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The Internet’s worst people have a new woman to hate: Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones

Leslie Jones, badass
Leslie Jones, badass

[UPDATE: Milo has been banned for good from Twitter. My thoughts here.]

More than a year and a half of manbaby whining wasn’t enough to derail the opening weekend of the Ghostbusters reboot: the film took in a greater-than-expected $46 million in the US, and Sony is already talking about a sequel.

And so the Lady-Ghostbuster-haters have returned to their roots. And by that I mean harassing women. The woman they’ve chosen to target this time? Leslie Jones, who, in the tiny minds of her harassers, has two strikes against her: 1) she’s one of the stars of the Ghostbusters reboot and 2) she’s black.

The harassment campaign seems to have started in earnest yesterday morning, not long after “journalist” and Internet Nazi apologist Milo Yiannopoulos posted his, er, review of Ghostbusters on Breitbart, singling out Jones as “the worst of the lot. The actress is spectacularly unappealing, even relative to the rest of the odious cast.”

After this, the deluge. Racist Twitter goons swarmed Jones, attacking her as a “coon” and a “savage,” and comparing her to Harambe the ape; one critic, Jones reported, sent her “a pic with semen on my face. I’m tryin to figure out what human means.”

Taken aback at the sheer nastiness of the attacks, Jones started posting screenshots of some of the most blatantly racist abuse.

Did Milo and his Twitter goons organize this campaign of abuse? I don’t know. But he definitely poured fuel on the fire.

After Jones reported him on Twitter for abuse, Milo (or someone working for Breitbart Tech, which Milo ostensibly runs) assigned a Breitbart Tech “reporter” to write a “news” article about this momentous event. No, really.

When asked for official comment on his blocking by Jones this is what Milo said: “She must have read my review! Honestly, this is why I say feminism is cancer. She used to be funny but being involved in a social justice dumpster fire like Ghostbusters has reduced her to the status of just another frothing loon on Twitter.”

Further ridiculing Jones, Milo said, “Imagine it: the star of a Hollywood blockbuster sitting at home reporting random people on social media for saying her movie sucked. Sad!”

Imagine the editor of Breitbart Tech assigning a reporter to interview him about being blocked and reported on Twitter. Beyond sad.

Milo then Tweeted screenshots of some obviously fake Tweets purportedly from Jones that some of her haters had conjured up and posted on Twitter.

https://twitter.com/Nero/status/755255883446312960

https://twitter.com/Nero/status/755256958828089344

https://twitter.com/Nero/status/755258759748915201

Truly a class act, all the way.

After many hours of this sort of abuse, Jones responded to the hate with a series of heartfelt tweets.

The haters gloated over their “victory.”

https://twitter.com/GamingAndPandas/status/755277067084640256

If you’re on Twitter, show your support for Jones in the #LoveForLeslieJ hashtag.

And consider sending a strong but politely worded note to Twitter CEO  Jack Dorsey (@jack) to let him know that Twitter’s continued inability or unwillingness to rein in its nastiest abusers and trolls is not acceptable.

Twitter can be a marvellous platform to share thoughts and jokes and links and ridiculous gifs. It can also be the enabler of vicious campaigns of harassment and abuse. Twitter provided the platform that made the racist harassment campaign against Jones possible.

Get it together, Twitter, or Leslie Jones won’t be the only one signing off.

H/T — Thanks to everyone who brought this to my attention. Thanks to Colby Klaus, whose post on the Amala Network offered a detailed timeline of the abuse and highlighted Milo’s role in all this, which I drew on in writing this post. And thanks to @TakedownMRAs for staying on top of this and pointing out Lo-ping’s gloating Tweet.

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Superstitious Skeptic
Superstitious Skeptic
5 years ago

I just wanna hug her and give her flowers and bake her a very large cake of her choosing. 🙁

Fishy Goat
Fishy Goat
5 years ago

What utter wastes of human matter. 🙁

Jamesworkshop
Jamesworkshop
5 years ago

http://i0.wp.com/www.amalanetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Screen-Shot-2016-07-18-at-7.31.01-PM.png

http://40.media.tumblr.com/483c7ade6b19f7c36f9e7c2ddfd643df/tumblr_n37vpaWLrd1r4xlppo1_250.png

Nobody deserves that kind of treatment.

I wasn’t surprised that Nero was broadcasting the event to a wider audience, maybe he didn’t start it, but he kept it going much longer than it would have otherwise.

Zemyla
Zemyla
5 years ago

I am going to blame the admins of Twitter and Reddit and Facebook for this. Because if they had done their job several years ago, and nipped this shit in the bud instead of hiding behind the flimsy fig leaf of “All speech is free” and “Neo-Nazis have valuable input to conversations!” then we wouldn’t have this vast evil tree dropping its rotten fruits on people.

Alas, though, I fear that even if they decided to try and eliminate the harassers, the roots are sunk in too deep now.

AsAboveSoBelow
AsAboveSoBelow
5 years ago

Milo is the lowest of the low. May everything he steps on, sits on, or lies on be Legos.

Leftwingfox
Leftwingfox
5 years ago

Milo Yiannopoulis: The bag of shit on the doorstep of life.

Iseult The Idle
Iseult The Idle
5 years ago

I avoid Twitter as a rule. There are a couple of Twitterers (or “Twits” as I affectionately, swear to god, call them) that I keep up with because they’re amusing; but in general, you will not find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy anywhere this side of Mos Eisley.

That said, this is a shame.

J^3 (@JoeKlemmer)
J^3 (@JoeKlemmer)
5 years ago

Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones calls for stronger Twitter guidelines after racist abuse | The Verge

JustMitch
JustMitch
5 years ago

Re: Milo “review”

He sure uses a lot of words to say “I hate women.”

rugbyyogi
rugbyyogi
5 years ago

He is just so gross. Just disgusting.

And my ex likes this guy and three days a week he’s exposing my son to this shit.

Does anyone know if UK custody takes account of stuff like this?

rugbyyogi
rugbyyogi
5 years ago

And then there’s shit like this, too: what the hell is wrong with this world?

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/world/mother-and-young-daughters-stabbed-at-french-alps-resort-for-being-scantily-dressed-a3299451.html

I’ve been in a bad mood since the person on checkout at the store yesterday was talking about end times and no peace til Jesus comes back to rule. She was wearing a hijab, so I assume Muslim. I had no idea Muslims (some fundie Muslims??) had this in their theology. I was grateful to be away from that stuff where I’m from (from fundie Christians) only to find it’s wherever you go.

Zatar
Zatar
5 years ago

Milo is such a smug hateful person. Even the picture in the article defending him makes him look unlikable because there’s no way to make him look likable to someone who isn’t as hateful and pathetic as he is.

bekabot
bekabot
5 years ago

“Milo Yiannopoulis: The bag of shit on the doorstep of life.”

Very well said. Strike a match and add it to that ont bs fuvg and I’ll stand by and cheer.

Nequam
Nequam
5 years ago

I don’t think anything’s going to happen at Twitter until Jack Dorsey’s wife starts getting rape threats. Or he gets swatted.

chippywillbethere
chippywillbethere
5 years ago

Milo Yiannopoulis: Winner of the “Most Punchable Face” award.

Also, I am never on twitter but I am definitely going to send some positive vibes Leslie’s way.

Mels
Mels
5 years ago

I hope this gets wide enough coverage to provoke Twitter into getting off their asses. I know I shouldn’t expect much, but it would be nice if *some* good came of this.

Poor Leslie. 🙁

repentantphonebooth
5 years ago

I don’t know how you folks feel but I am wading in and fighting back. I understand the ‘don’t feed the trolls’ thing, but that’s not what Jones seems to want, and no one should have to put up with this alone.

repentantphonebooth
5 years ago

I went to /pol/ 8chan and /pol/ 4chan and found them gloating about the pictures they sent in there. There is an archived thread called ‘leslie jones meltdown 111’, a picture on impure of a fake newspaper announcing her suicide, and a thread of people sharing the tweets they shared on Jone’s wall. This is infuriating. She was great in Ghostbusters, it was a success, she should be spending this time celebrating. I hope Anita Sarkeesian reached out to her- she has a lot of strong, brilliant women who have gone through a similar thing.

Anonymous Ghosthead
Anonymous Ghosthead
5 years ago

My reporting finger is getting a workout. Although I’m not getting my hopes up about Twitter actually doing anything significant about this.

I used to be part of the organized Ghostbusters fandom. I left it because way too much of it–particularly south of the Mason-Dixon line–is infested with bigots and there’s no doubt in my mind that at least some of the racist shit being tweeted at Leslie Jones was coming from them.

There are decent people in the fandom, quite a few of them, but don’t hold your breath on them coming to get their people. The ones who aren’t being actively hateful are too spineless to say anything to the assholes because they don’t want to start ~drama.~

Judas Peckerwood
5 years ago

Two things that have no place in my life: Twitter and anyone who has even a whiff of MRA/MGTOW stink about them.

Imaginary Petal
Imaginary Petal
5 years ago

My cat has reported Milo and added some of his worst tweets to/about LeslieJ. All cats should do that.

Bina
5 years ago

Ugh. Yeah-Nope needs to get more than just his checkmark revoked…by now, all of his Internet privileges should be ancient history, much like the subject of his monicker.

Meanwhile, for all the butthurt fanboys out there, a Syrian orphan in Turkey has some words for YOU.

banned@4chan.org
banned@4chan.org
5 years ago

She was wearing a hijab, so I assume Muslim. I had no idea Muslims (some fundie Muslims??) had this in their theology.

I know there’s at least one denomination of Christians who have their women cover their hair for modesty, and technically, Jewish women are supposed to do something similar.

However, if you go over the Koran, you’ll find positive depictions of Jesus, including miracles attributed to him that aren’t recorded in the Gospel.

Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

It’s just so heartbreaking reading her tweets and seeing how hurt she is by all this.

Don’t these people have even one scrap of empathy? Would they still be like this if they could look her in the face and see a real person? Is it some weird gaming/on-line culture thing? Is there a generation of people who are so used to slaying pixelated enemies in a computer that they have no concept that there are actual people with feelings? Is this literally a game to them?

The fact that there are people who can not only take pleasure in hurting others, but actually brag about it like its some sort of achievement, I find bewildering. I’m probably falling into some sort of just world fallacy to avoid the despair (and, I admit, anger)

Tabby Lavalamp
Tabby Lavalamp
5 years ago

the film took in a greater-than-expected $46 million in the US

I’ve seen people compare this to the film’s budget and declare it a flop because apparently now movies need to make their budgets back on opening weekend in order to be a success.

That aside, one of the big muckymucks at Twitter tweeted at Leslie Jones asking her to DM him. No, @Jack. This crap has been going on for years. Now that another famous person is making news for this kind of harassment, you want to come to some sort of solution?

Even though this kind of behaviour is against Twitter’s posted rules…

Any accounts and related accounts engaging in the activities specified below may be temporarily locked and/or subject to permanent suspension.

Violent threats (direct or indirect): You may not make threats of violence or promote violence, including threatening or promoting terrorism.
Harassment: You may not incite or engage in the targeted abuse or harassment of others. Some of the factors that we may consider when evaluating abusive behavior include:
if a primary purpose of the reported account is to harass or send abusive messages to others;
if the reported behavior is one-sided or includes threats;
if the reported account is inciting others to harass another account; and
if the reported account is sending harassing messages to an account from multiple accounts.
Hateful conduct: You may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease. We also do not allow accounts whose primary purpose is inciting harm towards others on the basis of these categories.
Multiple account abuse: Creating multiple accounts with overlapping uses or in order to evade the temporary or permanent suspension of a separate account is not allowed.

…the fact that so many of the accounts tweeting racist bile at Jones are still active shows that this is just face-saving bullshit from Twitter. If they were serious about these rules, Milo wouldn’t still have an account. If they were serious about this, Gamergate wouldn’t have lasted two weeks.

I’ve been saying this for a while now but it seems like harassment is Twitter’s business model. That many tweets going out is “engagement” and that many sockpuppets are new and active users.

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