The presence of offensive comments on social media is nothing new. For some reason, the anonymous nature of the Internet makes people feel invincible, and they're comfortable saying horrible things that they may never say in person.
But what happens when someone makes a comment from their personal Facebook page, making them instantly identifiable? And what if the comments are not just offensive, but dangerous?
Linda Sarsour is a Palestinian-American political activist.
via: GettyOne of her first activist demonstrations came after the September 11th terrorist attacks in 2011 where she defended the civil rights of Muslim Americans. She was also one of the organizers of the Women's March in 2017.
At age 25, Sarsour became the executive director of the Arab American Association of New York (AAANY).
via: GettyShe has gained worldwide attention for her protests against the police surveillance of Muslim Americans and her participation in the Black Lives Matter movement. The New York Times claimed that Sarsour "has tackled issues like immigration policy, mass incarceration, stop-and-frisk and the New York Police Department’s spying operation on Muslims — all of which have largely inured her to hate-tinged criticism."
On September 27, The University of South Florida made an announcement of an upcoming event on its Facebook page.The organizers of the 2017 Women's March would be coming to campus to speak on October 11. Speakers included Tamika Mallory, Carmen Perez, and Linda Sarsour. Soon after the announcement, people began commenting with a mixture of both positive and negative feedback.
While some social media users jumped in with the sadly predictable anti-Muslim rhetoric, one man took it a step too far and made shocking threats against Sarsour.Florida resident Wes Giuliano posted this disturbing comment on the school's announcement. While it doesn't directly state that Giuliano planned on harming Sarsour, it strongly implied it, especially the bit about whether or not she would be wearing "body armor."
Many people were horrified by the upsetting comment.It quickly began making the rounds on social media. And, because he chose to make this comment from his personal Facebook account, Giuliano was immediately identified...
Online investigators were able to identify his employer after just a quick scroll through his Facebook page.Not only was the comment frightening, it was also extremely brazen, seeing as he was publishing proof of his deadly intentions for the world to see. Even after hitting the delete button, the Internet never forgets.
Social media users quickly made calls to his employer for his immediate termination.
Pardon me, @FloridaHospital but it appears as though one of your employees is plotting to murder @lsarsour -Could… https://t.co/AqA33ugDHj— Imraan Siddiqi (@Imraan Siddiqi)1507685851.0
While Florida Hospital did end up responding, it was very brief and gave no information regarding the status of Giuliano's employment.
@imraansiddiqi @lsarsour Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We will follow up internally.— AdventHealth (@AdventHealth)1507687551.0