US: ‘Racists Getting Fired’ exposes weaknesses of Internet vigilantism, no matter how well-intentioned

At first glance, it seems like a clever bit of Internet Darwinism: If you don’t possess the savvy to privatize your obviously racist social-media activity, then your employer receives a call — or 10 or 20 — about your inappropriate online brain-drippings.

That’s the mission of the new Tumblr blog Racists Getting Fired.” It seems like a natural progression in a world that’s already home to the “Yes, You’re Racist” Twitter account. The account publicly shames Twitter users expressing racist sentiments by retweeting them, especially if their tweets are qualified by “I’m not racist, but …”
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Post-at-Racists-getting-firedFound (by me) on the site today

Racists Getting Fired doesn’t just publicly shame — it adds consequences by rounding up those willing to call a business to say they don’t want to patronize a place with an employee who says things like “#Ferguson one less n—– on #foodstamps.”

The Tumblr quickly took off. Racists Getting Fired gained nearly 40,000 followers in a matter of days, with 15,000 submissions in the first eight hours of the blog’s existence, according to its moderator.

But there was a hitch that revealed a problem with Internet blood-lust: Sometimes the torch-wielding throngs get it wrong.

Post-at-Racists-getting-fired2Such was the case with Brianna Rivera, a woman who certainly appeared to have posted racially charged hate speech to her Facebook account. Later, Racists Getting Fired was alerted Rivera was a victim herself; the account was a hoax created by an ex-boyfriend and submitted to the Tumblr with the aim of not just getting Rivera fired from her job at a movie theater, but smeared as well.

This led to new submission guidelines: among them, that users only submit authentic public profiles with links to corroborate screen shots, and of posts that are obviously, explicitly racist. The moderator vowed to vet future posts before publishing them.

Because Racists Getting Fired grew so popular so quickly, the moderator, an anonymous, queer-identified woman, found herself staring down threats from 4chan, she said. Early Tuesday morning, she published a request seeking new moderators to take over Racists Getting Fired, or even create a new blogs with the same goal if hers was shuttered. After soliciting legal advice in an earlier post, she shared this message:

i began this blog much to publicly, with an excess of personal information bc i could not have forseen the skyrocketting of attention this blog has received. i was not prepared for the legal threats, nor for being hunted by 4chan doxxers and other anti-social justice websites. so it is too late for me.

moving forward with the knowledge of my mistakes, i am looking for new moderators to completely take over this blog. for your safety and for the longevity of this movement, you need to be damn well versed in the language of online security, you need to be able to mask your presence and cover your tracks. i will only consider serious inquiries.

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  • jayme

    Black people get killed by white people huge world news however white people get killed by black people not a word.

    • Xavier

      Corollary: Black people getting killed by anyone but whites not a word.

    • Canadian Born

      You are completely right. the black cop that killed the white unarmed veteran in Texas not a word about it and a white 18 year old killed by black cop in 2012 in Alabama not a word and both were found justified and didn’t lose their jobs still not a word and these are only 2 cases. What the hell is the matter with the United States and Canada? If you mention whites killing blacks there are riots and yet you mention blacks killing whites nothing is said and no riots. Truly unbelievable that people can’t see this.

  • Drunk_by_Noon

    Well, when “reporters” start getting “schwacked” by vigilantes looking for some payback for losing their jobs, I can’t say I’ll care much, or even at all.
    I might even golf clap.

    Like I have said, if the “balloon goes up” forget targeting police, politicians, or corporate fat-cat “banksters” or whatever, just concentrate on the propagandists disguised as reporters.
    Mercilessly pursue them without remorse wherever you find them.
    Make their very existence untenable.

  • Bataviawillem

    I hope she gets pestered without end.

  • RevnantDream

    Didn’t they used to call this black listing?

    • Drunk_by_Noon

      It’s OK when they do it!
      That’s why there are NO RULES when combatting the left.
      Whatever you can do to hurt them and ‘get away with it’ is fair game.
      I know, it doesn’t sound pretty, but this really is a war.

  • kkruger71

    Awww, I feel so bad for her. All she is trying to do is damage peoples lives for shitty things they do on the internet. Who knew that would lead to people trying to damage her life for the shitty things she is doing on the internet?

    • Drunk_by_Noon

      It’s just not fair!