Racist Emailer Impersonating OB Rag Editor

by on May 9, 2012 · 3 comments

in Civil Rights, Media, San Diego

Impersonator sending out racist photos of President Obama purporting to be from Frank Gormlie

It has happened again. Someone has intentionally sent out racist garbage using the personal email address of Frank Gormlie, the editor of the OB Rag.

Some white supremacist hacker is sending out photos of President Barack Obama with racist captions, and they’re sending these emails out under an email address that is just like Gormlie’s email address – not exactly but too close to his to be a mistake. They are using an email address that juxtaposes two of the letters in his last name.  But in a blink reading it, it looks like his. It is clearly an attempt at impersonating Gormlie.

This same intentional impersonation of Gormlie has happened before. The first known use of the bogus email address was in September 2011.  And it has happened several times since.

It was theorized by one person who had received an earlier false email that someone had hacked into the progressive group MoveOn’s internal email blast list, and was sending out the racist emails to everyone on their local list.  Gormlie was and still is one of MoveOn’s San Diego County organizers.  The individuals who have received the junk are all – to the best of our knowledge right now – on MoveOn local organizing lists.  Just to be clear, the racist emails are not coming from MoveOn nor do they appear as if they are coming directly from MoveOn.

The earlier occurrences of the impersonation have not been quite this sophisticated.  This time around, there were about a dozen photos of President Obama or some other dignitary in the photo, all strung together. All were critical of Obama, but not all would be considered racist – just critical of the President from an extreme right-wing position.  Yet, nine of 13  had racist captions, disparaging either African-Americans or Mexican-Americans, or both.

Frank Gormlie – the editor and publisher of this website – wishes to let people know that these are racists impersonating him and they’re being sent out to other local activists. He believes it is clearly an effort to confuse fellow activists and supporters, and is an attempt to muddy his name within San Diego’s progressive community. He asks that if someone does receive such an email, to notify the OB Rag immediately, using our email address: obragblog@gmail.com .

In the meantime, the tech staff at the OB Rag have sent in a complaint to yahoo.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

doug porter May 10, 2012 at 5:57 am

has it occurred to you that right wingers have sent an infiltrator into move-on?
the secret army organization (SAO) back in the early 1970’s sent infiltrators to to anti-war demonstrations and public meetings.
now, before anybody goes and gets paranoid….
1) i am simply asking the question (I have no clue as to whether this happened)
2) there are other ways that email lists can be ripped off
3) even if there were an infiltrator, moveon is an aboveboard, legal organization. the worst case scenario here is that people’s privacy is being violated.
4)paranoia serves no useful purpose.


Frank Gormlie May 10, 2012 at 8:03 am

That’s always a possibility. But not that many have access to MoveOn’s internal email blast list. And the individuals who receive these emails seem to be on MoveOn’s list, so far at least. I’m hoping that whoever gets these emails will inform us via the OB Rag email: obragblog@gmail.com


Frank Gormlie May 10, 2012 at 9:04 am

I’ve just heard this morning from a leader of San Diego’s MoveOn that she received a “very bad” video under this same email address, and had originally thought it was from me.


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