LONDON — Less than a day after the worst terrorist attack in Sri Lanka’s history, thousands of Sri Lankans were consumed with vitriol, outrage and fear. Their community was threatened, they believed. Something must be done.
But some settled on a target who was not a perpetrator of the Easter bombings, not a sympathizer, not even someone who lived in Sri Lanka. He was Thusiyan Nandakumar, a doctor and part-time journalist living thousands of miles away in suburban London. He stared at his phone in bafflement and terror as thousands of threats rolled in.
“I know where you live,” one message said. “We will come for you terrorist low life to teach you a lesson.”
“If I see you anywhere,” read another, “I will cut your throat.”
In Sri Lanka, angry mobs attacked Muslims after the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, and the island nation braced for further violence. But in the echo chambers of social media, Dr. Nandakumar — who is not Muslim — was singled out as an enemy. And the threats kept coming.
By Wednesday, the outrage had spread to mainstream politics. Sri Lanka’s opposition party, led by the former strongman president Mahinda Rajapaksa, held a news conference and denounced Dr. Nandakumar by name.
This surge of rage and harassment directed at a doctor living abroad may seem inexplicable. But social scientists say it reveals the impulses that lead people, particularly when they feel weak or threatened, to band together to punish a perceived transgressor — and the ways that social media has encouraged those impulses.
“The world of vigilantism can help explain this,” said Regina Bateson, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who researches vigilante violence. “It’s very similar.”
Seething at Dr. Nandakumar offered Sri Lankans, particularly those from its Sinhalese Buddhist majority, a sense of strength at a time of vulnerability — and, crucially, a way to feel unified by their rage, and therefore safer.
Those impulses can drive not just social media outrage but real-world lynchings and sectarian fury. Research on vigilante violence helps explain not only why people lash out, but also why, in this era of hyper-connected online communities, the phenomenon is gathering strength and frequency.
After the bombings, Dr. Nandakumar, whose family is from Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority, gave a brief interview to the BBC in which he mentioned the country’s history of ethnic conflict, including a recent attack on a church by Sinhalese Buddhists.
To most people who watched the broadcast, his statements were forgettably anodyne — the kind of sound bite that television news anchors use to fill time until more concrete facts become available.
But online, rumors spread that he had accused Buddhists of carrying out the Easter bombings, that he was trying to destroy Sri Lanka’s reputation, that he was a terrorist.
A study led by Daphna Canetti-Nisim, a University of Maryland psychology researcher, helps explain why people would focus their energies on harassing a distant target with no connection to the Easter bombings.
The researchers found that episodes of terrorism can lead people to rage at minorities, even if there is little logic behind doing so. People cling more strongly to their group identities at such times, and band together against outsiders they perceive as threats.
“The Sinhalese have famously been referred to as ‘a majority with a minority complex,’ convinced that the island’s Sinhalese-ness and Buddhist-ness is under constant threat,” said Kate Cronin-Furman, a professor at University College London who studies Sri Lanka. “We’re seeing the effects of this siege mentality in the aftermath of Sunday’s bombings.”
Punishing outsiders creates a sense of group agency and lets people feel they are on the side of good, protecting their communities, Professor Bateson said. Targeting Dr. Nandakumar, who edits a Tamil news site, may have been a means for people to prove that they are good Sinhalese, defending Sinhalese interests.
This past week an online mob soon identified Dr. Nandakumar’s family and began circulating photos of them. His parents and brother received death threats. His teenage sister was graphically threatened with rape as well.
Meanwhile, Dr. Nandakumar faced ever-worsening threats. “I got one message saying some S.T.F. boys are waiting to ‘smoke’ me,” he said, a reference to the Special Task Force, a notorious unit of the Sri Lankan military.
Anger spread beyond Dr. Nandakumar. Azzam Ameen, the BBC’s Sri Lanka reporter, became a target. A petition denouncing the BBC’s coverage went viral, attracting more than 50,000 signatures. Journalists at The Tamil Guardian, a news site for which Dr. Nandakumar is an editor, increased their security precautions, worried they might be attacked.
Any social media user has seen the way a seemingly minor offense can set an entire online community aflame.
Online rage, at its most extreme, tends to follow a very similar pattern.
Public criticism quickly turns to threats and intimidation. Women often receive graphic sexual threats. The target gets “doxxed,” with private information being made public, as well as links to partners, family members and employers, who are then threatened as well.
That pattern has played out around the world, growing out of controversies including video gamers’ anger at feminists and fury over foreign correspondents’ coverage of local crises. In Brazil, teachers and health workers have been driven from their jobs and homes by campaigns known as “online lynchings.”
Real-world lynchings are difficult to carry out, Professor Bateson said, because of the time and effort required to spread a message, bring people together and persuade them to attack a victim physically. But with social media, an outraged group can gather almost instantly, drawing together users who may not know one another or even be in the same country.
“Rhetoric demonizing an ‘other’ is easy,” Professor Bateson said. “Collective violence that’s physical and in person — that’s hard. This mass online targeting and harassment falls somewhere in between.”
And, as Dr. Nandakumar found, an online mob can still reach directly into its victims’ lives. “Even though I’m thousands of miles from Sri Lanka, the fear crosses boundaries and borders,” he said.
Communities that lynch tend to develop specific “repertoires” of violence, Professor Bateson said, with individuals learning how and when to attack. Because the impulse is one of complying with group norms, the sense of a community ritual can be powerful.
Now, social media platforms — communities in their own right, of millions of users — seem to be developing their own specific patterns of targeting victims. And new tools like doxxing have become part of the online repertoire of violence.
“People are learning tactics of how to intimidate and coerce online,” Professor Bateson said.
The emergence of those patterns suggests that users who harass and threaten are learning from one another — and that the group norms of social media may be pushing users to follow suit, even if they might never do something so aggressive offline.
But there is always a chance that online hate can spill over into physical violence. That prospect terrifies Dr. Nandakumar’s family.
A few days after the attacks, his aunt called him in tears, begging him to apologize and mollify the mob. Otherwise, she warned, “they will come for you.”B:
【何】【东】【行】【有】【些】【诧】【异】，【看】【到】【卫】【宫】【切】【嗣】，【看】【到】【安】【倍】【晴】【明】，【看】【到】【小】【次】【郎】，【看】【到】【更】【识】【楯】【无】，【都】【没】【有】【这】【么】【诧】【异】。 【他】【怎】【么】【会】【出】【现】【在】【这】【里】？ “【他】”【当】【然】【指】【的】【是】【天】【草】【四】【郎】。 【何】【东】【行】【知】【道】，【天】【草】【身】【为】【英】【灵】，【理】【论】【上】【来】【说】【是】【可】【以】【被】【圣】【杯】【召】【唤】【过】【来】【的】。 【但】【是】，【此】【时】【的】【天】【草】【可】【不】【是】【英】【灵】，【而】【是】【一】【个】【寄】【住】【在】【言】【峰】【家】【的】——【人】！ 【如】【果】
【有】【朱】【睿】【陪】【着】，【进】【货】【苏】【玉】【兰】【就】【只】【管】【挑】【款】【式】，【其】【他】【的】【什】【么】【都】【不】【用】【管】，【朱】【睿】【一】【直】【手】【就】【能】【拉】【动】【拖】【了】【两】【大】【包】【衣】【服】【的】【小】【推】【车】。 【苏】【玉】【兰】【带】【的】【钱】【不】【少】，【款】【式】【新】【颖】【的】【毛】【衣】，【牛】【仔】【裤】【进】【了】【不】【少】，【价】【格】【比】【较】【贵】【的】【毛】【呢】【大】【衣】【她】【也】【敢】【进】，【有】【家】【里】【的】【生】【意】【垫】【底】，【也】【不】【怕】【货】【一】【时】【卖】【不】【掉】【压】【本】【钱】。 【朱】【睿】【把】【一】【切】【都】【安】【排】【的】【妥】【当】，【进】【的】【货】【到】***【办】【了】【托】
“【文】【祁】【啊】，【问】【题】【来】【了】，【你】【的】【朋】【友】，【到】【底】······【来】【还】【是】【不】【来】【呢】？！” 【蒋】【文】【祁】【一】【时】【语】【塞】，【眼】【睛】【情】【不】【自】【禁】【地】【看】【向】【别】【的】【地】【方】，【他】【不】【知】【道】【该】【怎】【么】【回】【答】【他】【的】【朋】【友】，【因】【为】······ 【他】【也】【不】【知】【道】，【她】【到】【底】【会】【不】【会】【来】。 “【快】【喝】【快】【喝】【呀】，【哈】【哈】【哈】，【慕】【晴】，【真】【看】【不】【出】【来】，【你】【竟】【然】【会】【喝】【酒】【哎】~” 【慕】【晴】【拿】【着】【酒】【杯】，【轻】【轻】【地】白小姐第065期特网“【他】【们】【疯】【了】【吧】，【随】【意】【抓】【捕】【百】【姓】【那】【是】【杀】【头】【的】【罪】【啊】！” “【这】【里】【可】【不】【是】【汉】【地】，【你】【要】【搞】【清】【楚】，【这】【里】【是】【法】【莱】【锡】，【你】【想】【和】【那】【些】【世】【世】【代】【代】【的】【贵】【族】【讲】【道】【理】，【那】【你】【也】【得】【有】【权】【柄】【才】【行】。” 【这】【一】【句】【话】，【就】【把】【李】【逝】【所】【有】【的】【怒】【气】【全】【部】【顶】【回】【去】【了】，【他】【没】【有】【别】【的】【办】【法】，【既】【然】【身】【在】【别】【人】【的】【领】【地】，【那】【也】【只】【有】【忍】【气】【吞】【声】。 “【这】【仗】【真】【就】【打】【到】【这】【样】【地】【步】【了】
【他】【一】【直】【相】【信】，《【卡】【农】》【会】【让】【天】【堂】【变】【成】【金】【色】，【而】【那】【金】【色】【的】【天】【堂】【里】，【有】【他】【想】【见】【的】【人】。 【他】【不】【贪】【心】，【他】【只】【想】【见】【她】【一】【个】【人】【啊】。 【在】【这】【逐】【渐】【微】【弱】【的】【音】【乐】【里】，【顾】【云】【笙】【想】【起】【了】【很】【多】【事】【情】。 【他】【其】【实】【是】【不】【叫】【顾】【云】【笙】【的】，【他】【叫】【什】【么】，【连】【自】【己】【都】【不】【记】【得】。 【他】【的】【记】【忆】【很】【遥】【远】，【只】【记】【得】【那】【是】【一】【个】【很】【冷】【的】【冬】【天】。 【游】【乐】【园】【里】【的】【小】【男】【孩】，【一】
【此】【时】【孙】【墨】【涵】【正】【躺】【在】【一】【张】【宽】【敞】【的】【沙】【发】【上】，【这】【间】【位】【于】【教】【室】【隔】【壁】【的】【空】【房】【间】，【一】【个】【人】【都】【没】【有】，【孙】【墨】【涵】【考】【完】【之】【后】，【看】【着】【房】【门】【大】【开】【着】【便】【走】【了】【进】【来】，【并】【且】【锁】【上】【了】【门】。 【他】【躺】【在】【沙】【发】【上】【正】【在】【闭】【眼】【构】【思】【一】【篇】【全】【新】【的】【文】【言】【文】【作】【文】。 【就】【在】【半】【小】【时】【前】，【他】【突】【然】【发】【现】【自】【己】【系】【统】【收】【入】【中】【的】【卖】【萌】【好】【感】【值】【迎】【来】【了】【一】【次】【大】【幅】【度】【的】【攀】【升】，【根】【据】【孙】【墨】【涵】【的】【猜】【测】