As seen with protests nationally in the last few months, a few tweets can lead to a movement. Trending topics poking fun at celebrities and athletes often spread like wildfire on the Internet as well. But when hateful messages are spewed on social media platforms, it shouldn't be taken lightly.
Twitter has suspended blogger Charles C. Johnson after he created a fundraiser for "taking out" civil rights activist DeRay McKesson, who was threatened by the message. On May 24, Johnson tweeted the link calling for donations. McKesson shared the message with his followers. "So I woke up to this. Hate is organized in America. & yes, I take this as a serious threat," wrote McKesson.
Johnson responded to the suspension, writing, "I was speaking metaphorically about exposing DeRay in much the same way Slate was speaking metaphorically when they talked about 'taking out' a Supreme Court justice."
McKesson disagreed with Johnson's comment during an appearance on CNN Monday. He said that, as a journalist, Johnson should know the power of his words. "...If I got on any media outlet today and said something to the effect of 'take out' the police, nobody would think that I was talking about an exposé," McKesson explained. "It would function to mean a physical threat."
When asked why he believed Johnson targeted him, McKesson said that speaking the truth has made him a target by people like Johnson.
"People of color have been particular victims of police violence in cities across the country and I have been telling that story along with many other people. It seems to be a truth that he is denying along with the people that follow him."
McKesson has more than 17,000 followers on Twitter and is one of the most prominent voices in the movement against police brutality, following the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., in August 2014.
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(Photo: CNN Newsroom)
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