Neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin, founder and editor of The Daily Stormer, must pay $14 million to Tanya Gersh, a Jewish woman he organized a troll army against.
The Daily Stormer is an American neo-Nazi, white supremacist, and Holocaust denial commentary website and message board that advocates for the genocide of Jewish people.
Five years ago, Anglin encouraged his readers to harass Gersh after he accused her of attempting to extort the mother of white nationalist Richard Spencer. Gersh has denied the allegations.
Spencer was famously punched in the face on camera at Donald Trump's Inauguration, prompting the people to debate: Is it OK to punch a Nazi?
At Anglin's prompting, Gersh received over 700 messages saying, "I hope you die," "Kill yourself," and "We will take pleasure in your pain." One voicemail said: "You are surprisingly easy to find on the Internet. And in real life."
The lawsuit was brought by the Southern Poverty Law Center two years ago on Gersh's behalf and was ruled on Thursday.
We won our lawsuit against neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin, who led an antisemitic trollstorm against our client Tanya Gersh. "This win isn't just for me, my family & my community; this is a win for everyone who has been harassed, terrorized & bullied," she said. https://t.co/wsRu9GDZZG
— Southern Poverty Law Center (@splcenter) August 8, 2019
"This win isn't just for me, my family and my community; this is a win for everyone who has been harassed, terrorized, and bullied," Gersh said in a statement.
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"Even though I don't like to admit that what he did broke a part of me, I am now a stronger person for it. Don't be afraid to take a stand against hatred and don't let hateful people define who you are. We will not let them win," she continued.
Anglin did not show up to court and his whereabouts are unknown. He only has to pay for the judgement if he's living in the U.S., but Gersh's lawyers are intent on making him pay, regardless.
"We will go to the ends of the earth to collect the judgment on behalf of our client, Tanya Gersh, whether it's cash, assets or intellectual property," Gersh's lawyer, David Dinielli, said.
While we may debate whether it's appropriate to punch a Nazi, everyone should be fine with holding them accountable for threatening people.
The judgement sends a strong message to anyone who attempts to threaten or harass anyone online.
In America we have freedom of speech, but we should also be free to live our lives without being harassed for our religion or ethnicity. And, if you do harass someone, it's gonna cost you.
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