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Virtual Vandalism And The Dispute Against Leftists

"We mistakenly attribute the concept of vandalism to what is ‘marginal,’ and rarely to what is 'central,' when the term should apply to infringements against the integrity of public property in general. […] Vandalism is, therefore, the attempt to destroy property even in its abstract form — the body and identity."

In June 2020, shortly after the attempt to criminalize anti-fascist movements in the USA and Brazil, a secret group was created on Facebook with the aim of mocking and harassing leftists. Despite not considering myself as a leftist or posting content in defense of leftist political parties, I was targeted by them in December. My participation in a group of vegetarian and vegan recipes was enough, which goes against the values of entrepreneurial freedom and ‘sustainable exploitation’ of the livestock industry that the members of the mockery group proclaim. Despite appearing childish and harmless, the group has a clear purpose of destabilizing emotionally, opening legal processes, and intimidating its targets to withdraw from the virtual public sphere. I know this because I infiltrated, observed, and contacted other people who were affected by this self-proclaimed digital militia.

Written by Mirna Wabi-Sabi
Photographed by Fabio Teixeira

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