'I Felt Shocked': Transphobic Abuse Sent on Blockchain

'I Felt Shocked': Transphobic Abuse Sent on Blockchain

Dame.eth — who has criticized ex-ENS boss Brantly Millegan for his past tweets — tells CoinMarketCap that toxicity in the crypto space needs to stop.

'I Felt Shocked': Transphobic Abuse Sent on Blockchain

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⚠️ Content warning: This article contains transphobic and homophobic language.

An Ethereum Name Service user who criticized the project's director of operations for his past offensive tweets has been sent transphobic messages on the blockchain.

Dame.eth shared a screenshot of the message that was sent via Ethereum transactions to their wallet address. Part of it said:

"You will never be a real woman. You have no womb, you have no ovaries, you have no eggs. You are a homosexual man twisted by drugs and surgery into a crude mockery of nature's perfection. All the validation you get is two-faced and half-hearted. Behind your back, people mock you. Your parents are disgusted and ashamed of you. Your friends laugh at your ghoulish appearance behind closed doors."

The rest of the message was graphic in detail, emotionally manipulative, and included violent slurs against transgender people.

Dame.eth is non-binary and is not trans — and the person who sent the hateful message would have had to spend $7.16 in order to spread the abuse.

Speaking to CoinMarketCap via direct message, Dame.eth said a few others have also received hateful messages on the blockchain — and "many people justifiably can't or don't speak up because the harassment they'd receive for doing so is discouraging and draining." They added:

"I felt shocked. Shocked that someone would take the time to manually encode a hateful message permanently on the blockchain and pay the fee to send it to me."

Dame.eth explained they were being targeted because "a cohort of well-known anonymous DeFi people'' wrongly believe they are responsible for Brantly Millegan losing his leadership positions at ENS in recent days.

Millegan had attracted widespread condemnation for a 2016 tweet where he stated:

"Homosexual acts are evil. Transgenderism doesn't exist. Abortion is murder. Contraception is a perversion. So is masturbation and porn."

True Names Limited, which leads and supports development of the Ethereum Name Service, has now terminated his employment — describing his position as "no longer tenable."

Millegan had initially defended the tweet, saying he is Catholic, but later stressed he had "never excluded anyone from ENS or my work (or even my personal life) because of how they are or what they believed."

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'My Message is Simple: Stop'

Dame.eth said they had only spoken out against Millegan's past tweets after they were spread widely by other well-known accounts — telling CoinMarketCap they have also received abusive messages on Twitter and by email:

"I had hoped by waiting to comment I'd make it clear that I was not the one responsible for 'starting' it, but that wasn’t enough for them. I fight for increasing diversity and inclusion in the Web3 space and these anonymous people have been mad at me in the past for my efforts. They don't want the culture of the ecosystem to change, so they're attempting to push me out."

And in a direct message to those spreading hateful messages on the blockchain and elsewhere, Dame.eth said:

"My message to these harassers is simple: stop. You are giving crypto and Web3 a horrible reputation with your toxicity. If you want this technology to go mainstream like you claim, then the culture will have to change to facilitate that."

Dame.eth described Millegan's removal from Ethereum Name Service as "extremely painful" — not least because they knew him personally, "or at least I thought I did until now." They added:

"His past comments were hurtful and his decision to double down and continue to make hurtful comments over the weekend was appalling. I wish this didn't have to happen, but I believe Brantly no longer being at ENS is what’s best for the project and the wider community. We need some time to heal and grieve, but I believe we’ll come out stronger on the other side."

They told CoinMarketCap that one of the biggest challenges facing the crypto space right now is its relationship with the public and how the industry is perceived, as "too many people do things without thinking about how it could hurt the community's image." Dame.eth added:

"This space has many diverse people already but for many reasons we get erased when we’re portrayed to the general public. The headlines boil us down to 'crypto bros' even though there are lots of women, non-binary, and trans people here. We need better representation so that the media and the mainstream will see that this technology is for everyone."

Despite the shocking contents of the blockchain message, Dame.eth said they "hope people don't get the wrong impression — and use this incident to dismiss blockchain technology," adding:

"People sending hateful messages using technology is a tale as old as time. We're in the early days of this tech still, so it feels more jarring than it really is. I received one hateful message on the blockchain but hundreds on Twitter or in email."

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