Read to the end for the official banger of Thanksgiving
It feels like the reason these people had the reaction that they did to the Letter to America might be that it was their first encounter with anything genuinely critical of American imperialism.
It shouldn’t need to be said, but there are so, so many pieces of writing that critique American imperialism in a genuinely thoughtful and productive way, without being bigoted or written by a literal criminal terrorist.
Thank you Ryan!! You and the writers of the WaPo and Slate articles made me feel a lot less crazy this week. The second I saw the Yashar post about this, my hunch was that it was like a “kids-are-eating-Tide-Pods” moral panic.
I know CNN producers were frothing at the mouth when they saw Yashar’s tweet, it was, like you said, a perfect storm of rage-bait, generation war, tiktok hysteria etc. It was just so predictable seeing the non-story blow up into a “What Does This Say About Society” moment.
Thank you sooo much for looking into this and sifting through the noise.
Unsurprising that the CPSC posted the Thanksgiving banger, following up on their hit album We're Safety Now Haven't We (Volume 1)
Yashar is such a fuckin fraud. Just look it up. It's a shame anyone takes anything he says seriously in 2023
Great analysis with hard data, but as a UX Designer and someone who attended a liberal arts college, I’ve learned that just 1 person can make an impact be it for good or evil.
It only takes 1 or 2 individuals to be inspired by Osama Bin Laden’s manifesto to shoot up a bunch of people.
Why do you think gun ownership of Jewish people has gone up in Florida?
What, no mention of Paul Kessler, a Jewish man who died after altercation amid pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian protests
A Moorpark College professor has been arrested on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter in the death of a Jewish protester who suffered head injuries during clashes between pro-Palestinian and pro-Israel demonstrators earlier this month in Thousand Oaks.
Loay Abdelfattah Alnaji, 50, of Moorpark was arrested early Thursday at his Moorpark home in the death of Paul Kessler, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department announced in a news release. Alnaji is being held in lieu of $1 million bail.
"there were likely around 300-500 unique videos about the letter and, once again, around 25% of what I personally saw were bots or automated accounts or duets. And the largest comment section I’ve seen underneath one of these videos had around 5,000 comments. Now, let’s do this again. Would you, in 2023, give a shit if there were around 5,000 people being offensive on the internet?"
This is bad math. But to your question, def not, though in the context of vitriolic antisemitism on both the right and the left, anything that is sympathetic to reorienting nonthinkers towards a stance against "the Jews" is something worth declaring truly terrible.
Ignoring extremist trends doesn't make them go away. Countless people told us to ignore QAnon and not give it oxygen. Instead, it just grew in the dark.
I think the LTA rehabilitation was starting to gain steam on TikTok and other social media when it got mainstream attention. Maybe it would have died out otherwise. But it might have just kept getting bigger with nobody paying attention. "Don't feed the trolls" doesn't work.
Thanks for the info., research and stats. The internet seems never designed for positivity in this world... and sadly youngsters are falling in to the negative space in full belief mode.
Comparing and contrasting the deficits in their lives, relying on public sentiment as opposed to personal mental strength.
You are a gem in sharing freely your excellent powers of observation and research, as the mental state of the youth addicted to these formats start mentally spinning around the toilet bowl!
Your knowledge of the inner workings of the net... both positive and negative is stellar!
Keeps one well informed on the mental state of the youth, how the media can control the information and how to steer clear of the mess, while staying informed! 👍
Kinda strange to say something “isn’t happening”, then proceed to show how it IS happening, but how it’s akshuwlly “not a big deal”.
Have you ever considered that maybe the initial posts were never the main goal? Like with most modern propaganda, the point is to merely plant the seed and then let the people do the work for them… the more people talk about how its “not happening”, the more people are looking into it. You are part of that process.
These things got millions of views and averaged >100,000 likes so making believe it isn’t a problem is just part of the problem.
Your stuff is always really great, but this issue in particular was really well researched and put together.
Great coverage Ryan!
I don't think the videos were offensive in the first place. of course everyone's tiktok is silo'd, like you've pointed out many times, but the videos I saw were people realizing for the first time how the US actions before we were born shaped things like 911 and Israel's war that we've been hearing about our whole lives. I was surprised to see a lot of liberals I know being so disgusted by the videos. Maybe it's an age thing, I was 5 when 911 happened so it's always been abstract to me. it's history and we're learning from history, that's all I see with this moment.
Hey Ryan, couldn't help but notice you used "screenshot" as a verb in the past tense. Some folks might prefer that you had used "screenshotted" - but I would like to make the case here that the past tense of "screenshot" is "screenshat" as in "I screenshat your IG post yesterday and sent it to my mom."
Thank you for this! This was great, and a useful reply to folks who are using this as a stick to beat not just TikTok but the whole internet with.