It’s Time to Start Ignoring Loudmouthed Assholes on Social Media

Harvard postdoc Katie Bouman at the moment when the first image of a black hole was processed.MIT CSAIL

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Brian Resnick writes about what happened after a picture of black-hole imager Katie Bouman went viral:

But then all the attention became a catalyst for an incredibly sexist backlash on social media and YouTube. It set off “what can only be described as a sexist scavenger hunt,” as The Verge described it, in which an apparently small group of vociferous men were questioning Bouman’s role in the project. “People began going over her work to see how much she’d really contributed to the project that skyrocketed her to unasked-for fame.”

There are two lessons here. First, the world is full of assholes. Second, we would all be better off if we ignored “small groups of vociferous men” on social media. If they can manage to get some attention in real life, then fine. Maybe they should get some media coverage. But there’s no need to help them along the way.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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