By Sarah B. Scott, New York magazineThe world is a dangerous place, but in the past week it seems like everyone is being arrested.
The FBI arrested the president of a small startup, the mayor of a large city, a former NFL player, and several politicians in the UK.
These men were arrested after a series of tweets in which they criticized the current state of the internet, and expressed concern over the possibility of an online war between the governments of the United States and Russia.
The arrests were all done in the last month or so, but their impact is evident: the men, along with others like them, have become known as internet “trolls,” a label that has been used to define the people and groups they have targeted and mocked.
While the term has been around for years, it seems that its popularity has surged in the wake of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, as people who have been arrested or targeted in connection with it have spoken out and expressed their outrage.
Twitter, a social network that has long been a safe haven for people to discuss online harassment, was among the first to react to the recent wave of internet trolling.
In early October, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey called the movement “an act of terror” and called for a ban on Twitter accounts that “advocate hate speech or violent action.”
The company has since deleted tweets containing the #Trolls tag, and on Thursday it announced that it would be removing all “hate speech” accounts in the coming days.
Meanwhile, Facebook has been the target of an ongoing campaign to delete the posts of people it has labeled “trolling” and “criminals.”
The hashtags hashtag and #Trolling hashtag have become so popular that they’ve become an online meme, and the hashtag has been retweeted nearly 25 million times.
Facebook, Twitter and Google have all been accused of censoring the #MillionManMarch, a protest against police brutality and mass incarceration that took place in cities across the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada on October 19.
But the hashtags have become a much larger and more visible target for online trolls, who have used them to target the targets of their ire, and who have taken advantage of the movement to amplify their own messages.
One hashtag, #TrolledNews, has grown to include nearly 20 million tweets, according to the data provider Alexa, and a screenshot of one of the tweets that has circulated widely shows the hashtag’s tweet about the march’s organizer, the human rights activist Michael Brown, in the middle of a tweet that was meant to condemn the group.
The #MulledNews hashtag, meanwhile, has become a shorthand for any news article about a person who has been targeted by the internet.
One of the most well-known trolls, @Hussein_Nahla, who has claimed responsibility for a number of violent attacks on Twitter users in recent years, has been one of those targeted by #MollifiedNews, which has spawned a variety of memes and hashtags.
Twitter has also been accused by some people of censuring the #GrowTheFuckUp hashtag, which they claim is a reference to the fact that Twitter has not been active in fighting the #GamerGate harassment campaign, in which thousands of women have claimed that the company’s support for video game journalism has made them feel unsafe.
Twitter did not respond to a request for comment on the #Husens_Nayla hashtag.
But in October, the social network said that it was investigating whether it had taken action against accounts that had been used in the harassment of a woman for calling out an abusive comment made by another user.
A spokesperson for Twitter said the company would “review the account that was reported for violating our policies,” and that “if we believe we have been inadvertently misused in a way that we do not like, we will take action to get it removed.”
It remains to be seen whether these new efforts will stop the #SJW-inspired attacks on other targets, but the hashtag, like the movement itself, has caught on.
When the #LolitaGate scandal first broke in May, it became a rallying cry for the hashtag.
In September, the #OpLolitagate hashtag, a reference in popular culture to the “LolitoGate” scandal in which the #gamergate hashtag, and its associated hashtag #OpTrolling, became fodder for an online campaign against the movement, and eventually a full-scale campaign of harassment against women in the gaming community.
The hashtag has since gained a reputation as a rallying point for those who have targeted the feminist movement, including a Twitter user named @tweetspewt, who was accused by @karlene_gutierrez_s_author of being part of the @Op