Categories
"ethics" a new woman to hate alt-right anime nazis bullying empathy deficit entitled babies harassment literal nazis lying liars mantrum milo misogyny oppressed white men racism

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.

178 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ moggie

Since the key case of Godfrey -v- Demon (wow, that’s so long ago now) the English courts’ approach to service providers on the Internet has essentially been:

OK, we appreciate there’s too much traffic for you to actively monitor it; but if a victim brings something to your attention then you do have a responsiblity to investigate and remove the offending item if it breaches the law.

They’ll take into account things like how busy something is and available resources in terms of speed of response, but you can’t just wash your hands of it.

ETA: US law is a bit different as they apply ‘carrier immunity’ to internet stuff so it’s like how you can’t sue a phone company of someone harrasses you over the telephone, but the law is constantly evolving.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
5 years ago

Can we ban Bryce yet? He’s been a boring, whiny, ‘splainy, WATMing, victim-blaming waste of bandwidth since the day he Nice Guy™’d his way here, and he’s had a full year of second chances already.

JSun
JSun
5 years ago

It’s interesting to note that this ban came about a week after German police raided the homes of dozens of self-proclaimed neo-nazis. They released a statement on the raids that said, among other things, the allowance of radical hate-speech online usually leads to radical hate-crimes in the real world and that if Twitter wasn’t going to take a stand on people calling themselves nazis, then they would.

lkeke35
lkeke35
5 years ago

I like the idea of sending bad Twitter accounts to a kind of basement where they don’t know they are there. They can type to their hearts content, but no one will ever see or read anything they put online. It also has the added benefit that thye won’t drop an account and start a new one because they wont realize the ir account has been banned or shunted elsewhere.

This is kind of what I get to do on my blog. People I did not approve are banned to the spam folder or go to the approval folder. Anyone bansihed to the spam folder doesnt know it, unless they keep checking the blog for their response to appear. (it doesn’t.)

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
5 years ago

@JSun : do you have a link with more information for that ? It look like a good news at least.

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
5 years ago

Thanks.

chippywillbethere
chippywillbethere
5 years ago

Here is the link to Breitbart’s reporting on Milo’s ban. I assume that we should probably see an article here soon about it (I hope). Once again Milo is questioning his free speech being taken away and somehow they are trying to make the ban seem anti-gay? I really don’t know how Breitbart and Milo think.

http://www.breitbart.com/milo/2016/07/19/breaking-milo-suspended-twitter-20-minutes-party/

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
5 years ago

I really don’t know how Breitbart and Milo think.

They don’t.

Silent Spring
Silent Spring
5 years ago

Read almost any comments section pertaining to the Leslie Jones twitter attacks and you’ll be presented with the same ‘advice’ (ie, concern trolling) again and again: don’t feed the trolls. Delete your twitter account, stop using social media, just stop having a voice period. Just be a perpetually silent, submissive victim. Don’t ruin the trolls’ fun by fighting back, campaigning for tighter security on Internet communities, or exposing them to the general public for the human shit stains that they are.

Especially in light of the three years of stalking that Chanty Binx was forced to endure, Leslie Jones vs Milo Yiannopoulos is positive proof that ‘don’t feed the trolls’ doesn’t work. In fact, the entire philosophy being used exclusively in our current political climate to empower MRAs, the alt-right, etc. and silence their victims.

To sum it all up, don’t feed the trolls: organized harassment campaign across social media that could have lasted for months, even years. Fight back: Twitter upgrades security, one of the biggest names in Gamer Gate gets booted.

dreemr
dreemr
5 years ago

@Weatherwax

“I don’t recall McCarthy’s body shape being fuel for even one joke.”

This is heartening for me. While I have enjoyed McCarthy’s performances in general, her indulgence in “conventionally unattractive” body-shaming humor has always left a bad aftertaste for me. It’s one of the reasons I don’t seek out her films after a very brief surge of loving her in “Bridesmaids”.

I would love to see her leave this particular type of humor behind, she’s funny in her own right without that hacky schtick. I may change my mind and go see Ghostbusters at the theater rather than wait for it to be available on streaming video.

repentantphonebooth
5 years ago

now what they likely want to do is get leslie to delete her account. that would somehow justify this in their minds.

EpicurusHog
EpicurusHog
5 years ago

Once again Milo is questioning his free speech being taken away and somehow they are trying to make the ban seem anti-gay?

Milo’s douchebaggery level just keeps increasing. It’s through the fucking roof.

Using his sexuality as a shield while encouraging racist and misogynistic harassment. Does that mean I get to call ol’ Milo a SJW now? Because I’m pretty sure that fits at least one of their definitions.

It seems like some variation of this shit takes place every other week now. Twitter really needs to find some countermeasure to this before most of its userbase jumps ship and it turns into a barren wasteland where only the distant sound of trolls eating each other breaks the silence. Whichever it goes with, it can’t happen soon enough.

Mike
Mike
5 years ago

“Don’t feed the trolls” doesn’t do shit. The trolls are mostly putting on a show for each other.

Exactly this; the trolls don’t need to be fed by their targets because they feed off of each other. I’d imagine it’s kind of like some colony of really gross bugs that survives the winter by eating each others’ poop.

ColeYote
ColeYote
5 years ago

… and somehow they are trying to make the ban seem anti-gay? I really don’t know how Breitbart and Milo think.

I’ve been called anti-gay for saying Milo Yiannopoulos is a POS of the highest order. I am gay, so clearly they aren’t concerned with facts. Just their persecution complex.

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
5 years ago

“Don’t feed the troll” work on attention-seekers. But not every troll is an attention seeker.

Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

Whilst “Dont feed the trolls” is a pithy phrase, the euphemistic language obscures both what’s actually happening and what people are in fact expecting victims to do.

Of course it is entirely up to the victim how they deal with abuse and it’s not for anyone else to prescribe what is an ‘acceptable’ response.

But if we use plain language that phrase actually means:

“You are obliged to remain passive and not react in anyway in the face of targeted abuse of the most hurtful, vicious and dangerous kind regardless of the harm it causes you; otherwise you, rather than the abusers, somehow bear responsibility for that abuse”

http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/2f/96/5f/2f965fbfaf3b608bef8e2afb36a97f31.jpg

Weatherwax
Weatherwax
5 years ago

@ dreemr

I agree. It’s never been enough to put me off watching her perform, but a little bit of me dies every time a script goes there. This is why I think Ghostbusters is proving to be just as subversive as the MRAs insist it is. Not by being humourless and preachy, but by providing an example of a story about four women that does the following:

– brings the funny
– does not pit them against each other a la cat fight
– does not require each one to be a type, but instead offers four complete human beings
– the actors do not conform to the Hollywood ideal of womanhood (early twenties and so thin they’d blow away in a light breeze), but this is not remarked upon (ie the characters are ordinary, not “ugly”)
– does not sexually objectify them
– provides a plot that does not revolve around any of them seeking a man, marriage & babies (not that there’s anything wrong with that, but women are interested in other things as well)
– the only sexual objectification going on is directed at Chris Hemsworth, for laughs; the butt of the joke is the objectifier and she is called on it by a sympathetic character

I could go on, but you get the gist.

dreemr
dreemr
5 years ago

Thank you @Weatherwax, I really like what you’ve outlined here as strengths of the movie. I was underwhelmed by the trailer, but also I just don’t see as many films at the movie theater as I used to, what with it being an hour’s drive each way, and having so many streaming options.

But everything I’ve heard so far (with the exception of that terrible trailer) has sounded very positive.

Sounds like there might be some freshness to that script after all.

repentantphonebooth
5 years ago

There should be a censor setting for trolls that isn’t a block. You click the button and they go off to a thread where you no longer see what they are saying or receive alerts but they can keep screaming to their friends.

ALW
ALW
5 years ago

On the ‘don’t feed the troll’ thing, I feel like it made sense in the context of old-school forums dedicated to specific things. Back then you would typically have a single troll in a largely peaceful community, the troll would often be a sock for a real member of the community and would troll by starting offensive threads rather than picking on one particular user. It made sense for the rest of the community to deal with them by ignoring and carrying on as normal.

Modern social media bears absolutely no resemblance to the boards of old, and to be honest I feel like even using the term ‘trolling’ to cover the vile abuse that gets heaped on people is downplaying that abuse, making it seem like a tasteless joke rather than the deliberate, unrelenting campaign of harassment that it is.

repentantphonebooth
5 years ago

@ALW, maybe they should be called ogres.

Freddymurray
Freddymurray
5 years ago

My brother and I figured out how useless the “don’t feed the trolls” advice was at an early age. This was pre-Internet though (god I feel old, and I’m not even 30 yet), so I’m referring to bullies in the real world.

The grown ups would always say how bullies only do what they do because they felt weak and helpless in their lives and so they picked on others to make themselves feel more powerful. Therefore, so they claimed, ignoring their antics would deprive them of that power and they would leave you alone.

My brother didn’t see it that way, claiming that if he tried to ignore the people that were irritating him they would just get louder. That’s exactly what happens in cyberspace, with trolls doubling down and lashing out at anything around them.

It’s this sort crap that keeps me away from social media, and society as a whole for that matter.

Scildfreja
Scildfreja
5 years ago

I think you’re right about where the “don’t feed the trolls” meme comes from, @ALW – it’s from a time before the various social zones of the internet had merged into the MegaUltraSuperBoard we have now. Now they’ve got strength in their numbers, and they don’t need the attention of their victims to keep motivated. They’ve got the attention of their fellow trolls, ogres and other assorted bridge-dwellers to keep them going.

There’s not really any good strategy for dealing with them, all the more frustrating since they enjoy that position so much. It’s where they get their superiority complex from – “I can shut down any conversation you’re having whenever I want, I can dictate your life online, I can make your life a living hell, and there’s nothing you can do to me until you get on my level.”

Fortunately it’s a very narrow and blinkered way of living, ultimately self-defeating. Just sucks to be caught in the blast zone of their self-destruction.

sevenofmine
5 years ago

There’s definitely a breed of troll that you deal with by not acknowledging them. They’re the ones who show up in a Twitch chat and say “This game sucks”.

This shit is not only not trolling and not only doesn’t stop when it’s ignored, the target’s silence is its goal. They do this knowing full well that, if their target speaks out, there will be a chorus of “Don’t feed the trolls”. They know full well that they can count on their target’s ostensible allies to provide them cover by making the conversation all about how their target is victim-ing wrong instead of about how bigoted abuse should get you permanently banned from Twitter.

%d bloggers like this: