Lin Wood Is A Threat To Civility And National Security

Lin Wood likely isn’t as familiar of a name to most people as Donald Trump, but he has become increasingly influential within Trump’s circle post-election.

Lin Wood is a 68-year-old attorney, commentator, conspiracy theorist, and about as big of a Trump supporter as one can be.

He gets most of his attention on his Twitter account, which has become an open notebook for him to relay radical political beliefs and bizarre conspiracy theories popular among QAnon. The account currently has over 1 million followers.

His most recent Twitter meltdown? Alleging that John Roberts, Nancy Pelosi, and other major figures are murderers, pedophiles, and rapists, and that he has video proof. He tried to get the footage to Trump, but the other man bringing it was apparently assassinated. Oh, also, all major intelligence agencies, from the FBI, to the CIA, they’re all compromised.

Mind you, this comes shortly after fellow Trump team member Jenna Ellis formally distanced herself from Wood, after Wood suggested Vice President Pence be arrested and executed by a firing squad.

And what did Pence do to deserve such a fate? He said he wouldn’t contest the electoral vote, like certain Republican members of Congress were.

More Than Just Online Ramblings

So, why should anyone care about what Wood is saying?

Old people — really, people of all ages — rant on social media every day, and it is just accepted as discourse when you have a platform that big.

But your crazy uncle or that one angry coworker doesn’t have a digital audience large enough to fill one or more NFL stadiums.

As previously mentioned, Wood boasts more than 1 million followers on his official Twitter. However, followers aren’t always a good indicator of how much attention their posts get.

Take CNN anchor Jake Tapper for example; he has over 3 million Twitter followers, but the majority of his tweets get 20k likes (at the most).

But Wood’s tweets get that many likes on a bad day.

Normally, Wood’s tweets garner between 50k to 150k likes, in addition to drawing tens of thousands of retweets.

One could argue that the difference in interaction is because Tapper has over 200k tweets, while Wood has about 13k, or that the individual tweets from Tapper aren’t meant to draw publicity the way Wood wants to.

Another major factor is that Tapper’s followers are mostly people who are moderates or centrists, that either follow just to stay in the know or hear opinions they agree with — they aren’t as motivated to interact. Wood’s strongest defenders, though, are angry and often hold radical beliefs.

As such, their views are not displayed on television the way the views of moderates’ are. And so Wood’s account regularly becomes a primary place to congregate ideas about a supposedly impending race war and “taking the country back.”

“If It’s Only Online, Why Is It Dangerous?”

Online discussion, no matter how offensive, is never a problem in its own sphere. The trouble is when it carries over into the real world, which we have seen numerous times before. To name just a few notable examples:

  1. Alex Jones conspiracy that the Sandy Hook Shooting was staged led to the leaking of parents’ addresses.

2. Posts rooted in racism and generalizations directly motivated the Charleston Church Shooting

3. A recent episode of “60 Minutes” detailed a veteran receiving death threats as a result of a bizarre conspiracy she started the coronavirus.

4. Megyn Kelly endured national harassment following false stories about her after the first 2016 Republican Primary.

These are merely a handful of countless examples of people taking action in real life, because of something they read online. Fake news shouldn’t have to result in a real-life death in order to be deemed as dangerous. Private information and the safety of innocent people becomes fragile, often victimizing regular people who get labeled as pawns trying to act like a normal person in order to carry out the conspiracy.

Until Section 230 is repealed, this kind of slander and misinformation online will not be of any consequence, with rare exceptions.

For the meanwhile, Wood will keep pushing blatant lies to anger the same people who plan on hosting an armed rally in D.C. today. But the fact that a massive account can tweet blatant, inflammatory lies and face no consequence poses a real danger to the sanctity of verifiable information.

18 year old Progressive aspiring to be a journalist or something more.