There Are A Lot Of Lonely People Online
July 16, 2019 8:21 AM   Subscribe

In 2017, I started getting regular messages from an anonymous Twitter user telling me my religion was ‘evil’. Eventually I responded – and he agreed to meet face to face. Hussein Kesvani meets his Islamophobic troll. Kesvani discusses the article and growing up Online and Muslim in suburban U.K on ‘What A Hell Of A Way To Die.’ (59:09)
posted by The Whelk (9 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I used to be just idealistic enough to believe that we could innoculate ourselves against the threat of weaponized Internet misinformation by making personal connections with the community it works against.

Then I read this article.

Its disheartening to see how we use the tools at our disposal.
posted by eisenkrote at 8:37 AM on July 16 [5 favorites]

This is a good companion to the most recent episode of Reply All, about YouTuber Carlos Maza's feud with Steven Crowder. That goes in-depth on YT's recommendations sidebar
posted by Maaik at 9:34 AM on July 16 [7 favorites]

It's like a horror movie. I can't imagine how discouraging it must be for a Muslim or other target of all this hate to find out that the individual agents targeting you are these pathetic losers who are themselves drowning in the garbage they spew. How do you fight that?
posted by straight at 10:29 AM on July 16 [6 favorites]

[One comment deleted. This isn't a good thread for broad general anti-religious sentiment, when this is about specific prejudice, dangers and harms that Muslim people are subject to. Let's stick to that.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 10:57 AM on July 16 [12 favorites]

(Ayaan Hirsi Ali married Niall Ferguson? I didn't know that.)
posted by doctornemo at 12:18 PM on July 16

Interesting and ultimately sad article. The troller vanishes, after a glimpse of his sad life. And we get another glimpse of the idiot YouTube right.
posted by doctornemo at 12:19 PM on July 16 [1 favorite]

I think that word before "troll" in the description is supposed to be Islamophobic
posted by numaner at 2:35 PM on July 16

Stop trying to make me feel sorry for these assholes. I know plenty of people who have gone through painful divorces and/or lost their jobs and yet still manage to keep "harrasing people because of their religion" off their list of hobbies. It's frankly insulting to those people who are struggling financially to read stories where the thesis is basically "well he's having a hard time so it's no wonder he became racist."

It should be a surprise.
posted by East14thTaco at 2:58 PM on July 16 [15 favorites]

I’d wager that guys like this True Brit character exist by the thousands - white, middle-aged, jobless YouTube junkies with ample free time and no sense of purpose other than to regurgitate pre-packaged bigotry. I think that’s the part that really gets me - they couldn’t have come up with this garbage on their own, yet they spout these identical talking points as if they’re original thoughts. It’s exhausting to constantly see worn-out Racist Uncle ideologies go viral.
posted by tantrumthecat at 7:46 PM on July 16

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