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

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

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.

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate