This is not how James McGibney wanted to be famous.
Presenting himself as a defender of decency in 2013, McGibney still wore victory laurels from a successful defamation suit against ‘revenge porn’ webmaster Hunter Moore. He also enjoyed a large and loyal Twitter following.
But two years and many lawsuits later, McGibney’s image has been tarnished by scandals, his power diminished by a series of social media bans. The worst sting was his abandonment by the C-list celebrities who once endorsed his crusade against people saying mean things about Kate Gosselin on the internet.
Having once blustered about being in close contact with the FBI while he ‘investigated’ his enemies, McGibney’s shtick is no longer taken seriously. He has descended into self-parody.
A substantial ‘online army’ of misfits, skiddies, and amateur internet detectives has been greatly reduced by all the negative attention — and the internet has also turned against the erstwhile anti-bullying bully.
Resisting all his efforts to identify them, an anonymous website has exposed fabrications in McGibney’s resumé, discovered the investors behind his Via View company, enumerated his bankruptcies, identified his current day-job employer, and reported on developments in his various contrived legal dramas.
For those not being directly targeted by his deranged defamation campaigns and hundreds of web domains, McGibney has become an object of comedy.
Sued at least four times since 2013 by alleged victims of libelous pages on his websites, McGibney is a vexatious and impulsive litigant who always tries to shove his diverse foes into a single conspiracy theory.
He filed simultaneous lawsuits in Texas and California against right wing bogeyman Neal Rauhauser, for example, accusing the former progressive activist of associating with yet another picked enemy named Thomas Retzlaff.
While this deranged move earned McGibney a renewed hero status among the shrunken cult who obsess about ‘Twittergate‘ and Brett Kimberlin, it has now ended in a stinging and expensive legal defeat.
Yesterday, a Texas judge found that McGibney’s lawsuit was an attempt to chill Rauhauser’s First Amendment-protected speech — and ordered McGibney to make a substantial financial award in addition to non-monetary penalties.
Seen below, Judge Donald J. Cosby’s order strikes out just one of Rauhauser’s requested remedies: that McGibney be required to march outside the Fort Worth, Texas courthouse for three hours a day over twenty days while wearing a sandwich board.
Despite this minor alteration, McGibney v Rauhauser has broken new ground in application of the state’s anti-SLAPP law and has already been the topic of articles in law journals. He was once a king of Twitter, but now James McGibney is just a footnote in the annals of courtroom self-destruction.