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Right-wing internet anons are better off in the open

An image posted by Lomez in response to the Guardian allegations. Credit: Lomez/X

May 15, 2024 - 8:00am

A Guardian exposé yesterday identified former University of California, Irvine lecturer Jonathan Keeperman as the man behind the popular pseudonymous Twitter persona “Lomez” and the dissident-Right publishing house Passage Publishing. Far from a niche internet story, however, the investigation highlights a significant shift in this age of extremely online political discourse, which is itself increasingly indistinguishable from real-life political discussions.

The Guardian’s revelation — intended as a “slam dunk” that removes Keeperman from the beau monde of liberal academia he no longer inhabits — should make the remaining key “anon” players in the online Right sphere consider abandoning their anonymity. For those who have gained traction and already possess a degree of financial independence such as Bronze Age Pervert, who took the Amazon bestseller charts by storm under his real name, there’s little to lose and everything to gain from outing themselves. The marketplace of ideas has spoken, and the Overton window has opened sufficiently to allow them to operate on the outer edges of the mainstream.

Keeperman’s influence and the growth of his publishing operations speak to the PR success of a movement that is no longer relegated to the fringes, but is instead vying for a mainstream foothold. The involvement of Right-wing figures operating under their own names, such as Curtis Yarvin (who has long since abandoned his extremely online nom de guerre “Mencius Moldbug”), as well as the apparently successful crowdfunded financial model of Passage Press, suggest a reach and acceptance that militate against the obsessive need for continued online anonymity that a small-time, more vulnerable social media user might require.

There’s a pragmatic aspect to abandoning anonymity for such influencers. Operating under real names can shift the narrative from shadowy figures to accountable voices, potentially legitimising their perspectives for broader audiences. This is exemplified by Costin Alamariu, whose decision to start publishing under his real name a few years after his own doxxing has not diminished his following as Bronze Age Pervert but has won new fans in Washington DC. It now seems unlikely that a state or federal legislator could cause much of a stir, as has happened previously, by publicly praising Alamariu’s Bronze Age Manifesto. Lomez has spoken in public at various high-profile events hosted by organisations such as Urbit, and can even be seen in the resulting videos, albeit with his face digitally blurred.

Most importantly, self-doxxing could preempt involuntary exposés like the one directed at Keeperman, which invariably seek to cast them in the most reactionary light possible. By controlling their narrative, they can avoid the fallout from sensational media doxxing, which frequently aims to alienate and scandalise. This approach could disarm the media weapons used against them, turning a potential vulnerability into a strength that emphasises transparency and accountability.

Although a few prominent anons might see value in the marketing power of an involuntary doxx — schoolteachers and government workers who have lost their jobs for appearing on OnlyFans have sometimes made killings because of this — this will assuredly wane, as it has for OnlyFans creators, given that these activities have become less controversial. In other words, if you’re already a successful internet personality, an involuntary doxx is just another aggravation with which one must deal.

Critically, this isn’t about endorsing the political content of their work but advocating for a mature evolution of public discourse. The continued insistence on anonymity in an era where these figures command significant subscription-backed followings and growing ideological influence contradicts the visibility they seek through their ideas. If their ideologies are genuinely believed to be beneficial or necessary for broader discourse, standing openly by them will attract a more honest debate on their merits and faults.

It’s too late for Lomez, who must now deal with his own minor media circus, but for other influential online Right-wing figures, shedding anonymity could be a strategic move towards spreading their views while reducing the impact of adversarial attacks. Their brands are now too big and their balmy days of forum shitposting are long gone: it’s high time for them to step out of the shadows and engage openly, lending their real names to the causes they champion. This transparency might not just advance their public standing, but also encourage a more substantive and less sensational (and immediately dismissive) discussion about their ideas.


Oliver Bateman is a historian and journalist based in Pittsburgh. He blogs, vlogs, and podcasts at his Substack, Oliver Bateman Does the Work

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Unwoke S
Unwoke S
12 days ago

I read this little piece by Bateman and immediately went over to the Grauniad article he references. Meh!… A real nothing-burger, but the full team (possibly the size of a football team) of gloating Grauniadista ‘journalists’ are possibly still passing the Chardonnay around, hoping they might win a Pulitzer Prize for a Pentagon-Papers-type exposé. Lomez will lose no sleep at all over this. The Grauniad article, almost every time (and there are MANY) it mentions the word “right”, employs the prefix “far”. Do we EVER hear that newspaper (or Bateman) use the word “far-left”? And for the ‘journalists’ in question to do a tedious four-times-normal-length article muck-raking Keeperman’s historical ‘abusive’ (‘dismissive’ might be a better adjective) words used against dogmatic left-leaning noisy mosquitoes, seems a bit much, given that newspaper’s almost total silence against those using abusive words like “Tory scum” (no reference needed here) and worse. The giveaways are rife in the newspaper article : for example, they disparage Keeperman’s description of Kyle Rittenhouse: “He is a symbol, in word and deed, and in his baseless persecution, of what is good and decent and courageous and the forces arrayed against those qualities” – as if Keeperman is IN ANY WAY wrong in saying this! They also disparage the “Passage” prize on the grounds that it favours right-leaning writers! And they disparage it without feeling any shame AT ALL about the “Pulitzer” prize (!!!) which gives prizes to such luminaries as the crazed left-leaning ‘journalists’ who championed the Russian Collusion hoax, and many other hoaxes. Strength to Keeperman, I say. And may many, many join him to fight the good fight. There is nothiong wrong with his wish to remain anonymous in order to avoid distracting below-the-belt doxing and cancelling. Remember the wise words of Thomas Sowell: “There are only two ways to tell the whole truth–anonymously and posthumously.”

Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden
12 days ago

Yes, I think it’s a good idea for YouTube channels and Substack where hard work and technical production is involved, as opposed to just tossing off comments for online boards.

Benedict Waterson
Benedict Waterson
12 days ago

What are his actual controversial ideas?
The Guardian lists any criticism of BLM & the scope of Covid policies as being ”far-Right” by definition.
Laughably thin gruel for a hit-piece about a supposedly shady, sinister character.

R Wright
R Wright
11 days ago

The Guardian has the resources to investigate this guy but not Epstein’s island?

Steven Carr
Steven Carr
12 days ago

The Guardian couldn’t find a picture of him?

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
11 days ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

They obviously didn’t post pictures because the guy is what kids these days call a ‘Chad’. If he was a fat balding middle-aged type, they would have posted photos.

They can’t give exposure to attractive right-wingers.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
12 days ago

Ironically, the Guardian has given the guy a bunch of free publicity.

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
11 days ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Streisand Effect

Stephen Walsh
Stephen Walsh
11 days ago

The next Guardian exposé will reveal that “Far Right” purveyors of Hate are – shockingly – allowed to vote via secret ballot.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
11 days ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

And they will push for more postal ballots, aka “don’t worry, the local thought leader will fill in your voting slips”.

Helen Nevitt
Helen Nevitt
11 days ago

Is the the chap in the picture? What is the picture?