I’m going to start documenting acts of hashtag violence and terrorism around the US in the wake of President Elect Trump’s election on Tuesday. I doubt it will be comprehensive as a lot of the reporting of this stuff is on Facebook and Twitter and I don’t have a presence on or really use either of those platforms other than to check a few, select twitter feeds for specific breaking news and other information. So if you all want to send me links to reports in your local media at my contact info here at Balloon Juice, I’ll incorporate them and the reporting when I do the posts. To contact me go up to the quick links, click on contact a front pager, and then click on Adam L Silverman and you should be good to go.
As a reminder hashtag violence and terrorism are:
Hashtag radicalization refers to the process that leads to terrorism, as well as acts of mass violence, that may not have a specific political objective, undertaken as a result of what is learned through the 24/7 news and social media. In this way it is a variant of G2Geek’s stochastic terrorism:
“… the use of mass communications to stir up random lone wolves to carry out violent or terrorist acts that are statistically predictable but individually unpredictable.”
What we need to document and track is threats and actual violence that are, unfortunately, being done either under the mantle of President Elect Trump’s election or in response to it. For instance:
— ThinkProgress (@thinkprogress) November 10, 2016
— Courtney Brooks (@courtneyrbrooks) November 10, 2016
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) November 10, 2016
— Laurie Sterritt (@LaurieSterritt) November 10, 2016
— Laura Keeney (@LauraKeeney) November 10, 2016
You all get the idea. And in case anyone asks, I’m not posting the video of the white man being beaten by several African American men and one woman in Chicago, because the Chicago Police Department has indicated that this fight/beating was the result of a vehicular accident, not politics despite what is being put out on the Internet.
While it’s clear the man in the video was assaulted, it seems from initial police reports that the assault stemmed from a traffic incident. Bystanders are heard taunting him for voting for Trump, but it’s not clear from the video itself or the statements from police whether he did in fact say he voted for Trump, and if he did, whether that was the impetus for the attack.
It’s also not clear, as some publications are claiming, that the battery suspects in the video were supporters of Trump’s Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. One woman can be heard off camera asking, “Are you gonna pay for my shit?” which seems to align with the police statement that the fight stemmed from a traffic accident resulting in property damage.
Further, the racial undertones of some of the posts surrounding the video raises the possibility that the incident is being exploited in order to further enflame tensions on the heels of a charged and contentious election.
I also will do these posts a couple of times a week. I don’t think I’m going to want to do them everyday and I don’t think anyone here is going to want me to. But documenting what is happening and the motivations behind it are important.