First revealed by Brianna Wu on May 06th, 2015, Natalie O'Brien is the individual Wu claims manages her twitter account and handles her harassing tweets. According to Brianna Wu, most of her Patreon money goes to paying this individual to handle her tweets. There's only one small problem: There's no evidence of this woman's existence, leading many to question whether or not she's real.
Prior to her appearance, Brianna Wu has had a lengthy history of claiming, alternately, to have someone working for Giant SpaceKat Studios covering her harassment when asked where the bulk of her (rather substantial) Patreon funding is going, and then claiming that she doesn't. Wu revealed the identity of this mystery Twitter-handler on A MAZE Magazine, before the interview discussing her was covered in Une Petite Peu on May 6th, 2015.
Patreon Supporter Defection
Main Article: InformUs Incident
On March 9th, 2016, an apparent former Patreon Backer of Brianna Wu's posted on Medium, demanding proof of Natalie O'Brien's existence and suggesting that Brianna Wu may have simply pocketed the cash that was otherwise supposed to go to her "Harassment Support" user. Brianna Wu immediately demanded this user's identity to be revealed, and furthermore refused to give any proof whatsoever that Natalie O'Brien exists.
On Janauary 17th, 2017, an Interview with Brianna Wu emerged in which she continued to claim Natalie O'Brien was a real person while offering no evidence whatsoever as to this person's existence and continuing to accuse anyone who asks about it (in this case, the interviewer) of being a Gamergate-supporting troll.
Does She Exist?
We'll let you decide:
Evidence for O'Brien's Existence
The following are pieces of evidence lending credence to this woman actually existing:
- Brianna has used the narrative of a pregnant woman on her staff for some time - since February of 2015, at least, during the PAX East Incident.
Evidence Against O'Brien's Existence
The following are pieces of evidence against this woman actually existing:
- Natalie O'Brien's Twitter, @GSXOffice, went up on January 5th, 2015, with its first tweet the following day. This is about a month before Brianna Wu claimed to have her as an employee, and roughly five months since Brianna Wu's initial foray into GamerGate opposition. If Wu's defense she uses for her Patreon - that it's to cover the expensses of paying O'Brien to manage her Twitter account - then that leaves almost four months of income not used for this purpose.
- Brianna Wu's company, Giant SpaceKat Studios, does not have an Employer Identification Number (EIN) by all accounts. Neither does Chessboard Holdings, LLC, which owns Giant SpaceKat Studios. Any employee who works for Giant SpaceKat has thus, in essence, worked off the books. Wu claims to pay O'Brien directly from her Patreon, which would necessitate either of Wu's companies having an Employer ID Number.
- When posting on Brianna's Twitter, the company Facebook, or the Giant SpaceKat Twitter, this individual uses the same post formatting, style, and verbiage as Brianna Wu herself. This has been compared to, by veterans of this Wiki, Vade's use of Headmates.
- Natalie O'Brien has no Social Media presence. No personal Twitter, no Facebook, and no LinkedIn account. This doesn't seem that strange at a glance, but literally every other member of Giant SpaceKat Studios has a Social Media presence and/or a Facebook. Indeed, Wu got in touch with many of her associates via Craigslist and Twitter.
- Her section to the Giant SpaceKat Studios website was added in January, just like Wu's @GSXOffice account.
- This isn't the first time Brianna Wu used a sockpuppet account.
- Nor is it the first time her husband has done the same.
- Natalie O'Brien is the only member of the Giant SpaceKat team who has never had any information whatsoever in her "about" section. Every other member of the Giant SpaceKat team has, even though several (such as Emma Clarkson) weren't on-notice as "officially" being part of the company or were removed when they left the company.
- Wu is a complete Twitter addict. The longest she's been able to keep away from Social Networking has been 48 hours. During the Ralph Retort Incident, Brianna was seen checking her twitter constantly.
- No photo evidence of this woman exists. Every other Giant SpaceKat Studios member has been photographed together.
- Brianna Wu has a lengthy history of outright lying.
- Brianna Wu's twitter often posts for weeks on end after alleged breaks, only to walk back that Natalie was ever on staff.
- Despite Brianna Wu being the host of her Kickstarter for the PC release of Revolution 60, nonetheless "Natalie" sometimes posts in official press releases, often There Sunshine.png under Wu's own developer account. This same account, then, apropos of nothing, will then go on to claim to be Brianna Wu.
- All correspondence with Natalie O'Brien, by those who contacted her, have been via email. There is not a single individual who will confirm meeting Natalie O'Brien in person.
- Of the various Giant Spacekat Studios employees that this wiki has talked to under conditions of anonymity, none have been able to substantiate a six-months-pregnant employee working for the company.
- Emma Clarkson, one of Giant SpaceKat Studios' employees, has cast serious aspersions on this individual existing. This is true of other former Giant SpaceKat Studios employees who have talked to the Kiwi Farms under condition of anonymity.
- Wu has made up fake employees before, most notably Lauren Milovy.
- During the InformUs Incident Wu could not provide one single piece of evidence of this woman's existence to appease a Patreon backer.
What Does It All Mean?
Some time ago, there was some question of whether or not Natalie O'Brien existed; it was believed that even if she were not a 100% truthful presence, the concept of Wu hiring a Twitter handler didn't seem that far outside the realm of reality.
As time has gone on, however, and as more and more evidence has piled up, it is now a certainty that Natalie O'Brien does not exist. Between the complete lack of anyone who can corroborate her identity, the fact that Wu has steadfastly refused to provide any information that she's real to a Kickstarter backer, and that, of all of Wu's followers and employees, the only ones that have talked about Natalie - at all - have done so to state that she does not exist.
Moreover, there are too many examples of Brianna Wu doing similar before. As John Flynt, she similarly used the false identity of Lauren Milovy, who existed to increase the "girlpower" of John's projects for Socially Unconscious.
All evidence shows that Natalie O'Brien is simply a false presence that Brianna Wu uses to give herself a credible reason for why she needs an expensive Patreon.
- Brianna Wu's Twitter - A PR Person Doesn't Run My Account
- Une Petite Peu - Tag Archive:Giant SpaceKat
- Medium - Who is Natalie O'Brien?
- GameObjective - The Incredible Fundraising of the "Literally Whos"
- TwitBirthday - GSXOffice's Creation Date
- First Tweets - GSXOffice
- Emma Clarkson's Twitter - I Doubt the Veracity of Natalie's Existence