As if we didn’t already know, the Internet is a terrible place. An exchange over the last 24 hours involving false accusations against UNC College Republicans reminds us exactly why that is.
Yesterday, a Reddit user named “TarheelTransgender” posted a picture that allegedly showed a Facebook conversation between the user and the official UNC College Republicans Facebook account. The conversation involved UNC College Republicans making threats of violence against the user for being transgender, things like:
“If you ever dare to set foot in the women’s room I will make sure to give you a lesson not to harass our women, you freak of nature. We will make sure that you trannies do not molest our daughters and sisters.”
A reasonable person would immediately be suspicious of an anonymous person alleging this kind of language coming from the UNC College Republicans’ official Facebook page. But that didn’t stop blogger Andy Towle of towlerroad.com of running an article with the headline “UNC Republicans Threaten Transgender Student on Facebook After Calling Her ‘Mentally-Ill Tranny Freak of Nature.'” However, UNC College Republicans immediately denounced the accusations as false:
This morning, a post on the website Towleroad.com accused our organization of sending offensive and discriminatory private messages about House Bill 2 to a private user, using the official UNC College Republicans Facebook page…We at UNC College Republicans are shocked and disgusted by this false and slanderous attack. We never condone the type of vicious and discriminatory language we have been accused of using. Our organization has a diversity of views on House Bill 2, and has taken no official position on the issue. The screenshots featured in the article are patently false and fabricated.
So if the accusations are false, then who made them? It all originated with Reddit user “TarheelTransgender.” A look at the Reddit profile for this user shows that the profile is new, and has only officially been used to post the image of the alleged conversation with UNC College Republicans. One might think that this is a Leftist attempting to frame the conservative group for making violent threats against transgender individuals. But this is where the plot thickens yet again.
The “TarheelTransgender” Reddit profile made one other comment this morning on Reddit, of which you can view a screenshot here. That comment was on a post about liberal double standards on tolerance in the “conservative” forum on Reddit, and read as follows:
That is the MO of the Left, they enforce political correctness and then once society complies to their anti-racist view they quickly began deeming anything that goes against their policy as racist, forcing everyone to conform to it otherwise they are called bigots.
The comment was deleted about a half hour after it was made. Not exactly a Leftist commenter. While nothing is certain yet, it appears that Reddit user “TarheelTransgender” may actually be a conservative pretending to be a liberal pretending to be a conservative.
The ultimate lesson is twofold:
(1) Don’t automatically believe anonymous things on the Internet, and
(2) The Internet is an awful place.