I’m writing this from a place of deep annoyance and I don’t think that the person I’m writing about has enough basic decency to stop. He’s been talked to publicly and privately and still won’t stop the behavior. It’s because he doesn’t have that kind of decency that I’m writing it.
There is a fantastic person on Twitter, Liz, who goes by @d20blonde and has organized a weekly Twitter chat about RPGs for the last 4 years. Using the hashtag #RPGchat, she draws in dozens of people to discuss new topics every week and builds community. I’m going to liken this to throwing a community picnic in a public park. It may be a bit BYOB, but she consistently organizes it, picks, themes, kicks it off, has multiple topics ready for discussion, etc. She pulls it all together.
There is a much less fantastic person on Twitter who goes by @DaddyDM. A lot of women I know on Twitter, Liz and I among them, have blocked him for a variety of reasons.
Now, here’s the thing about that situation. Blocking means that Liz can’t see what he’s doing, nor can I, nor can a lot of people close to #RPGchat’s founding. And honestly, she and I and most women don’t really care about what the men we block do after they’re blocked. Most of the time. We just want them out of our replies, out of our timelines, and to generally live a life without them in it.
Being blocked certainly doesn’t stop him from dropping by this internet neighborhood picnic, participating, talking to friends and strangers, etc. There is no way to block a person from a Twitter chat and that’s generally ok. Those of us who don’t want to see him don’t, those of us who don’t care or who want to see him do. It’s a perfect thing about blocking. There is nothing to stop him from simply being a regular #RPGchat participant and I don’t think anybody wants that.
But then he pretends to be a host
But here’s the part where DaddyDM gets disrespectful, gross, immature, uncool—whatever you want to call it: He pretends he’s now a co-host.
That’s right. You may have even thought “Oh, DaddyDM? Isn’t he one of the co-hosts?”
Whether it’s only recently started or we’ve only recently noticed (after all, blocking a person doesn’t mean you don’t see people replying to them in the hashtag), he was actually copy-pasting Liz’s tweets declaring it open, declaring the topic, etc. When someone called him on that, he was very defensive. So he changed them to copy-pasted RTs but still added his own “co-hosting” tweets of welcome.
Again, remember, she’s blocked him. He has to open a browser where he’s logged out of Twitter, find her tweets, copy-paste them into a separate browser or app, and tweet them. It would make sense for him to see use a non-logged in page to see what she’s saying about topics and not be too inappropriate. This? Very inappropriate.
Update: It was brought to my attention that DaddyDM tweeted that on Twitter even people who’ve blocked you show up in hashtags (this seems like pretty poor functionality but anyway). That means that there would have been fewer steps involved. But he acknowledges that he knows he was blocked and doesn’t seem to have seen anything wrong with initially copying her tweets and them off has his own and then manually RTing someone who had blocked him. It also removes any need for him to be copying or even manually RTing tweets because he either make his own #RPGchat tweets and anyone who’d blocked her or had been blocked by her could easily see her tweets in the hashtag.
To go back to the community picnic metaphor, that’s like being invisible to the host and many of the other people there and, instead of just talking to your other friends, etc., going around declaring yourself a host. Sneaking up behind the hostess who can’t see you, taking notes, and parroting her words back to other people. Trying to grab and shake people’s hands as they go, so they get the impression that you’re somehow involved.
If the picnic metaphor isn’t working for you, imagine a con where every year a person arranged an event for players to get together and do a general discussion, say passing the microphone, while she leads serves as moderator with prepared questions. This person has a good track record and has built a great community. And then some guy she’s said she doesn’t want in her personal life shows up (which again is fine because she can’t see him) and sets himself up catty-corner as the other moderator (which is not ok at all).
Last week, because Liz is home from Germany and wasn’t doing #RPGchat at 3pm, he talked about welcoming her (again, a person who’s made it clear that she doesn’t want anything to do with him) back to the states and by tweeting about the topic that she had chosen for the week.
There is nothing stopping DaddyDM from participating in #RPGchat.
But to be blocked by a person and to respond not by simply respecting that person’s wishes not to communicate with you but to actually try to co-opt a community event she’s organized for 4 years? That’s disgusting behavior. That’s disrespectful. That’s immaturity I might expect from a teenager. And that’s something I’m not ok with someone doing without being called on it. I wrote this post on my own but did run it by Liz to make sure I got all the facts right.
So, what am I asking?
Well, he’s already been asked publicly, but I’m asking publicly again for him to stop pulling this kind of behavior. And I’m asking for his friends to help him out here. I hope you can see why this kind of behavior is not ok. He can’t or he stubbornly won’t. If you’re a friend of DaddyDM, maybe you could make it clear to him why this is really not an ok thing to do. That’s what friends do. None of us have ever been friends with him and he clearly doesn’t listen to or respect any of us, so it’s up to you, the people he does listen to and respect.
I’m not asking for people to harass him on Twitter. I’ll probably Tweet a link to this every time he tries co-opting #RPGchat just so people know. If you’re a member of the #RPGchat community and find him a good conversation partner, this is absolutely ok. But if you think he founded something, co-hosts or is anything other to #RPGchat than what I described above, I hope this has been enlightening.
I believe Liz is looking for Europeans who have not behaved in such egregious fashions to co-host 3pm #RPGchat now that she’s back in the States.
Oh, and if you’re finished reading this chat and still wonder why a bunch of women have blocked a guy like this? A guy who makes it clear that he doesn’t care about boundaries and, in fact, will respond to any attempts to set them up by trying to take over your events? Each of us, in our own way and at our own times, saw this in him and decided that this man was not a man we wanted in our lives, our mentions, or our timelines. Unfortunately, because he’s a guy who acts like this, apparently blocking just isn’t enough and I have to say something about it too.