For weeks, journalists, bloggers, and human rights advocates have been trying to track down a "disappeared" mideast blogger named Amina, who identified herself on her blog as a "Gay Girl from Damascus." The journal purported to chronicle "an out Syrian lesbian's thoughts on life, the universe and so on."
Well, not so much. After she went missing, people started digging. And it turns out Amina is a 40-year-old white man from Stone Mountain, Georgia named Tom MacMaster.
Christ, what an asshole.
Update: Andy Carvin (@acarvin) of NPR deserves credit for pushing this story from the start, poking at cracks early on, and doing much of the sleuthing that led to the ultimate realization that this was an exploitative hoax. Here's his post at NPR.org.
Update 2: Credit where it's due: The digging by two bloggers, Ali Abunimah and Benjamin Doherty, originally uncovered Tom MacMaster's identity. More at Electronic Intifada. Jillian York also deserves note for skepticism and questions early on, and smart analysis: related posts at jillianyork.com, technosociology.org, bookmaniac.org, and ethanzuckerman.com.
At first you’re just knocking over, like, cups and tables and band members and stuff, but then you start to play with the sliders.
This week, our partnership with Critical Distance brings us a takedown on ’empathy games’ from one of the field’s most well-known independent designers, as well as a unique collection of games inspired by the classic Breakout.
Intelexit is an activist group whose mission is to get spies to quit their jobs; they’ve recently installed billboards around spy complexes in the US and UK.
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