A Montana Jewish woman is suing the founder of the Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website, for allegedly orchestrating a “campaign of terror” that led to thousands of anonymous online trolls targeting her and her family.
According to the federal lawsuit, a barrage of emails, phone calls, texts and social media comments were directed against Tanya Gersh and her family, including her 12-year-old son, with threats, slurs and Holocaust references, The Associated Press reported.
The campaign against Gersh began last December after the founder of the Daily Stormer, Andrew Anglin, published the family’s personal information online, including her son’s Twitter handle and photo. Anglin accused Gersh and other Jewish residents of the Montana city of Whitefish of engaging in an “extortion racket” against the mother of white nationalist Richard Spencer.
"I've never experienced that kind of fear in my life," Gersh told The Associated Press.
Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, a watchdog group that monitors hate crimes, is representing Gersh in the lawsuit. He said the case could set a precedent for targeting hate groups in the digital age.
"In the old days, they would have burned a cross on Tanya's front lawn. Now, in the digital age, they launch a troll storm," Cohen said.