violation of Metro rules designed to keep the trains as clean as possible. The photo was taken by a World Bank employee, Natasha Tynes, who was subsequently accused of cruelly shaming a black person. The Twitter backlash against Tynes was so significant that the publisher of her upcoming book, They Called Me Wyatt, pulled out of the deal.

"Black women face a constant barrage of this kind of inappropriate behavior directed toward them and a constant policing of their bodies," wrote Rare Birds Books in a statement. "We think this is unacceptable and have no desire to be involved with anyone who thinks it's acceptable to jeopardize a person's safety and employment in this way."

Tynes eventually apologized, to no avail.

Unsuck DC Metro also came in for criticism, but remained defiant. Then, on Monday, DCist's Rachel Kurzius published a long profile of Unsuck, titled "From Watchdog to Attack Dog: The Story of Unsuck DC Metro." According to Kurzius, over the last 10 years, "the tenor of the Unsuck D.C. Metro account changed sharply. Service updates are mixed in with hostility and public shamingThe targets of his attacks—often low-level Metro employees or the riders themselves—don't have access to the same large social media platform."

Kurzius unilaterally decided that Unsuck's anonymity was now forfeit, and identified him by name in the post. She did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Unsuck told Reason that anonymity was important to him because he has previously received intimidating messages from people who didn't like his coverage.

"I didn't get outright threats, but they were meant to intimidate," he said.

I object to social media mobs in general, and thus I don't agree with the decision to call out individual Metro employees—at least if the callouts include identifying details (like pictures of their faces). But it also seems vindictive to cancel Tynes' book, and out Unsuck against his wishes.

For anyone who undervalues the Twitter feed, Unsuck has also filed an important lawsuit against the Washington Metropolitan Transportation Authority for failing to fulfill a public records request.

"Back in February, Metro came out with the results of their customer satisfaction survey, which is a phone survey, and I thought the results were kind of weird, so I asked for the questions to the survey," said Unsuck. "They denied me, I appealed, then they sent me 29 pages, 28 of which were completely blacked out."

Metro representatives also informed Unsuck that they wouldn't respond to any more of his requests until he paid a $300 processing fee. The conservative legal group Judicial Watch is representing him in the suit.

As for the doxing and online hate, it isn't going to make Unsuck do anything differently.

"When you bow to these woke scolds, they accept it as weakness," he said. "Such miserable people."

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

Please to post comments

51 responses to “Unsuck DC Metro Called Out Public Transportation's Failings, So Local Media Doxed Him

  1. >>> has now been doxed by a local media reporter for DCist.

    is it nap if i hope other people lamppost this person in a civil fashion? like, upside down and pelted w/tomatoes, not ala Mussolini … as a deterrent to others?

    1. You ok with sideways? He’d be more fun to spin that way.

      1. sweet, like a yo-yo. in.

        1. I hadn’t thought of spinning on the horizontal axis! I was figuring passers by would push on his feet or head, like a turnstile gate.

          Maybe it could be both!

          1. nobody here’s restricted by the 8th so go bananas. people like this chick make me hate and i don’t want to hate

      2. Progtards need to get their asses beat when they act up like this.

    2. What, doesn’t the DCist reporter have freedom of the press?
      If you want to be anonymous, don’t tell people who you are.

      1. Don’t wanna get doxxed like a thug, don’t show black women doing their jobs shitty like we all suspect they do like a thug.

  2. “…I don’t agree with the decision to call out individual Metro employees—at least if the callouts include identifying details (like pictures of their faces).”

    Let me get this straight…they have rules against eating on the train. One of their staff violated those rules while on the clock. A member of the public reported it to the public and, I imagine, the employee got one of those “I have to put this in your file but just keep your head down and it will go away” talks from a supervisor.

    Therefore…multiply by the square root of pi…carry the 2, voila, racism!

    I seem to recall someone at reason outing James O’Keefe (sp?), the undercover journalist.

    I also seem to recall Reason showing videos of on-duty police officers with their faces visible. They’re more at risk than some low-level public transit employee.

    1. I mean, what’s more risky…showing the face of a cop who shot someone with a bunch of angry relatives, etc., or showing the face of someone stuffing their face on the clock when there’s a rule against it?

    2. Look at the employment roster of DC Metro. Not the cream, pun most definitely intended.

    3. Public shaming of shit government employees is something that needs to happen x 1000 compared to where it is now.

      As uncivilized as it is, I truly believe that the threat of mob violence is half of what kept political elites in line historically… Including in the USA in our early days. The fact that that kind of stuff is VERY rare nowadays is probably why they’ve become so arrogant and willing to completely ignore the will of the people on so many important issues.

      Public shaming is a toned down version of this same concept, and I’m fine with it being used on shit government workers.

      1. Waitwaitwait…are you insinuating there might be some connection between uncaring, unqualified and unfireable employees and the poor condition of the Metro?? Wow. You must have studied economicsology or something! They should totes look into this possibility. Or, I guess, they could make it clear that they’ll fuck with anybody who shows instances of employees doing their jobs poorly.

        Top folks get paid either way.

        1. Does not matter. Progressivism has proven that nobody can control or is repsonsible for his/her/their/its actions, and thus no connection between skills and effort, and outcomes. Claiming otherwise is racist, sexist, and oppressive.

  3. It sucks to be DC Unsuck, but it also sucks to have to use DC Metro. Robby would not touch the number one reason therefor with a ten foot pole with a nine foot handle.

    1. Robby is such a loser… He implied he takes public transportation like a pleb! He is such a stereotypical, fashionable, metrosexual, conformist, millennial.

      I’m a millennial who lives in a big fancy coastal city… I wouldn’t be caught dead using public transportation. There has never been a single point since I became an adult that I didn’t own more than one car for myself either.

  4. http://dcist.com/person/rachel-kurzius/

    Dear Rachel,

    You suck and you are homely.

    1. Homely, yes; fugly, no.

    2. I mean if she lost like 40 pounds she might be alright…

      1. I mean, if she gained like 40 IQ points she might be alt-right.

        1. LOL

          Perhaps so. I wouldn’t consider myself alt-right, but I think a lot of the people that knee jerk dismiss arguments coming out of those circles as being nonsense are indeed not the brightest people… They’re perhaps the middle of the road sorts. Idiots just like the opinions sometimes, and the truly intelligent are willing intellectually to consider the arguments. As always it’s the mediocre middle of the road people that close their minds.

          The alt-right folks are, however, 100% correct in a lot of their arguments. They have science, history, and logic backing them on a lot of them too, which is what persuaded me on several points I previously didn’t buy into.

  5. “The targets of his attacks—often low-level Metro employees or the riders themselves—don’t have access to the same large social media platform.”

    Tha fcvk they don’t. (Unless they are all alt-righters)

    1. That was my thinking as well.

  6. So Rare Birds Books thinks it’s unacceptable to … do exactly what they just did to Tynes.

    As for Kurzius, she’s complaining that “the targets of his attacks—often low-level Metro employees or the riders themselves—don’t have access to the same large social media platform.” Really? Those employees and riders don’t have Twitter accounts? Then how are they making the original tweets that Unsuck was retweeting?

    Hypocrites, all of them.

  7. “They denied me, I appealed, then they sent me 29 pages, 28 of which were completely blacked out.”

    Just like the drivers running the trains.

  8. I would spend all my free time, doxxing every single media person involved.

    1. Do it.

  9. Metro has decided that they have to shut down the six train stations nearest me in Virginia between Memorial Day and Labor Day to repair station platforms that were apparently built so they’d self-destruct in a few years, and have just decided that all the 3000 series rail cars that have been in service for decades are dangerous and must be taken out of service.

    They’ve also decided that they shouldn’t ticket or prosecute people who jump the turnstiles.

    Want to see how to not run rapid transit? Look at WMATA.

    1. When I lived in and around DC the Metro was a decent way to get into and out of the city, and I used it regularly. A couple of years back my Lady had to spend a couple of months in a DC mental institution (bad transition from one drug to another) and I was living in hotels to be near her.

      The Metro had gone from occasionally being mildly inconvenient to being a complete pain.

      The system has never kept up with its maintenance, and that was going to catch up to it eventually. When they decided to add the silver line to an already marginally adequate system without doing major upgrades the result was a completely predictable clusterfuck.

      Mass Transit ALWAYS gets screwed by politics. Politicians just naturally want to extend service and keep free low, and don’t want to pay what that really costs.

  10. This is what people get for relying on public transportation… I drive a car myself, but if I was forced to work downtown or somewhere where it just didn’t make sense to want to pay for parking etc… I’d take a friggin’ Uber or Lyft. Trains and buses are for losers yo!

    1. Public transportation can be excellent, and far superior to driving oneself. I have a car, but commuting from the ‘burbs to Boston is quick, comfortable, and cost-effective (cheaper than parking downtown). I can work for an hour both ways, in comfort, in club seating, with WiFi, sipping my coffee, and glance up to see we’re passing everything on the Mass Pike. It’s at least a half hour quicker than driving, and there’s no aggravation and no risk of a collision, which would be enormously expensive and inconvenient. It’s almost always right on time!

      1. And that’s great….right up until some politician’s meddling catches up with things and years of skimping on maintenance comes home to roost.

        Public transport can be great, for a while. And then it’s an expensive mess.

      2. Is the workforce on that transit system PERFECTLY ‘inclusive, diverse and equitable’?? Does it enforce payment on the poor? Does it treat its employees well? And by “well”, I mean good benefits, decent pay and absolutely no requirement that anything ever get done properly.

        If not, or, frankly, even if it is, I’m sure that eventually some politician will see promising to “fix” your nicely functional transit system as a way to get elected, and THEN you’ll see an administrative structure that has a LOT more patronage positions, among other things, not least among them relatives and associates of connected local Dems working at those good jobs, with only the vast majority of them having contributed in any way to the winning campaign.

        But I’m sure it’ll work out fine. I mean, that’s how things are done in other successful big cities, right?

      3. And that’s the thing… Sometimes, in certain circumstances, it can make some sense. But honestly a lot of that is simply because governments have become so hostile to cars, and refused to expand infrastructure as needed. But in some places it’s just too dense for that to work, and in those rare cases trains or buses are OKAY.

        One thing I would add though, is you are almost surely not paying the ACTUAL cost of running that train. If you were, perhaps it wouldn’t look so appealing. I know in many cases the unsubsidized cost of running bus systems and train systems is more expensive than people literally just taking an Uber/Lyft. I think some libertarian think tank figured that out in a study a couple years ago!

  11. “When you bow to these woke scolds, they accept it as weakness,”

    Can we get a billboard?

  12. “Policing of their bodies.”

    1. Your body is being fed by my tax money on my train. Get your body back to work, you lazy turd.

    2. That’s a freaking contrivance, or, as we once named it, a lie.
      She was not shamed for being a fat pig. She was shamed neither for the amount or quality of what she was eating. What was pointed out was her violation of her own workplace rules. And the citizen reporting this gets punished? That fucking publisher deserves some blowback. With chunks in it.

  13. The conspiratorial premise of this piece, that “Local Media” has “Doxxed” the hateful person behind the Twitter account because he “Called Out Public Transportation’s Failings” is not supported by any evidence. If Reason is OK with his vitriol, attempts to undermine Metro (and let’s be clear, opposing funding for Metro is not holding it accountable, it’s making commutes even worse), and racially-tinged comments, then fine. That probably explains why Reason thinks this person’s anonymity should be protected by journalists who made no such pledge. But what’s the evidence that the reason for the story was because the man behind he Twitter account “Called Out Public Transportation’s Failings”? The headline makes this claim about the motive for the DCist story, but then never offers one single fact or argument to back up the claim. Great “journalism,” Reason!

    1. Opposing (public) funding for Metro isn’t making commutes worse. Mismanagement is making commutes worse. If the Metro isn’t self-sustaining without public funding then it is, by definition, being mismanaged. It is providing less value than it costs. In other words, it is destroying wealth.

      By your logic, you are starving every beggar you walk past without contributing money.

      1. Passenger rail service has never, anywhere, been profitable. It only works when it is subsidized. But subsidizing mass transit is far less expensive than building the roads, parking, and other infrastructure that would be required if everyone drove, and it would shut out those who cannot drive, for age, health, impairment, or financial reasons. It’s what society needs and wants, thus, subsidies.

        That said, it could all be done much more efficiently. Our big problem in Massachusetts is the pension liability, and the system that creates it. “22 and out,” we have folks in their early 40’s collecting 85%. There are now more out on pension than active employees. It’s unsustainable.

        1. It’s just so damn easy for state legislators to slip those ‘nod-and-a-wink’ arrangements into union contracts and then go on TV and claim “We stood the line and held them to a 3% raise!” Hell, that might even make a bullet point on their re-election flyers.

        2. Well, I don’t know that it would HAVE to be subsidized everywhere…

          If the subway in NYC charged what it cost to run, I imagine a lot of people would still use it, because driving there is fucked. Maybe ridership would go down… And prices would then need to go up to level it out again, but I suspect equilibrium could be found. If people REALLY wanted to help the poor, they could offer discounts for passes after means testing or something. But why some Wall Street guy who makes $500K a year isn’t paying full pop, I just don’t know.

          Also, if buses also charged real costs, it would in fact offer the pricing signals needed for people to make rational decisions. As I mentioned above some libertarian think tank or somebody did a study a couple years ago and found that a lot of rides would be cheaper to call an Uber or Lyft than take the bus if it were unsubsidized… You don’t think poor people would rather go A to B for LESS money vs riding the bus?

          If every form of transport had to charge its true costs, then people could choose what worked best… And I suspect cars and buses would win. Fixed rail is just not that efficient or effective almost anywhere, it’s more a fetish thing some progs have for some reason.

          1. I live in a city-town with about 25,000 people. When the state reduced mass transit subsidies the city had to cut back local bus service, mostly by increasing wait times but also eliminating part of one route. This led to much ranting about hurting the (poor) riders impacted. I crunched the numbers available, and turns out the few dozen stranded riders would each cost the city at least $10k per year to reinstate the bus. Much cheaper to give them an Uber card or something.

            1. Sounds about right. I get furious every time I see a bus roll by in the middle of the night with 1 (or NO) people on it. A horrible waste of money and fuel.

          2. Agree with creating a transportation market, but not so sure cars would win once you factor in congestion pricing (raise tolls until you get free-flow traffic).

            1. Why would we need congestion pricing? That’s a bullshit anti car scam anyway. If traffic is shite, people will take other methods, like the bus. If it’s not, or if it is bad but not worse than other alternatives, people will drive.

  14. Progressives defend existing government when it’s a clear disaster while at the same time, wanting to expand the government’s scope. Which will be a further disaster. Therefore, progressives should be treated as natural disasters and quarantined so as not to infect people with functioning brains.

  15. …wrote Rare Birds Books in a statement. “We think this is unacceptable and have no desire to be involved with anyone who thinks it’s acceptable to jeopardize a person’s safety and employment in this way.”

    So they cave to the mob who are in turn jeopardizing Tynes’ safety and employment? Wow!

    1. +1

  16. A progressive asking for more money for the DC metro gets doxxed by another progressive hating people who criticize the DC metro.

    I’m confused, who should I feel for?

Comments are closed.