Doxxing Dissent: How Bernie Sanders' Campaign is Waging War on its Opposition

This was not how it was supposed to happen.

On Monday, Bernie Sanders' communications team gravely miscalculated his appeal on Twitter. Sanders' staff created the hashtag #MyBernieStory, which was designed as a 
way for supporters to share how and why they support the independent Vermont senator. However, the hashtag was immediately hijacked by opponents of Bernie Sanders, who used the thread to illustrate how and why Sanders has been a destructive force in American politics over the past 4 years. Going through the top tweets, a number of them shared how Sanders' inability to concede the 2016 race caused irreparable damage to Hillary Clinton and eventually gave rise to the presidency of Donald Trump.

One tweet, in particular, was composed by a Twitter user named TheHoarseWhisperer. This tweet was critical of Sanders' refusal to support Hillary Clinton and instead stay in the race to sell his book. The tweet earned nearly 15,000 likes and 3,000 retweets and eventually caught the eye of MSNBC's Brian Williams, who used the tweet on his show to showcase how many Democrats feel about Sanders. Rather than simply agree to disagree, Sanders' campaign responded with his national press secretary Briahna Joy Gray encouraging Sanders supporters to out or "doxx" TheHoarseWhisper and speechwriter David Sirotta criticized the user's anonymity in a combined effort to publicly harass a private citizen. Gray later attempted to backtrack on her tweet but the damage had already been done as TheHoarseWhisper had their private information publicized by an online Sanders supporter, who saw nothing wrong with Gray and Sirotta's call to doxx a private citizen. 

Unfortunately, this was not the only example this past week of Sanders' staff going after anonymous Twitter users for criticizing their messiah. Two days later, Gray again turned to social media in an effort to silence another anonymous Twitter user. This time, Gray claimed that Twitter user ThatGirlFrmOhio was being "hateful" and "divisive" because the user had begun to collect stories and screenshots of Twitter users that had been harassed online by Bernie Sanders supporters with the intent of sending those examples to Sanders' Senate office. Because of Gray's tweet, an army of Sanders supporters flocked to ThatGirlFrmOhio's profile and reported her, forcing her to deactivate her profile. The user has since created a new profile which now includes near-hourly harassment from Sanders supporters, thereby continuing to prove her original point about how abusive, toxic, and dangerous they can be. 

The truth is that this implosion by Gray and the Sanders team is a direct result of the campaign finally getting pushback for how Sanders acted in 2016. People are no longer afraid to hide their utter disdain for the independent Vermont Senator and women, primarily women of color, are fed up with being constantly denigrated and degraded by Sanders' supporters. They "have the receipts" over these past four years with Sanders supporters willingly calling them vile and disgusting names, simply for expressing their displeasure with Sanders. It is becoming clear that Sanders' support is fading as he is now a distant second in national polls, is in single digits in Iowa, and is still behind Joe Biden in the first in the nation primary in New Hampshire. Combined with the fact that Sanders is now facing real media scrutiny for the first time, the campaign has resorted to claiming corporate media bias in an argument straight out of Donald Trump's playbook. Bernie Sanders is finally coming to realize that he's not as beloved as he thought he was. 

And Bernie Sanders' campaign staff doesn't know how to deal with this realization.

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