Beware of the Reddit Deception Campaign Targeting Nevada Congress Candidate Aaron Sims
When I first heard about the Reddit drama surrounding Aaron Sims’s attempt to run for Congress, something immediately seemed off to me. Could the anonymous pro-Sims Reddit account OkGene5382 be secretly run by Sims? That seems like quite the assumption.
So I did some research on this rumour and found that it is mostly being kept alive by the delusions and abuse tactics of a user named Throw-A-Weigh-69. Even if you disagree with me and believe that Aaron Sims uses false social media accounts, there are other issues going on here that aren’t justified by that. You will hear about them all in this post.
Since Sims doesn’t appear to be interested in engaging these rumours, I thought I would make a post warning the Internet about the issue. I can’t blame him for not caring about them, though. If he wants to show he’s a serious politician, he needs to show that he can understand the difference between reality and urban legend, and not getting too wrapped up in the urban legend.
I will begin by outlining the incidents that led to this campaign (in the backstory section), discuss the campaign itself, and then explains why this matters. The backstory isn’t that messed up, especially compared to the campaign, so you’ll have to wait until the campaign section of this article before we get to the really bad stuff.
Here’s what went down. Throw-A-Weigh-69 notices the OkGene5382 account and gets suspicious so he sends a direct message to the account to see if Sims was behind it all along. Here’s the link to the discussion, but I will warn you that it’ll take ages for you to read and is mostly vulgar nonsense. Also, both parties consented to having this private conversation shared, with Throw-A-Weigh-69 openly sharing it in his comment right here, and OkGene5382’s consent coming in the form of … well, I’m not gonna spoil it for you just yet.
So you’re probably wondering what happens in the discussion. OkGene5382 says that she’s Sims’s friend but acts very paranoid and neurotic at the slightest provocation throughout the discussion. She calls Throw-A-Weigh-69 a stalker for doing a lot of research on Sims, and then calling him a homophobe and a rapist and threatening to report him to the police (Sims is openly gay, by the way).
She also believes Throw-A-Weigh-69 to be making up false stories and mentions at one point she needs to keep tabs on anything negative said about him to protect Sims against assassins. We know OkGene5382 consented to the chat screenshots being made public because in the Imgur link above, she says she wanted to release the chat to the public as a way to call out Throw-A-Weigh-69.
“We can simply expose all of this on reddit and then people will be lining up to tells us your name. We have these messages and your profile” — OkGene5382, 8:41–8:42 a.m, June 21, 2021
This type of behaviour from Sims’s friend would obviously be unacceptable if it came from a politician, so it is very irresponsible for Throw-A-Weigh-69 to accuse OkGene5382 of being Sims.
During the discussion with Sims’s friend, Throw-A-Weigh-69 presents eight reasons as to why he believes Sims is behind the account. It’s great that Throw-A-Weigh-69 is asking questions and being skeptical, but all but one of these arguments are either addressed by OkGene5382 or are easily explainable. However, none of this is enough for Throw-A-Weigh-69 to change his mind.
For example, he asks OkGene5382 why she just not block him if she is so paranoid of him. She responded by saying that she needs to collect evidence of stalking and slander so she can send it to the cops and the public. Even though it’s poor evidence, it seems to make sense to Sims’s friend.
He also is suspicious that the account’s secondary name is an anagram of the name Aaron Sims, yet Ok_Gene-5382 explains that Sims gave her the account and that it might be an old account.
Some other points that Throw-A-Weigh-69 brings up are not satisfied by OkGene5382, but can be explained by critical thinking, especially this next one. When OkGene5382 suggests that Throw-A-Weigh-69 take up the matter personally with Sims on his Facebook account, he says that only Sims would care about someone refusing to bring something up with him, despite it being very clear that Sims’s friend just wanted to be left alone.
Additionally, two of Throw-A-Weigh-69’s points can be described with one explanation. The friend being on Sims’s campaign would explain why she doesn’t post about anything else, and also explains why her posts are so exaggerated in support of Sims.
As for why Sims couldn’t just log into the OkGene5382 account and speak up for himself, Throw-A-Weigh-69 has shown that he would not trust that account anyways.
This next one is kinda weird. Throw-A-Weigh-69 asks OkGene5382 why she would suggest he contact Sims directly if she thinks that Throw-A-Weigh-69 is a homophobic rapist and stalker. She answers that Throw-A-Weigh-69’s dedication suggests he has a personal problem with him, and that Sims would be able to handle it better. She adds that it is not fair to talk about someone behind their back like Throw-A-Weigh-69 is doing. This may be a really weak justification, but it’s not like it’s the only example of that which came from Sims’s friend during the DM conversation.
That’s seven points addressed, which leaves one final unaddressed argument from Throw-A-Weigh-69. At one point, OkGene5382 asks him for which county he is from so she can report him to the police. We don’t know why this is necessary, and neither does Throw-A-Weigh-69. But this is his only point that’s left standing by the end of the article, and yet he is more convinced than ever of his suspicions.
There is one other thing I haven’t mentioned yet that will be relevant for later. At one point, Throw-A-Weigh-69 jokingly asks OkGene5382 for a picture of Sims’s genitals. This greatly upsets Sims’s friend, as she insists that Throw-A-Weigh-69, a straight man, would use the pictures to damage his campaign.
This may at first appear to be another example of OkGene5382’s hysteria, as the request could have been easily ignored. However, she gets upset about those comments and then Throw-A-Weigh-69 . . . well, he starts to get very persistent with this request, reaching the point where it becomes creepy and a form of harassment.
If you have any additional evidence that OkGene5382 is in fact Aaron, feel free to present them in the comments section. But before you do, you will need to consider these points:
1. How would Sims even have the time to entertain OkGene5382? I’m not sure if you clicked on the Imgur link, but that discussion is loooooooong.
2. During the chat, OkGene5382 mentions that Aaron would react completely different to how OkGene5382 is acting, saying “Aaron probably wouldn’t even care about [Throw-A-Weigh-69]” and that “he would probably be cool with [Throw-A-Weigh-69].” These statements are then supported by Sims’s behaviour when Throw-A-Weigh-69 interacts with Sims’s official account as part of the misinformation campaign.
3. Sims’s friend even says she can send a picture of her boobs to prove that she is not Sims, but this is immediately dismissed by Throw-A-Weigh-69 because he doesn’t think a woman would do this.
4. Throughout all of Throw-A-Weigh-69’s posts on the topic, they act completely certain that OkGene5382 is Sims. I understand that it is still a subjective opinion to disagree with me and think that Sims is likely behind the account, even if it is a weak argument. I don’t want to use my ideas and blog posts to accumulate more power for myself, so whatever subjective ideas you have about this scenario, I encourage them. But because of all the evidence I presented against Throw-A-Weight’s campaign, there is objectively a subjective argument to be made that Sims is not behind OkGene5382. And Throw-A-Weigh-69 is completely oblivious to it. This means that it’s flat-out wrong to be as confident as Throw-A-Weigh-69 is, especially considering what happens next.
So Throw-A-Weigh-69 starts his campaign posting all over r/Reno, and it really fooled a lot of people, despite it coming from a crazy person who is intent on ruining Sims’s life. For example, they recount that when they asked for those explicit pictures, OkGene5382 “[pulled] a complete 180 to [say] I should try contacting Aaron directly myself.”
Throw-A-Weigh-69 is completely unaware that they, not OkGene5382 pulled the complete 180 by asking for those pictures. Yet he somehow believes his social intelligence is high enough to know every woman and to conclude that none of them would offer to send a breast photo when in this situation. It’s not surprising that OkGene5382 would be taken back by someone asking for nudes in what was previously a very serious conversation, but in the same comment, Throw-A-Weigh-69 claims that “it’s completely ridiculous that he thinks we’re that dumb” to understand that Sims’s friend would starting feel more uncomfortable around them in that situation.
Here’s the thread where Throw-A-Weigh-69 interacts with Sims’s official Reddit account. You’ll have to scroll down to say hi to Throw-A-Weigh-69, but we can see that Sims presents himself as very composed, no-nonsense, and calm, so there’s great evidence right there that he is not behind the OkGene5382 account. He does accuse Throw-A-Weigh-69 of “stalking” his account, but it is not difficult to imagine that he is taking those words verbatim from his friend.
But despite Sims presenting a lot of evidence against the conspiracy campaign, Throw-A-Weigh-69 buckles down on his claim using the only possible method when exhausted of all options: domination tactics. Because of this, I would suggest avoiding contacting the Throw-A-Weigh-69 account. I am usually all for creating solutions through open online discussion, but this Reddit user has showed that they are completely incapable of considering other viewpoints.
Sims’s official Reddit account replied to Throw-A-Weigh-69 saying he “would be happy to answer any policy questions you have but making up nonsense on every post I share is rather weird.” Throw-A-Weigh-69 insists that he “was asking YOU for nudes.” This is an example of Throw-A-Weigh-69’s irresponsible confidence that OkGene5382 is Aaron. You see, if it’s not Aaron, then that means Throw-A-Weigh-69 would be deceiving Sims into consent!
Throw-A-Weigh-69 then states his belief that Sims may have wanted to use his official Facebook account to “get lucky” and score some nudes, as opposed to the Reddit throwaway that Throw-A-Weigh-69 believes is run by Aaron.
Throw-A-Weigh-69 also attempts to force Sims to admit to this potentially career-destroying misinformation. He threatens that if he doesn’t do so, then Sims is “lying about impersonating someone” and that he is denying that he baselessly called Throw-A-Weigh-69 a rapist. He continues to claim that not giving in to his deception will damage a lot of people and will cause Sims to lose in court.
Sims lets Throw-A-Weigh-69 know that “this is a very inappropriate thing to say to a political candidate”, but he responds “don’t tell me what is and isn’t inappropriate to ask you.” Another example of Throw-A-Weigh-69’s force tactics is when he tells Aaron that “no one is going to believe you made an account and gave it to your friend.” Not only is that a way of dominating Aaron but also dominates anyone who tries to protect him.
Sims does his best and reminds Throw-A-Weigh-69 that he answered his questions for him, yet the thread still ends with Throw-A-Weigh-69 moaning that those answers weren’t the ones he wanted.
Why does this matter?
Imagine being in a relationship with someone who treats you as poorly as Throw-A-Weigh-69 is treating Sims in this example. Trying to force you to lie to them because they don’t want to hear the truth, being resistant to the slightest criticism, closing you off from people who can make you feel better.
The campaign has been posting as recently as 3 months ago as of September 1, 2022, so I wanted to make this post and let people know not to trust Throw-A-Weigh-69.
This whole fiasco also demonstrates the out-of-control destructive nature of domination tactics, even when they presented with strong opposition. Throw-A-Weigh-69’s attacks towards Sims always had more upvotes than Sims’s responses, so we can see that fairness does not always hold back ignorance.
Clearly, we can do better at exercising justice, so we have to search for new ways to do so. I created Non-Monetized Together partially with the intention to discover them in a variety of scenarios. It’s simple — I present the details of a situation, helping the readers (that means you) find inspiration. Then you can add your ideas to my posts by responding to them.
Not only is this article a chance to debunk the campaign, but it allows us to address the circumstances that caused it to happen in the first place. This is a space where solutions can originate from the greater public and be taken seriously.
Please don’t be ashamed of what you can add to the conversation. Here, anyone can be an innovator.
This article was originally published to Medium on September 4, 2022 (https://medium.com/illumination/beware-of-the-reddit-deception-campaign-targeting-nevada-congress-candidate-aaron-sims-b6238210c5ee?source=friends_link&sk=e7fcdcf8c43617546ac191f54761c328).