Finding Mr. X - the story of an anti-cycling hate-page (and the cyclist behind it)

https://cyclingtips.com/2018/08/finding-mr-x/

Interesting read. Anecdotally, I don’t think I’ve experienced any more or less issues on the road in the time since this page switched from satire to genuine animosity. Certainly a few Queenslanders have said issues increased. It appears to be dead in the water now, but the shadow will live on as shared (photoshop) images and one-sided claims.

Fascinating read. Also terrifying. I can’t help but want to know his name even though it has nothing to do with me. I noticed that Cyclingtips was very deliberate in not censoring the names of all the lowlife commenters posting threatening garbage in that group, and I am glad they didn’t censor it.

So much hatred, and so much wasted time spreading hate.

Steph and I talked about this at length last night.
It’s a truly horrifying insight into the power of Facebook (and other platforms) for those with an agenda and some photoshop skills. When we thought about it on a larger scale, a story about an individual with an agenda vs a foreign government or large organisation, we were concerned. If this is the impact one person can have, think about what well funded, motivated, single-minded governments and organisations could do.

TL/DR - Mr X sounds like someone who needs some help and care and the whole thing shows just how important real journalism is and how dangerous social media can be.

This story has been floating around for ages in various places. I remember some initial discussions about it when the site “flipped” from satire to hate.

I agree Luke, there’s a sad and broken individual at the heart of this story. I kinda feel like the guy has gone to such lengths to try and hide his identity because he knows that if he were ever to snap and actually hurt/kill someone his online rants would guarantee a conviction (as per that guy in NSW who hit and killed a cyclist and didn’t stop). My sincere hope is that guy gets the help he needs before he does something drastic.

This guy: https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/ben-smith-jailed-for-eight-years-jail-over-death-of-cyclist-steven-jarvie-20170703-gx3bhd.html

My experiences is 90% of drivers are good. Then there’s 9% of people who just get it a bit wrong when passing bikes or driving near riders and maybe would be too close for comfort for some people. Then there’s the remaining 1%, which is maybe 0.9% of people who are just vindictive and will close pass you without a single one given. Then there are the 0.1% who would happily drive into you if they were having a bad day (which would be all the time for them). 35 years of riding I can still only count on one hand the number of incidents where I’ve felt unsafe or targeted on a bike.

Amazed (and pleased) by everybody’s compassion in a situation that can so easily lead to more hate and anger. A small joy!

Classic “we know who you are” article