There’s trolling and then there’s vile death threats sent via an anonymous Twitter account with the intention of causing fear and distress.
Unfortunately, one woman’s actions fall into the latter category after she sent out threatening tweets to President Mauricio Macri and his family, including his 4-year-old daughter Antonia. The tweets have landed Maribel Anahí Durand in hot water, as she now faces prosecution following Federal Judge Ariel Lijo’s orders.
Through her anonymous account @lamariKaos, which had a profile picture of Antonia with a photoshopped slash through her throat accompanied by the phrase “kill the girl,” Durand would write messages such as “We’ll take our hatred out on your children. @mauriciomacri better have a bodyguard protecting Antonia’s life” and “This goes beyond that. It is our duty to kill their offspring, without that this’ll never stop.” The profile’s bio also reads, “sell her to Taiwan, they’ll know what to do with her.”
Durand was summoned to testify and claimed that under the Macri administration she lost her job. Durand’s threats were because, she claims, she had an outburst of anger after Macri came to power. “I lost my job and I wrote those things on Twitter without any actual intent to murder anyone, it seems so crazy. It was just anger generated by the loss of my job,” she said. “In December my contract was not renewed, but I kept working until early March because I was supposed to. In the end, my contract wasn’t renewed and I wasn’t paid for any of those extra months. I was only paid for November and December in February. It was a sum of these things which caused this stupid outburst.”
The police investigation into the tweets cost AR $48,500 and in response to this, the judge ordered Durand to pay AR $150,000 to cover extra costs that would be incurred. Lijo said that her actions generated “a state of shock” and “were potential triggers because of the social and political context of the country.”
Heads of government are quite often targets for online trolls, but usually not to this extent. Being a public figure comes with its fair share of abuse, however, this is an example of it taken to an extreme. The trolling of politicians should be a little less personal, I feel.
Take British Prime Minister David Cameron as an example. Trolls do not attack his family, instead they creatively insult his every tweet in 140 characters or less.
If you really must troll a political figure, have some decorum about it, people.