Internet anonymity can be a good thing and a bad thing. It allows people to express their opinions online without fear of being harassed, or forced into self-censorship out of fear of losing their job if they have the “wrong” opinions. For years I used the anonymous Turtleboy nom de plume to expose people on my website because I was a public high school teacher at the same time and didn’t want to lose my job for wrong think. But it was no secret who I was, I just wouldn’t admit it publicly until I quit my job, started doing this full time, and ultimately wrote a book called “I Am Turtleboy” in 2018. I can honestly say that it feels much better to put my name on what I say now because I stand by and am proud of my opinions, and anyone who expresses what they strongly believe online shouldn’t be afraid to do the same.
In a democracy people should be encouraged to share their opinions in the public square in order to expose people to new ideas, and in the age of cancel culture anonymity becomes an important tool to do that. But anonymity also emboldens cowards who hide behind faceless accounts and use the Internet to attack and hurt innocent people. A man named Grant Olear illustrates this perfectly.
For sometime now an account on Twitter that uses the handle @TurtleboyMa has been impersonating me and the brand. The account posted outrageous things designed to make me look bad, and used the Turtleboy statue in downtown Worcester (which the brand is named after) as an avatar.
It was primarily used to troll Barstool Sports and Kirk Minihane fans, and since I’ve criticized Barstool many times most people thought it was me or someone associated with the blog. I blocked the account some time ago, but I’ve received many messages from people asking if it was me who complained that female Barstool employees weren’t “showing titty, asshole, vag, or f***ing on camera.”
Calling viral videos of random black people behaving badly “typical and predictable.”
Because evidently the person behind this account believes that black people are predisposed to acting ratchet. Although mainly they just wanted to make me look racist.
The account holder (which was pretending to be me) claimed to know “complete whores who don’t use birth control and just abort whenever they get pregnant.”
Which they tweeted in order to delegitimize my opinions on abortion.
The account made comments about gay people and AIDS.
Accused Barstool’s female CEO of being a whore who ruined two families.
Because other people’s personal lives are this person’s business.
He challenged some fat guy at Barstool to a fight, ironically demanded that he use his real name, and claimed that he would knock him the f out.
And he called a purple heart recipient who works at Barstool “too dumb to duck.”
Whoever runs this account is a coward who is using anonymity for all the wrong reasons. He’s not hiding who he is because he’s attempting to share politically incorrect opinions on matters of public concern. He’s hiding who he is because he likes to cause chaos and fill the Internet with vitriol just because he likes to stir things up.
This would be slightly understandable if it was some kid in his Mom’s basement, but the person behind this account is a full grown adult with a real job and real influence. We know this because he accidentally revealed themselves in the most hypocritical way possible – by trying to get someone else fired for saying things he didn’t agree with on Twitter.
It began when a New Jersey man named Michael Montante blocked him on Twitter, because that’s what you really should do with anonymous trolls. He announced where the man worked, accused him of being racist and “soft as baby shit,” and said that he was a “snowflake midget.”
But this wasn’t enough. The person running the @TurtleboyMa account then contacted what they assumed to be Montante’s employer to “report an inappropriate interaction with one of your employees,” in the hopes of getting the man fired. There was just a couple problems though. First, he used his real name and his work email address.
This is Grant Olear from Ogunquit, Maine.
He works for a consulting company called WSP, which gets paid by businesses and local government to “identify the risks climate change poses to your organisation and develop adaptation measures to secure a resilient and prosperous future.”
He saves the planet in two languages.
Obviously WSP is a left wing organization, which explains why Grant doesn’t like Turtleboy or people like Montante who express conservative viewpoints. He created the @TurtleboyMa account to try to make me look bad, which is why I really should be bale to get a blue checkmark, but I digress.
Grant appears to be in his early 30’s, and graduated from the University of Vermont in 2012. Within just a few years he was filling the skies with toxic fumes by flying to places like Columbia and France in order to lecture people about the dangers of climate change.
— Elizabeth Beardsley (@lizbeardsley1) November 20, 2017
The company pays Grant to represent them when government bodies hire WSP for consulting on how they can help fight climate change. A search of his name shows that he’s given presentations to the Vermont Agency of Transportation, the City of Worcester, and the towns of Southampton and Windsor.
Ironically his official job title for WSP is “Communications Specialist.”
And now he’s being featured on Turtleboy for being dreadful in the field of communications.
Grant’s second big mistake was emailing the first account he could find on Montante’s employer’s website, because the person he emailed was Montante himself.
Since being exposed by Montante, Grant has removed both his real and fake Twitter accounts, as well as his picture from his LinkedIn bio.
He then contacted Montante and blamed his behavior on getting “lost in the the sauce” (bro talk for drunk), and said that it wasn’t a big deal because he never used Montante’s name in the email. He also said that he emailed the wrong company, which isn’t even remotely believable.
In reality he only pretended that he got the companies mixed up because at that point Montante had exposed who Grant really was on Twitter, and Minifans responded by posting Grant’s employer’s contact information on Twitter.
Really blocked someone this afternoon who then was so upset by it that he tweets out my nam and where I work. Than proceeds email my boss asking to file a complaint about one of his employees
Grant, buddy old pal.
Be better than that.
— Michael Montantè (@MiguelM0ntante) August 11, 2022
— Hurricane Dave 🙌 (@VisionlessDave2) August 11, 2022
— Filly Forklifts🍀 (@FRod401) August 11, 2022
— UncleBarryTheSharp (@SharpUncleBarry) August 11, 2022
Anonymous Internet shitposting is fun and games until people find out who you really are.
Grant pleaded with Montante to stop posting about him, claiming that he was getting threats at work.
You’re not getting any threats Grant, but you are getting exactly what you hoped Montante would get. You deserve everything that is happening to you and more, and you totally deserve to lose your job for this. If you participate in cancel culture then you better be prepared to get cancelled.
I can’t emphasize enough what a gutless coward Grant Olear (and people like him) is. He sought to covertly damage my business by falsely representing himself as me. He misrepresented my viewpoints in order to caricature me as a racist. He did this because he knows that no one wants to associate with a racist, and his goal was to harm my business and my livelihood. He wanted to do the same to Michael Montante. He didn’t care if either of us had a family to provide for or who this would effect. He just wanted to weaponize Internet anonymity to hurt people for the crime of disagreeing with him.
But Karma caught up to him, and I truly hope he becomes destitute and cries himself to sleep every night for a month. People like him aren’t just assholes, they’re a threat to free speech and our democracy as a whole because their end game is to stifle political viewpoints they don’t agree with. He earned this public shaming.