Bust up the social (justice) media monopoly.
It began days earlier with a story I wrote for The New York Post about President Trump’s followers continuing to support him after Michael Cohen’s guilty plea and Paul Manafort’s conviction. Facebook took that story down from my Facebook page, and others who re-posted it soon found it removed from their pages as well. With the story marked as “spam,” or not meeting “community standards,” I tweeted, then wrote about the experience.
That’s when things got worse. Within hours, an anonymous troll with an account created only a few days earlier went on the attack. The thread tossed false accusations that I withheld information from the book I co-authored this year. The troll and his followers alleged that some Trump supporters who struggled with their decision in the 2016 election and were profiled in the book are actually elected Republican officials who (in the trolls’ opinion) could not possibly have struggled with that decision.
First, that wasn’t true. Half the thesis of the book I co-wrote with Brad Todd, “The Great Revolt: Inside the Populist Coalition Reshaping American Politics,” is that Trump’s polarizing style causes many Republicans to fit uneasily, if at all, into his coalition. Many people in the book were profiled explicitly because they are Republicans, not in spite of it.
Within minutes, the initial Twitter attack was retweeted by other anonymous trolls and online bullies who have attacked my writing before — some continuously since I first reported in the summer of 2016 that this political shift was happening. They demanded that the publications for which I write, including The Post, the Washington Examiner and Crown Publishing, address their allegations or fire me.
The idea that I owed anonymous trolls on Twitter an explanation for the straw-man argument they invented is utterly laughable. But soon enough two things happen. First, they swarm—these brave souls who like to anonymously harass women online prefer to do so in numbers. Second, partisan journalists looking for a scalp join in, which lends it credibility.
Soon the pile-on makes using Twitter miserable.
And then the pile-on becomes literal—physical.
That’s the highly esteemed and estimable Salena Zito, one of America’s two real journalist, to whom I have only one word: Gab, baby.
Okay, okay, that’s two words. Still.