Sometimes online hate mobs are really easy to anticipate. I’m expecting one today. Why?
A screenshot of an email from a twitter report showing my reporting of Andy Ngô was successful, and his account is locked
Translated, this says, “thank you for your report. We have locked the account after our review showed that some of our rules have been violated.” As it turns out, it’s still against Twitter’s rules to deadname trans people.
When you defend yourself against hate, you can expect a backlash in the form of hate. But that doesn’t mean we should stop fighting hate. I’m bracing myself in anticipation of outrage today, for having the temerity to suggest that Twitter upholds its own terms of service. How extreme!
How do I prepare for online hate mobs? Well, first of all, I’m not actually on Twitter. All of my posts now are driven through integrations, and I don’t look at my notifications. I know it’s not popular to suggest that ignoring hate works, but actually, in this case, not looking at it yourself and having friends who can keep an eye on any threats helps a ton. Preparing my friends, family, and employer for possible hate mobs is also useful. In this case, the pattern is already well-understood and clear: the backlash should not be taken seriously and any clear threats should be reported to the police.
In this case, I’m stepping in front of it by calling out the behavior. We know that the reaction by many of these far-right radicals to even the slightest inconvenience is an attempt at intimidation. They’ll use lies, take things out of context, and try to generate hate mobs in an attempt to punish the “transgressor” for daring to suggest they deserve equal treatment. I’m timestamping this. If no hate comes, then great! If hate does come, then here I am saying it’s coming, and saying why it’s coming, so that its impact is blunted and its consequences are trivialized.
With the rapid devolution of American civil rights, those who champion equality and speak out against hate will find themselves under increasingly vicious online attacks. We cannot let that silence us, because silence is the goal. Hate can’t defeat us, but we can defeat hate.