NYT Writer Critical of White Men Blasts Twitter as ‘Misery Machine’

Sarah Jeong says Twitter has routinely failed to take action against racist trolls

Sarah Jeong

New York Times writer Sarah Jeong — who was lambasted earlier this year for sharing, what her critics said, were racist tweets about white people — skewered Twitter in a series of tweets on Tuesday afternoon, accusing the social media platform of failing to take action against legions of trolls that berated her with racist messages.

“As far as I’m concerned, Twitter is a misery machine that goes out of its way to make my life harder in pursuit of a toxic faux neutrality and ad dollars,” Jeong tweeted.

In a lengthy thread, Jeong shared several explicit messages that Twitter declined to take action against. “You need to be kicked in your vagina soy boy,” one message said. Another troll said they were “tired of your dry stinky c— type” to Jeong.

She also shared a meme someone sent her using a racist stereotype of Asians eating dogs. “When you can hear your neighbors calling their dog, but you know they will never find him,” the memeread.

Jeong said that only a handful of the troll tweets were removed by Twitter. And compounding matters, Jeong tweeted that her account was locked in 2014 for violating the company’s policy against “hate speech.”

Twitter did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

Jeong’s hiring at The New York Times in August sparked an internet firestorm after a number of her old tweets resurfaced. In many of those, she made disparaging remarks towards white people, which critics said were racist.

Among the most notable: “#CancelWhitePeople,” “oh man it’s kind of sick how much joy I get out of being cruel to old white men,” and “Are white people genetically disposed to burn faster in the sun, thus logically being only fit to live underground like groveling goblins.”

In a statement last summer, the Times distanced itself from Jeong’s comments and said she would be more mindful in the future.

“Her journalism and the fact that she is a young Asian woman have made her a subject of frequent online harassment. For a period of time she responded to that harassment by imitating the rhetoric of her accusers,” the Times said.

“She now sees that this approach only served to feed the vitriol that we too often see on social media. She regrets it, and the Times does not condone it.”

As of late December, Jeong hasn’t written her first NYT piece since joining it from The Verge.

Jon Levine contributed to this report.