Update: Sandy Garossino was on her regular spot on Bill Good’s show on CKNW today. I’ve been on the Bill Good show before, so thought I’d call in and ask Garossino to explain herself. She responded by saying that I’ve been “stalking” her on Twitter. In total, since November 2011, I’ve sent a total of 24 messages that included the @garossino Twitter address- all of them polite and respectful.
Children’s entertainer Raffi Cavoukian has a big problem on his hands. He’s one of the two founding partners of the Red Hood Project– an anti-bullying campaign that’s campaigning to make the Internet a safer place for kids. Raffi’s problem isn’t with his cause, or the public will to back it (that said, they need to better explain their expectations on age verification). The real problem is Raffi’s partner- he couldn’t have chose a worse role model than Sandy Garossino.
Garossino has, time and again, shown herself to be a bully. Her internalized anger comes out when she disagrees strongly with someone on a political issue- particularly when people criticise TIDES Canada. Garossino has had outbursts with a wide range of people including reporters, politicians, and just ordinary citizens. Today Sandy Garossino, a self-professed guardian of our children, went even a step further- participating in an online swarming against your’s truly. And, to make things worse- some of the people she’s swarming with are those who are closely linked to anarchist street violence.
Sandy Garossino has, indeed, outdone herself this time… (And that’s quite an accomplishment!)
I case you weren’t aware, I’ve been facing a pretty serious problem being swarmed by violence promoting anarchists the past 18 months or so. It all began when I realized there were people preaching violence at Occupy Vancouver. I spoke-out against the violence, quite vocally, and I wrote about the people who were promoting it. What happened next changed my life.
I have been subject to an intensity of online bullying, slander and attacks that I’m guessing very few people have had to deal with. Multiple websites have been created about me- filled with false allegations and the worst kind of smear attacks. People who don’t even know me (nor do I know them) regularly publish outright lies about me.
The above example is from Gena Thompson. Thompson is the president of Vancouver’s Carnagie Community Centre Organization. I’ve never heard of Thompson until she published this poorly executed, but vicious, lie about me (remember, I’m the one against violence!)- I was shocked to learn she entrusted with the management of a very significant City of Vancouver asset.
If you’d think making such an ugly lie about me would be enough for Gena Thompson then you’re mistaken. This person, who is a total stranger to me, decided to take it one step further and took a personal attack against the other person in the conversation. All this person did was to tweet out a link to a video of mine- suddenly, Thompson is trying to shame and discredit them for it.
This is outright bullying- people who simply share my work with others are at risk of people like Gena Thompson attacking them next. People are trying not only do destroy my name, but are actively taking every effort within their means to socially exclude me from others. Unfortunately, it’s not working out very well for them- it’s actually beginning to backfire. One blogger recently wrote that all of these attacks must mean that I’m on the right track.
One of the tools being used to attack me is an anonymously run (cowardly) Twitter account that’s been setup entirely with the intention of spewing vicious hate towards me. The person running this account has said some of the most vitriol and offensive attacks I’ve ever seen. Gena Thompson is a follower of the account, as are many of the people who have been swarming me. On Monday Sandy Garossino joined-in on the fun.
You’ll notice that Gena Thompson is part of the tweet, as is Rachel Goodine- one of Vancouver’s most hardcore and vitriol Twitter trolls. Goodine has gone a step above many of the the other people who’ve been involved in my swarming- to the point where she made false allegations about my being mentally ill. But, I’m not the only person who has been a victim of her hate:
A man came and found me about three weeks ago after he was ambushed by Goodine. Like my experience with Thompson, he’d never hear of her before, nor was he in any interaction with her. She simply saw something he wrote that she didn’t like and Goodine threatened to create websites slandering him and hurting his prospects for employment. Does this sound familiar?
What Garossino has done to me is nothing compared to the attacks she’s been making on others- particularly her continuing pattern of vitriol attacks on Vivian Krause. For months now Garossino has been twisting the meaning of Krause’s work with viciously worded responses. Garossino has gone as far as to make comments about Krause’s age, personal appearance, and employment status- dirty stuff. Over the past couple of weeks Garossino has escalated her attacks over Twitter.
Considering Sandy Garossino’s current pattern of behaviour, putting her in a leadership position in an kid’s anti-bullying campaign makes about as much sense as putting Jimmy Saville in charge of children’s programming at the BBC. Swarming is one of the worst forms of bullying- by participating in this behaviour, Garossino has proven herself unworthy of being in a position of trust with such a delicate matter.
It’s time for Garossino to resign from the Red Hood project. If she doesn’t Raffi should stand up and ask her to leave. If not, the rest of us should ask- there’s no way we’re going to cure problems with online bullying when the head of the program participates in such harsh bullying herself…