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Lady Checkmate aka GracefulLadyCheckmate is an African American religious Christian fundamentalist who is notorious on the FSTDT website for running several discussion channels on Disqus as an online dictatorship. Little is known about her personal life aside from her being celibate since being divorced from her husband.
Checkmate is a case study in how not to moderate internet forums. While it is a common accusation from the right-wing that left-wingers don't handle dissent well and are prone to creating echo-chambers, Checkmate does the same thing. Her main channel, Faith & Religion, boasts (at the time of this writing) a membership of 76,235 members, seemingly making it appear to be a very popular channel, but at any given time only about ten people regularly post comments, and the vast majority are believed to be banned by Lady Checkmate or have simply lost interest and left. This still represents an enormously disproportionate amount of banning on the part of a Disqus moderator.
Contributing to Lady Checkmate's ban-happy infamy is the lack of appeal process and therefore the banned people discuss religion on the other religion channels, where during discourse, people will find that others are also often banned by Lady Checkmate. Disqus is littered with messages of complaint to moderators about Lady Checkmate's behavior, but since all Disqus channel owners are given free rein to run their channels as they please, she is not held accountable to anyone.
Banning/censoring by Lady Checkmate usually takes one of three forms (in order of severity):
- She removes your comment and bans your username from her channel. This is invisible to those on her channel, unless they are quick enough to see the comment before it is removed.
- She calls you out publicly for your infraction, however imaginary on her part, posts a "helpful" link to her channel rules and guidelines (which in all likelihood were not broken) and then goes to step 1 above.
- She will occasionally page you to another channel  she runs called Battleground Discuss and creates a post containing a major screaming tantrum with a baffling assortment of accusations, none of which you are permitted to respond to because she's already gone to step 1 above. She leaves the post there permanently for all to see. She is judge, jury and executioner and at no point can you respond to anything she says. Very occasionally she WILL allow you to respond, but she'll either delete that or double down with another raging tantrum.
To give an idea of how her need to censor, discipline, and finally banish people who post on her channels can result in something comically absurd, the following example shows the many different aspects of why she is glaringly unfit to be a moderator - we see a typical page from her "Battleground Discuss" channel in which she has summoned, or "paged", someone - not for the purposes of working out an issue, but to chastise and humiliate them. Notice that the only comments visible are Lady Checkmate's. The original comments by the poster were censored out by Lady Checkmate and only the words "this comment was deleted" remain, therefore the accused poster has no reference to his/her own words and therefore cannot know what he/she has done wrong. And so, she is essentially saying to them, "come over here to be publicly humiliated for something you did, which I have censored and you will therefore not be able to read or defend." Notice also that the accused is not given a chance to respond, making the exchange completely one-sided and pointless. Notice too that this exchange is two years old at the time of Lady Checkmate bringing it to everyone's attention. Notice further that most bizarrely, she seems to actually give courtesy advice about her own troll problem to the very person she has just chastised and banned, and urges them not to get in contact.
For example, she disciplines someone for their use of the word "niggardly" - the poster makes several attempts to explain to Lady Checkmate what the word means, and she claims to know but still disallows it, and removes the post.
Checkmate identifies as an evangelical Christian. She is a Donald Trump supporter who believes him to be the victim of persecution from the "alt-left" which controls the media and uses it to ruin his reputation.
A favorite slogan of Lady Checkmate's is "don't equate your sin with the color of my skin" which is her response to homosexuals comparing the discrimination they have faced for their sexuality to the racism experienced by non-white people such as herself.
It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to engage with Lady Checkmate in debate. The only place she posts with any regularity is on her own channels on Disqus where she is the moderator, where she can (and does) remove all dissent to anything she says. She will not post anywhere she cannot control the conversation, in other words.
Lady Checkmate's channels are routinely trolled, perhaps unsurprisingly given the number of people she has banned. She often claims she has been the victim of death threats but has never produced evidence to confirm this is the case. She also feels that the trolling she experiences is the work of one single person using hundreds of "sock accounts" (different Disqus accounts), rather than simply acknowledging that she has made many enemies online. She refers to this single troll as "Peewee", a name provided by one of her loyal channel members, Mick Williams (who regularly contributes political cartoons to her Faith & Religion channel). This mythological figure is basically internet Satan, and causes all her woes on Disqus. For Peewee to exist, he must be extremely busy and get no sleep at all; he would have to be logging off and on hundreds of times a day just for the purpose of trolling Lady Checkmate's channels.
Prior to owning a channel herself, she was simply a regular poster on Disqus but was often difficult and confrontational with people, so her reputation was already forming prior to her channel ownership. Initially she seemed to be welcoming and gracious to her new channels, but quickly her mercurial behavior, distrust, short temper, and over-eagerness to ban people caused her to become something of a hermit, confining herself to the safety of her own channels where she had the ability to control any conversation she was part of, rather than engage in a forum where she was on equal footing and couldn't remove what offended her. For that reason, it is very, very difficult to engage in conversation with Lady Checkmate unless she is familiar with you already. She is instantly suspicious of any new Disqus account, thinking it is someone coming to troll her. If unsure, she will chastise people she suspects of being trolls by pointing out that their account is brand new or that they have made very few comments; rather than wait for confirmation of her suspicions, she simply bans.
She often addresses the "alt-left" on her channels and uses this phrase almost to the exclusion of any other accepted phrase used to describe liberals or the far-left. To be fair, she doesn't seem to make any distinction between the far or moderate left, but tars them all with the "alt-left" name. Nearly as common are her references to "alt-left trolls," by which she could mean the more familiar meaning of online troublemakers and pranksters, or she may also be referring to real-life people engaging in any sort of behavior she disapproves of. It can be difficult to know who the object of her wrath is based on the language she uses; her generalizations often leave things vague.
She is no fan of Catholicism and there was a period where a group of Catholic posters from her "Faith & Religion" board found themselves being routinely silenced and censored. In response to Lady Checkmate's ludicrous behavior, the group left to form their own channel on Disqus called "One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic".
Of Lady Checkmate's channels, her most popular is News Network, which focuses primarily on Faux News articles she has cut and pasted to her own channel and opened up for discussion. This draws a primarily conservative group of commenters, but even here her fundamentalist Christian tendencies are in full force and at the end of the day it is just as much a fundamentalist Christian channel as it is a news one. She rails just as much against the "alt-left" here as she does on her Faith & Religion channel. Her behavior is the same on News Network, but since it gets more traffic she is aware she will draw more criticism for wanton banning, and for that reason advertises on her main page of News Network: "Mod is not ban-happy" which has served as an ironic punchline on many occasions.
Lady Checkmate draws no distinction between pedophiles and homosexuals; in fact she will occasionally go out of her way to work the word "homosexual" into stories she reports when there was no indication of homosexuality in the original article.
She is also known to deliberately change the Fox News headlines she reports to make them more inflammatory, especially where homosexuals are concerned. Also, she rejects transgenderism to the point where if she is reporting a Fox News item about Chelsea Manning, she will take all references to "Chelsea" out and replace them with "Bradley" before reposting to her channel. Another example is here (the original Fox News headline was "Boston Marathon says trans women can compete as women, raising questions about possible advantages").
Ironically in light of her online behavior, Lady Checkmate feels very strongly that she is a victim of Christian Persecution, and posts many stories about what she feels are examples of Christians being persecuted.
She uses as the basis for most of her posts news articles taken from conservative sources, primarily Fox News, but she occasionally borrows from conservative commentators such as Todd Starnes. Never one to look for alternating or balanced views in news reporting, she will even use YouTube videos, deeming them as authoritative.
Lady Checkmate has a rule on her channel that posters are to comment only on topics and not on CMs (community members) which she conveniently enforces or ignores depending on whether she's looking for an excuse to publicly remove someone when she has no other available reason.
She believes in the innocence of Roy Moore and maintains his election loss was the result of an "alt-left conspiracy" but thinks nothing of demanding the death penalty for those on the other side of the political spectrum who have only been accused of wrongdoing. Likewise, she seems to give a free pass when a pedophile is a Christian so never seems to mention people like Josh Duggar.
She judges and pillories LGBT people on a regular basis, but then uses the statistics showing LGBT suicide rates as a reason for why they should not be that way, oblivious of the role her own shaming and judging plays.
Her beliefs famously contradict the Bible she loves and claims to follow on far too many occasions; but a shining example is her desire to deport dreamers which flies directly in the face of Matthew 25:40-41, Ezekiel 16:45-49, and Leviticus 19:33-34.
- Lady Checkmate's Faith & Religion channel on Disqus
- Lady Checkmate's News Network channel on Disqus
- Lady Checkmate's conflict resolution channel on Disqus
- Another Lady Checkmate-run channel of unknown purpose on Disqus
- Yet another Lady Checkmate-run channel of unknown purpose on Disqus