Jesse Singal
Jesse Singal

Candace Owens
Anti-Harassment Start-up That Descended Into Gamergate Trutherism" By Jesse Singal April 16, 2016 Controversial bully shaming database loses Kickstarter

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This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. (Learn how and when to remove these template messages) This article's lead section does not adequately summarize key points of its contents. Please consider expanding the lead to provide an accessible overview of all important aspects of the article. Please discuss this issue on the article's talk page. (May 2018) The neutrality of this article is disputed. Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page. Please do not remove this message until conditions to do so are met. (May 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) Candace Owens Owens in 2018 Born Stamford, Connecticut, U.S. Residence New York City, New York, U.S. Education University of Rhode Island (BA) Occupation Public speaker and blogger

Candace Owens is an American conservative commentator, and activist. She is known for her pro-Trump commentary, and criticism of Black Lives Matter and the Democratic Party. She is the Director of Urban Engagement at Turning Point USA.


Early life and education

Born to an African American family and raised in Stamford, Connecticut, she is a graduate of Stamford High School. In 2007, while a senior in high school, she received hurtful and threatening racist phone calls that were traced to a car in which the 14-year-old son of then mayor Dannel Malloy was present. Owens' family sued the Stamford Board of Education in federal court alleging that the city did not protect her rights, resulting in a $37,500 settlement.

Owens was pursuing an undergraduate degree in journalism at the University of Rhode Island. Afterwards, she worked for Vogue magazine. In 2012, she took a job as an administrative assistant for a private equity firm.

Career Anti-cyberbullying campaign and doxing

Having experienced online harassment, Owens launched in 2016, a website she said would expose bullies on the Internet. The site would have solicited users to take screenshots of offensive posts and send them to the website where they would be categorized by the user's name. It was being crowdfunded on Kickstarter. The proposal was immediately controversial, drawing criticism and comment from a variety of sources on the propriety of de-anonymizing (doxing) Internet users. The idea behind the Kickstarter in Owens' words:

“We attach words to their places of employment, and anybody in the entire world can search for them. What we are doing is figuratively lifting the masks up so nobody can hide behind, you know, Twitter handles or privatized profiles. It’s all real, and it’s all researchable. You can still say whatever you want to say on social media, but you have to be willing to stand by your words.”

According to The Daily Dot, "People from all sides of the anti-harassment debate were quick to criticize the database, calling it a public-shaming list that would encourage doxing and retaliatory harassment." Zoe Quinn, founder of the Crash Override Network and an online bullying victim (see Gamergate controversy), called her to request that she stop her project. Randi Lee Harper of the Online Abuse Prevention Initiative also requested that she desist, suggesting that she did not fully understand cyber-bullying (due to Owens having referred to Quinn as a leader of Gamergate). Owens responded that Social Autopsy was not meant to be a doxing platform and that no one making abusive posts anonymously would be "outed" by name or place of employment. Kickstarter suspended her funding campaign, and the website was never created, despite having created profiles on over 22,000 individuals (per their assertion). The site has since been closed.

Media and conservative activism

Prior to 2017, Owens ran a website that frequently criticized conservatism and mocked then-candidate Donald Trump. By 2017, she had become prominent in conservative circles for her pro-Trump commentary and for criticizing liberal narratives around structural racism, systemic inequality, and identity politics (the kind of content that her website previously trafficked in).

In 2015, Owens founded the website Degree180. The website frequently posted anti-conservative and anti-Trump content, including mockery of his penis size. Owens said in one of her postings that it was “good news” that the “Republican Tea Party ... will eventually die off (peacefully in their sleep, we hope).” In one article she wrote that the antics of the Tea Party Movement were "bat-shit-crazy". When Buzzfeed News in May 2018 reported on the anti-Trump content on Degree180, Owens described the Buzzfeed reporter as a "despicable creature" and alleged that Buzzfeed had threatened the former writers of Degree180 (something which Buzzfeed rejects).

In 2017, Owens began posting politically themed videos to YouTube. She launched Red Pill Black, a website and YouTube channel that promotes black conservatism in the United States.

On November 21, 2017, at the MAGA Rally and Expo in Rockford, Illinois, Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk announced her appointment as their director of urban engagement. Turning Point's hiring of Owens occurred in the wake of allegations of racism at Turning Point.

In April 2018, Kanye West tweeted "I love the way Candace Owens thinks." The tweet was met with derision among some of West's fans. In May 2018, President Donald Trump stated that Owens "is having a big impact on politics in our Country...She represents an ever expanding group of very smart 'thinkers,' and it is wonderful to watch and hear the dialogue going good for our Country!"

Owens has appeared on The Rubin Report, Fox News and InfoWars. According to The Guardian and the Daily Beast, Owens has referred to police killings of black people as a trivial matter to African Americans. In May 2018, Owens suggested that "something bio-chemically happens" to women who do not marry or have children, and she linked to the Twitter handles of Sarah Silverman, Chelsea Handler and Kathy Griffin, saying that they were "evidentiary support" of this theory. Silverman responded, saying "It seems to me that by tweeting this, you would like to maybe make us feel badly. I’d say this is evidenced by ur effort to use our twitter handles so we would see. My heart breaks for you, Candy. I hope you find happiness in whatever form that takes." Owens responded, accusing Silverman of supporting terrorists and crime gangs.

Political views Pro-Trump views

By 2017, Owens had become a pro-Donald Trump conservative commentator. The Guardian has described her as "ultra-conservative", the Daily Beast has described her as "far-right", the New York Magazine and Columbia Journalism Review described her as "right-wing", and the Pacific Standard described her as "alt-right." Prior to 2017, she ran a website that frequently criticized conservatism and mocked then-candidate Donald Trump. She has characterized Trump as the “savior” of Western civilization. She has argued that Trump has neither engaged in rhetoric that is harmful to African Americans nor proposed policies that would harm African Americans.

African Americans

She is known for her criticism of Black Lives Matter. She has described Black Lives Matter protesters as "a bunch of whiny toddlers, pretending to be oppressed for attention." She has argued that African Americans have a "victim mentality" and often refers to the Democratic Party as a "plantation". She has argued that the American left "like black people to be government-dependent". She has argued that black people have been brainwashed to vote for Democrats. She has argued that police violence against black people is not about racism.

Me Too Movement

Owens described the #MeToo Movement - which was an international movement against sexual harassment and assault - as "stupid" and said that she "hated" the movement. Owens wrote that the #MeToo Movement was premised on the idea that "women are stupid, weak & inconsequential."


She attended the opening of the United States embassy in Jerusalem, Israel. She is critical of open borders policies.

In May 2018, Owens praised Louis Farrakhan's endorsement of Trump, describing it as “a really big deal” and “relevant.” After Owens received criticism from conservative figures for praising Farrakhan - who has a history of anti-semitic remarks - Owens deleted the tweet.

Owens rejects the scientific consensus on climate change.

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  12. ^ a b c d New Yorker Magazine: "The Strange Tale of Social Autopsy, the Anti-Harassment Start-up That Descended Into Gamergate Trutherism" By Jesse Singal April 16, 2016
  13. ^ Controversial bully shaming database loses Kickstarter but will launch anyway. The Daily Dot, 15 April 2016
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  19. ^ "Kanye West Applauds Black Lives Matter Critic; Many Fans Revolt: 'This Is So Disturbing'". TheWrap. 2018-04-21. Retrieved 2018-04-22. 
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