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Tipsheet

WaPo's Taylor Lorenz Says She Has 'Severe PTSD' Because of Online Harassment

Screenshot/MSNBC

Washington Post journalist Taylor Lorenz explained in an MSNBC interview published Friday that she has suffered "severe PTSD" from social media posts targeting her.

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Discussing online harassment against women, MSNBC reporter Morgan Radford, who was conducting the interview, noted instances in which she has received harassing messages and asked Lorenz if she has had similar experiences.

"This is after I did a report on the increase in the number of white supremacists running for office," Radford said "'Condescending journalist, C-word, deserves a rope.' Obviously, I am a person of color. Obviously, there's a reference to a noose. Are you getting messages like these?"

Lorenz then read aloud a few tweets directed at both herself and her family.

"Yep. 'Hey, nice job on that story, you soulless effing [bleep],'" Lorenz told Radford. "Then also you'll see, there's these – there's many people that are tweeting, you know, here's – these are Taylor Lorenz's loved ones."

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Radford replied, "They have photos. Wow, these are all photos of your family members. Children!"

Lorenz then said children in her family and her parents have been threatened and explained that she has contemplated suicide as a result of the targeted harassment.

"They'll threaten children, they'll threaten my parents," Lorenz said. "I've had to remove every single social tie, I have severe PTSD from this. I've contemplated suicide, it got really bad."

"You feel like any little piece of information that gets out on you will be used by the worst people on the internet to destroy your life and it's so isolating," she continued, sobbing.

Radford added, "and terrifying."

Lorenz said, "it's horrifying." The Washington Post journalist, unable to stop crying, apologized for her sobbing and said, "it's overwhelming, it's really hard."

This is just the latest instance in which Lorenz has claimed to have been a victim of online harassment. Other occurrences include in early March when she tweeted that online harassment has "destroyed" her life and last summer when warned other journalists not to post anything personal online because social media users may sometimes use that information to try and "ruin" their life.

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But Lorenz has previously targeted others herself through her reporting for top U.S. newspapers. Reporting for The Atlantic in 2018, she outed a popular Youtuber for describing things he did not like as "gay" several years before. Earlier that year, the journalist reported for The Daily Beast about how a group of Instagram influencer siblings had not included their mother in family photos posted on the platform. Their mother is a controversial right-wing figure who has previously been accused of being Islamophobic, according to Lorenz’s reporting.

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