Media Criticism

The New York Times's Inconsistent Standards Drove Slate Star Codex To Self-Cancel

Scott Alexander has deleted his popular blog to deter a reporter from exposing his real name.


Scott Alexander is the pseudonymous proprietor of Slate Star Codex, a science and history blog well-liked by many libertarians and neoliberals. On Monday, he took the drastic step of deleting the blog after a New York Times reporter threatened to reveal his name in a forthcoming article.

"I'm not sure what happens next," wrote Alexander in his last and currently only blog post. "In my ideal world, the New York Times realizes they screwed up, promises not to use my real name in the article, and promises to rethink their strategy of doxxing random bloggers for clicks."

In an interview with Reason, Alexander explained he had recently learned that a New York Times tech reporter was working on a story about Slate Star Codex. The reporter had contacted several of Alexander's friends, as well as a former girlfriend. Eventually, the Times reached out to Alexander, who agreed to speak about his blog off the record. He also asked the reporter not to divulge his real name in the article, but this request was rejected.

"We had a discussion about why I wanted my real name out of the story, where I said most of the same things I said in the public post," Alexander tells Reason. "He seemed understanding but said his editor absolutely prohibited him from writing it without my name, and he thought the story was important enough that he didn't want to drop it."

The Times declined to comment to Reason, though a spokesperson stressed that "when we report on newsworthy or influential figures, our goal is always to give readers all the accurate and relevant information we can."

This is an unfortunate series of events. Alexander has penned a lot of really great pieces on a wide range of subjects: on Marxism's failings as a science, on the English settlement of the Americas, and on bureaucratic barriers to scientific research, to name just a few. (I would link to them here, but they've all disappeared for the moment.) Indeed, according to several of the people the Times had interviewed, the story was probably going to be a fairly positive one that celebrated Alexander's prescience on some COVID-19 related topics. We don't know for sure since the article isn't available yet. Alexander is hoping that his deletion of the blog will cause the Times reporter to decline to publish, or to publish without revealing Alexander's real name to the world—a practice that has come to be called "doxxing," at least when done by internet trolls.

Of course, if publishing information about a person without their permission is always "doxxing," then the craft of journalism is one nonstop doxxing party. News stories at The New York Times, Reason, and virtually every other publication of some importance frequently contain details that the subjects themselves would have preferred to be omitted. It can hardly be called "doxxing" to reveal that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) is a millionaire who owns three homes, for example.

Doxxing, then, should probably be defined in a more limited way—perhaps as the act of revealing private or personal information about a private or semi-private subject, in a situation where it isn't warranted. But under this definition, it's still hard to see what was about to happen to Alexander as anything other than doxxing.

To underscore how important his anonymity is to him, Alexander titled his farewell post, "NYT Is Threatening My Safety By Revealing My Real Name, So I Am Deleting The Blog." Alexander's reasons for wanting to remain anonymous are twofold: For one, as a person who has staked out well-founded but occasionally controversial positions on hot-button issues—race and IQ science for instance—and courted a passionate base of fans and critics, he has previously received death threats. He does not wish to make it any easier for people to find him.

While I'm largely sympathetic to Alexander's plight, I think it's a bit of an over-dramatization for him to assert that his safety would be seriously undermined by his unmasking. People who are prominent on the internet receive occasional death threats: It's upsetting when it happens, and no one deserves it, but the threats are almost never carried out. By making the matter primarily one of safety, Alexander is essentially mimicking progressive activists who treat discomfort and disagreement as a kind of physical harm. Since I routinely criticize them for this, I would be remiss if I didn't ding Alexander on similar grounds.

But Alexander's other objection to having his name published is quite reasonable: He's a psychiatrist, and in order for him to do his work it's important for his patients not to know all that much about him personally, or about his opinions. And given the cultural moment we are currently living through—involving widespread cancellations or even firings of anyone deemed guilty of problematic or offensive behavior, no matter how trivial, long ago, or ridiculous—Alexander's concern that his employer might decide someone with a national commentary presence is more trouble than they are worth is understandable.

These objections might not be strong enough to derail a critical news story that hinged on Alexander's identity, or one in which the burden of leaving him unnamed was outweighed by some other factor. If Alexander did something that was notable or significant—other than just being a guy with a good blog—a reporter would have to consider naming him. But, by all accounts, the Times story was a puff piece about how great Slate Star Codex was. If that's true, it seems fairly inadvisable to move forward with it despite the subject's vehement objection.

In fact, the Times has made such accommodations in the past. A recent Times profile of the socialist podcasters Chapo Trap House identified one of the members using only his pseudonym, Virgil Texas. (The piece gave one of the podcaster's girlfriends a pseudonym as well.) Neither Texas nor Alexander are truly anonymous: Amateur internet sleuths can uncover their identities fairly quickly. Alexander concedes this point but thinks there's a difference between being relatively (though not completely) anonymous and being named in a New York Times piece. In any case, the fact that the real name was already out there on the internet apparently did not deter the Times from protecting Texas.

Some will no doubt describe this double standard as an example of political bias, but it's probably better described as garden-variety sloppiness. It seems more likely that the Times does not have consistent standards here, and editors alternate between fostering over-reliance on anonymous sources and forbidding the practice.

A 2017 Times piece from the standards editor notes that many stories "present tough decisions—reporting about children, for instance, or people worried about their safety, or others who may be naive about the impact publicity could have on them" and "since no set of guidelines can cover every situation, the best we can do is to try to balance those questions of fairness and privacy with our chief goal: to tell readers what we know." If that's the policy—and if the piece doesn't contain a bombshell that necessitates the use of his name—it's hard to understand why Virgil Texas's request for anonymity is granted but Scott Alexander's is refused.

NEXT: Outsider Candidates and Oddballs Shine in Tuesday Primaries

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  1. Never use your real name online.

    1. Using your real name online is hare-brained, eh, rabbit Harvey?

        1. Worst nickel I ever spent.

          1. I quit working at shoprite and now I make $65-85 per/h. How? I’m working online! My work didn’t exactly make me happy so I decided to take a chance on something new… after 4 years it was so hard to quit my day job but now I couldn’t be happier.

            Here’s what I do………………Home Profit System

        2. To be fair so was his dad who was the headliner for a Tijuana donkey show.

    2. I should have done more than just translate my name to English.

    3. “Never use your real name online.”

      Billions of Facebook users would beg to differ. 😛

      1. Someone needs to do a thorough public investigation of how the data that Facebook and Google collect gets sold and used. Most of their users would conclude it’s too much, and cancel their accounts.

  2. Crushing the competition.

    1. Robby should do an article about Soviet oppression of independent thought. Eventually, the Soviet leaders realized that shooting people they disagree with looks bad in the international community. The better solution to troublesome, independent thought was to fire them from their “job” and pull any platform they had to communicate their ideas. Thankfully, we don’t have similar repressions of free thought in the United States by our benevolent government.

      1. The government hardly needs to intervene there, because paid journalists are doing it for them.

        Including Elizabeth Nolan Brown. Who, unlike most people, ACTUALLY should be fired.

        1. Russia and, let it be said, China as well have developed excellent techniques for dealing with some of these “anonymous” lowlifes. Here in New York we have implemented some of those techniques, and we hope that other American states will soon follow suit–because what starts with a pseudonym, soon enough ends up in illegal “parody.” See the documentation of our nation’s leading criminal “satire” case at:

          1. If you want to live under the rules of Russia and China, move there.

            1. Some of us here at NYU have at one point or another been on the verge of relocating to one of our foreign campuses, but for now there seems to be a general consensus that with the cooperation we’ve been getting from local police and prosecutors, and the advances we’ve seen involving certain techniques, as I indicated above, adopted from Russia and China, our current location is good enough for now.

      2. “Eventually, the Soviet leaders realized that shooting people they disagree with looks bad in the international community.”

        The problem is that this time around the Soviet leaders are the international community.

  3. They’re still refusing to say the name of the impeachment ‘whistle-blower’ despite everyone knowing it, right?

    1. I think it is an intentional demonstration of power by the media just to show everyone that they still control the narrative. Sometimes I flick on CBS to watch their morning show and it is just a slew of rehashed propaganda with no commentary or criticism of what is being promoted by different parties.

    2. Him, and Jackie Coakley.

    3. Why is the name of the impeachment whistleblower important to know?

      1. Why is it important to protect? Most whistleblowers are not anonymous.

        1. He also wasn’t a whistleblower.

    4. The example I’ve seen others pointed out is Banksy. Written about many times in the Times but never outed.

  4. Did ENB get her feelings hurt at the hands of the commentariat? Why are we moving on from the Roundup so fast lately?

    If there’s one thing to be taken from this story, it’s never talk to cops and never talk to reporters. I wish I’d never talked to a reporter ten years or so ago. It was a positive story, but it describes an era of my life I’ve moved on from, and there’s no way to bury it. I’ve managed to scrub almost every other aspect of my online footprint, but that story still dangles out there for anyone to find. Maybe the newspaper will go belly-up one of these days and I can finally enjoy my anonymity.

    1. What’s weird is that Reason generally loves linking to the writers and beliefs of other writers on the site… yet ENB, who took a public position on this, is nowhere mentioned in this piece…

      1. You noticed that too? N
        To be fair, no one is more obsessive about self-linking than Ilya Simon, who will sometimes link to his own articles dozens of times in a single piece. I’ve even seen him link to the same post multiple times in one piece. It’s a little weird.

        1. Ilya Somin*
          I hate autocorrect. And I hate not having an Edit button.

        2. To be fair, no one is more obsessive about self-linking than Ilya Simon, who will sometimes link to his own articles dozens of times in a single piece.

          Remind you of any particular commenter at Reason? Like Mikey Hihn? What a coinkydink.

          1. It’s so hilarious you consider it some big slam that you think you’ve discovered a sock puppet. It’s a great way to deflect from what was actually said.

        3. Just like Hihn.

          1. LOL, no. Somin can write.

            Has taught a few classes too, which I can’t see Hihn ever doing. If only because the class would try to get him fired halfway through the semester.

        4. It has to be a holdover from legal writing. Land of the (footnote) heavily cited (footnote) sentence. Usual law journal article is less than half text, over half footnotes, for a given page.

      2. Your evidence that Soave even knows about that?

        1. I really do wonder if you have enough self realization to understand how people perceive you.

    2. Heard of the Wayback Machine?

    3. Not talking to reporters wouldn’t have helped in this case — the reporter had already tracked down acquaintances, and ex-girlfriend, etc

  5. If you want to be anonymous (or pseudonymous) then don’t go confirming your identity to a NYT reporter.

    This guy doesnt sounds like he is trying too hard to stay anonymous. Based on what is described in the article it reads like a blogger is going around telling some people that writes a blog, but then gets mad if those people don’t keep his secret.

    He wants anonymity without making any effort to stay anonymous other than demanding people keep his secret.

    That”s not the way it works in real life. If you want to maintain anonymity, you take steps to hide/conceal your identity. For example, using a VPN or posting from public hotspots, not revealing personal details about yourself and maybe not confirming that you are the anonymous blogger to the press without having an agreement to be on background up front.

    1. He uses his first and middle names as his pseudonym. Combine that with the fact that he’s a psychiatrist, and it’s trivial to uncover his true identity.

      1. Not the point. The point is patients are starting with his real name. They don’t know he’s the SSC guy. Apparently if you google his real name, lots of other hits come up. So patients won’t know he’s the blogger guy. Unless the NY Times connects the dots in which case — game over.

    2. This guy doesnt sounds like he is trying too hard to stay anonymous.

      Proven by the 8 years of remaining anonymous even when adventuring into reddits dedicated to his blog.

      Your argument makes no sense.

      1. “Proven by the 8 years of remaining anonymous even when adventuring into reddits dedicated to his blog.

        Your argument makes no sense.”

        Maybe no one gave a shit who he was for most of those eight years. I dont think people have been trying to unmask him for 8 years and all of a sudden some plucky NYT reporter stumbled upon some evidence that finally made this Quixotic endeavor worth it.

        More likely once someone fairly recently decided to do a piece on him, it was pretty trivial to figure out who he was.

        Also, what I dont understand is…if he scrubbed his blog to kill to try and kill the NYT story to protect his anonymity…why is he telling his full name and occupation to Reason ?

        “We don’t know for sure since the article isn’t available yet. Alexander is hoping that his deletion of the blog will cause the Times reporter to decline to publish, or to publish without revealing Alexander’s real name to the world—a practice that has come to be called “doxxing,” at least when done by internet trolls.”

        Dude really is NOT trying too hard to stay anonymous.

        Now I know Reason’s circulation is dwarfed by the NYT — but none of this makes sense as a legit complaint about anonymity and doxxing.

        It really sounds like some dude has an axe to grind against the NYT more than anything and got Reason to write up a sympathetic piece

        1. Again, Scott Alexander is his pseudonym, comprising his first and middle names, respectively.

          1. “Again, Scott Alexander is his pseudonym, comprising his first and middle names, respectively.”

            OK — I got it now. I though his real name was Scott Alexander that but he blogs under a different pseudonym…. thanks for explaining again 🙂

            IMHO, that makes it even worse. Like you said above,using your first and middle name and telling your occupation….

            It doesn’t seem like he is trying very hard to stay anonymous

            1. I have no interest in doxxing the guy myself, but I will say that medical licenses are public information and extremely easy to find using a simply web search.

              1. Oh goody! Do me a quick mental institutions search on Vermin Supreme and Spike Cohen…

                1. Might be easier for you to do it since you are warehoused in a mental institution, Hihn.

                2. What’s with the hate for Vermin and Spike? I wanted McAfee as much as the next guy, but come on

            2. Well that’s that then man. I mean Jesus Christ, I was worried about mugshot possibilities as it was. Now he knows A. Your name, B. What you look like, C. Where you’re from and D. What your specialty is.

              1. Awesome ref

            3. He didn’t try that hard 8 years ago because he had no idea how prominent SSC was going to become. Once it did, it was too late to go back and and use a more foolproof pseudonym or scrub / obfuscate all personal details … or not attend all the SSC meetups he’d gone to.

    3. Wow. Long time no see, Tom.

    4. You are never completely anonymous, ever, someone knows who you are. He was simply cutting down his attack probability. Most crazies have a short attention span and will move on to their next potential victim pretty rapidly so not having name on his blog cuts down on the number of potential nutters out to kill him because he said something they didn’t like. It also shows an attempt to separate his online life from his professional life (his employers). He says in his piece that he knows people can find him if they’re really looking hard enough. You would know that if you’d read this article properly or his own blog post. Instead you make uninformed comments. His keeping his blog pseudo-anonymous is for deterring the more casual stalkers.

  6. I avoid all of these doxxing issues by using my real name when I comment here.

    1. Me too.

      1. Me three!

    2. Your parents hated you when you were born?

      1. Mom was a hippy and dad was a Swedish death metal guitarist.

        1. Nice. Very nice.

    3. A “Unicorn abattoir” sounds like an establishment built to destroy ficticious forces.

    4. Yeah, I had to argue a long time with the judge to change my name legally as well.

  7. I have it on good authority that Rev. Arthur Kirkland is really Elizabeth Nolan Brown.

    1. Amazingly, this is less of an insane conspiracy theory than ENB’s ape-shit insane “This Thai Sex Worker Holds the Keys to Russia Fever Dreams”.

    2. Makes sense, ENB seems like she’d be a Hetalia fujoshi.

  8. it’s hard to understand why Virgil Texas’ request for anonymity is granted but Scott Alexander’s is refused.

    Well I don’t know it’s a puff piece, and I don’t know why Robby thinks it is. If this guy was publishing TruFax then he probably pissed someone off at the NYT and this is an effort to get even. Deleting the blog is the smart move. It’s really too bad the guy has to delete an entire blog to avoid a woke mob.

    1. Good point. Journalists often get their subjects to open up by leading them to believe that the stories they’re going to write will be flattering portraits, then stab said subjects in the back by publishing hatchet jobs. They never outright lie, but they make liberal use of the suppression veri and the suggesion falsi.

    2. Well I don’t know it’s a puff piece, and I don’t know why Robby thinks it is.

      Yeah, I don’t know why anyone would assume that, especially if he has posted on controversial issues in the past in a potentially “wrongthink” kind of way (I’m not familiar with his blog so I have no idea if he’s committed the Church of Woke’s sin of wrongthink or not). I don’t think reporters are above making nice over the phone/ email in order to make someone think the piece they’re planning on running is a puff piece only for it to turn out to be a complete hatchet job. After all, people probably wouldn’t talk to them if they knew upfront that the article was going to be a hit piece.

      And I can’t really think of any innocent reason why the NYT editor would insist on revealing his name. The whole thing smells fishy to me.

      1. Has has posted on controversial issues in the past (sometimes tagging posts with ‘things I’m going to regret writing’). He’s on the libertarianish left side of things (or vice versa), but there are definitely a few posts that the woke idiots could go nuts over.

  9. “Of course, if publishing information about a person without their permission is always “doxxing,””

    You know what doxxing is you disingenuous fuck.

  10. Sockpuppets are cowards, pure and simple–the ones that aren’t algos or scripted hirelings. The military-industrial complex uses a similar excuse for killing/jailing innocents lest their own murderers be brought face-to-noose by survivors of their activities. Reason does readers a disservice letting potty-mouth poltroons into the forum behind fake masks.

    1. I’ve been using the same handle since 1999. It’s effectively me, at least online.

    2. Well you see Mikey Hihn, some people who aren’t warehoused in a government-funded institution dying of senile dementia have a lot more to lose if they are exposed to insane psychopaths who want to kill them.

      1. Needs moar sneerz to be Hihn. And boldface. And assrape threats. And “reasonable” 2nd amendment restrictions.

        Hihn’s not posting at the moment because the public library where he gets his free Internet’s closed due to WuFlu. Either that or he got banned for leering at the librarian.

    3. 1. He’s not a sock puppet. He’s not using a pseudonym to deceive anyone. Calling someone a sock puppet implies intent to deceive (look up the definition).

      2. The blog does not really get down in the weeds about modern political discourse. There’s a lot of abstract political philosophy on the blog, but not much weighing in on current politics. As such, I think it’s entirely reasonable to post under a pseudonym.

  11. actual. malice.

  12. Good article about the best blog around (or at least my favorite).
    Yes, as ‘Scott Alexander’ himself admits, it’s easy enough to uncover his real identity if you want to, but that’s entirely different than publishing it for everyone to see.
    If you’re not familiar with him, at least have a look at his one remaining here:

    1. According to him, he has had aggrieved readers of the blog call into his professional office, so clearly it’s not hard to figure out who he is with the pseudonym as a starting point.

      The NYT knows this, and there is no good reason to publish his name beyond their vindictive nature. They know their readers, high on rage and low on intelligence, who might otherwise have trouble finding this guy, will soon pour into his social media accounts and make his life hell. Fools, or villains, take your pick; the NYT is pathetic.

    2. “Yes, as ‘Scott Alexander’ himself admits, it’s easy enough to uncover his real identity if you want to, but that’s entirely different than publishing it for everyone to see.”

      Why is it “entirely different”? Other than you hate the NYT ?

      If a reader of his finds decides to do some digging and figures out his identity, and then starts doxxing him on on FB, tweeting it to other etc….
      What is the difference than what NYT is doing? Circulation/Readership ?
      Once one person can find it out, then in the internet age, disseminating that info to a mass audience is trivial.

      Just because someone wants anonymity doesn’t mean everyone has a duty to give it. It’s on him to take steps to preserve anonymity, not the responsibility of the world to avoid looking into him and self-censoring when they find information (unless they want to self-sensor for whatever reason)

      No one owes his anonymity….it’s his own job to protect it.

      1. What is the difference than what NYT is doing? Circulation/Readership ?

        Are you being serious? That is exactly the difference. For some reason the NYT is still the paper of record in this country. Karens on FB/Twitter don’t get the eyeballs the NYT does. Social media explosions are fueled by the news; the NYT makes the news.

        1. For some reason the NYT is still the paper of record in this country.

          I hear it’s really great for lining bird cages and potty training puppies. Maybe that’s why it still has such a high circulation?

        2. It’s relatively easy for internet sleuths to connect the blog to his real name. It’s not easy for his patients to connect his real name to the blog. Unless the NY Times links them in a super high impact article, in which case it’ll probably become the first result when googling his real name.

      2. Well that’s a dumb take.

        If an individual researches Alexander and then tries to doxx him, his reach is limited to his twitter followers and facebook friends.

        If the NYT’s doxxes him, millions instantly know.

        It’s about degrees.

      3. So do you want to punish him for wrongthink or because he didn’t do as good a job protecting his anonymity as you think he should’ve?

        The difference between some rando person on the internet and the NYT is resources. The NYT can Bellingcat the guy in a couple of days where it would takes weeks for you or I, and we would give up long before we succeeded. Which is why his anonymity is, or was, still intact.

  13. The Times declined to comment to Reason, though a spokesperson stressed that “when we report on newsworthy or influential figures, our goal is always to give readers all the accurate and relevant information we can.”

    Which is why they declined to respond?

    1. Also why they declined to publish any articles based on anonymous sources related to the Russia Collusion hoax for 4 years right?

      1. Maybe because Reason doesn’t want to offend stupid fucking shitlibs, who will never accept us anyway.

        But they DO want a “Senior Editor” who’s STILL carrying out a 3-year old war for her excessive reaction to a sandwich joke, because you gotta countersignal the FUCK out of those icky conservatives.

    2. The “CIA whistleblower” will be named by the NYT any…day…now.

  14. Just to reiterate: the psychopathic brainless used up cunt who tried and failed to make it as a middle aged sugar baby Elizabeth Nolan Brown supported this doxxing and spent 2 days flicking her bean on Twitter about it because this guy wrote an article 3 years ago calling her out for doxxing another Twitter user and getting him fired from his job for sarcastically telling her to make him a sandwich.

    I guess that’s rather small potatoes when compared to Shikha Dalmia literally calling for violence against her ideological opponents and blaming the even organizers at Berkeley for Milo Yiannopolous being attacked by violent thugs. But it just goes to show you the character of Reason’s senior writers.

    1. Big if true.

      1. It is true. Like a typical bimbo, ENB called Scott Alexander a “misogynist” and she was glad that he was gone. Probably because he wrote an article trashing her for her “this guy made a joke about a sandwich!” insanity.

        1. Her lame ass, passive aggressive piece about Jordan Peterson makes sense now.

    2. None of what you wrote is very nice. But what your targets actually DID isn’t nice either. Carry on, I guess!

    3. Elizabeth Nolan Brown supported this doxxing and spent 2 days flicking her bean on Twitter about it because this guy wrote an article 3 years ago calling her out for doxxing another Twitter user and getting him fired from his job for sarcastically telling her to make him a sandwich.

      If this is true, that’s pretty awful. Journalists has become amazingly thin-skinned. But as I said, Twitter is one of the most useful tools in journalism since the printing press. It reveals a lot about the people who write the articles we read.

          1. And this is why she didn’t like the blog- because they took her to task over her last hissy fit over a meme.


            1. How does she still have her job here?
              I’m not calling for her or anyone else’s resignation, because I believe in free speech, but you’d think that at some point her editor would ask her why she’s working at a libertarian magazine when she’s made for buzzfeed.

              1. She’s made for Gawker.

              2. Calling Reason a “libertarian” publication in the year 2020 is quite a stretch. They employ more neocons than anti-interventionists now, so I’m not sure what would make people believe there is anything “libertarian” about Reason or any Koch funded outlet.

                Consider the fact that they had a front page article by self-proclaimed “neocon libertarian” (whatever the fuck that means) Cathy Young calling for sanctions against Russia for Facebook memes and then the entire staff at Reason hand waved away FBI abuse that the inspector general found. Reason is just a regurgitation of the NYT editorial page with the occasional slight quibble and Robby.

            2. Ah yes. I forgot about her wanting to get that guy outed or fired. Not a good look for a writer who works for a libertarian magazine.

              I think he stated his case well. And all ENB could muster in response was…?

              Again, now her (to me anyway) childish insistence on keeping with the ‘they’re protestors’ comes better into focus. I was willing to throw her a long leash but in my view her talents would be better served at a more progressive outlet.

          2. Wow.

          3. Ok, fuck off now. Fuck right off. I’ve sometimes thought the commenters here were could be rude and overly critical of ENB, but after seeing this, fuck right off with that noise.

            1. Did… did we just become best friends?

            2. That’s not even the worst of it. I’m having linking problems.

            3. Again I say, WTF?

              Not to make light of Scott Alexander’s plight but ENB was white knighting for a woman who drowned her own 3-yr-old son, a serial rapist of infirm old women, and a repeat-offender burglar caught in the act by a homeowner in the same fucking article.

              A literal back-to-back 1, 2, 3 of ‘fuck human life, fuck human agency, fuck private property rights’ article from a supposed libertarian.

              Most of you guys were around for this. The woman defended a guy who was serially raping bed-ridden old ladies because the local county prosecuter was having an affair.

              1. I don’t read every ENB article, and ENB’s Millennial sex beat gets old.

      1. The cowardly twat apparently deleted the 10-20 tweets she blasted out about it, but they’re probably archived somewhere.

      2. Yeah, and now a lot of non-Libertarians think we’re awful assholes because they have an accurate window into ENB’s pettiness.

        I’m going out of my way to disavow her. So should you, and so should Reason.

        1. Anyone who associates a Koch outlet with libertarianism, doesn’t know anything about libertarianism.

          1. Yet this remains the public face of libertarianism, with ambassadors like ENB representing it to the masses

          2. “Chamber of Commerce libertarianism” is apparently a thing, ’cause that’s what this website pushes.

            “Reason” indeed.

      3. Journalists has become amazingly thin-skinned.

        Almost everyone of the millennial generation is a thin skinned fucktard 2 seconds away from throwing a Twitter tantrum over any slight, real or imagined, at any time. Used to be most sane people could just ignore their bullshit but now they’re actually getting people fired for wrongthink or even just not expressing enough goodthink, and they know it and are loving the power/ ego trip that comes with all of that.

    4. She did that?

  15. Reason: Transgender individuals deserve respect, forcible participation in their delusion, and even defense of their occupation and position in society. They aren’t trying dissociate from their old identity and they generally want to keep their old lives as much as possible, they aren’t really doing anything valuable or noble, but society owes it to them to make their difficult journey as easy as possible. People who don’t agree to these standards are stupid, icky jerks.

    Also Reason: Writers who want to use pseudonyms to protect themselves from being associated to their employer/profession, being associated with their family, public attack, falsely associated with the message, all of the above, or other reason? Fuck ’em!

    1. The best part about double standards is you get a to have twice as many as less principled people.

    2. The thing about the transgender part is it’s true they’re not harming anyone but, arguably of course in some cases, themselves. But the take completely overlooks at the more troubling facets that could indeed hurt them or others. For example, what if mental illness does play a large role in many cases? Mental illness is a serious condition that leads to, among other things, suicide.

      I find Reason sometimes loses touch with nuance and reality on certain issues.

      But like KMW said, maybe it’s because Trump ‘has caused an existential crisis’ among staff.

      As they all smoke in berets dreaming of De Beauvoir.

      Not enough ‘fuck you, eat shit’ angst in their bite. But that’s me.

      1. @Rufus: About the transgender, what’s know scientifically so far is this:

        a) Male and female human brains are anatomically distinct in some key areas, what can be seen by means of brain scans, autopsies etc. Transgender individuals have their brains physically shaped like those of the typical brain of the opposite sex.

        b) The subjective feeling of where in your body each of your organs and members is located is a physical function of the brain. Neurologists call this the homunculus. Transgender individuals, due to having their brains physically flipped to the one of the other gender, have an homunculus that doesn’t match their bodies.

        c) This mismatch between brain mapping and body shape causes at first one mental issue: gender dysphoria, which is characterized by six symptoms including the inability to function socially. Then, over time, a growing number of additional mental issues arise from it, from depression and anxiety to suicidal thoughts. These are called gender dysphoria comorbidities.

        d) Fixing the mismatch fixes only the first mental issue, not the other ones. But it slows down or stops them from growing in intensity even more. They all need specific treatments.

        e) The easiest way to fix, or at least reduce, the mismatch, and by extension the first mental issue, is by surgically changing the shape of the body. The alternative would be doing extensive brain surgery so as to correct the homunculus. For now that’s WAY beyond our technological level, so body surgery it is.

        f) About one in 20,000 births present this mismatch between body shape and brain shape.

        g) The cause for this birth condition is currently unknown. Whatever it is, be it genetic, epigenetic, chemical, environmental, or whatever, it’s physical, not psychological, much less moral.

        h) Consequently, former psychological attempts at explaining transgenderism are as invalid as those old psychological attempts at explaining ulcer, from before we knew ulcer is caused by bacteria, or at explaining excessive violence in poor neighborhoods, from before we knew it’s caused by lead contamination.

        i) Finally, nothing in this is political. Policy and politics is what’s done in light of the available knowledge, be it by building upon it, or ignoring it.

        Alas, when it comes to the political spectrum hardly any group is fully on the side of doing things based on the actually available knowledge.

    3. Did we read the same article? The author seems to think New York Times would be inconsistent to relieve Scott Alexander’s real name.

      1. That should say “reveal”.

  16. While I’m largely sympathetic to Alexander’s plight, I think it’s a bit of an over-dramatization for him to assert that his safety would be seriously undermined by his unmasking.

    Depends where he lives. If everyone who received a death threat on twitter were in real danger, 7/8ths of the US population would be “in danger”. But if he lives in say, a highly reactionary blue city, having full name details might result in actual danger.

    Given the shit nature of modern journalism, I wonder what the tone and content of the article will be. If recent history is my guide, the goal of the NYT article will not be to inform, but to “do something else” as Douglas Murray has said about modern journalism.

    1. He lives in one of the few cities in America with multiple active communist organizations, some with direct links to recent political violence. As weird as THAT sounds, there are also weirdo anon communists online who are currently going apeshit over his identity.

    2. It doesn’t matter where you live. Here is the peaceful prairie of proud midwestern values city of Madison Wisconsin, attemping murder (with a list of demands) on a democrat in the senate.

      1. Do people who keep pretending about this ‘mostly peaceful protests’ thing not see the bigger play here? It’s not about statues per se.

        Sure, they *said* it was about racist statues but they’ve since moved on to statues who weren’t even connected to slavery. Now they’ve – wink – upped it to Jesus is fair game. Next up? Actual people.

        If governors don’t stop acting as useful idiots and actually start protecting the sanctity of law & order and public property, this can get uglier and more threatening pretty fast.

        1. Yeah, I think the democrats, if there are any halfway decent people in the political party, should denounce socialism for what it is..marxism. Instead they keep running ads all day on reparations, wealth redistribution via fed force, HUD expansion and open borders.

          On Capital flight., ., past few days realtor search on apartments in Manhattan going up for sale in real time. Listings: 1 hour ago, 15 minutes ago, new, 20 minutes ago, 2 hours ago, 40 minutes ago….keeps going (now hundreds of thousands less than b4 leftistmob rule). Financial firms leaving Seattle. If young people believe these cities will come back from this, or nothing to see here, now is the time to buy.

          1. Yet….Queens/Bronx instead of tossing AOC out voted for her.

            They will get what they richly deserve good and hard.

            1. Do you ever sit and reflect on why you’re obsessed to distraction by a single member of Congress in somebody else’s district?

              1. I’m often exposed to her commercials and her stupid pre-teen voice despite living outside her district/state. Am I permitted to be annoyed, your eminence?

                1. As long as you appreciate that you’re being had.

                  1. Being had by the local broadcast affiliates? They’re the ones airing the commercials.

                    I loathe primary season. The old ways of picking candidates yielded objectively superior results despite their ickyness.

              2. Like Reason’s vendetta against Tom Cotton or Josh Hawley?

              3. I’m late with my reply. That’s pretty parochial of you ToTo.

                AOC represents what is perceived to be a resurgence in stupid ideas and socialism. And American politics does flow up to influence other places including Canada.

                So yeah. I take the fight to the source.

                Philosophically and intellectually she’s abhorrent.

      2. Looks perfectly peaceful to me.

    3. Sounds like danger to his career and practice are the biggest worries. Though I could imagine some people attacking him over some of his writings.

  17. “While I’m largely sympathetic to Alexander’s plight, I think it’s a bit of an over-dramatization for him to assert that his safety would be seriously undermined by his unmasking. ”

    Oh yeah, it isn’t like Cassandra Fairbanks had a mob show up at her house or anything. It isn’t like Mitch McConnell had the same treatment minus the guns and fireworks. It isn’t like we’re seeing these lefty fucks attack people in the street. If the guy is in a proggie state like NY, he’s gonna be in trouble.

    1. The make believe “principles” of Reason writers always ends where white liberal psychosis begins.

    2. He’s in a city that has the highest percentage of actual hammer-and-sickle communists of probably anywhere in the USA. He’s within convenient driving distance of the Trotskyist BAMN (assault convictions and all), Eric Clanton the Bikelock Professor, and a whole lot of people who think literal poop on the streets is a small price to pay to be near all that.

        1. Notwithstanding the overwrought bitching about Reason comment sections, there’s helpful and even erudite discussion here. Thanks!

    3. There’s also, especially in this day and age, plenty of other reasons besides safety not to be unmasked/doxxed.

      Again, it’s hilarious that a tranny says ‘deadnaming should be a crime’ and Reason shifts into ‘to be sure’ gear, but when a journalist is thinking that his spouse/kids shouldn’t be forced to answer for his/her ideals and likely will be well down the road or, sees legitimate arguments in favor of freedom undermined because the dude that made them kept and slept with his servants, well doxxing just comes with the territory.

    4. Rand Paul still recovering from his broken ribs? Steve Scalise probably will walk with a limp forever. And so on…

    5. Tucker Carlson. His wife went to hide in the pantry.

      They absolutely do descend onto your house now. This isn’t ‘peaceful protesting’ this is the mob looking to pinch and lynch.

      Didn’t that clown Mayor Ted Wheeler see them come for him where he lives?

      Naifs I have no respect for.

  18. “it’s hard to understand why Virgil Texas’s request for anonymity is granted but Scott Alexander’s is refused.”

    Different editors?

  19. Just because something should be legal doesn’t mean it’s ethical, and just because something is standard practice in the world of journalism doesn’t mean it isn’t obnoxious and awful.

    If this guy would rather remain anonymous and his anonymity isn’t part of the story, then what The New York Times is doing is obnoxious and awful–regardless of whether it should remain legal.

    1. “If this guy would rather remain anonymous”

      Pseudonymous. ‘Slate Star Codex’ is a pseudonym. (false name)

    2. It was arrogant and high handed. It is difficult to see what his real name adds to the story other than the Times could do it.

      1. Are they actively seeking to silence people who disagree with them on various issues this way?

        1. Yes, Ken. Yes, they are.

    3. just because something is standard practice in the world of journalism doesn’t mean it isn’t obnoxious and awful

      At this point, it’s probably safer to assume the opposit.

    4. Not running a piece without the guy’s name is a perfectly valid editorial decision. The only “threat” was not to run the piece without the name, right? This “doxxing” stuff and implied claims that a person is entitled to a puff piece in the NYT on his own terms is ridiculous. Stop being snowflakes.

      1. I’m quire sure Scott would prefer a hit piece without doxxing to a puff piece with it. And, of course, threatened doxxing is the more effective way to shut him up. As proved to be the case.

      2. You say really stupid things tony. He never asked for a puff piece with the demand for anonymity. He stated if they couldnt keep him anonymous he didn’t even want it written.

  20. Scott Alexander was not saying that disagreement harms him. He was saying that he did not want to make it easy for people who disagree with him to come and harm him. Those are not the same thing at all, Soave. And in these days, when the progressives are looking to ostracize anyone who disagrees with their dogma from earning a living, it is easy to understand why he would not want his regular identity revealed in such a high profile way.

    1. In the context of the zeitgeist, his concern is well-founded.

      And why do people talk to the NYT? It’s a piece of shit rag paper.

      1. I think he was hoping if he cooperated with the reporter they would not reveal him. That may have been the wrong strategy, but I don’t think he thought he had many good choices.

    2. I hopped over to American Thinker for a while, and those guys are calling for the public execution of liberals–as soon as it becomes a politically viable option. Are they all lying? Should I not take their word for it?

      1. I think the Tony bot is broken. His comments usually have some connection to what is being discussed.

        1. Just saying, if I have to choose between being ostracized by progressives and summarily executed by angry Trumpian mobs…

          1. When was the last execution started by a trumpism mob?

      2. those guys are calling for the public execution of liberals–as soon as it becomes a politically viable option

        Sure they are.

        Compare left wingers reaction to various people. When BLM says they want to defund police they rush to claim anyone who thinks they mean what they say is an extremist. But when a conservative says we need to do something about rioters these same propagandists claim this is a call for public executions. It’s almost like everything left wingers say is based solely on whether it helps Team Blue.

  21. NYT Is Threatening My Safety By Revealing My Real Name…

    At least he learned the language of the NYT staffer. He just didn’t use it as effectively.

  22. The New York Times isn’t doing a puff piece on the guy, they’re doing a hit job. Their only interest is in doxxing him to shut him up. As long as he’s self-censoring, mission accomplished, they’ve shut him up. This “we have to name you because it’s our principles” is utter horseshit, they use anonymous sources all the goddamn time to hide potential embarrassing conflicts of interest. They’re utter garbage people with garbage morals.

    1. Whatever happened to the confidentiality of sources? Aren’t these the same people who would rather go to prison than compromise a confidential source, even when the name of the confidential source would clearly be newsworthy?

    2. I also find the idea that the story was going to be positive, given the touchy subjects he posts on and at least sometime disagreement with the Left’s orthodoxy on them, as dubious. It is quite reasonable to see the dogged insistence on revealing his name to be a threat.

    3. If they found a way to hit piece David Rubin, I don’t see how they were going to treat Scott Alexander with any fair intent.

      The Times is run by snivelling illiberal authoritarian millennial snowflakes. They ran away like little cowards from a lousy opinion piece from Tom Cotton for the love of God.

  23. “Some will… describe this double standard as an example of political bias, but it’s probably better described as garden-variety sloppiness. It seems more likely that the Times does not have consistent standards here…”

    Hey Robbie, explain the logic underlying your conclusion. I don’t see any. The Times outs people when it fits their socialist agenda and doesn’t when it does. Democrat Eric Ciaramella, who has close ties to former President Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden and corrupt former CIA Chief John Brennan. There, I said it, they still won’t, even though you can Google it like I just did.

    1. And how does a paper with a long history still not have its ‘standards’ down to a consistent art?

      Not buying it.

      1. Which has been described in the past as “The Paper of Record”.

    2. Marxist good (or at least a large population of the industry Robby works in), privacy and wrongthought bad. By identifying the site they’ve done enough to inform the public on their topic unless they’re explicitly trying to link him to the site for some reason.

      They’re excuses for the doxxing are just that, excuses. They’re perfectly happy to withhold information if it helps them forward their agenda and Robby is right there helping them push.

    3. > their socialist agenda

      Define the word socialist. The New York Times isn’t socialist, as I’m sure their millionaire owners could attest.

  24. So is ENB now going to demand that Robbie be cancelled? She must be fearing for her safety at Reason staff meetings.

  25. That sucks. I like that guy. One of the last sane liberals worthy of the name,

    1. Exactly. A lost breed of liberals I appreciated and read.

      We’re losing the fight.

  26. If you have a career that you value, the posting of anything online -outside of maybe puppy videos,- is potentially professionally suicidal in this day and age.

  27. Just to add that it is not difficult to find out who this person is, where he has studied and lived. And one of these places is not the USA.

  28. You can try to be an anonymous public figure in the age of the internets, but good luck with that. I figure it goes without saying that people don’t get to dictate the terms of news stories written about them. You can say “no comment,” however.

    Anonymity is far too relied upon in journalism, as most journalists will tell you. They want the name because that is usually a crucial fact in a story, and contributes to its credibility. Unfortunately in environments like the White House that produce a lot of news but not a lot of people willing to go on the record, newspapers have to strike a balance between getting the scoop and keeping their sources happy so they keep giving scoops. It’s widely understood to be a perverse system.

    Anonymity is important for some stories, including those provided by whistleblowers, as the importance of the story outweighs the interest in knowing the source’s name. There are standards for granting anonymity in a newsroom, however:

    The material must be information, not opinion or speculation.
    The information can’t be gotten elsewhere.
    The source is reliable and in a position to have the facts under discussion.

    1. Eh. Meh. MSM uses ‘unverified sources’ a lot to pimp their narratives.

      And I would ague you can’t say ‘no comment’ anymore. Haven’t you heard? Silence is consent. They demand people and businesses take sides.

      This is a dangerous and stupid game from dangerous and stupid people.

      1. You seem to be talking about some kind of story where people are asked their opinion about political matters. As the standards I listed say, a source can only be anonymous if they are offering facts, not opinions.

        1. As the standards I listed say, a source can only be anonymous if they are offering facts, not opinions.

          He’s not a source, his blog is the subject. So go back to your paint by numbers and see where you went wrong.

  29. Damn. I was really warming up to the idea that Robbo had finally been red-pilled too.

    It’s very intentional. You posted about their stark raving lunacy 2 weeks ago.

    1. Being red-pilled means having your brain jacked into a dirty, smelly corner of the internet where boys whine that girls won’t touch their pee-pees, right?

      I remember The Matrix a little differently.

      1. Maybe you watched The Dominatrix because that ain’t it.

        1. But whiny man-children come into it somewhere, right?

          1. Why do you ask? Are you looking to get a part in the new sequel?

      2. Sweet, I triggered Tony by making a benign, humorous observation.

  30. Carpe Doktum was also doxxed after being booted from Twitter (against their terms of service).
    He’s said he will retire from making memes out of fear for his family.
    Fuck the Marxists, it’s time to kill

    1. Funny, Twitter subjectively enforcing rules seems so unlike them.

      I’d prefer no internet at all as opposed to the shit we have now.

  31. Pretty sure the NYT is writing a hit piece. They want to destroy this guy’s life for some reason.

  32. One would think the right to privacy would make a case against the NYT unless Alexander was preforming criminal activities.

    Sounds like more witch-hunting to me.

  33. Why on earth would anyone want to be famous?!?! They are treated horribly…and that’s by the people that like them! Those that don’t are even worse.

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