The ComicsGate Culture Battle Shifts from Cold War to Hot

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Simeti Targeted

Fans of Alterna Comics got more than they bargained for with their nightly livestream. Some time around 10pm on February 12, Publisher Peter Simeti was discussing what was new with the comics from Alterna, when the livestream was interrupted.

By the police.



Simeti had become the latest victim in a domestic terrorist tactic known as SWATing, named after the "Special Weapons and Tactics" division of a police force. The tactic basically entails calling a police department from a spoofed telephone number, and claiming that you are X person calling from Y address, and that you are about to do (or have already done) something violent to your family. This prompts the police to react with haste, with the hope of the one behind the call being that they will go in, guns blazing, and eliminate the person targeted.

Simeti has been a central figure in the ComicsGate debate because he has elected to remain as a neutral party, choosing to retweet any and all messages thanking his customers for their views, and for implementing a social media policy eliminating the use of so-called "block botting" which allows a Twitter user to not just block an individual but all accounts connected to that individual by way of being a follower. (@CriticalBlast itself has been caught up in many of these block bots, which has blinded us to messages of some comics professionals because of their implementation.) Recently, some Twitter users went so far as to label Simeti as a supporter of "white supremacists" and trading in the "alt-right" because he would not denounce the ComicsGate movement.

These persistent hateful tweets and false allegations are certainly suspect leading up to the events of last night at Simeti's apartment, evoking memories of Floyd Lee Corkins' and his shooting attack the Family Research Council, which he claimed to have been inspired by rhetoric espoused by the Southern Poverty Law Center after the SPLC had classified the FRC as a "hate group."

Unsurprisingly, #ComicsGateIsAHateGroup is a popularly used hashtag on Twitter.

Details are still being investigated, as Simeti will be talking with the police further to investigate this attack that could have turned fatal, and was almost undeniably perpetrated to send a message and instill fear. That's what terrorists do.

At this moment, Alterna is not providing comment, save for through their public Twitter account:


It was just a few weeks back that Critical Blast spoke with Peter Simeti on our livestream, the podcast version of which readers can access here: