As long as we’re playing “add to the hypo”, I’ll grant your addition, and add this: Those that the woman struck were standing by silently, watching the “pantsing” and doing nothing to assist. In some cases, they actively cheered on the instigator.
Is it now a tougher call as to piling on the woman?
You might think it’s a tougher call, insofar as bystanders have some kind of ethical obligation to intervene when they see someone being physically assaulted in front of them (and when the potential danger involved in intervening is such that not intervening would be cowardice or complicity).
But the problem, then, is that I think you’ve now extended the thought experiment to the point where it has lost contact with the situation it’s supposed to be analogous to. If you believe that everybody reading a comment thread, or writing on it, or whatever level of involvement is supposed to be, has the same sort of ethical obligation to come in to rescue Keith from uncalled-for insults or strawman presentations of his views, then you might find it odd that many people didn’t get involved into Keith started slinging insults based on gender identity or started pulling out the most colorful sorts of schoolyard taunts in order to bash whole groups of people based on their sexuality and suggest, at length, in a stand-alone essay that has nothing directly to do with any kind of personal back-and-forth with Aster, that those groups of people (identified with the crudest sorts of schoolyard taunts) be run out of the anarchist movement.
But what makes you think that there is such an obligation to intervene in such a case?
We are not, after all, talking about a physical assault; we’re talking about people calling each other names over the Internet. Is there some reason why I should feel compelled to put myself in the middle as long as the two parties are only engaged in bagging on each other in an open comment thread?
If you’re going to charge a double-standard, you need a case in which the things being evaluated differently are actually the same. But they’re not the same, and there are obvious reasons why people who do not care to intervene in the purely personal part of the sniping that both Aster and Keith engaged in, and who have no real reason to, might nevertheless have good reasons to get involved once Keith starts slinging the fag-bashing, not to mention the standalone essay-length extended arguments for running large groups of people out of the movement based on their sexuality, gender identity, or racial or sexual politics. (Which was studded with vile insults against all kinds of people, sure, but which was primarily objectionable because of the substantive position taken in it, not because of the tone or diction.)