There has been a little bit of a flurry of tweets from the usual suspects in response to a bit of a conversation about @ElevatorGATE being ‘like’ David Mabus. Now if you don’t know who @ElevatorGATE is then you are in the same boat as the rest of us as ‘he’ is anonymous and cowardly. EG is also displaying an unnerving amount of obsession for Rebecca Watson given most of the tweets are about her, the background picture on the account is Rebecca as is EG’s avatar, none of this is flattering. So to the outside observer EG appears to be a little unhinged and a potential stalker at the very least. However if you live on the other side of the fence to the ‘#FTBullies’ then EG is a brave hero fighting the evil Skepchick menace for the greater good of the atheist-sceptic movement… Or something.
There are a lot of ‘parody’ accounts vying for attention in the FTBullysphere of which EG is Top of the Tw*ts at the moment. So I’ll compare the main offenders tweeting with mine as a control who tweets a bit and PZ as another control who is a prolific pro-tweeter. Also EG compared PZ to Mabus and vice versa so it is only fair to see who is worse? I can only objectively look at volumes, timing etc, not nuttyness of the content… But is EG anywhere near Mabus? I’ve looked at the last three months as pulling tweets off using the Twitter API only seems to let me get EGs last 3K of tweets which covers just over this period. Also it is less data to work with so is trivial to analyse.
Who is Top of the Tweeting Twits?
Our comparison is with Mabus, but there are no accounts to check as they are pretty quickly marked as spam and suspended and now he has been re-arrested he is presumably not stupid enough to start again. However fortunately there are a few references to just how prolific he could be -
His final account was created on November 1st and averaged almost 550 Tweets per day until he was arrested. That’s some 8,700 Tweets – over half of what I’ve sent on my personal account in five in a half years.
He would spend hours at it. For example, on February 25th I found 25 separate accounts he used. Based on the timestamps of the posts, he started around 7:30am, and posted more or less continuously until about 10am. He continued somewhat more slowly until noon, when I presume he took a break for lunch. He resumed at 3pm, and posted until 9pm that night. I counted almost 700 tweets.
Pretty high benchmark to meet in terms of raw numbers, Total of 8,700 tweets in under a month, 550 a day peaking at 700 observed by Tim Farley.
Meet the Twits
Quote from BreadGod1 to preface the meet and greet
|AngrySkepchick||Doesn’t mention anyone directly and never spams the skepchicks or anyone else, good parody account and marked as such (Although I agree with very little of what it tweets)|
|breadgod1||Does directly tweet people when they respond and also unsolicited, big fan of #FTBullies and #atheismplus. Not marked as a parody account, but it should be.|
|atheismplus||Doesn’t mention anyone directly or try and spam them, good parody account and marked as one (I post at the A+ forum, so not really a fan though!)|
|GroupthinkBlogs||Seems to be more of a personal twitter account than a well thought out parody, not marked as one but at times seems like one. Mostly doesn’t spam and likes #atheismplus but not #ftbullies for some reason.|
|TheOtherAtheist||Felch Grogan / Franc Hoggle / Victor Ivanoff … A key hater of FreeThoughtBlogs and PZ Myers. Although seems to hate pretty much all of FtBs and Skepchick, makes a lot of use of #’s all of above and ones like #pzmyers as Franc knows he is blocked by pretty much everyone!|
|Y_U_NO_SKEPTIC||Copy of the ‘U Y NO’ meme but used to ridicule FtBs/Skepchicks everywhere. Does spam directly and seems desperate for targets to respond even though they blocked long ago. Would seem likely there is a finite number of sentences that could start “Y U NO.. ” but this one seems keen to disprove that. Not marked as parody.|
|ElevatorGATE||Our target and potential Mabus, spends a lot of time blogging as well as tweeting. The focus is without doubt Rebecca Watson but anyone on the periphery will get some insults as well. Not marked as parody and seems very happy with pariah status.|
|pzmyers||Popular atheist blogger and tweeter with a vast number of followers. Sometimes prone to hyperbole about people he doesn’t like, for example EG – but is it hyperbole? We will see!|
So the total tweets by twit over the last three months ->
So compared to Mabus’s 8000+ tweets in November alone EG is looking like a complete failure at being obsessive. However for pretty much only having one thing to say he is doing well having tweeted a lot more than PZ or pro-hater TheOtherAtheist/Franc/Felch/Victor/Soze. Out of the second-raters EG wins by a long way… It should also be pointed out that he re-tweets a lot, almost half of his tweets are re-tweets – they are not considered here as we are looking at content created by the owner not re-tweets of others thoughts. So in total he is nearer 3K tweets which is looking more Mabus like since Mabus tweeted the same thing over and over and over.
Tweets by Day
Looking now at tweets for the days in the last three months we get the following rather confused chart -> (9,10,11 are Sept, Oct, Nov and above that are the days when there were tweets)
For peak tweets in a day PZ and EG are rather close hitting 85 and 86 respectively, Franc came third with 66. None of these are near the Mabus peak of 700 with 550 a day not being uncommon (As per reference from Tim Farley)… Also all three have declined a lot in that last couple of months to the point of being horribly humiliated by my 30 in a day when discussing the merits of Windows 8 with @lousycanuck and @aratina… So embarrassing but not obsessed with anyone!
Not really clear that EG wins this, but why are there not clear peaks from EG when he produces so many more tweets? Well there is a simple explanation, EG sends tweets pretty much all hours of the day! There is not an hour when he is not sending tweets – ok so not every day but all hours have tweets in every month so there is no clear sleeping pattern. Is EG a plural? I hope so for EGs sake!
Tweets by Hour of Day
Here is the analysis of what hours in the day the three top twits tweet -
So there is clearly a time in the day when Franc Hoggle sleeps, good news there! Also PZ has a definite lull around 6am-10am UK time, although only drops to zero on one hour (9am UK time).. I assume this is due to travelling since there are clear lulls some months but not others. Unlike EG, who in any given month will always have tweets in all hours, this is disturbing if EG is one person. I can only think of two options if EG is the one person he appears to be (In terms of style of tweeting, language used etc.)
WoW guy, sat in his basement slowly expanding and nursing a serious case of RSI.
International jet-setter so up at all hours and tweeting constantly, even when flying… Hmm, maybe not.
There is of course the multiple person theory, but having read his tweets I cannot see it. So EG, if you are reading here is a little advice, get some sleep! I think you’ll likely find that obsession over Rebecca Watson just seems not as important once you get some shut-eye.
Could it be as simple as that? All the haters need is a few Zopiclone and 8hrs straight? No, unfortunately, as usual Franc Hoggle rears his ugly head to show it is not that easy as he clearly gets his 7-8hrs a night and he is still nuttier than squirrel poo.
This is clearly hyperbole from PZ etc if you only take into account the volume of tweets. Other factors in the Mabus-like theory favour would be the fact that EG is obsessed with primarily one person whereas Mabus was obsessed with 5000 whining atheists so you’d expect less volume. Also EG creates more content, Mabus just spammed a bunch of links and text to everyone but EG blogs, storifies and tweets on Rebecca Watson constantly. He also seems to never sleep and no hour of the day goes past when he doesn’t want to pontificate on Rebecca Watsons merits or otherwise…
Finally I’d say David Mabus is obviously suffering from mental illness, EG is not mentally ill in my opinion, just obsessed. A lot of us get obsessed with things we feel are important so one persons obsession can look strange to an outsider. So don’t compare EG to Mabus, it does no one any good to exaggerate.
NB: If anyone is interested in scripts/tools etc I used – comment/tweet/email and I may add a bit about the method below. Suffice to say I’m not obsessed (Honest!) and my ‘l33t’ shell skills mean it took less than a hour to compile the info.