BREAKING: Not everyone who supports the same candidate as you is cool, smart and good

Last night, Heavy.com reported that a series of Bernie Sanders-supporting Facebook pages had been taken down after being the target of a coordinated attack in which pages were flooded with pornography and then reported for violating the site’s terms of use.

At least some of the mass reportings have been tied to members of the pro-Clinton Facebook group, Bros4Hillary. A spokesperson for the group told Heavy.com that the group as a whole did not condone negative attacks on pro-Sanders pages, and the member(s) responsible have since been banned. The pro-Sanders groups have since been reinstated.

Members of the pro-Sanders groups affected by the porn spam campaign were worried that the attacks originated from the pro-Clinton super PAC, Correct the Record, which recently launched a $1 million campaign, Barrier Breakers, to push back against anti-Clinton posts on social media. Correct the Record emphatically denied involvement in the anti-Sanders spam campaign, saying that their effort is limited to promoting pro-Clinton messages and, well, correcting the record.

So a few random Clinton supporters were childish jerks on social media. No big deal. There’s no reason to believe this episode has anything to do with Correct the Record (which is, for the record, coordinating with Clinton’s campaign), and there’s no reason to draw any connections between a few yahoos online and Clinton’s overall campaign or message.

Which is why it’s been particularly odd to see prominent Clinton supporters who have been particularly sensitive to online harassment with respect to their preferred candidate responding to the episode by denying that it happened the way it did.

Believe it or not, whether you support Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders or even Jill Stein, not everyone who supports the same candidate you do is cool, smart and good. Some people who support the same candidate as you are jerks. Some of the people who support the same candidate as you do stupid and mean things online — even if you support Hillary Clinton!

It’s the Internet, and the Internet is an ugly place sometimes (ok, often).

In any case, it may be a positive development if this story spurred Clinton supporters such as Conason, who edits The National Memo, to apply a bit more scrutiny — or, better yet, indifference — to random idiots online. Perhaps then we’ll stop seeing racist and sexist idiots on Twitter being pinned on Bernie Sanders himself when most (though not all!) of them actually support Donald Trump.


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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  • UCF_Engineer

    I feel the same. A Clinton administration with him as Secretary of the Treasury (where I think he could do the most good) would do wonders for this country.

  • Badgerite

    Breaking: Not everything reported in a blog or from Sanders supporters is true. From Little Green Footballs.

    “At least some of the attacks originated from a rival Facebook group of Clinton supporters, reports say,” the Salon story reads.
    But Facebook, and now even the affected pro-Sanders groups themselves, say that the real problem was merely a data base error that affected more pages than just the Sanders leaning community pages.
    “A number of groups were inaccessible for a brief period after one of our automated policies was applied incorrectly,” a Facebook spokesperson wrote. “We corrected the problem within hours and are working to improve our tools.”

  • Ericakmason4

    “my room mate Lori Is getting paid on the internet 98$/hr”…..!cc306ctwo days ago grey MacLaren P1 I bought after earning 18,512 DoIIars..it was my previous month’s payout..just a little over.17k DoIIars Last month..3-5 hours job a day…with weekly payouts..it’s realy the simplest. job I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months. ago. and now making over. hourly 87 DoIIars…Learn. More right Here !cc306n:➽:➽:➽➽➽➽ http://GlobalSuperJobsReportsEmploymentsJunctionGetPayHourly$98…. .❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦::::::!cc306n….,

  • Voodoo Chile

    By “embarrassing shit show” you mean a platform based on economic justice an a better social safety net?

    Yeah, sorry about that. After June you’ll have your platform about killing brown people and tax cuts for Wall Street back.

  • Badgerite

    I think you will soon see things settle down in the Democratic race in that the personal stuff will fall away and the campaigns will get back to focusing on the issues. Sanders wants to remain a force and to do that he will have to reign his surrogates a bit in their rhetoric and HRC, of course, wants Sanders support and to do that she will have to address the issues he and his supporters are concerned about with concrete proposals. I think it will make her campaign and/or her administration and maybe the Democratic party better in the long run. Sanders will, in all likelihood, not be president of the United States. But he will certainly, from here on out, be a force to be reckoned with within the Democratic party.

  • I’m not a Democrat.

  • gaylib

    Exhibit A. Your conspiracy theory bullshit has no place in the Democratic party.

  • Moonbeam_Song

    It’s pretty clear you could come up with plenty of evidence of Sanders supporters doing uncool things on the internet… and Trump supporters, Cruz supporters, Kasich supporters, etc.

    The internet and social media do bring out some of the worst instincts in people, sadly.

    If every candidate was judged by the worst internet behavior of one of their supporters, nobody would be able to run.

  • CHERRY

    I think it is impossible for Bernie to catch up at this point, he should become her key cheer leader at this point. Ill still wear my bernie T shirt though because I love what he stands for I got it from http://www.nytees.net

    “i feel the Bern”

  • It’s true – it’s called a diversion. Please – the Clintons get their hands very dirty.

  • Marthajmintz2

    “my room mate Lori Is getting paid on the internet 98$/hr”…..!cg723ctwo days ago grey MacLaren P1 I bought after earning 18,512 DoIIars..it was my previous month’s payout..just a little over.17k DoIIars Last month..3-5 hours job a day…with weekly payouts..it’s realy the simplest. job I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months. ago. and now making over. hourly 87 DoIIars…Learn. More right Here !cg723n:➽:➽:➽➽➽➽ http://GlobalSuperJobsReportsEmploymentsFactorGetPayHourly$98…. .❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦::::::!cg723n….,

  • gaylib

    Only problem is that absolutely none of this is true. Thousands of FB accounts were hacked and the users started having their accounts spam their groups with porn. It happened to two of my FB friends who have nothing to do with either campsign. This is a known issue by FB, and I’m sure we will know all the details soon. Meanwhile Sanders people are going full infowars with the conspiracy theories and paranoia. And some of you are actually enabling them now by suggesting there might be some truth to this. Can’t wait until June when this embarrassing shit show that sanders has foisted on the Democratic Party is over.

  • Oh John just stop pretending this isn’t you.

  • S. Parilla

    As the topic of this article makes clear though, this us vs. them dynamic between some Hillary and Bernie supporters is toxic. The attacking tone has to be dialed back no matter who you support. I think we can agree on that, no?

  • That’s just f*cking wrong… I have to wonder if it ever occurs to these idiots that their malignant behavior does NOT help their candidate.

  • What’s the point of any of this? To voice your opinion, of course.

  • Mary Sweeney

    Obviously, we could find people who are jerks among the supporters of any of the candidates–if we couldn’t, that would be some sort of miracle. And I seriously doubt that Correct the Record was responsible for the Facebook attacks, because as I understand it, at least some of the attacks involved posting pornographic images, and that seems like an incredibly risky thing for any campaign to try. That being said, the fact is that the tactics used by Correct the Record leave the Clinton campaign wide open for criticism every time any jerk anywhere does something in support of Clinton online. That is one of the many reasons that Correct the Record’s approach is a very bad approach to take. From now on–including while Clinton is president, assuming she wins–if something shady happens online, we’ll have to wonder if she had a hand in it. And that is her own fault.

  • S. Parilla

    That’s the thing, though. You don’t just ‘support Sanders’, you’re pretty anti-Hillary. And that’s fine, we are all entitled to our opinions (even John!) Now, though, you’re also anti-Aravosis. How is that productive?

    I don’t know John, but I too am a long-time reader of Americablog. I haven’t always agreed with his positions or his opinions, or those presented elsewhere on Americablog, but that’s fine too. Healthy discussion requires difference of opinion.

    What you’re doing, both with the anti-Hillary flailing and now the anti-John statements, are coming across primarily as sour grapes. What is the point of it?

  • Yeah I’m back (for now) but you’re getting the story all wrong. He got offended over me supporting Sanders not the other way around. He threw a hissy fit as he does constantly on twitter. I still steer people away from this blog, but as I said I’ve been here from the start and old habits die hard.

  • S. Parilla

    As an aside, didn’t you announce to all and sundry in a long comment a few weeks ago that because you felt John was mean to you, and because you were so offended by his support of Hillary, that you just could not bear to participate here any longer?

  • Demosthenes

    Actually it is a more accurate truism to say that many people of all political stripes are jerks.

  • hiker_sf

    Yes and no. Yes, it was probably a few idiots doing this and no, I don’t think any good is going to come from it. But when a few idiots on the Sanders campaign do something, EVERY EFFORT is made by Clinton supporters to place blame on Sanders, either direct blame or indirect blame because of the his tone or something.

    And you may want to update your list: The maybe/maybe not fugitive, nutcase libertarian John McAfee is running for president.

  • Agreed – tell John Aravosis this when he tried to lead a witch hunt against all Sanders’ supporters when some nut was harrasing some reps to switch their SD vote.

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