Anyone who spends a fair amount of time on social media must have noticed that the discourse between supporters of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has grown increasingly toxic and disruptive over the past few months. While frustrations have certainly grown between the two camps, new evidence has arisen which implicates a third party for being a purposefully disruptive element in online media.
Inevitably, it all comes back to 4chan. The notorious online community of predatory hackers, disgruntled youths, and disenfranchised perverts, are known for pioneering “doxing” and other harmful online harassment techniques. They have now set their short sights on the American political system – in favor of Trump.
Recent chat logs have come to light which indicate that certain users of 4chan have been systematically targeting Democratic-leaning posts and social media users, inciting them with inflammatory material in an attempt to spur division between the Hillary and Bernie camps.
It’s a now-classic strategy pioneered by the dictator of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, who has cultivated thousands of “trolls” to flood internet comment sections and social media with pro-Putin propaganda.
While there is certainly room for a sophisticated and measured discussion over policy between the two candidates, the toxicity has grown to disturbing levels that are unproductive in all forms – and now we might have a inkling as to why.