Trump is poised to gut online privacy, and his most devoted trolls are very unhappy

Anonymous internet trolls are worried.

Credit: AP Photo
Credit: AP Photo

Of all the constituencies that supported Donald Trump last November—working class white voters; anti-establishmentarians; the Ku Klux Klan—perhaps none displayed more unwavering, unyielding loyalty than his army of online trolls.

You know the ones: the Pepe-loving, hashtag-tweeting deplorables. They weaponized memes the way political operatives typically weaponize phone banks, and their effectiveness was rewarded by the loving embrace of Donald Trump himself, who bent over backwards to engage with the internet’s most vile users.

Even as some voters began expressing remorse for entrusting a misogynistic failed businessman with improving their health care and saving jobs, Trump’s army of trolls—on 4chan, on gab.ai, and, most notably, on the r/The_Donald subreddit—remained steadfast.

At least, until this week.

Earlier this week, Republicans muscled a bill through Congress that strips away Obama-era protections on users’ online privacy, opening the door for internet service providers to begin selling their customers’ private information to the highest bidder. Everything from a user’s location to their shopping habits to their browsing history will be on the menu.

For a group of people whose cretinous online behavior is predicated on remaining largely anonymous, such a disruption would be unwelcome to say the least. And the fact that the Trump administration has vowed to sign such a bill into law has proven to be a very triggering turn of events.

Now, users in Donald Trump’s online safe spaces are cycling through all seven stages of grief.

Shock:

This is an attack against freedom. I want to make my own decisions about my life, not others, and that includes my private info as well. this is total bs, the house giving in to the business “establishment”, Pres Trump should stop this!!!!!

Denial:

I’m completely against this bill. Trump would never put something this idiotic through though. It’s all Paul Ryan and his cooperate shills.

Anger:

Trump needs to VETO this shit. This shit wreaks of swamp water and is definitely not part of MAGA.

Bargaining:

This is big, I’m very disappointed in it, it’s one of my top issues. But immigration, budget cuts, repealing Obamacare (and NOT getting in Ryancare), and Draining The Swamp are bigger, especially in aggregate.

Pain:

This bill will not be vetoed…Oh fuck me. Shit man.

Depression:

“So what do we do if Trump doesn’t veto? Do we still support him?”

And finally, acceptance:

“Hey man, this is deregulation! This is what Trump promised, it’s what he campaigned on.”

But this is Donald Trump we’re talking about, a scam artist who bilked hundreds of people by creating a fraudulent university atop a charter of “trust me, I got this.” Is it any wonder, then, that some Trump supporters still assume the president knows what he’s doing, even when all the evidence suggests otherwise?

“Can’t help it, but getting rid of Obama-sneaky BS is a good thing,” writes another Breitbart commenter. “That scoundrel had to be up to something censorious, anti-freedom or something similar.”