Democratic National Convention organizers shut down a second chatroom attached to a virtual caucus session after trolls cluttered the online conversation.
Like other daytime 2020 convention events, the “LGBTQ+” caucus meeting on Thursday had a chatroom that was publicly accessible to anyone who completed a simple sign-up form. It was quickly flooded with people arguing that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden was not a gay and transgender rights champion. They also criticized Democratic policy positions and referenced Biden controversies before their comments were deleted.
“Biden spent decades opposing gay marriage and military service. Why do you support him now?” said someone with the username “Ron Swanson PA.” In an offhanded remark from 1973, Biden wondered whether gay people in the military could be national security risks.
“Obama is not an LGBTQ saint. Please do not rewrite history,” wrote “Ellen.”
“Sean M” asked, “Where’s Hunter????“, alluding to Biden’s scandal-ridden son, Hunter Biden.
“Does the Q in LGBTQ stand for Q-Anon?” another person asked. “I hope so I love q anon,” someone responded, mentioning the far-right conspiracy theory suggesting a “deep state” is working against President Trump.
A remark from a “Barry McCockiner” that “this is so boring” was scrubbed as well.
Others in the chatroom praised administrators for deleting the messages and tried to counter the trolls’ missives.
“Joe Biden publically [sic] supported marriage equality while VP before Obama had states any position,” said Deanna Bayer.
“Too many trolls! Please close the chat so I can enjoy the show!” wrote someone identified as Missy Havulchuck about half an hour after the session started. Seconds later, the chat window disappeared.
A DNC official told the Washington Examiner on Friday that caucus and council chairs could choose different features to encourage participation during the digital convention. Volunteers and staff monitored the discussions, aided by an automatic filter system to nix “aggressive or offensive” statements and boot users.
“Once it was apparent the chat was being overloaded by negative comments, the moderators removed the chat function,” the official said. “Our team strived to balance the interactive engagement while keeping meetings free of abusive, racist, or misogynistic comments. ”
Earlier this week, some of the same conservative-leaning Twitter accounts, including Comfortably Smug, directed followers to join a Native American Caucus gathering where Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren was slated to speak. After moderators were unable to remove every message about Warren’s DNA test that found she is as little as 1/1,024 Native American and Trump’s favorite slur for Warren, “Pocahontas,” the chatroom was taken down.
During the primary, Biden called the host of a gay and transgender rights-focused presidential forum “condescending” for pressing him on his stances regarding the Defense of Marriage Act and the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. He reminded the audience he advocated for same-sex marriage before former President Barack Obama in 2012.
Author: Emily Larsen
Source: Washington Examiner: ‘This is so boring’: Trolls prompt DNC to shut down ‘LGBTQ+’ caucus convention chatroom