Internet Commenters Are Us?
Amy Myers, the sophomore who challenged Michele Bachmann to a debate on the Constitution, has been the target of vile comments on the Internet.
Balloon Juice‘s Dennis G. is outraged that we’re not outraged:
“A lot of them are calling me a whore,” 16-year-old Amy Myers said, referring to anonymous comments reacting to online news reports about her challenge to the 55-year-old Minnesota congresswoman.
Amy and Wayne Myers said the comments on conservative websites alarmed them most. Several commenters threatened to publish the Myers’ home address.
Others threatened violence, including rape, they said.
“They’re targeting me just because I’m challenging Bachmann,” Amy said.
So . . . the “wingnuts” in question are unidentified anonymous website commenters. Anyone who has been on any of these forums over the years knows how horrific they can be. It’s not limited to conservative sites–or, indeed, to political discussions. Check out the vile comments on an Auburn-Alabama, Yankees-Red Sox, or Cowboys-Redskins thread some time.
Surely, someone who writes at Balloon Juice, whose comment section is a free-for-all, is aware of this Internet tradition? Not, apparently, Dennis:
Perhaps it is only 27% of these fucks who respond to any moment of cognitive dissonance with threats of violence. I think it may be most of of them, but lets go with 27% of TeaBaggers who make up 27% of Republicans, who are 27% of American voters. Sure it is a small and loud group, but it is still way too many folks dedicated to violence as their first option in any political discussion.
And yet, no outrage. IOKIYAR is a fact and not an acronym of the internets. I would think that threatening to rape a child might generate a little blow back, but it seems that threats of violence—including threats to rape children—really are OK if you are a Republican. As the kids say: WTF!!
I will stand by this statement of Republican condemnation until until a Republican of some note decides to condemn Backmann’s defenders. It would be nice if it was the Congresswomen, but I do not think she has the sand to do so.
Is directing such vitriol at a 16-year-old girl–let alone who’s done nothing more than politely imply that a public figure is a moron and an embarrassment to her gender–disgusting? Of course. Do I condemn it? Sure. But, really, we’re going to hold national political figures responsible for anonymous Internet comments made by . . . well, somebody? And require them to issue a statement of condemnation every time someone who might be associated with their political ideas posts something mean on the Internet? As the kids say: WTF!!