Sick Right-Wing Trolls Delight in Interfering With Mexico City Rescue Efforts

Twitter does nothing as trolls actually cost human lives
LGF • Views: 35,810

Let me say this again, in case the subtitle is lost: right-wing trolls are causing human victims of the quake in Mexico City to die.

They are posting the names of liberals and activists as “trapped and needing help,” diverting rescuers from saving children stuck under the rubble of collapsed buildings.

They are urging people to get out in the streets and block emergency earthmoving equipment, by trying to spread rumors via WhatsApp that the heavy equipment is meant to crush and kill poor people.

They are whipping people into hysteria over the “threat” of looters.

As the devastating earthquake trapped untold hundreds of people and their pets under tons of rubble, some on social media alleged the Mexican government was “sending in heavy machinery to kill poor people,” encouraging fellow trolls and social media users to block ambulances and rescue equipment, as rescue crews encouraged city residents to do the exact opposite—clear the roads to allow ambulances to get through.

As initial news reports and social media users in certain neighborhoods of Mexico City and Puebla warned that some had begun to take advantage of the chaos to steal and loot, and rob pedestrians or vehicles held up in bottleneck traffic, there were the trolls—the same ones who so often glom onto disasters and human rights crises in Mexico to spread misinformation and hatred with zero repercussions. They were encouraging their followers to go out and “let the looting begin.”

“If you see me, say hello … I’m on my way to the looting, sons of bitches,” wrote one Mexican troll, uploading an image of a man in a car, holding a pistol.

“I hope a lot of people die in the #sismo … especially the poor,” wrote one long-time Twitter nuisance, who had one account briefly suspended earlier this week after threatening to rape several female Twitter users in response to the national outrage over the murder of 19-year-old Mara Castilla—a young woman who was abducted, taken to a hotel, and then found dead and wrapped in a sheet last week after using the Cabify ride-share app.

Twitter responded with a slap on the wrist, by freezing that account for seven days. But like most of Mexico’s trolls, adept at the art of sockpuppetry—using multiple accounts for the purpose of deception—it hardly mattered, as he switched to his backup accounts to spread misinformation and lies about the earthquake.

More: thedailybeast.com

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