On Friday, Pizzagate conspiracy theory peddler Jack Posobiec posted the photo and workplace of the woman who accused Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexually assaulting her when she was 14 years old.
Posobiec doxxed Leigh Corfman, who alleged to The Washington Post that Moore sexually assaulted her as a teenager when Moore was a 32-year-old assistant district attorney in 1979.
Posobiec came to prominence for pushing the Pizzagate conspiracy that falsely claimed the Clinton campaign was running a child sex ring in the basement of a pizza shop that had no basement. Months later, his account was given Twitter’s verified blue check mark, which is handed out at the discretion of Twitter employees and is usually reserved for celebrities and public figures.
Twitter did not respond to a request for comment on Posobiec’s doxxing. The company has responded to every request for comment on harassment-related inquiries from The Daily Beast in 2017 with the statement that “we do not comment on individual accounts, for privacy and security reasons.”
The company claimed it would be “clearer about these policies and decisions in the future” just last month. When asked for clarification about Posobiec’s status as a verified account, just one hour after that announcement, the company declined to comment.
When Twitter users began reporting Posobiec’s account for targeted harassment, Posobiec tweeted “It came from Heavy dot com - why aren’t you mass reporting them?”
However, Heavy.com did not spend most of Thursday and Friday discrediting and attacking Corfman, which is what Posobiec’s Twitter timeline reveals.
“Be a shame if the #RoyMooreChildMolester story turned out to be another false accusation after so many reporters have gone all in on it,” he tweeted Friday morning.
Posobiec later explained why he pulled down the tweet.
“While reading the Heavy article I saw the reported information. It was a public Facebook post. Now I realize it wasn’t a good idea to post it myself and took it down out of respect for the accuser,” he wrote.
Despite intense criticism from users, press, and Congressional investigators that the site has not done enough to stop targeted harassment and disinformation, revealing personal details about users is traditionally one of the Twitter’s least arbitrarily enforced rules.
Last month, Rose McGowan’s Twitter was shut down within hours of accusing Harvey Weinstein of rape. Twitter claimed McGowan had tweeted a phone number, and her account was suspended instantly.
But Posobiec’s tweet, with personal details of Moore’s accuser, remained live for hours before he pulled it down. His account was never suspended.
On Thursday, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was asked what it would take for President Trump’s account to be banned from the service.
“If a public account were to attack and harass a private citizen,” he replied.
The Daily Beast’s Kelly Weill reported late last month that Twitter uses a harassment queue with “one slower-moving line, and one high-priority ‘VIP’ line for verified users and Twitter employees’ favorite accounts,” according to ex-employees.
Posobiec came to fame last year after he livestreamed himself walking into a child’s birthday party at Comet Ping Pong Pizza.
Users on Reddit and 4chan falsely determined that an elaborate secret code in Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s hacked emails revealed a secret child sex ring, if one were to replace words like “pizza” with “little girl” and “map” with “semen.” At the pizzeria, Posobiec was “gently refused service and asked to leave,” according to The Washington Post.
Weeks later, Edgar M. Welch fired shots into the same pizza shop, demanding to see the child sex ring in the basement that didn’t exist. Welch said he’d read extensively about the pedophile ring rumors on the internet, and is now serving four years in prison.
Yesterday, Twitter stopped verification processes for all accounts after the company gave its blue authenticity check to Jason Kessler, the creator of the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville that left an anti-racist protester dead. Kessler’s account remains verified.