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Decade Since I Made Tehran Angry, A

A decade ago today, at approximately this time of day, I was the target of a foreign-state-sponsored domestic terror attack after my location and school schedule were doxxed. The attack was to throw rocks at me from a car to dissuade me from providing logistic and technical support to protesters in their home country of Iran.

I think a lot of you know I live in one part of the States, but am from another. It’s less well-known that I moved because my family was being threatened.

I moved away from my home - not to anyplace; just away, to travel the east coast for several years - away from my family, because I felt what I was doing to protect free speech was more important than that personal sense of happiness and security.

It was the only time a foreign government openly coordinated against me, but it wasn’t the last time my advocacy had personal consequences. Despite receiving honors from it, our government also has concerns, and has limited my travel.

And more personally, many friends disagree with the level of conviction I have toward my beliefs, and have come to ostracize me from their communities for the perceived risk I bring.

I’m focusing on the effects it had for me because I see far too many online pundits going, “people say mean things to me in the comments, I must be doing something right!”

First off, people being mean to you is no indication you’re right.

Second, if mean comments are the most strong feedback you receive on your work, and your work is in the business of radically changing a society, you’re probably not very effective.

One can hardly look at the past decade of hacktivism and call it effective, yet that did not stop my consequences from being severe.

I hope this disclosure helps show any reader, or serves to remind myself, why I’m so… the way I am, about my opinions.

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My name is emsenn and I wrote this essay for the benefit of the commons. To the extent possible under law, I have waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to it. If you're viewing it on a remote server, you're encouraged to download your own copy. Essays like this are made possible with financial support from readers like you. Thank you. To read more of my work and to learn more about me, visit