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I’m Nick Monroe. Banned on Twitter Because I Mourned A Death.

I would have never learned to be a better person if I didn’t make a ton of mistakes along the way. That trial and error process defines who I am, and everything I can strive to become.

Twitter does not forgive, nor does it forget. But it should.

I’ve never sparked a riot over a speech. I’ve never chained myself to Twitter’s corporate offices. I do not make a daily spectacle of myself. But for some reason, everyone is up in arms about my ban from Twitter.

Unlike Milo, Loomer, and Alex Jones, those who followed me on Twitter saw me as a stabilizing force in the chaos of social media. But now I am banned, I suppose I have a story that needs to be told.

You’re reading this because I’m gone now.

It is a story about forgiveness amidst the near-anarchic landscape of social media. People told me that when I was going to get banned, that would be it—the red flag at the point of no return. They were right.

I am Nick Monroe.

Well, that’s a pseudonym. My real name is Nicholas Tomasheski. I’ve gone by Monroe for the last three and a half years. It sounds catchier.

You’re reading this because I’m gone now. Twitter permanently banned me for a “ban evasion” lasting three-and-a-half years.

They say my account – which amassed almost 50,000 followers and has appeared on numerous news websites – is a “ban evader”. This means I had an old account which was banned, so they banned my new account, too.

Being banned on Twitter is a lot like participating in both the court of public opinion and a funeral at the same time. Both my followers and detractors are judging my body of work and all my actions in the wake of the ban. I wasn’t always the person I am today, but who I am was best described in my interview with Michael Malice.

Roughly five years ago, I was ‘PressFartToContinue’ (PFTC).

I made a YouTube account by that name when I was 17-years-old. It was meant to be a fan channel of ‘PressHeartToContinue’.

I had no idea what I was doing, or how my actions would come to impact me years later. I, like just about everyone else in the world, have grown since I was 17. And I know who I am today. I’m the independent Twitter journalist who spoke out against online censorship before I too was banned.

I ran a YouTube channel with over 25,000 subscribers.

Just to clear things up, I’m miles away from where I was with PFTC, but that doesn’t mean you haven’t heard stories about me. PFTC was accused of soliciting nude images, stalking a YouTuber at a convention, and that the police got somehow involved. None of these things are true, of course.

What those who tell stories about me tend to overlook is the fact that I ran a YouTube channel with over 25,000 subscribers. It wasn’t anything I earned through hard work—just attention and luck. With no guidance, purpose, nor direction, I had no idea what I was doing. It was simply a channel I created as a fan of another YouTuber.

It’s how I found limited popularity and success, but it eventually boomeranged.

In the ashes of a YouTube comments battleground, someone by the name of ‘TotalBiscuit’ chewed me out for everything. Rightfully so. I was an idiot and deserved to be publicly reprimanded for my actions. Within his scolding he gave me one saving grace. He told me that if I started over and distanced myself completely from the PFTC moniker, I’d be able to make something meaningful out of myself one day. Something worthwhile and good.

TotalBiscuit was right.

So I burned PFTC to the ground.

None of this would get me banned from Twitter, though.

What TotalBiscuit and I had in common was our involvement with GamerGate. It’s an association that would later come back to haunt me in a way I would’ve never predicted.

Effectively, I was banned for mourning someone who helped me.

In November 2014, in an argument between the “anti-harassment expert” Randi Harper and Mike Cernovich, both of whom were feuding over the GamerGate fiasco, Harper posted a picture of plaque she had put up at work. Amid allegations of harassment from every side of the debacle, I pointed out that was a bad idea for her to publish the image because it identified her place of work and her phone numbers. That warning was taken as a form of harassment—an infraction against me. So my original account was banned on Twitter.

It is that 5-year-old ban that’s earned me punishment today. And I think I know how.

TotalBiscuit – the person who helped me down the path of redemption – passed away last year. I honored him on my new account, with a farewell on the anniversary of his passing a few days ago. Someone clearly saw it, connected the dots, and told Twitter I deserved to be banned again.

Effectively, I was banned for mourning someone who helped me.

The late ‘TotalBiscuit’, John Bain

GamerGate was the first and most prominent instance of a movement of mass awareness that questioned the quality of online journalism.

People were speaking up against preset narratives. They wanted something better. Journalists pushed back with denial and censorship, piggybacking on the allegation that the movement was a harassment campaign against women in video games. They described GamerGate as the embodiment of toxic masculinity—a monster made up of male gamers discontent with the involvement of women in their sacred hobby.

What nobody will tell you about GamerGate is that it was instrumental in toppling Gawker Media. The established narrative leaves out the fact that it delivered on its goal of holding the games media accountable. The movement discovered instances of journalistic impropriety. Most of all, it reinforced a common belief about how things were supposed to be—journalists needed to have accountability.

Having watched GamerGate from the start, I saw this as an opportunity to commit myself to a cause beyond YouTube and the dramas that take place there.

I had fun. I was happy. It was a milestone for me in achieving a semi-normal life. It was something I could call my own.

So in December 2015, I started over. I became a games journalist at The Escapist Magazine and then at Gameranx. I worked my way up, and I even won awards. At long last, I had found a purpose for my talents and put them to use.

If you look at my personal website where I have written stories these past few years, you’ll discover a variety of content. I wrote a book’s worth of material on Harvey Weinstein and the dawn of #MeToo. I went in-depth about a ragtag gang of acting misfits that came together through their love of the Fallout story. I was first on scene to cover the darkness behind the DaddyOFive “prank” channel, and followed that story for nearly a year until I made sure the children involved were safe from harm.

Eventually, I attended a convention for real. I had fun. I was happy. It was a milestone for me in achieving a semi-normal life. It was something I could call my own.

But as the culture war grew in scope, so too did my pursuits. I looked to the horizon and pivoted towards politics. Video games were, quite literally, child’s play in comparison to this harsh and unforgiving landscape.

People often ask me about my political views because I’m rarely obvious about it.

My foray into the sphere began in earnest in July 2017, and I was soon interviewed on Britt McHenry’s Fox program. I was closely following the Jussie Smollett saga back in February of this year, and she had me on to discuss it and offer commentary.

I’ve also dedicated a large portion of my time to speaking out about media censorship.

When the Christchurch shooting happened, I was one of the first people to get the news out to the public. My thread was, unfortunately, neutered by what I presume to be the New Zealand police, in their efforts to suppress the revolting details of the massacre.

It didn’t just happen to me, but to others with a platform on Twitter who talked about it. In an article for Culttture, I laid out my concerns about how this would further inflame social divisions.

Politics is fighting for the sake of fighting versus the battle between right and wrong—a war for determining and defining what reality is.

At the time, I was banned for a tweet containing bad language—in other words, nothing substantial. Twitter would later unban me, calling it a mistake. They planned to lock my account for a week because I responded to a compliment crudely.

In the past three and a half years it has become clear that the division between the “left” and “right” does not encompass the whole world. Instead, it’s that polarized landscape versus humanity.

Politics is fighting for the sake of fighting versus the battle between right and wrong—a war for determining and defining what reality is.

When TotalBiscuit died, the mainstream media spat on him. To his credit, his involvement in GamerGate is credited for solidifying its legitimacy. He stood up for what he saw was a hope for a better world. One that tries to better how we treat each other.

In death, people mocked him. A journalist for Forbes attempted to crucify John Bain as the devil incarnate, for standing up against a corrupt media establishment that had for too long looked down on gamers as an identity.

I stood in defiance of the narrative—not just the one the world had thrown at his legacy, but also the one he threw at me. He looked down on me, sure. But he also gave me room for hope. I will always respect the man and honor him in kind.

I used “my past” for the last three and a half years as a strength. That the world was going to scrutinize me harder and I needed to be on better behavior.

But consider this my confession. My name is Nick Monroe and I evaded a ban three and a half years ago. It was a part of my journey on becoming a self-made man and walking away from the scared, lonely, and confused boy I was. Someone that used other people’s work as a springboard of my own.

It was a journey of self-forgiveness as much as it was one of seeking forgiveness. I’m proud to defend myself here in the court of public opinion.

But I’ll let them speak for me.

“I am genuinely bummed @nickmon1112 got perma-banned. After my Blake Harris expose was posted, he expressed that he proud of me. Words that made me feel great. That and he was a big supporter of my content. I can’t speak to how he was years ago, but the Nick of today is a good guy,” wrote Sophia Narwitz.

“Nick didn’t attempt to reinvent himself, he really did.”

Every word in this paragraph links to someone that supports me and the work I have done. What people knew me for the most is having the best Twitter threads around when it came to compiling current events.That’s something to be proud of. I have enough people who supported me, that even if I’m gone as an account, the impact of what I did mattered. It’s because of the public I’ll always keep trying. I found a way to be useful to society.

What I love doing the most is helping people.

My favorite: “Nick didn’t attempt to reinvent himself, he really did.”

I would have never learned to be a better person if I didn’t make a ton of mistakes along the way. That trial and error process defines who I am, and everything I can strive to become.

I’ll leave you with this. Robert Downey Jr. asking Hollywood to forgive Mel Gibson.

I’d like to think I have hugged the cactus long enough. I’m on GAB and Telegram if you need me.

Nick Monroe is an independent journalist.

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