Michael Wilson takes a look at a recent doxxing and hate speech campaign online and the collateral damage in the everyday lives of several Brooklynites.
HuffPost had just published a profile of a prolific Twitter firebrand from New York, a woman who frequently attacks Islam — one post warned that “500K Muslims will Invade Europe this Summer” — under the user name @AmyMek.
The story revealed her full name, Amy Mekelburg, offered details about her family and mentioned a brother who “runs a popular restaurant and craft beer bar in Brooklyn that also bears the family name.”
The backlash to the story was instantaneous and widespread, rattling even veterans of the high-volume, high-vitriol, endless shouting match that plays out on the fringes of ideological dividing lines in this country.
The HuffPost reporter who wrote the article, Luke O’Brien, was accused by Ms. Mekelburg’s supporters of “doxxing” her and her family, the term for revealing personal information about a person online. He was, in turn, doxxed by her supporters, and was immediately inundated with threats. One, he said, included a picture of a gun and the words, “Your time is come.”