Ex-Cop Tony Ryan Threatens to “Make My Trip Memorable” in China Next Week

As many of you know, I’ll be traveling to China next week to give one talk in Hong Kong on 20 November and another over on the mainland in Dongguan on 21 November. I’m very excited, as it’s the first time I’ll have visited the country and my hosts have thus far been incredibly attentive and helpful.

The Hong Kong Skeptics Tweeted about my arrival, prompting @shenzhentony to inform them that he would not be attending:

This sort of thing happens to me fairly regularly, and I always think it’s quite funny that someone goes out of their way to tell someone that they are boycotting some event or podcast or blog because of my evil presence, apparently on the assumption that the organizer will immediately feel extreme regret over having me and cancel everything.

In response to my joke about this situation, @ShenzhenTony escalated things considerably:

@shenzhenTony @rebeccawatson on second thoughts, I look forward to making your acquaintance. I can make your journey to Hong Kong memorable. See you soon

@ShenzhenTony @rebeccawatson You are a mighty keyboard warrior. I assume this will translate to real life.

When Tim Minchin asked him if that was a threat, Tony responded:

@ShenzhenTony @timminchin @rebeccawatson it means I have a few home truths to deliver-away from the comfort of a keyboard and the heroics of white knights.

tony ryan picAs is standard for me when someone makes a credible threat on my life, I started researching to figure out who this guy was. His Twitter linked to his blog, Tony Does Asia, which linked to his girlfriend’s blog, Dolly Does Asia. Googling “tony and dolly shenzhen” led me to his profile on where Tony mentions having just left the police force and also references his WeChat username tpryan007.

That username sounded familiar, so I searched my inbox. Sure enough, I realized that this was Tony Ryan, aka Coffee Loving Skeptic, who got upset because I blocked him on Twitter for constantly trying to pick a fight with me (I mistakenly Tweeted to PZ that Tony Ryan had called me a cunt, when in fact the word he had used in one of his now-deleted blog posts was “feminazi.” This was seen as a great mistruth the likes of which point to my severe untrustworthiness.)

Ryan was, at the time, a police officer in England, but was eventually disciplined by his superiors for his relentless online harassment of women and rape victims. This led to him blogging about plans to commit “suicide by cop.”

Obviously, he is no longer a police officer in England, and instead is now teaching English as a second language in China. I wonder if the school he teaches at, or for that matter the Chinese authorities, know about his past and, apparently, his present habit of trying to intimidate women he hates.

I post all this because shortly after I retweeted Tony’s threats, he made his account private and then deleted the worst of them before making his account public again. He seems to have a habit of deleting his most horrible posts.

If something were to happen next week in China, and if Tony were to show up and physically threaten, hurt, or kill me, I think it’s important to have documentation of what he has promised to do.

If you live in or around Hong Kong or Dongguan and are not interested in murdering me, I invite you to come out and see me. I plan for this to be a fun, positive trip, regardless of one of the many men who hope to silence me through threats and intimidation.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca is a writer, speaker, YouTube personality, and unrepentant science nerd. In addition to founding and continuing to run Skepchick, she hosts Quiz-o-Tron, a monthly science-themed quiz show and podcast that pits comedians against nerds. There is an asteroid named in her honor. Twitter @rebeccawatson Mastodon Instagram @actuallyrebeccawatson TikTok @actuallyrebeccawatson YouTube @rebeccawatson BlueSky

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  1. Oh crap, why are these little gits so scared? Sorry you have to endure their shittyness.

    In an incredibly unsurprising bit of news he was already on the block bot, but only level3. He is a fan of Mykeru’s videos – yes that one – the slymepit troll who likes to threaten people for the “lulz”… Great fans he has there. Presumably he is an #FTBullies and Slymepit fan himself.

      1. I don’t think so – Tony Parsehole is from Middlesborough. I’m 90% sure of that as he puts it on his posts there (Or did few years ago) and he posted a fake comment on my blog from a Middlesborough IP. Was under a nym and a bit racist – he then went back to the pit to crow about how I’d posted a racist comment as a nym on my own blog. So almost certainly him :)

        Isn’t Tony Ryan from the Bristol area?

  2. Dang. It’s really upsetting that you have to deal with this kind of stuff so frequently, but the fact that it doesn’t stop you really shows the strength of your character. Some of us men think you’re doing awesome work, but probably aren’t as vocal about it as we could be. So, let me counter his douchebaggery with a bit of goodwill – keep doing what you do, you’re an amazing person, and the world is becoming a better place thanks to all you have done and continue to do.

  3. I just want to point out that this guy was a cop to the people who continue to say that if women are harassed, abused or raped, they should just call the cops.

    I’d also like the people claiming that misogyny is only a problem in the US, to note that this man is not in or from the US.

    Yes, Mick Nugent is one of those people.

  4. Ugh. I’m sorry I’m not in Shenzhen anymore, otherwise I’d promise to be any kind of backup you need. Given how prevalent sketchy-ass English schools are in Shenzhen, I highly doubt that even if his bosses knew or cared about his personality, it would be much of a problem for his future employment prospects, sadly. Teaching English in China attracts all kinds of people, including assholes who are clearly only there because nowhere else on Earth would take them.

    I hope you have an amazing trip regardless- Hong Kong is an amazing, fantastic city. I’m sure Dongguan has something to recommend it too, but damned if I know what it is. Maybe you’ll find it! :) Enjoy Southern China (and its fantastic weather this time of year). Hopefully I’ll get to see you speak sometime at a place I haven’t just vacated. :)

  5. Thank you for outing this abusive loser, and thank you for continuing to your work for feminism and skepticism in the face of continuous adversity from smallminded bullies!

  6. The most win of this is rubbing tweets with Tim Minchin – has he watched the #ElevatorGate video? And not turned bigot? Yes, he’s on the right side of the Deep Rifts™!

  7. Unfortunately twitter is a pool of filth and anonymous mob mentality which has no interest in cleaning up the harassment of women or anyone else for that matter if it slows down their new user sign up rate… unless you are a major celeb. Ever wonder why this doesn’t happen as much on Facebook or Google+? They have the tools and the infrastructure to deal with this pretty well.

    Keep up the good work. The internet never forgets and his grandchildren’s grandchildren will be ashamed by their ancestors anti-social behavior.

  8. A relief to see that a bland name like ‘Tony Ryan’ isn’t enough to shelter this troll. I’m not about to travel to Hong Kong. But if I was, I might pack an ax-handle in case I met this pig. He might even find it ‘memorable.’

  9. You only invite people to your events who don’t want to murder you? Shame, Rebecca. How elitist! Thanks, Obama.

    In all seriousness, I’m disappointed that your side trip to China means you’ll miss the SGU/Hrab event at Ohlone College. You’ll be the missing Marx Brother … you pick which one. Stay safe.

  10. We need to reclaim coffee from this swine. If Rebecca can be a feminazi, than I want to be a coffeenazi. #NoCoffeeForYou, slyme!

  11. Thanks for the link, Kevin.

    I’m sorry you have to put up with this crap, Rebecca. No one should have to. Current sanctions for internet rape and death threats are insufficient IMHO.

    I also feel sorry for Dolly.

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