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‘Whatever It Takes’: eBay Cyberstalking Doc Releases Clip From Shocking Silicon Valley Scandal


The first clip for the SXSW Film Festival documentary, “Whatever It Takes,” about two journalists targeted in a Silicon Valley Scandal, has been released in conjunction with its festival screenings. 

The clip shows journalists Ina and David Steiner — who are the targets of an online harassment campaign, subjected to cyberstalking threats and bizarre deliveries — receiving what appears to be a pig fetus, the first of many abnormal packages. 

“We got your order for the ‘wet specimen,’” a phone operator says in the clip. When the Steiners follow up to ask what exactly a “wet specimen” is, Ina turns to the audience to reveal that the operator told her that it’s a “pig fetus.”

“So we asked her, what’s a ‘wet specimen,’ and she goes, ‘Oh, it’s a pig fetus.’” 

The clips also show the Steiners being on the receiving end of many online expletive-laced messages.

The documentary follows the real 2019 case, where eBay, the Fortune 500 company founded on the principle that “people are basically good,” and members of their security team ended up in federal prison after trying to protect the CEO from a corporate raider. “It’s a true crime caper about dysfunction, the disintegration of ethics and a couple of unsuspecting journalists whose lives are changed forever,” the doc’s description reads.

Director Jenny Carchman said she was initially inspired to tell this story because the “themes are present in every story.” 

“The hubris of Big Tech goes unchecked, corporate values have run amok, Wall Street investors are only hungry for a return, young inexperienced women are groomed by older male bosses, low-level employees always take the fall and corporations who have enough power and money are never ultimately held accountable,” Carchman said. “These are just some of the ways in which this story encompasses these current themes, but the details of what happened here take the story to a whole other level and make it a great subject for a documentary film about the ethics of our age.” 

Carchman directs the documentary executive produced by Mandy Chang, Lizzie Fox, Casey Meurer, Nicole Stott, Jonathan Silberberg, Allyson Luchak and Carchman; it’s produced by Allyson Luchak and Ben Travers. 

Whatever It Takes” screens one more time Friday in SXSW’s documentary spotlight section. The SXSW Film and TV Festival takes place in Austin, Texas from March 8-16.

Watch the clip here: