Social media witch burning

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: lawrence@krubner.com

This is exactly the kind of mindset that used to get women burned at the stake:

But in September 2015, she was suddenly plunged into an American nightmare. She got a call at 6 a.m. one morning from a colleague at Re/Max telling her something terrible had been posted about her on the Re/Max Facebook page. Glennon thought at first she meant that a client had left her a bad review, but it turned out to be much worse than that.

It was a link to a story about Glennon on She’s A Homewrecker, a site that exists for the sole purpose of shaming the alleged “other woman.” The author of the Homewrecker post claimed that she and her husband had used Glennon as their realtor and that everything was going great until one evening when she walked in on Glennon having sex with her husband on the floor of a home the couple had been scheduled to see. The unnamed woman went into graphic detail about the sex act and claimed she’d taken photos that she used to get everything from her husband in a divorce. The only photo she posted though was Glennon’s professional headshot, taken from her bio page on Re/Max’s site.

…In 2014, a teenager from Alabama visited Auschwitz and tweeted a smiling selfie from the former concentration camp. It went viral, as people across the internet debated the teen’s choice of self-portraiture. WHNT News, a Huntsville, Alabama-based TV station, posted a story about the incident to its Facebook page asking readers to “share your thoughts.”

A heated discussion ensued. Monika Glennon was among those defending the teen, saying that kids make mistakes, that at least she was visiting the site, and that the condemnation by an internet mob “shows the same judgmental and senseless pack mentality that led to this horrific time in history to begin with.”

A woman named Mollie Rosenblum disagreed. She responded to several of the teen selfie supporters, including Glennon, saying that Auschwitz was a somber place for reflection and not an appropriate place to take selfies. She identified herself as being of Jewish descent and suggested that others didn’t have a full grasp of the Holocaust. Glennon responded to Rosenblum, telling her Auschwitz isn’t “her” place, that it “belongs to all and was a former killing zone of all,” including, originally, Polish people.

…Rosenblum stewed over the exchange for a week. It was a low point in her life; a single mother with two sons, she was, by her own account as posted on Facebook, then “in the throws of full blown methamphetamine addiction” and making very poor decisions (including, in 2016, kidnapping). She spent a few hours researching Glennon online and soon knew enough to fake having met her in real life. It was the online version of road rage; instead of pulling a gun on another driver, Rosenblum decided to drop a bomb on Glennon’s reputation. Rosenblum submitted her fabricated story to She’s A Homewrecker, and then, according to an account she later gave to a local news outlet, forgot about it.

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