Aimee Byrd, Ed Stetzer, and the Deepfaking of Geneva Commons

(Steve Wedgeworth) I was recently doxed and deepfaked. If you don’t know what that means, I will explain. For now, let’s just say that it doesn’t make for a good weekend.

A new blog was launched which aimed to expose a secret group of misogynistic pastors and elders. It consists of screenshots, illicitly taken from a private Facebook group called Genevan Commons. The sensational comments nearly all appear within running threads, threads with many participants and many comments. And truly, some of the comments were indeed offensive. Several showed immature jesting, and some went further, involving cruelty and authoritarianism. The comments which fit these categories are absolutely sinful and require repentance.

My initial reaction was grief for the women who had been named and mistreated in the comments, as well as all of the other women who would be hurt by these screenshots. I cannot imagine the depth of pain that this all caused. Then I reflected upon my own inclusion in the group. “Did I really see all that stuff?” I asked myself. “Did I laugh along with all that?” My anxiety spiked. I soon began to receive various upset messages. Most of these, it has to be said, were entirely gracious and sincere. My experience was not like that of some others listed on the dox site, who report receiving abuse and even outright threats.

No, my comments were people expressing their disappointment in my behavior and letting me know that I had really let them down. So my desire was to do some soul-searching and then decide what I needed to repent of and how to do so in the appropriate way. I went to the Lord in prayer and sought counsel among trusted pastors for several days. One of these asked me to walk through as many of the details as possible. “You have to be specific for repentance to be real,” he said. After I laid out as much as I could, he gave me this reply:

“Brother, you’ve been deepfaked.”

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Editors Note. This post was written by Steven Wedgeworth and posted on Medium. Title changed by Pulpit & Pen


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