Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Least Surprising Story Of The Week

From the NYT:
Obama’s Twitter Debut, @POTUS, Attracts Hate-Filled Posts

When President Obama sent his inaugural Twitter post from the Oval Office on Monday, the White House heralded the event with fanfare, posting a photograph of him perched on his desk tapping out his message on an iPhone.

The @POTUS account — named for the in-house acronym derived from “President of the United States” — would “serve as a new way for President Obama to engage directly with the American people, with tweets coming exclusively from him,” a White House aide wrote that day.

But it took only a few minutes for Mr. Obama’s account to attract racist, hate-filled posts and replies. They addressed him with racial slurs and called him a monkey. One had an image of the president with his neck in a noose.

The posts reflected the racial hostility toward the nation’s first black president that has long been expressed in stark terms on the Internet, where conspiracy theories thrive and prejudices find ready outlets. But the racist Twitter posts are different because now that Mr. Obama has his own account, the slurs are addressed directly to him, for all to see.

Within minutes of Mr. Obama’s first, cheerful post — “Hello, Twitter! It’s Barack. Really!” it began — Twitter users lashed out in sometimes profanity-laced replies that included exhortations for the president to kill himself and worse.

One person posted a doctored image of Mr. Obama’s famous campaign poster, instead showing the president with his head in a noose, his eyes closed and his neck appearing broken as if he had been lynched. Instead of the word “HOPE” in capital letters as it appeared on the campaign poster, the doctored image had the words “ROPE.”

The accompanying message said “#arrestobama #treason we need ‘ROPE FOR CHANGE.’ ” It was addressed to @POTUS by a user calling himself @jeffgully49, who has posted other images of Mr. Obama in a noose, and whose Twitter profile picture shows Mr. Obama behind bars. “We still hang for treason, don’t we?” his post said.

The writer, Jeff Gullickson of Minneapolis, subsequently posted on Thursday that his reply to Mr. Obama had earned him a visit from the Secret Service at home. Reached for comment, Mr. Gullickson responded by asking in an email how much The New York Times would pay him for an interview.
The Right long ago lost all pretext of civility and has fully embraced their Inner Klansman.

Twitter is the internet's roadhouse bathroom wall.

And -- surprise! -- it turns out the place where these two things intersect is the shittiest digital sewer on Earth.

Now, about that conversation about race we're always just about to have...



Kathleen O'Neill said...

While I am pleasantly surprised that a mainstream media outlet even reported this (print is much better than the network/cable/local news media regarding this), I have to take exception to this statement:

"The posts reflected the racial hostility toward the nation’s first black president that has long been expressed in stark terms on the Internet,"

In reality, that hostility has been expressed by Republicans in the media, in emails, in town hall meetings, during State of the Union addresses, etc etc etc. I wish the Times would explore that in more detail, and if it has I stand corrected.

Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...

Holy Haruhi! Did this Gullickson dude just step out of a time machine?

I voted Green in both 2008 and 2012, and Obama is not my favorite Prez, but this crap is just ridiculous.

Even if I felt such things as Gullickson does, I would not embarrass myself by voicing them, especially if they were the sort of comments which might draw a visit from the Secret Squirrels.

Also, I can't help but notice Gullickson, despite calling for the death of the President, was NOT choke-held or Tased or shot by the Secret Squirrels. I guess at all levels, the cops treat us palefaces differently than they treat our duskier fellow humans.

Heywood J. said...

I think this is why the Public Shaming guy finally gave up -- the Twittards have no shame. In light of the high-profile firings of other Twitter maroons, it would be a damn fine thing if someone figured out what business this Gullickson asshole works for, and shames them into firing him (or if he's self-employed, boycotting him). Since these jerkoffs refuse to do the right thing and get fatal nutsack cancer, it's the only way to right the universal balance.

Pamela Merritt said...

We know who they are. Because they tell us, constantly and in all caps.

Jerry B said...

If the Chief Justice had a twitter account the President could just RT them over to Roberts with the # Post Racial.