What happened with hivliving

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Event
Event: Hamilton wank
Participants: hivliving, digoxin-purpurpea
Date(s): late October 2017
Type: fundraising scam, sock puppeting, cyber bullying
Fandom: Hamilton
URL:
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On or around October 26, 2017, news of Hamilton wank started spreading among fans on Tumblr and Twitter. Over the next few days, the news spread so widely that several of the accounts that initially shared the news were subsequently deleted. The wank involved a fundraising scam, sock puppeting, cyber bullying, and alleged mermaid cannibalism.

What happened with hivliving was the title of the initial tumblr post by digoxin-purpurpea.

Some Background

In 2016, one or more Hamilton fans began the hivliving tumblr to raise issues about living with HIV positive status.[1] It was recommended by many on Tumblr and Twitter as a good source of info on HIV+ issues. [2] It was thought to be run by two people: Israa, a nonbinary Chinese-Pakistani human trafficking survivor living in India and the other, Naj, a US-born lesbian of color also living in India.[3]

Both of the fans stated that they were HIV positive and both had main blogs of their own. Together, they ran the hivliving tumblr for over a year until Naj linked to her cash.me fundraiser asking for help for medical expenses. Digoxin-purpurpea, another Hamilton fan, realized that the owner of the cash.me account was most likely US based and confronted her about it. After much back and forth, Naj, one of the moderators of hivliving, confessed that she was a white US college student who lied about her identities and HIV status. Both Naj and Israa did not exist, she did not have HIV, and she did not live in India. She then posted a confession on the hivliving tumblr and tagged it Hamilton. [4] She also promised to repay people she had defrauded on her Cash.me account. To date no proof has been given that she reimbursed anyone.

Some fans believe that she created these identities "...to justify themselves writing an HIV-centric modern high school AU Hamilton fanfiction. They then posited themselves as an expert on HIV for discourse credentials."[5]

The screencaps posted by digoxin-purpurea support this explanation.

cardiotoxin [a blog run by digoxin-purpurea]: WHY DID YOU DO THIS?

allolesbean: i guess i just found their lives so interested compared to mine that i wanted to be involved. i know that is awful but it is the truth.

cardiotoxin: It's not because you wanted 600 kudos on AO3

allolesbean: you're right.[6]

Later some fans claimed out that Digoxin-purpurpea had been forced to delete their Hamilton RPF cannibal mermaid fic from AO3 by hivliving and her followers[7] and that this may have been part of the motivation for their investigation. [8] Others disagreed with this assessment.[9] As of October 20, 2017 Digoxin-purpurpea's tumblr account and RPF fic have been deleted.

Members from Fail-Fandomanon reported that some of their participants had noted inconsistencies in blueskysapphic's statements and posts as early as October 2016. They also noted a pattern of claiming harassment by other fans based on their HIV+ status along with frequent call-out posts of her own against other fans based on a wide range of social justice issues.[10][11][12][13]

This led one member to comment:
""I dunno, I've been in Hamilton fandom for about as long as it's been around and I've seen OP just add more and more identities to her disprivilege checklist when she wants to win arguments, and I've definitely raised the point among friends that I think she's a pathological liar who isn't half the things she claims to be. (So much of her references to her life don't add up - for instance, her claim to have been married to another woman for a full year, when a couple months ago she was still making references to having a "girlfriend" who she only began calling a "wife" a few weeks ago.) This isn't the first time I've seen her greatly exaggerate and straight up lie about other people's behavior - things that are quickly disprovable just by reading what the other person is saying - and while I don't think it's worth trying to go after her for the inconsistencies in her blogging, I do think it's pretty obvious that she has a very liberal relationship with the truth." [14]

Who is Who?

  • Naj (allolesbean) and Israa (blueskysapphic) do not exist. They are sockpuppets of the same person who has confirmed that she created these identities.
  • hivliving is the name of the tumblr created by "Naj" and "Israa" that focused on HIV+ education, activism and social justice.
  • "To Scale The Blue Sky" is the Hamilton high school AU fic written by Israa (blueskysapphic). It is 170k long and features Alexander Hamilton as a high school student living with HIV in the 1980s. The story appeared on rec lists,[15] including a list of works written by writers of color. It has since been deleted from AO3.[16] The fic was popular in some parts of the fandom, and had fanart on tumblr.
  • digoxin-purpurpea, a Hamilton fan on Tumblr who investigated and uncovered the sockpuppets and confronted the creator.
    • Digoxin-purpurea used the the username digitalis to publish Hamilton fic and candiru to publish Hamilton RPF and Political RPF fic. Their RPF was mainly kinkfic with a supernatural twist - for example, their most popular RPF fic was a (now deleted) Lin-Manuel Miranda/Anthony Ramos fic where Lin had sex with the ghost of Alexander Hamilton. Digoxin-purpurea had been mocked and shamed for their Political RPF writings on multiple occasions.[17]
    • They had also posted a Lin-Manuel Miranda/Anthony Ramos RPF fic where Lin was a cannibal mermaid (it featured romance and murder, but no vore) to AO3. This fic has not been identified by name and may have been deleted earlier in response to call-out posts by hivliving and their followers. (This fic started something of a trend, and there were at least two other cannibal/vore mermaid Hamilton RPF fics, both of which have now been deleted from AO3. One was later published in edited form as an M/M novel.)
    • Digoxin-purpurea deleted their blog and most of their fic shortly after the wank blew up on tumblr. Their RPF fic was locked before it was deleted and was little-known outside of the RPF fandom, which led to the confusion over whether the cannibal mermaid fic existed.

In one comment, digitalis stated:

I exposed a person who spent years harassing people in Hamilton fandom while scamming money pretending to be HIV-positive.

Idiots decided that the problem was that I wrote bizarre-ass Hamilton fic and assumed I exposed this person because of fandom beef and not because SHE PRETENDED TO BE HIV-POSITIVE TO STEAL MONEY AND ALSO TRIED TO GET SEVERAL PEOPLE TO KILL THEMSELVES. Multiple idiots started going after me to the point where my tumblr inbox started filling up with death threats.

I deleted everything in an attempt to reroute the conversation but of course that didn't happen and for some reason I'm the bad guy in the situation, not the rich bitch racefaking and HIV-faking on the internet for money and social gain.

I'm glad what I wrote helped you but the fics are not coming back ever again. Sorry.

Overview

Discussion

Website set up to address the fundraising scam:

Twitter Tag:

Tumblr

Sample quotes:

"Of all the facets of this Hamilton fandom mess going on, I really must wonder: how does one “gentrify cannibalism?” Like, really, where was this person going with that? Does Hannibal gentrify cannibalism? Does vore gentrify cannibalism?"[18]
".....so if you think this is some kind of hilarious fandom #drama, if you think this is just the Hamilton fandom dumpster fire discourse machine back on its bullshit, if you think this is at all entertaining instead of infuriating and scary, I’d urge you to take some time to read this and reconsider. set aside the mermaids of it all, if you will, and focus instead on the many, many people [they] hurt and took advantage of...[19]
....a popular blogger lying about having HIV, and taking advantage of vulnerable people isn’t funny. hivliving gained the trust of HIV+ people, and encouraged them to share, and talk about their own trauma on her blog. she also financially profited from deceiving people into thinking they were someone in need. treating this like some hilarious comedy, or downsizing her actions to ‘hamilton fandom drama’ is pretty disrespectful towards the people hivliving hurt and deceived. it’s also disrespectful towards anyone currently living with HIV/AIDS, and to the millions of people who have lost their life to the disease in the past"[20]
"This is about the victims. This is about the people she lied to and hurt. This is about the monstrous toxic environments that enabled her to do this. She stole money. She lied about being a person of color. She lied about being a trafficking victim. She lied about being married to a woman. She lied about being a hijabi Muslim. She lied about her parents selling her to a brothel. She lied about police brutality. She lied about living in India. SHE LIED ABOUT BEING HIV-POSITIVE AND, FROM THE PERCH OF THIS LIE, LEARNED PEOPLE'S SECRETS AND FED THEM MORE LIES.

THIS IS NOT FUNNY.[21]
"ur all focusing on the fact that people lied about their identities- which, I agree, is fucked up- but what’s more important is why they lied. I mean, this is a pattern now. multiple people are lying in order to dodge criticism.

tumblr has a culture where u can get away with saying intersexist shit if ur intersex. u can get away with writing bad HIV-centric fanfiction if ur HIV positive. that shit in itself is fucked up, but it’s also created a situation where people have great incentive to present themselves as more marginalized than they are. they reap benefits like peer approval, authority, power, and even fucking money.

the solution: collectively come to the realization that identity politics are total garbage & judge people on the content of their ideology rather than their identity."[22]

References

  1. The original blog was deleted in late October 2017, however an archived version of the website can be found here. The first archived back on the WayBack Machine is dated August 2016. The blogs were subsequently picked up and taken over by critics of hivliving. [1], Archived version and [2], Archived version
  2. cassie on Twitter: "if you don't know about hiv/aids i'd really recommend checking out hivliving on tumblr, it has a lot of really good info", Archived version
  3. for me being hiv+ has resulted in friendships post by allolesbean dated Sept 2016.
  4. important confession, Archived version; [3], Archived version, reblog.
  5. Ratspotting, Archived version; doki doki literature club dlc: just this is a lot in just three posts,
  6. {{source| url = https://imgur.com/f3bHfQT | title = Imgur screencap}​}​
  7. i am such a damaged thing: benepla: lol no yeah this is real. The Israa..., Archived version
  8. a VIRGIN lit the candle, Archived version As of Oct 2017, the only cannibal mermaid Hamilton fic on AO3 that features Hamilton and Jefferson was written by someone else. See also kylowives: pure:..., Archived version
  9. [4], Archived version
  10. ain't me, I ain't no tumblr's son [tumblr thread
  11. https://fail-fandomanon.dreamwidth.org/213394.html?thread=1180187794#cmt1180187794 I hear the tumblr comin'] dated August 2016.
  12. Fandom Venting - Hamilton dated Aug 2016.
  13. feel the tumblr on my forty-five - Hamilton dumpster fire continues to smolder dated Aug 2016.
  14. It ain't me, I ain't no tumblr's son [tumblr thread.
  15. To Scale The Blue Sky - Polyvore, Archived version
  16. RAISE A BONG TO FREEDOM, Archived version
  17. Apr 12 2017 post by beachdeath
  18. What Even Is This, Of all the facets of this Hamilton fandom mess..., Archived version
  19. mensch-in-residence, Archived version
  20. Game Grumps Aesthetics, Archived version
  21. hivlivingscam, Archived version
  22. Too Radical For You, Archived version