It was a historic first when, on Sunday, Anderson Cooper became the first out journalist to moderate a presidential debate. It didn't go unnoticed in the dark corners of social media. Numerous tweets with antigay slurs were directed at Cooper, Nico Lang reported for The Daily Dot. Here's just a small sampling:
Of course Anderson Cooper doesn't understand locker room talk. Stay in your place faggot. #debate
— Bertz (@biggbertz) October 10, 2016
Doesn't surprise me that Anderson Cooper has never heard this kind of talk about women.
He's a faggot. Only talks about guys. #debate
— Los Pepes Dr. Ogger (@DrogReturns) October 10, 2016
Jealous fag Anderson Cooper who cant get with Trump didnt hear the tape where Trump said they "let" him do it. Thats Not assault #debates
— ℜobin (@RobinRoberson) October 10, 2016
Lang documented numerous other homophobic tweets, with slurs, that targeted Cooper. Of the three Twitter handles above, all three remain active and continue to tweet out homophobic and racist messages that include epithets.
No time at the moment to retort against the sudden gang bang no pun intended of homos straight bashing me. But I will be back in time
— Bertz (@biggbertz) October 11, 2016
I'm not afraid of gays, I'm afraid of the diseases faggots carry.
— Los Pepes Dr. Ogger (@DrogReturns) October 12, 2016
Progressives are so scared of Russia yet they want to turn American men into beta cuck fags that Russia could easily defeat. #CoverBOY
— ℜobin (@RobinRoberson) October 12, 2016
Twitter's official policy "prohibits the promotion of hate content, sensitive topics, and violence globally" and applies to "[h]ate speech or advocacy against an individual, organization or protected group based on race, ethnicity, national origin, color, religion, disability, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status or other protected status.Violence or threats of violence against people or animals."
The social media giant is known for being lax in its hate speech ban. Actress and comedian Leslie Jones endured a torrent of racist Twitter abuse this summer — much of it directed by fame-seeking gay internet troll Milo Yiannopoulos. After a global outcry, Yiannopoulos was banned from the medium. Still, hateful posts proliferate on Twitter and slurs are often unaddressed.
Twitter did acknowledge in August that it's developing software to filter out hate speech, but there has been no announcements from the San Francisco-based company since then. In fact, a new social media platform appealing to the alt-right crowd and promising an open forum for hate is catching steam.