Reporters laid off by HuffPost and BuzzFeed this week have reportedly been receiving a flood of death threats from online trolls.
Nick Wing, who was laid off by HuffPost, said he received images in his inbox including one of President TrumpDonald TrumpYoungkin ad features mother who pushed to have 'Beloved' banned from son's curriculum White House rejects latest Trump claim of executive privilege Democrats say GOP lawmakers implicated in Jan. 6 should be expelled MORE and a photoshopped meme of Fox News’s Tucker Carlson which showed two bodies hanging from a tree next to the words “Day of the Rope,” a far-right meme about executing journalists.
“It really is upsetting to see such outright animus toward the entire journalism profession, to the point where trolls are openly reveling in people’s misfortune or even working to make it worse," Wing told NBC News.
"But ultimately I think it says more about their character than anything. What sort of sad and pathetic human being do you have to be to do that?”
Talia Lavin, a freelance writer who wrote a political column for HuffPost before her editors were laid off, told NBC that she had received messages containing sexist and anti-Semitic slurs, as well as direct threats.
Lavin traced the trolls to internet forum 4chan, where users in threads were bragging about “taunting them with my sock puppet Twitter.”
“I’m gonna burn so many sock (puppet accounts), I can not help, but gloat to the max,” one user wrote. Another user told others to “hammer these [expletive] hard and tell them to learn to code.”
A Twitter spokesperson told NBC that they working to stop the coordinated attacks on journalists.
"We are disheartened about the layoffs many journalists are facing right now and are working to prevent people coordinating on other services from making the situation worse," they said. "We are taking action on content that violates our rules and will continue to do so."