Journey From the Dark Side

By Jen Caltrider | August 21, 2019

Boy

“I understood, at last, that the precise circumstances of the online alt-right’s successful wooing of Sam at the height of his vulnerability were unique but that a similar story was playing out in adolescent bedrooms across America.”

Anonymous Mother

I recently came across a story that struck me hard. An anonymous Mom shared the journey of her 13-year-old son who, lost in depression, became a prime target for white supremacists online. This essay struck me, in part, because it is a first-person account of a story playing out in communities all over the world across a wide variety of issues and ideologies. It also struck me because this story shows what so many of the other stories didn’t -- a way out. Please take a moment to read this story. Then come back to see how you can ask the Mom and son your questions about their journey.

Today you have an amazing opportunity to ask this Mom and her now 16-year-old son your own questions.

We were able to connect with the mother and son and asked if they would be willing to help educate our Mozilla community further on the hard-earned lessons they learned during this difficult time in their lives. They both agreed.

Read their story first. Then, think of what you would like to ask the Mom or her son. Please be thoughtful and respectful with your questions. We are grateful to them for giving our community the opportunity to learn from their difficult and personal journey.

(please submit your questions by Sunday, August 25, 2019)

We will share your questions with the family to get their responses. Sign up for our email list to have their answers sent directly to your inbox. Or keep an eye on this blog or Mozilla's Twitter account. We will share their responses on those channels soon.

Want a lighter look at the dark side of YouTube's recommendations algorithms. See one baker's laughable look at how content farms are putting her out of business with really terrible recipes and really smart ways of gaming YouTube's recommendations.


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