Tumblr, toxicity, memes, and dada

Continuing the discussion from Across the nation, Jewish community centers threatened:

I’m running two bots on Tumblr, because it’s long-form, as opposed to Twitter 140-char limitation.

I’m not really “involved” in Tumblr community in any other way, so I’m curious about what you experienced, and how.


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Death threats, continuous harassment, and circular firing squads. Hypocritical social justice activists. A cesspit of antisemitism. Winking acceptance by the company staff towards explicit Neo-Nazis and their attacks on Jews and Rromani, to the point where I had to manage a centralized Block List for the protection of the Jewish community against serial harassers (who would use the list as a friending mechanism…). Utter apathy by those who say that they were for justice and equality for all, but who showed their own bigotry when Jews were the topic of discussion. Disgust at seeing Kapos suck up to those who were calling for their extermination.

But I also made friends there, and had a few shining moments where I managed to help and educate people, and reach out and connect with others in ways that helped them. I met my fiancee because she did the same to me. Plus the ability to help those who needed it, and to forge a sense of community out of those who were under siege because of what they were born as.


Ugh. Shudder.



I’m on Tumblr for entertainment so I’m mostly following younger fans and creators which means I see this interesting mix of incredible creativity, great support for progressive ideals, and incredibly toxic perversion of social justice terminology in the great internet “gotcha” game.

At it’s best you get collaborative fiction like Stabby the Space Roomba (http://jumpingjacktrash.tumblr.com/post/154497837699/dearthoughthenightisgone-petralemaitre/embed) which started out as an idle thought a couple months ago. Following that you then get stuff like Stabby the Space Roomba/Star Wars fanfic (http://gallusrostromegalus.tumblr.com/post/156094971683/the-last-hair-bender-copperbadge-peradii/embed) which just came into being a couple days ago.

At its worst you get people with no sense of scale calling for the doxing of a ten-year-old kid because they tried on a kimono at a Japanese heritage festival.


Considering everything in the first paragraph, the second came as a surprise. I wouldnt have stuck around.

I wouldn’t expect you to understand the idea of reaching out to non-Orthodox Jews who are being targeted because of their heritage and telling them that it’s okay for them to be who they are in a non-judgemental way. Especially as the few other Chassidic Jews on Tumblr were part of the problem, and routinely made comments to the effect that certain members of the community who were being sent death threats weren’t actually Jews. :unamused: So, yeah, I stood up and helped embrace some scared kids who needed to be told that this was their heritage and identity, and that they had a legit claim to it, regardless of how exclusionary and dismissive some yeshiva bocher was being of who they were.


FWIW I’ve dealt with a good number of those same type of people online in exactly the same way you describe. The Rebbe was completely right when he said that no Jew is nearer or farther from God. What you did was a mitzvah and I’m proud of you for it!


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