McInnes: You Are Not A Nazi, Please Stop Harassing Us
February 8, 2017
“Known for my political position on the holocaust?!” McInnes wrote in his comment. “This is libel. The only thing I’ve ever said about the holocaust was that it’s insane to deny it. Update this lie or I will sue both this newspaper and you personally, Arushi.”
While McInnes has every right to disagree with our article, personally attacking college students is immature and unwarranted.
Unfortunately, McInnes did not stop with threatening to sue. He quickly began tweeting pictures of the editor-in-chief of the newspaper. McInnes took advantage of his status as a public figure and preyed on college students since we are easy targets. If McInnes had been offended by a New York Times journalist, he would not have sought out photos of the the paper’s editor-in-chief to publicly humiliate them. This attack is not about journalistic integrity; it is about McInnes trying to prove his power.
Gavin McInnes shamelessly used — and uses — his public platform to provoke cyber bullying. Although the article’s claims were debatable, the backlash — including comments on people’s appearance and race made by McInnes’s followers in response to his tweets — is entirely inappropriate. In the past, McInnes has attacked people such as Meryl Streep and the entire female gender on Twitter, but publicly humiliating college students working unpaid positions at a learning paper is absurd. They do not have a large Twitter following or public backing to defend themselves from the vast attacks launched at them by McInnes and his followers.
University newspapers serve as spaces for students to develop their journalistic skills. Instead of recognizing this, McInnes turned his followers against young people to simply gain more attention. McInnes’s exploitation of people with less power than himself only reflects poorly on him and his supporters. This behavior is shameful and inexcusable.
While unfavorable implications can understandably cause anger, to respond with harassment betrays the same oversensitivity that McInnes regularly speaks out against. Instead of picking fights with people who lack both his following and social clout by targeting detractors, McInnes would be better off defending himself on principle. Going forward, both sides of this conflict should strive towards accuracy and not stoop to character assassination or unfounded hearsay.
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