The trolls are out. As is typical for them, they’re anonymous, too cowardly to stand behind their words. Just as typically, they’re attacking the most vulnerable targets they can find.
They have faced a barrage of daily insults, seemingly coordinated attacks, creepy DMs, doxing, hacked accounts, and death threats. This is the new normal for young climate leaders online, according to BuzzFeed News interviews with nearly a dozen of the kids and their parents.
It can be hard to tell if these are all “regular” trolls, who just seem to make it their daily routine, or whether some of them are agents in a coordinated campaign by climate shirkers.
Personal attacks have always been a part of the climate denial playbook, even as fossil fuel companies secretly funded campaigns and researchers to question the scientific consensus on climate change.
The original BuzzFeed article is thorough, with many examples. Here is an example of the type of thing the girls are facing.
On the morning of August 25, 11-year-old Lilly Platt tweeted a video clip of a Brazilian Amazon tribe speaking out against deforestation. Awareness of the Amazon wildfires was already at a fever pitch, and the tweet exploded. Then, within an hour, a swarm of troll accounts started flooding her mentions with porn.
This post is just a heads up. I’m hoping you will go to the BuzzFeed article for the rest of the story.
Here’s a related story in the Irish Times that looks at the motivations of the people who attack these children. Why is Greta Thunberg so triggering for certain men?