Jenna Ellis(l), Mao Zedong(r)

Gage Skidmore/Flickr Unknown/Wikipedia (CC-BY)

Struggle Sessions

“The same psychological tactics Mao used is now here”

 

David Covucci

Tech

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This week, Jenna Ellis, an attorney for former President Donald Trump, pled guilty to her attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election in Georgia. 

In court, she fought back tears, describing her regret and lack of “due diligence.” 

But in right-wing social sites, the tears weren’t met with sympathy for Ellis. Instead, one phrase floated across every channel. 

Her histrionics, as well as other recent guilty pleas in election cases, were deemed “struggle sessions.”

The term comes out of Maoist China, where in the 1950s, people accused of being class enemies to the Communist revolution were subjected to humiliating spectacles and physical assault as punishment for their subversive behavior, intended to keep the regime in power by forcing fealty. 

Now, in Biden’s Communist America, former Trump loyalists are being forced to endure the same. 

“The ‘struggle sessions’ continue,” noted a Patriots.win user, highlighting the recent string of guilty pleas in the Georgia fraud case, where nearly two dozen Trump associates were charged

“Absolutely dead on,” responded JohnHancock1776. “It is crazy people do not see what this is. Mao would be proud.”

In Mao’s China, people were allegedly beaten and tortured for their “crimes.” Ellis merely received five years probation, though she will have to pen an apology letter to the citizens of Georgia. 

On Gab, other recently convicted far-right figures were also declared part of the “Struggle session.” 

Douglass Mackey was thrown in prison for a Twitter meme, Owen Shroyer is going to prison for being a right-wing reporter and Jenna Ellis was framed for a crime while defending a republican president … America is going through a communist struggle session. Who is going to win it?”

“This was a hostage video. The same psychological tactics Mao used is now here,” said another

Threads first main character

Threads and Bluesky both continue competing to be the main alternative to X. 

But neither seems to have had a breakout moment—that meme or viral explosion that makes everyone need to join, making it feel like not being on the platforms is keeping you from an essential moment of internet culture. Think everyone on Twitter holding their breath waiting for Justine Sacco to land after sending her ill-fated AIDS tweet.

However, one user believes that the fact that Threads hasn’t had something like that means that perhaps the platform is genuinely going to be a nicer, safer space

“I’ve seen a few posts on here about how we haven’t had a main character on Threads yet and I think that’s a good thing. A large social network collectively hating on a single person probably isn’t good for our collective psyche,” they wrote.

“Yeah. Can we not?,” agreed one. But nothing galvanized Twitter quite like everyone rushing to understand and weigh in on an absurd or awful viral moment. Can anodyne kindness create a platform when everyone on the internet just wants to shit all over each other?

HitlerTok

Did a Hitler video get 200,000 likes on TikTok? A screenshot is floating around 4chan, the far-right internet cesspool, asking “Is it really happening,” wondering if people online were truly supporting the antisemitism that festers on the site.

Although the original TikTok seems to be gone, with the user deleting every video on the account and changing their handle, A stitch of it got 13,000 views and similarly highlighted the reach—700,000 followers—of the original poster. 

It’s unclear if TikTok removed the video, but there’s currently no shortage of clips of the Nazi leader circulating. 

Workaround hashtags like hitlrspeech and hitlilerspeech have millions of views.

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