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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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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