PRIDEFALL UPDATE: real or fake?
What is Pridefall?
Operation Pridefall, also known as Project Pridefall or simply Pridefall, refers to an attack planned by /pol/ (a political discussion board on the anonymous website 4chan) for all of June, AKA Pride month. The original 4chan thread, which has since been deleted, was primarily focused on “redpilling,” i.e. spreading queerphobic propaganda to make people question the LGBTQ+ community. However, now that it has spread outside 4chan, there are threats of harassing, doxxing, and outing queer people (especially minors) on social media, spamming gore and rape videos in private messages and Pride tags, and even kidnapping, assaulting, or killing queer people in real life.
Specific targets include Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and dating apps. The goal is to go after smaller accounts so the queerphobia isn’t lost in the comments.
Is Pridefall real?
Yes and no.
I searched “pridefall” on 4chan last night. Apparently any new threads on it are being deleted, and anytime someone mentions it, everyone calls them slurs and says no one is doing it.
However, Pridefall is gaining some traction on Instagram–I have seen it for myself. I don’t have TikTok or any dating apps, but I’ve heard that some people are spamming homophobia on TikTok. As for Twitter, I only looked briefly, but I saw some Pridefall accounts there, as well as a lot of warnings and blocklists from people who are worried about it.
I’ve also heard that there have been a few Reddit and Discord raids, and that there is an Operation Pridefall Discord server (someone who spied on them says they have been banned on Discord as well as a platform called Riot before, so very few people are left on the Discord server now).
What do you think, Lia?
- This is not coming from 4chan. No one on 4chan is interested anymore.
- Most likely, people outside of 4chan heard about it and decided to take matters into their own hands.
- The original 4chan thread wanted to make Pridefall “normie-palatable” by avoiding Nazi imagery or other overt unpleasantness, but I have seen a LOT of both on Instagram. This reinforces my belief that 4chan isn’t doing this.
- A lot of the people behind this are young, or at least unsophisticated. Most of the Pridefall accounts on Instagram engage in very childish trolling, and one of them said they were a minor. Some of the threats I’ve seen are so outlandish that I can only imagine they came from a fairly young person.
- My guess? Most of these people are around 13-19.
- There are also very few of them and some of them probably have multiple accounts. Anti-Pridefall accounts outnumber them by far.
- However, on Instagram I’ve seen Pridefall accounts following each other and commenting on each other’s posts, so there may be a few groups working together.
- A lot of this shit is going to get deleted. I know Instagram is working through reports very slowly right now because they have fewer people available due to COVID-19, but most of the worst accounts I saw last night were deleted by this morning. I saw some more accounts deleted today.
- Most, if not all, of these Pridefallers are just trying to scare us. Because they’re probably quite young, there’s very few of them, their accounts keep getting deleted, and law enforcement can track online activity, there is no way they have the balls or resources needed to coordinate major attacks.
- There is a very, very slight chance this could spill over into real life, but as long as you practice basic online safety, you will be fine.
- That being said, if you are threatened or doxxed by a Pridefall account, PLEASE contact the police. Better safe than sorry.
- I do think that the threat of being doxxed or outed is more real than the threat of being attacked. I have already seen one Pridefall account who posted a trans boy’s address on Instagram (he is okay, he posted recently) and another who posted someone else’s address.
- There is little chance this will last throughout Pride month. Apparently the goal is for Pridefall to worsen until the end of June, but given that this is most likely just some vastly outnumbered teenage trolls who are bored in quarantine, I seriously doubt they’ll be able to stay interested for a whole month.
- This might not be as big on Tumblr. Tumblr is a lot more anonymous than, say, Instagram, which will hopefully deter would-be doxxers. It’s also known to be a highly liberal and queer-friendly site, so any Pridefaller with half a brain cell should know that A) their content is sure to be outnumbered and reported (only us Tumblr users know how bad staff is at deleting questionable stuff), and B) anyone with the original goal of “redpilling” is sure to fail here. Plus, I only remember seeing few, if any, mentions of Tumblr on Pridefall planning threads.
- Still, expect to see some Pridefall activity here. Unsurprisingly, not all of these Pridefallers have half a brain cell. Some of them will definitely be unable to resist the lure of a community as openly queer as Tumblr, and we’ve all seen or heard about doxxing, harassment, gore, Nazis, and queerphobes on here. Also, 4chan has historically had some beef with Tumblr, so young teenage boys who idolize 4chan may target us for that reason.
How can I stay safe?
- If you have any social media accounts where you A) have posted identifying personal information, and B) are openly supportive of the LGBTQ+ community (especially if you’re queer yourself), put them on private for June. Any other accounts are probably fine to stay public.
- If you need a private Tumblr, you can make a password-protected secondary account and only share the password with mutuals you trust.
- It is probably okay to be openly queer on a private account (e.g. have pronouns/rainbow emojis in your Instagram bio), since a private account is not likely to be doxxed. But if you want to be extra careful, remove queer identifiers from anything that is publicly visible.
- Use Pridefall blocklists. They’re all over Instagram and Twitter. I may repost some here.
- Report any Pridefall accounts you see. This is VERY important because this is how we can actually get rid of Pridefall content.
- DON’T RESPOND TO ANY PRIDEFALLERS WHO PERSONALLY INTERACT WITH YOU. I know it’s tempting to give a snarky reply, but if they message you, comment on your post, etc, just block them. Seriously, don’t feed the trolls. It’s exactly what they want.
- Make sure your password game is strong. Use a different password for every site (I know, I know, it sucks), and use passwordmeter.com to test their strength. Write them all down on a piece of paper.
- Make sure your username game is strong. Don’t use the same username for multiple sites, and avoid putting personal information in your username, such as your name or birthday.
- Do NOT open random links!! Pridefallers could message you links that will give you viruses or track your IP address.
- Don’t accept DMs or follows from people you don’t know. Pridefall accounts don’t always look like Pridefall accounts. Some of them are undercover.
- Use a VPN. This is probably a little overkill unless you’re particularly at risk of being doxxed, but it will hide your IP address.
- Be careful who you interact with. A lot of queer people on Instagram are DMing Pridefall accounts or commenting on their posts, but this could make you a target. As helpful as anti-Pridefall accounts are, you might even be targeted for following those.
- Be wary of Pride tags. Unfortunately, a lot of Pridefall accounts plan to infiltrate tags commonly used by queer creators during Pride month. Use discretion when looking for queer content.
- Be safe IRL. Lock your doors, lock your windows, be aware of your surroundings, don’t walk alone in poorly lit places, know basic self-defense, etc. Again, I absolutely do not think people will be attacked in real life, but you should be doing this shit all the time, not just in June. Thanks to COVID-19, you’re safer inside anyway!!
- Make yourself hard to dox. Even though I have a very unusual first name (it’s not really Lia), I am extremely hard to find online. I just went into an incognito browser window and searched my first and last name in quotation marks, but I didn’t find myself until page 4 of Google (and that result wasn’t even posted by me). I’m only half as careful as I could be, but here’s some of the things I do:
-I never use a picture of myself as my profile pic, except for Facebook and Instagram, which are both on the highest privacy settings possible.
-If I post identifying information on a public account (my college, my age, etc), I use a pseudonym or my first name only.
-On Instagram, I only use my first name, and I used special characters to type it, so you won’t find me if you search my name.
-On Facebook, I only accept friend requests from people I know. Most, if not all, of my Instagram followers are IRL friends, friends of IRL friends, and trusted Internet friends.
-If I’m really being paranoid, I’ll make a brand-new email account to sign up for a site. That way, my accounts aren’t all linked through one email address.
-Before I post a picture online, I delete the EXIF data with verexif.com, since EXIF data can hold GPS coordinates.
🌈 Stay safe, everyone.
You will not be harmed. You will be okay. Like cockroaches, we are survivors, and we will get through this!! ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜