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THREATENING HASHTAG: Cerritos residents attempt to incite violence against HMG-LCCN publisher

Wednesday December 26, 2018

In an article published last week by the Los Angeles Times, the group Reporters Without Borders (RWB) reported on the violence and killings perpetrated on journalists in 2018.

RWB said at least 63 journalists were killed around the world in 2018, a 15% increase over the previous year.

Eighty more were assaulted, an all-time high in violent actions.

“Violence against journalists has reached unprecedented levels this year, and the situation is now critical,” RWB wrote.

The report put the blame squarely on both public and private citizens criticizing journalist’s stories and how the role of social media intensified people’s anger.

And that intensity and manipulation of anger on social media has arrived in Cerritos. 

 

Cerritos residents (l-r) Sambhev “Sam” Desai and Jane Yim. Desai started the threatening hashtag after which Yim, who hides behind a Facebook page that is not her true name, JaneAsianinLA, forwarded and used on social media, both combining the use of the threatening hashtag with #fakenews. Days after the hashtag was used another resident who “never heard of the paper” disparaged HMG-LCCN.

 

 

A small group of vocal residents hiding behind fake Facebook pages are using an offensive and extremely reckless hashtag – along with the #fakenews moniker and their own fabricated posts – in an attempt to intensify reader’s anger against HMG-LCCN.

Several in the group have brazenly used the hashtag in all the articles posted by HMG-LCCN, with the administrators of certain Cerritos oriented Facebook pages allowing the offensive hashtag to be used.

Resident Sambev Desai, a frequent critic of the City Council, started the hashtag, with Jane Yim (who has a fake Facebook page entitled JaneAsianinLA) and others “liking” and using the hashtag in other posts, which exposes the hashtag to many other people.

Days after the hashtag several others, including a Cerritos resident, disparaged HMG-LCCN on Facebook.

The Cerritos resident claimed he “never heard nor seen the paper.”

HMG-LCCN investigated and found the resident’s entire block receives the paper every Saturday.

Their “anger” is a result of stories and opinions, that are backed by facts, about the Cerritos City Council’s 4-1 vote to give Bellflower Unified students free library cards. 

 

Cerritos Residents ‘Protest’ Council Vote To Give BUSD Students Free Cerritos Library Cards

 

Residents Use Scare Tactics: Numbers Refute Resident Claims Concerning Cerritos Library Cards

 

The group has never disputed the facts in the stories, only attacking HMG-LCCN for exercising its First Amendment rights in arguing for giving the Bellflower students free Cerritos library access.

Instead of debating the issue, they lie and attack HMG-LCCN with Desai and his cronies using a disgusting, threatening – and some would say dangerous – hashtag on social media using my last name, which has a unique spelling, to falsely and recklessly gin up anger.

They are coupling the use of my last name with the now infamous #fakenews, the hashtag responsible for pushing Jarrod Ramos to kill five people at the Capital Gazzette.

Nobody knew that a simple hashtag would cause such violence and death, but it did.

It is beyond irresponsible; these Cerritos residents, feigning anger against the Cerritos Council for giving free library cards to non-residents then attacking HMG-LCCN.

They are either oblivious to the unintended consequences, which is the definition of negligence, or they intend to stir up anger and violence with the hashtag, which is a crime under California Criminal Code section 646.9.

I have a wife, two grown kids, and several relatives with the same last name who have nothing to do with my articles.

Yet these angry residents, with their reckless hashtag, the #fakenews moniker, and their blatant lies, have now exposed my family members to possible retribution and violence.

Even more disgusting, the lone yes vote to block children from obtaining free library cards, Cerritos Councilman Jim Edwards, has not denounced the group’s hashtag, his silence becoming a rallying cry for the angry residents.

I have been attacked for my articles before – that is part of the job – but the attacks are in the form of letters to the editor expressing alternate views, which I always publish in print and online.

Civil discourse is good for a democratic society.

Yet these residents, who hide behind their keyboards, prefer to start a hashtag campaign – certainly aimed at inflicting damage on my company – while possibly inciting violence against me and my family – for simply publishing articles they don’t agree with. 

Articles that are correct and backed up with facts.

The CEO of RWB said “the hatred of journalists proclaimed by unscrupulous people using social media has been reflected in the disturbing increase in violence against journalists.”

It is certainly evident here in Cerritos; over access to free Cerritos library cards to children.

Against all this violence, Time Magazine this month named journalists as their Person of the Year for 2018, calling them “The Guardians.”

#theguardians, #journalismmatters.

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This story reminds me at the former days of Dairy Valley, when there was a lot of fighting between Dairy men, farms and modernization. Everybody in this article is feeling hurt, which can be worse than my acute glass like kidney stone pain. But this is a season we must try to forgive, remember what our Pope and the Queen of England said, “Let’s try to do the best we can, to obtain peace and stop bashing one another” Truth hurts deep down, we all have to eat a little crow, but let’s try to replace these wounds with some… Read more »