Ana Mardoll's Twitter profile picture, a Lockheed Martin publicity photo, a tweet commenting on the controversy

Ana Mardoll Lockheed Martin Controversy

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Updated Jul 31, 2023 at 12:08PM EDT by Zach.

Added Aug 02, 2022 at 03:18PM EDT by Aidan Walker.

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The Ana Mardoll Lockheed Martin Controversy refers to events on Twitter in late July and early August 2022 in which prominent young adult (YA) author and social justice poster Ana Mardoll was revealed as working for defense contractor Lockheed Martin, sparking controversy online. Many accused Mardoll, who was notorious for posting critically about others online, of hypocrisy. Others defended Mardoll against a doxxing attack that accompanied the revelation or defended Lockheed Martin. The discourse was emblematic for many of the condition of Twitter in 2022.


Ana Mardoll has self-published books and posted online for many years, including at the controversial feminist blog Shakesville.[1] Mardoll, a disability and trans rights activist, maintained a Twitter account with 50,000 followers from November 2011 until August 2022 when it was deactivated during the Lockheed Martin discourse.[2]

On April 19th, 2022, Mardoll鈥檚 since-deleted tweets (one of which is seen below) calling reading "ableist" and accusing those who expect authors to read books by others "ableist" went viral. Mardoll鈥檚 reasoning revolved around several points, including that some people can't read for pleasure and reading books, in general, can be a little "elitist."[3]

Ana Mardoll @AnaMardoll There's a thread going around mocking writers who "don't read very much" and I'm trying not to haul out my soap box but...this is ableist? Not everyone can read for pleasure (or indeed at all) and some of those people are writers.

On the lolcow forum Kiwi Farms, posters maintained a thread making fun of Mardoll and doxxing him. The information shared on Kiwi Farms came to Mardoll鈥檚 attention, leading him to attempt to preempt revelations of his employment at Lockheed Martin in a since-deleted July 31st, 2022, Twitter thread (seen below). Mardoll revealed that he got the position through nepotism and his family鈥檚 employment at the defense contractor. He attempted to explain the situation while refusing to name the company he worked for.[4]

Ana Mardoll @AnaMardoll -2h I've been made aware that someone is trying to dox me and @ everyone I know in the process, so I might as well address some things here. I'm sorry I have to do this. 135 623 41 Ana Mardoll @AnaMardoll -2h I work at a large corporation which I will not name. I work in software licensing, procuring text editors and code compilers for others. This is why I know so much about Creative Commons (for those that enjoyed that thread). I do not produce code for anything. 13 327 Ana Mardoll @AnaMardoll.2h I got this particular job because my family works for the same corporation. I stay because I'm on an unusual part-time arrangement for medical reasons. It's hard to find a remote WFH job that will give me medical insurance but let me work 10-20 hours a week.

Others shared publicly that the company in question was Lockheed Martin. Lockheed Martin manufactures planes, drones and other equipment for the United States military and other armed forces around the world. The company has been accused of complicity in several war crimes, including selling weapons to the Israeli military knowing they would be used against civilian targets in densely populated areas.[5]

Online Reactions

Many on Twitter, which often delights in hypocrisy, used the revelation about Mardoll鈥檚 professional life to shun, cancel and shame him in late July 2022. For example, Twitter user @punished_cait described Mardoll's job as a "nepotism gig at the war crimes factory" in a July 31st tweet that received almost 20,000 likes over the course of two days.[6]

cait @punished_cait : Imfao i'm sorry ana mardoll has worked at lockheed martin for 15 years? as a legacy hire? a nepotism gig at the war crimes factory? and people are calling it ableist to criticize that? is my CO detector working 6:07 PM Jul 31, 2022 路 Twitter for iPhone 1,016 Retweets 178 Quote Tweets 19.3K Likes

Some also took the chance to accuse Mardoll of posing as "purer" than he actually is and of participating in and even coordinating the online harassment or cyberbullying of others. Another July 31st tweet, this one by @parabasis (seen below), received over 20,000 likes in two days and is typical of this line of argument.[7]

Isaac Butler @parabasis As a Twitter personality who organizes mobs to attack small accounts I'm no stranger to bombing the defenseless. That's why this summer I'm partnering with Lockheed Martin to 5:15 PM Jul 31, 2022 路 Twitter for iPhone 1,531 Retweets 82 Quote Tweets 20.6K Likes

Isabel Fall, who wrote a short story based on the I Sexually Identify As An Attack Helicopter meme was roped into the controversy, with some falsely claiming that Mardoll had coordinated attacks and criticism of Fall.

On the other side, defenders of Mardoll sometimes found themselves also defending Lockheed Martin. This tweet by @Bacchuslaureat from July 31st, 2022, received almost 300 likes and made an example of that argument.[8]

Bacchuslaureat @Bacchuslaureat What harms are we comparing? A vulnerable and marginalized person losing their job and being rendered highly vulnerable, likely to actually die from lack of healthcare/resources, or the harm of one small cog in a massive military machine being maybe slightly more optimal 4:32 PM Jul 31, 2022 路 Twitter Web App . : 21 Retweets 30 Quote Tweets 278 Likes

Defenders of Mardoll also attacked Kiwi Farms, which has been blamed for several deaths due to online harassment over the years.

Much commentary turned back on itself as Twitter debated and discussed the nature of Twitter debate and discussion. An August 1st tweet by Twitter user @HannahLNYC notably compared types of Twitter discourse to the levels given to routes at ski resorts, identifying the Mardoll controversy as a "double black diamond" due to the intricacy and insularity of the discourse.[9]

hannah @HannahLNYC current ranking: Will Smith apology - green circle; Nathan Fielder - blue square; Ana Mardoll/Lockheed Martin nepotism scandal - double black diamond Daniel Kibblesmith @kibblesmith 路 Jul 31 Twitter should organize trending topics by how extremely online you have to be to follow them, like ski slopes. 1:53 AM - Aug 1, 2022 路 Twitter Web App 80 Retweets 4 Quote Tweets 1,070 Likes :

Ana Mardoll deactivated his account following the backlash, posting an apology thread (seen below) on August 2nd, 2022.[2]

Ana Mardoll @AnaMardoll I am leaving Twitter because it is clear to me that any attempt to stay would harm people I care about, including myself. I am sorry for many things, including the pain I have caused our community. Thank you all for the kindness you've shown me over the years. 9:49 AM. Aug 2, 2022 路 Twitter Web App 37 Retweets 124 Quote Tweets 1,355 Likes :

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