Far-right trolls flooded the Trevor Project’s anti-suicide hotline in an orchestrated attack that sought to get young LGBTQ+ people to kill themselves last Tuesday. By inundating the helpline with fake calls, far-right trolls hoped that delayed waiting times would result in young LGBTQ+ people taking their own lives.
The Trevor Project’s phone line is specifically designed to help connect young LGBTQ+ people with trained counselors that can talk them through whatever they’re going through. The organization had to put up a banner on their website to warn users of their prolonged waiting times during the attack.
Reports indicate that the attack was orchestrated on a message board called 4chan which is popular among far-right extremists. Media Matters’ senior researcher, Alex Kaplan, stated that the objective of the campaign explicitly was to “f**k up the queue so sodomites and f**s commit suicide due to being unable to receive assistance” and “waste as much of their resources as possible.”
Officials from the Trevor Project have stated that this is the first time they’ve been targeted through a trolling attack from 4chan users. The attack began shortly after a conservative publication posted a story about a Trevor Project message board for people aged 18 – 24, calling it a “‘Pandora’s box’ of depravity.”