This Is What Happens When Alt-Right Trolls Get Your Phone Number
"I've never had so many people tell me that they wanted to see me die." WARNING: This post contains graphic content.
It's been almost a full week since Shia LaBeouf and his team set up the #HeWillNotDivideUs live stream. The plan is to have the camera streaming for the entirety of President Donald Trump’s four-year term.
One of the earliest protesters at #HeWillNotDivideUs was a 22-year-old artist who goes by Paperboy The Prince Of The Suburbs and asked for safety reasons that BuzzFeed News refer to him as Paper.
Paper has appeared regularly with LaBeouf and was with the actor on Thursday night when he was arrested for allegedly scratching and punching a man who was at the #HeWillNotDivideUs event at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, NY.
The NYPD spokesperson said the man LaBeouf assaulted was actually anti-Trump, not a Trump supporter, as widely reported on social media. But Paper told BuzzFeed News he thought the person who got into the altercation with LaBeouf appeared to be signaling alt-right groups online via the livestream.
"[Neo-Nazis] are basically behind the scenes, trying to divide, saying stuff like 'Hitler Did Nothing Wrong' and like 'Trump is going to be the best president' and like they'll like do Nazi dances [on the livestream] and stuff," Paper said.
Paper's appearances on the livestream caught the attention of 8chan, an anonymous message board for trolls who aren't allowed to organize harassment campaigns on 4chan. They quickly figured out his identity via social media.
"The first day, I did #HeWillNotDivideUs. So, they've had my number," Paper said. "The first day, I got 60 death threats. The first day." The thread that Paper was doxed in was filled with Nazi imagery and pro-Trump memes.
"I posted one on my Instagram because I was just overwhelmed. I've been doing art on the internet for a long time," Paper said. "I've never had so many people tell me that they wanted to see me die and to kill myself."
Then 8chan users got hold of Paper's address. He said they've been harassing his family. "I just got off the phone with my mom and people are basically like calling my house and leaving voicemails, racist voicemails," he said.
Paper said he's received more than 200 phone calls in the last 36 hours and he said it doesn't appear to be dying down any time soon.
Prince gave BuzzFeed News screenshots of over 30 of the texts he said he has received in the last day or so. Most of them appear to have been sent via free web apps that let you send texts over the internet.
Paper said the harassment has stayed pretty constant since it started.
"I don't think its gotten better, I've just gotten more used to it," he said, adding that his website went down around amid the harassment (it's back up). "I've gotten a lot of racist emails, a lot of racist texts. It hasn't gotten better. It's actually gotten worse," he said.
As for why Trump supporters and neo-Nazis are so obsessed with the #HeWillNotDivideUs livestream, Paper had a simple explanation.
"Why are they obsessed with this live stream? Because it's lit right now we’re making a difference," he said. " We can laugh together, we can fight for our rights together. They're mad because they're seeing us do all of that."
"I've gotten literally thousands of letters of love, like thousands. From people all over the world, from every country," Paper said. "If I had to take a little bit of hate to see all of the love that's in the world, like that makes it worth it."