I saw the photo first, me in a bloody wash of red with “RACIST” pulsing over my face. A couple of clicks brought me to this:
“In the darkest shadow of Bloomberg’s glossy office building in Manhattan, you may find a woman by the name of Dune Lawrence—a ‘journalist’ who has built a career on writing salacious articles about China.”
That was my introduction to TheBlot, a website I hope you’ve never heard of. The article went on and on: I’d been kicked out of China for poor job performance and eked out a living on minimum wage. My appearance was ravaged by “years of consuming hormone-packed fried chicken and stressing over money.” Now, I’d found a way to save my sinking career by writing negative articles about China and taking kickbacks from short sellers. In a cinematic scene set at Kentucky Fried Chicken, this Internet version of me laid out a strategy: “ ‘Bashing the Chinese could be a profitable niche for me,’ Lawrence said to a source while biting off a juicy chicken leg quarter at KFC. ‘The Chinese don’t vote, the Chinese don’t sue people, they just sit there taking the s—. How much better can it get? I am making a living out of it!’ ”
It was difficult for me to keep reading. In addition to all the lies, the story was laced with creepy sexual imagery: I’d had my “panties ripped off” and was like “a dog wagging her tail trying to attract a mating partner.” I felt overwhelmed; it was as if something heavy were pressing into my forehead. I wanted to fight back, and I also wanted to hide. I haven’t been able to do either.
Read this Bloomberg piece by Dune Lawrence, on how online trolls destroy lives and careers, now.