two views of the border wall with a large gap

@thesweatytravelingmom/Tiktok Remix by Max Fleishman

‘I’ve been deleting the racist crap’: TikToker says trolls targeted border wall post

A TikToker says their post was flooded with 'racist/xenophobic sh*t.'

Tech

Posted on Jan 31, 2022   Updated on Feb 7, 2022, 10:17 am CST

A TikToker says their innocuous post about the border wall prompted hundreds of angry, racist, and xenophobic comments.

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TikToker Brigitte Metzger Harding (@thesweatytravelingmom) chronicles her experiences traveling as a parent. Harding recently posted a TikTok from the United States border with Mexico.

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“When you see the border ‘wall’ in person and it has these gaps every few thousand feet…” she wrote. The caption described it as a “weird experience.”

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Harding has 4,000 followers. Most of her TikToks—about things like the best rides at Disney World and traveling after cancer treatment—range from a few hundred to several thousand views.

The border wall video has nearly 3 million views as of this writing. Harding posted that it’d been watched more than 1 million times within a day.

The TikTok was flooded with comments. Harding wrote that hundreds of the comments were “angry” or “racist/xenophobic.” She said she was deleting such comments.

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“That’s not what we do here,” she wrote in a follow up TikTok. “All comments will now be filtered and it’ll be cleaned up.” She said that people were circumventing her efforts with “creative” ways of avoiding the filters.

Harding didn’t respond to the Daily Dot’s request for comment.

Many of the comments are from people confirming that the border “wall” does indeed have gaps at regular intervals. One wrote that the gaps are designed “to funnel people” into particular areas so Customs and Border Patrol agents can more easily track those crossing the border.

Others noted that the gaps are for various animals in the area.

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“They are animal crossings, they are essential to the ecosystem and they are heavily guarded [with] motion cameras, thermal cameras and an agent,” wrote another.

Last month, CBS News reported that the Department of Homeland Security plans to close some gaps, clean up, and repair damage left behind by the previous administration’s construction of barriers at the border.

There are many comments mocking former President Donald Trump, whose promise to “build the wall” was a defining feature of his 2016 campaign.

“The designers graduated from the Trump University dept of engineering,” one jeered.

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Several said that the wall was “a waste of money.”

“So what happened to all that GoFundMe money for the wall,” wondered one TikToker. Leaders of that GoFundMe, including Steve Bannon, were charged with defrauding hundreds of thousands of donors. Bannon alone was pardoned by Trump on his way out of office. His three former codefendants are to be tried later this year.

Other commenters noted that portions of the barrier were erected years ago.

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“These walls have been there for decades and have nothing to do with Trump or [President Joe] Biden,” wrote one.

As for Harding, she posted another TikTok about the experience of inadvertently going viral with a six-second video of the border wall. In it, she wrote, “When you got so far from political TikTok you forgot it existed and then stepped right into it by accident.”

“I’m heading back to booktok,” she added.


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*First Published: Jan 31, 2022, 2:25 pm CST