Teenage climate activists are getting harassed online: report

Teenage climate activists are getting harassed online: report
© Greg Nash

Teenage activists — most notably Swedish 16-year-old Greta Thunberg — have been the catalysts for the growing climate movement, but their activism is also drawing attention from online trolls.

BuzzFeed News chronicled some of these struggles in an article published Wednesday.

While activists with huge followings, including Thunberg, have faced criticism from figures on national television, other young activists with smaller followings have also taken heat. 

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Eight-year-old Washington state native Havana Chapman-Edwards has received everything from death threats to racist messages on social media platforms.

“The ugly truth is that these girls are subject to the deepest darkest evil side of social media on a daily basis,” Havana's mom, Bethany Edwards, told BuzzFeed News.

In a tweet Sunday, conservative commentator Dinesh D'Souza compared Thunberg to propaganda that was utilized by Nazi Germany. Additionally, according to a report obtained by BuzzFeed News, almost 5,000 tweets about Greta have been generated by bots.

On Monday, Fox News guest analyst Michael Knowles called Thunberg "mentally ill." Thunberg has Asperger's syndrome. The network has since apologized and condemned Knowles's comments.

Despite the vitriol received across social media, the girls are sparking tangible mobilization. Friday, an estimated 4 million people worldwide took part in the Global Climate Strike.