Rat King is the colloquial term for an online circle that works as social rights advocates while using their influence for personal gain. In folklore, a rat king is a nest of rats who become bound together with excrement, blood, hair, or knotted by own tails. An online rat king will be made up of a handful of members, usually ones with Twitter and Patreon accounts and thousands of young followers. The members of the rat king will follow each other and vouch for one another's projects, helping spread the word and generate donations (usually on promise alone with no finished product). If one of the members of the rat king becomes upset at something, they will incite their followers to create an outrage that can intimidate and silence opposition through numbers and size alone.
Types of Rat Kings
Professional victims are the ideal situation for any faux advocate. They are paid for speaking engagements, receive thousands of dollars on Patreon a month for their mere existence, and can use outrage about their profiteering to further their cause.
- Anita Sarkeesian, a woman who took hundreds of thousands of dollars to produce a video series on feminism, a series that she didn't even bother finishing and is now years past the due date. Despite their many flaws, these videos are now being sold to teachers.
- Brianna Wu was wedged into infamy by appearing on an afternoon talk show to complain about GamerGate and 8chan.
- Zoe Quinn cheated on her boyfriend with a minimum of five other men (including her married boss) and slept her way into critical acclaim with her text-based Twine game Depression Quest. She since receives thousands of dollars a month for producing nothing.
- Randi Lee Harper, affectionately nicknamed "Meth Whale", has an almost criminal history stretching back to the early 2000s. Her original online alias was FreeBSDGirl, despite only changing grammatical issues in the FreeBSD source code. She dropped the nickname after deciding FreeBSD was sexist.
Transgender rights is a very contentious issue with many passionate young people who are easily taken advantage of. Rat king members of the Transgender movement are often people of interest who use their influence to hide one another's Internet drama while profiteering off their users.
- Wesley "Laurelai" James Earl Bailey, works under the guise of social justice advocate and sex worker rights advocate. Laurelai's sordid history includes everything from sexual assault to pretending to be a hacker and snitching hacker friends to the FBI.
- Eric "NekoArc" Harnishfeger, former administrator of /cow/ who closed his iteration of the site after users criticized another transgender person. Runs unpopular transgender support websites, and works as a camwhore.
The "Lesser Rat King"
Another 'branch' so to speak that is related tangentially to the Trans rights Rat King of Laurelai Bailey and to Sarah Nyberg is a group colloquially referred by two names: 1) The Lesser Rat King or 2) The Norasphere. The second name comes from the fact that this part of the Rat King was uncovered due to their association with and status as personal friends and attack dogs for Nora Reed.
- Nora Reed, is a twitter user that is notorious for harassing various targets for months, claiming victim status, and identifying as non-binary. Them and a handful of friends are known for ranting constantly about many topics, most notably: GamerGate, Shanley Kane, the Kiwi Farms, Randi Harper, and Minecraft Developer, Markus "Notch" Persson.
- Jenny Boyd (born Mark Boyd and also known as MagicNanners) is a close associate of Nora Reed's, and was the originator of the Norasphere's attacks against Notch.
- Timothy Craig, also known as Aguyuno or Azure, is another close friend to Nora Reed and he is the subject of multiple sexual harassment accusations that his friends brush off uncharacteristically.
- David Gallant, a failed video game developer and anti-Gamergater who was discovered in one of Nora Reed's tweets. KotakuInAction's subreddit regularly covers him, and he was the subject of a video by YouTube personality Sargon of Akkad.
A rat king connected around Pedophile rights has appeared with Nicholas Nyberg. This particularly vicious rat king has even attacked members of an anti-sex trafficking non-profit organization.
- Nicholas "Sarah" Nyberg, a pedophile who used his administrator's position in a Final Fantasy fan forum to seduce girls. Nyberg spent years openly declaring himself to be a pedophile, discussing pedophile rights, and, disturbingly, would describe his attraction to his 8-year-old cousin. Later recounted everything as being "edgy".
- Alison Rapp, a Nintendo PR employee who came out in defense of Nyberg. Has advocated for the legalization of child pornography and has complained about pedophiles being convicted for possession of it.
- Izzy Galvez, an anti-Gamergater and Nyberg white knight who commonly archives his thread, advocates for legal action against Kiwi Farms (including complaining to CloudFlare, a DDOS-protection service backing Kiwi Farms) and talks to many social justice-oriented people.
- Margaret Pless, a friend of Galvez and an amateur journalist who had an account on the Sonichu.com website. She was also a common link between other members of the social justice community, especially on YouTube. Her claim to infamy was doxing Mike Cernovich and attempting to SWAT him.
Opportunists and Con Artists
There are some rat kings who either engage in deception or asskissing to get what they want.
- Devi Ever, a nonbinary FtM scam artist who claimed Gamergate endangered her safety through a prank.. Her fights with other rat king members including Rani Baker and Laurelai Bailey were documented. Later, she changed her views to support Gamergate movements, and received criticism for her decision to continually flip-flop on the subject.
- Greta Martela, the owner of Trans Lifeline, who paid a visit to Joshua Moon's house and has worked with other lolcows like Kenneth Erwin Engelhardt and Tommy Tooter to take down Kiwi Farms. Their scam hotline was documented to answer little to none of the calls received on Fridays.
- Kenneth Erwin Englehardt, also known as Kengle, is a Christian Weston Chandler stalker who continually tries to befriend lolcows in his efforts to create a personal army against Joshua Moon.
Many members of the rat king belong to a group of outcasts in the trans community, and although trans-exclusionary radical feminists (TERFS) like Cathy Brennan have threads on Kiwi Farms, using information about rat kings from their websites usually creates an effect where the rat king feels distressed. Cathy Brennan is a common enemy among those members and lolcows like Ahuviya Harel. These are ways that usually cause tension among this group, leading to maximum chimpout potential.
Deadnaming Websites and Doxing
Nametheproblem.com and Gender Identity Watch are TERF-run websites which keep a backlog of people of interest and their personal information. In some cases, these websites have their dox prior to Kiwi Farms members discovering them. Dave McDonald and Ryan Fortney are prominent examples of rat king members who caught the ire of Cathy Brennan and were exposed on her websites. Rani Baker was also aware of Kiwi Farms members using these sites to discover information about people in their circles. Having a deadname and dox directly in a thread makes it visible to the subject and depending on the response, they will lock their social media, chimp out or not directly respond.
Deadnaming holds significance to trans rat king members because they want to maintain whatever credibility they hold in their community. Meredith Ramirez Talusan, a writer for Fusion.net wrote, "The person who does it usually sees no harm in using a name that’s been associated with us, but does it while also trying to discredit or shame us, or imply that we will never be our true gender. And every time this happens, painful associations continue to accrue and be associated with names that most trans people already feel alienated from to begin with, because it reminds us of a time in our lives when we didn’t feel as though we were living as our true selves."
Most rat kings are into ebegging through GoFundMe, Patreon and others, and rat kings are also prone to deleting those accounts once they discover their threads. Mark Boyd, a Nora Reed asspatter, boasts about being given $30 USD a month from his Patreon. Richard Jones flaunts his donation schemes whenever he announces his suicide attempts.
Many different rat kings exist, and the key to finding the link between the members is to see who they are associated with. In the past, people made Excel sheets showing which Twitter accounts these members were following. One of the accounts was the Trans-Atheist Podcast, which Richard Jones and Laurelai Bailey both followed.
Since a lot of the rat kings are going through male-to-female transition or identify as nonbinary, using the wrong pronouns tends to factor into their tendency to flip out. They take offense to individuals using "he" or using these pronouns at all to describe them. Misgendering holds similar consequences as using a deadname.
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