Tanya Gersh came home one night to find her husband sitting in a dark house, in the midst of packed suitcases in their bedroom. He told her they’d have to leave that night before waking their kids. That’s when he showed her the website. That’s when she discovered that she was the target of a neo-Nazi “troll storm” writes Lois Beckett.
“The post on the Daily Stormer last December claimed I had been trying to extort and threaten the mother of Richard Spencer, a white nationalist whose family has a vacation home in our town,” Gersh told Beckett.
The post also included her picture and her contact information as well as links to social media profiles for Gersh, her husband, her friends, her colleagues—it even had her 12-year-old son’s Twitter handle.
“Do we tell our children that we’re running in the middle of the night because we’re Jewish?” Gersh wondered.
Gersh had never heard of the Daily Stormer, which is now “the most popular English-language website of the radical right,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center—a site with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month.
What’s more, she’s a small business, a realto, and before that she was a wedding planner. According to Gersh herself, she’s not an activist and never has been. So why? Why the hatred directed at her and her family?