Opinion

When the Trolling Bites the Trolls

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Posted: May 04, 2021 12:01 AM
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When the Trolling Bites the Trolls

Source: AP Photo/Anjum Naveed

Harassment online can be awful, and media stories about people being harassed online are always played to up the emotion at much as possible. Kids piling on other kids, adults swarming over people in an attempt to get them fired and ruin their lives. I don’t know if the Internet created horrible people or simply empowered horrible people to expand their reach. Which is the chicken and which is the egg doesn’t really matter, this cycle is now self-sustaining. A story this week highlights how one person’s harasser is another’s hero depending on their politics.

Of course, unlike the people the liberal mob goes after, the directors of the outrage mob have the media to protect them. A woman named Savannah Sparks is apparently known for “calling out health care misinformation online” is a darling of the left. In addition to sending a swarming mob after people she deems medical heretics, she also goes after people “bragging about skirting rules.” Obey or else.

She apparently is a doctor of pharmacy, which is neither here nor there in the grand scheme of things. She’s not an epidemiologist, which is usually a criticism thrown at anyone who doesn’t toe the liberal line on COVID in the media. Her claims of medical heresy stem from disagreeing with the latest decrees from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is something the left-wing media absolutely loves.

The specifics are irrelevant, but Sparks has stepped away from her social media direction of mob outrage because she’s been the recipient of attacks and threats herself. One side is portrayed as perfectly valid to attack, the other a sweet, innocent victim by the media.

NBC News reports Sparks “has become a prolific watchdog on TikTok for those she says are trying to spread misinformation — especially health care workers spreading bogus information about Covid-19.” What made her an expert on a virus is not clear from NBC, probably not relevant to them. 

Sparks would, according to NBC, go after people saying things she did not like. “Using public information and social media,” they write, “Sparks said she would identify the TikTokers making dubious claims or bragging about skirting rules and contact their employers or, in the most egregious cases, their respective field’s licensing board in an attempt to hold them accountable.”

It’s one thing to disagree with someone, it’s another to use that disagreement to ruin their lives.

While NBC doesn’t explicitly embrace the ruining of lives by Sparks, they implicitly do by writing a favorable piece on her where they paint her as the victim. After unleashing a mob on people, she is now stepping back. “Sparks posted a video announcing she was stepping away from TikTok because of an onslaught of harassment,” NBC says.

A big dose of her own medicine anyone could have seen coming.

I don’t condone any online threats. I get my fair share, as does every conservative. But I also don’t shed a tear when someone sends a mob after others and gets swept up in the whirlwind they’ve created. 

Of course, since attention is the heroin of the digital world, Sparks returned to her account after 2 weeks claiming it was her “duty to stand up and do the right thing.” Whatever.

The real problem is the media. They now employ people to do the exact same thing. NBC News has someone called Brandy Zadrosny to target anyone who displeases the left, the New York Times has Taylor Lorenz, CNN has a team of “reporters” who will track down people who dare create memes leftists don’t like. When they’re called out, suddenly these leftists, in unison, cry foul.

It’s one thing to complain about something awful people are doing, it’s another to complain about it only when it’s done to you while defending it when it’s done to people you don’t like. It’s hard to have sympathy for people like that. 

Online trolls are awful people. Whether they were always awful or the anonymity of the Internet created them is irrelevant. Harassment is wrong, as is trying to destroy people’s lives. When random people do it, if they do it against the “correct” people, they become heroes. When “journalists” do it, it’s a problem. It’s also nearly impossible to care when it comes back to bite them.

Derek Hunter is the host of a free daily podcast (subscribe!), host of a daily radio show on WCBM in Maryland, and author of the book, Outrage, INC., which exposes how liberals use fear and hatred to manipulate the masses. Follow him on Twitter at @DerekAHunter.